Guitar Pickup Review

DiMarzio PAF’Tron Filter’Tron Set

The PAF’Tron is another of DiMarzio’s 2024 Filter’Tron lineup.

What?!? Yes, I can already hear the people proclaiming “Not ANOTHER DiMarzio version of a PAF!” LOL! Of course, while a fair observation and an entertaining observation, there’s more to that. Firstly, most every actual PAF is different, as there were few standards and little QC during the late 50s and early 60s. So there are as many versions of the old PAFs are there are colors in that huge box of crayons. You know, the box with the built-in sharpener on the outside of the box.

And secondly, are you already using the PAF Joe, PAF Pro, PAF 36th Anniversary, PAF 59, PAF Master, and the PAF 57? Yes, that is more of an excuse to put in links to get you to read those articles as well! HaHa! Also, the review of the new PAF 57 is around the corner.

PAF'Tron Nickel Black
PAF’Tron Nickel Black
Filter’Tron vs Humbucker

The Filter’Tron and the PAF were both in development at about the same time, just by different companies. Both are hum-canceling, but with different physicality. The poles on the ‘Trons ending up being closer together than what we know as traditional humbuckers. That allows a little more of a focused magnetic field.

Installation

For this application, I am using the handy dandy humbucker-size mounting hardware. Fret not (ha! a pun!), as this comes with the each pickup. If you can install any regular pickup, you can install the mounting hardware. And with the quick-connect option, swapping them around is super easy!

As such, this set is going into a two-hum guitar. The same as the one for the New’Tron article. The harness as Bourns 500k pots, a Pure-Tone 1/4″ jack, and a Switchcraft 3-way toggle. Strings are 09-42 with an E standard tuning.

PAF'Tron Gold w/ Cream
PAF’Tron Gold w/ Cream
Evaluation

Let’s say your guitar has a classic Filter’Tron, but you want more. Or even if you have a regular humbucker route, yet like the Filter’Tron aesthetic. Boy are you in luck! Not only will it fit in to either type of guitar, it will sound like something completely new!

The PAF’Tron is definitely it’s own voice. While DiMarzio has an approach to a PAF, the difference in the architecture of the Filter’Tron platform elevates the character. Yet it is still clearly a PAF tone. That’s one of the things DiMarzio excels at, when it comes to aiming for the goal without the constraints of sticking to conventional wisdom.

Your low end is bold, with a inclination to make your guitar want to moan the blues. The mid-range is reasonably vocal, in the way that you want your PAF style pickup to be. Highs are sweetly clear and firmly present. This all plays in to a comfortable versatility that makes the PAF’Tron good at covering many genres.

The proximity of each row of poles to each other lends itself to that slightly strident P-90 characteristics that lurks just below the surface. Even so, that PAF’Tron set takes high gain very well. So much that I think you’ll be fine getting into “brown” territory. On the other hand, jump to your clean amp channel and you have your snappy-full Texas Hot as well as your twangy outlaw country. All this can be at your fingertips.

Specs

DP294 PAF’Tron Bridge
Series – 9.024 K
Inductance – 5.273 H
Split – 4.552 K
Split – 4.466 K
Parallel – 2.255 K
Magnet – Alnico 5
Output – 255 mV

DiMarzio PAF'Tron Bridge Tone Guide
DiMarzio PAF’Tron Bridge Tone Guide

DP293 PAF’Tron Neck
Series – 8.106 K
Inductance – 4.498 H
Split – 4.0 K
Split – 4.104 K
Parallel – 2.024 K
Magnet – Alnico 5
Output – 200 mV

DiMarzio PAF'Tron Neck Tone Guide
DiMarzio PAF’Tron Neck Tone Guide

Yes, those specs do indicate a more traditional matching-coil hum-canceling approach. DiMarzio does say they duplicate the traditionally weak magnetic field of a PAF pickup. One can guess as to if the DiMarzio Airbucker Technology is at work here. Since these have covers and I’m not as familiar with the Filter’Tron build, no surgery was going on . Sorry, but these sound too good to risk ruining. LOL! However, I think it’s fair for people to do that math when they read between the lines of how DiMarzio talks about the technical aspect of this set.

Demo

Scope out this most excellent demo by Cameron Cooper:

The Coolest DiMarzio Pickups Ever? – NEW PAF’Trons

#1. Cameron is a cool cat. Be sure to check out his YT page (<- link!) for more great content. #2. How about the Waylon Jennings-inspired leather vibe on that slick Tele?

Conclusion

The DiMarzio PAF’Tron set of Filter’Tron style pickups is going to be good for blues, country, funk, jazz, classic rock, pop, heavy rock, metal, garage, punk, 80s, alternative, prog rock, and more . They are available with gold or nickel covers with either black or cream inserts. The mounting options are either traditional or you can use the included mounting hardware for traditional humbucker mounting.

For reference, this DiMarzio PAF’Tron pickup set evaluation was conducted with the following: Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. ADA MP-1 Tube Pre-Amp loaded with Tube Amp Doctor ECC83 Premium Selected tubes, using the ADA MC-1 MIDI Controller. Fryette LX II Stereo Tube Power Amplifier with Sovtek and Ruby tubes. Physical cabs use are Marshall 1960BMojotone British, and Peavey 6505 cabs loaded with Celestion Classic Series Vintage 30s and Classic Series G12M Greenbacks.

DiMarzio Website | Facebook | Twitter | YouTube | Instagram

7 string 16Ω 59 Alnico 2 Alnico 3 Alnico 4 Alnico 5 Alnico 8 Bare Knuckle BKP Brown Sound Celestion Ceramic Custom Shop Dean DiMarzio DMT Dual Resonance EVH Fishman Floyd Rose Fluence Gibson Humbucker Ibanez JB Jimmy Page John Petrucci MJ Mojotone P90 PAF Pariah Pickup Satch Satriani Schaller Seymour Duncan Singlecoil Single Width Speaker Steve Vai Tech Tip Tremolo Virtual Vintage