The Classic humbucker set is a alternate take on a PAF replica. Whoa, there! I know you are already thinking that Mojotone has PAF contributions. Yep, they do. The award-winning ’59 Clone and the awe-inspiring Premium Historic Limited Edition PAF. So what’s up with the Classic set? Let’s take a peek.
You may remember the special order Classic Hot humbuckers from a few years ago. I’m asking for Alnico 4 on those. My idea was to find an alternative to being “special” on more than just “Saturday night”. Wink, wink! And Mojotone delivered on a superior offering by all accounts. But I still have not put hands (and ears!) on the regular Classic humbuckers.
Now, why do I suggest this is a PAF-class humbucker? The attributes. Full length magnets, also known as long magnets. 42 AWG plain enamel wire. And the DC resistance. These specs put the Classic in the 1956-1961 ballpark. After that, magnet sizes are changing. And it wasn’t long before winding is more refined for a consistent DCR. And a few years after that, magnets standardize to Alnico 5.
About that DC resistance. Because of the variances that we should all be aware of, the ones from 1956 to 1961 could range from about 7.5 to 9.0.
As fate tends to do, a pair of Alnico 2 Classics became available a while back. Full disclosure: you will see Alnico 5 on the Mojotone product page for this product. There was previously an option for either Alnico 2 or 5 on the website. Remembering that, I’m asking for Alnico 2. Since Mojotone can build to order, that’s no hassle. I do dig the options for 4-con lead wire, short mounting legs, and no wax potting.
For this assessment, I put the Classic humbucker set in a double-hum single-cut . The wiring harness on this guitar has Bourns 500k pots, a Switchcraft 12120X 3-way toggle, and Switchcraft 1/4″ jack. No special wiring trick on this one, just regular series wiring. During the install process, I take advantage of the opportunity to hit the fretboard with Lizard Spit Fret Board Conditioner and to apply Lizard Spit Slick Nutz to relevant friction points.
This is an excellent choice for open, airy tones with just a smidge of smoky vintage character. The Classic humbuckers have an outstanding tonal balance. The low end simmers with a bit of sponge that holds together by way of the midrange detail. The high end is really touch sensitive to finger technique to range from loads of bite to bold presence.
Slightly offset coils contribute to a voice that delivers transparency and articulation. The Classic humbuckers have a calibration that walks the line between power and finesse. You can riff out with plenty of authority and you can ride that sustained note in to a mechanical finger noise that traverses the boundary of a yearning lush feedback.
The rich harmonic content of the Classic humbucker set electrifies your playing experience to the level of not wanting to put the guitar down. Oodles of fun, if you ask me!
On a clean amp setting, this set is right at home. You can easily control the shimmer, sparkle, and snap with slight adjustments of the guitar’s volume knob(s). I did not get in to split or parallel wiring for this application. But it’s easy to tell that such configurations will only serve to expand the functionality of these pickups. This is one I’d like to wire for out-of-phase in the middle position, if you know what I mean.
Take a peek at this demo video from the Mojotone website:
Ready for some specs?
Classic Humbucker Bridge
Series – 8.699 K
Inductance – 5.077 H
Series – 4.196 K
Series – 4.493 K
Parallel – 2.136 K
Magnet – Alnico 2
Classic Humbucker Neck
Series – 7.457 K
Inductance – 3.891 H
Series – 3.245 K
Series – 4.208 K
Parallel – 1.832 K
Magnet – Alnico 2
Let’s take a look at those coil offsets. That’s about 6.6% in the bridge and about 22.8% in the neck. Unbalanced coils are not uncommon. It’s part of the human factor. But in this instance, Mojotone deliberately engineers and advertises the Classic humbuckers with this design.
Also looking at those specs, this is right in that sweet spot of the 1956 to 1961 range of Gibson PAFs. And to cut to the chase, if you’d like to knock about $70 off the cost of an Antiquity-style humbucker set, these Classics are your ticket. You know from my prior Mojotone articles that they will relic covers and poles if that well-played worn-in vibe is what you’re after.
This Classic humbucker set is going to be good for blues, funk, reggae, garage, punk, alternative, classic rock, heavy rock, country, jazz, and even 80s rock and metal.
The Classic humbuckers are available individually or as a set in standard and F-spacings. There is an assortment of covers available, as well as black, zebra, and reverse zebra bobbins. If there is an option you don’t see on the site, just give them a call or send them an e-mail.
For reference, this Mojotone Classic humbucker pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. Real cabs in use are Marshall 1960B, Mojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.
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