by Jef | 3,7 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 2 Minutes
Gibson $999 PAF limited edition pickups. The Best tone ever?

Gibson $999 PAF limited edition pickups. The Best tone ever?  ·  Source: Gibson


Gibson $999 PAFs? Yes, Gibson has announced a limited edition reissue of their new 1959 Patent Applied For (PAF) humbucker ahead of NAMM 2024. Could they make your tone a thousand dollars better?


Gibson $999 PAF

Gibson has this week officially announced a limited release of their new 1959 Patent Applied For (PAF) humbucker pickups, and they are promising the most authentic recreation of their legendary 1950s tone. Gibson has applied science and logic (also known as maximum profit) for this release.

Series 1 Gibson $999 PAF

Series 1

Their official title is ‘1959 Humbucker Collector’s Edition Series 1, Exclusive’ and they are going to cause a lot of arguments amongst PAF connoisseurs. As they haven’t aged for around 70-odd years, etc

Gibson $999 PAF limited edition pickups. The Best tone ever?

The Science

Gibson has utilised 3D scanning, scientific analysis, and reverse engineering to create pair of these $999 pickups. Call me cynical, but I’m not sure how any of that stuff matters. As every boutique pickup winder will tell you, that all original Gibson PAFs are different.

Plus, I’m also pretty sure that Seymour Duncan (or some other famous pickup winder) owns the original Kalamazoo machines for winding the bobbins.


Gibson $999 PAF

Seth Lover

Everyone in the guitar world already knows that Seth Lover is known for creating the Patent Applied For humbucking pickup. These are the ones that Gibson used on their guitars throughout that golden period of the late 1950s.

The specifications for these new pickups include Vintage White butyrate bobbins, Alnico 4 roughcast magnets, and nickel covers.

Gibson $999 PAF Case-Candy

Limited Edition

Only 1,000 sets are available, and each set features serialized 1959-style numbering and comes in a Lifton presentation case. Plus, they come with ‘Case Candy’ which I’m sure will make them sound even more authentic.

My money says that whoever buys these will be too afraid to fit them into a guitar and that many sets will stay in the case. Thus, they will appreciate their virtual value across auction sites around the world. Awaiting some sucker to pay a premium for them.

How Much Profit?

A thousand sets at $999 each, well you do the maths.

I just smell pure profit.

Not bad for a recreation of a 1950s hand-wired, factory-made, product with little to no quality control. Every set of PAFs I have ever played has had different readings, so this latest Gibson venture could be a fun one to watch unfold.

I’m pretty sure they will all sell out, but that just means we will need to keep an eye open for Series 2. Though I am no fool, so I’ll just wait for the Murphy Lab-aged versions that come with old solder still attached to the wire ends.

More Information



Image Sources:
  • Series 1: Gibson
  • Gibson $999 PAF limited edition pickups. The Best tone ever?: Gibson
  • Gibson-PAF-rear: Gibson
  • Case-Candy: Gibson
Gibson $999 PAF limited edition pickups. The Best tone ever?

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11 responses to “Gibson $999 PAF limited edition pickups – The Best Tone ever?”

    Bob says:

    Ask throbak how hot…
    Don’t ask Glenn

    Derek says:

    Another great article @Jef – sometimes you’re just too nice! 🙂

    die beastie boys says:

    Shout-out to the plebeians who thought these were $1000 miniature keychain harmonicas before getting to the end of the headline 🤣🤣

    CKDexterHaven says:

    The snark is *thick* here…. Watch it. If you’re not careful, Gibson will unfriend you.

    Rick says:

    what a total rip-off oh yeah let’s create a marketing strategy by announcing our most original p’ups at one thousand bucks a piece limited to 1000 units
    the industry is awash with so many websites doing their own spin on fantastic recreations of these p’ups & Gibson themselves do their own versions already & are widely available
    these are aimed at Purists & Collectors probably to sit unopened unused waiting for the value to rise & some will be sold on but for the average Gibson enthusiasts look at what else there is available if you’re looking for ’59 PAF p’ups & don’t waste your money

    SA says:

    I was really impressed with Seymour Duncan’s Antiquity pickups, it’s hard for me to imagine anything getting closer to actual vintage PAFs than that. I like Gibson, but this seems like a real stretch so far.

    James says:

    Of course they are made for profit. Companies which don’t make things for profit don’t survive for long, neither do the jobs, the taxes, and the foreign exchange they generate for the economy. Otherwise they repeatedly need rescuing from bankruptcy or get wound up, often at cost to the taxpayer as well as suppliers and trade and retail customers.

    But you’re all missing the other point to these. It’s not to make music. Look at the case: Gibson neither intends nor expects anyone to actually solder these into a guitar. They are designed to be traded at ever-higher number values – whether that’s immediately after they sell out or after a long period of time stored in a glass display cabinet – to further hype the Gibson brand which, since being rescued from another round of bankruptcy (see above) is little more than a marketing company.

    Interested to hear Trogly’s take on this. Odds-on he buys a set.

    Mark C says:

    Series 1 they said. I’d rather expect nor series 2 nor counting more. It’s probably refers as the first of a kind. Next release could be named as the Burst.

    James says:

    The supreme irony about Gibson resale values is that it’s almost entirely underpinned by astronomical prices for instruments built at the end of the 50s and the beginning of the 60s, and the supply side of that particular supply/demand system is extremely restricted due to the fact they built so few guitars at that time because no-one wanted them.

    Gibson has always struggled to sell their overpriced, over-engineered and badly-designed guitars since Leo Fender showed the world how it could be done. That’s why the people currently in charge want the company to market a lifestyle, not musical instruments (which, to be fair, was something Henry Juszkiewicz was doing too). Sure, Fender had their dark-age for about 17-18 years, when CBS were cutting corners and putting out a lot of crap. They fixed that 30 years ago.

    As for those 59 LPs, the industry joke goes that of the 2,000 made only 4,000 remain.

    JP says:

    Here’s hoping Jef applies similar levels of well-deserved cynicism to the inevitable continuation of Gibson/Epiphone’s seemingly infinite conveyor belt of over-priced limited edition Gibson artist facsimiles/’here’s a different picture on the back of this one’, etc.

    Paul B says:

    The irony here is that there are—sitting in the corner of Chinese factories—giant bobbins of pickup wire and boxes of magnets whose quality and consistency exceed anything Gibson had in the 1950s.

    So I’m curious what Gibson did here. Did they source lower quality products and wind them less consistently?

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