Suhr Thornbucker

Suhr and long time collaborator Pete Thorn release their version of the '50s PAF style humbucker - the Thornbucker.

Suhr Thornbucker

This is the company's answer to the many boutique PAF style pickups, having all the characteristics of the now coveted 50's era “patent applied for” style pickups while dealing with the issues that old pickup designs bring.

The story goes that Pete Thorn was frustrated with the existing PAF style boutique pickups that he tried - especially when playing clean or with light gain. So he went to Suhr to see if they can build him a PAF style pickup that had clarity, versatility and more importantly, "soul".

Pete was quoted saying, "I have played many two-humbucker instruments that have failed to inspire. Many work great into a dirty amp, but try and play clean, or semi-dirty, especially in the neck or middle positions, and it is mud city! And if I switched mid-gig to a guitar with single coils, it was often like a different tonal universe, requiring adjustments to my amp and effects. It started to seem almost like the norm. And yet, my experience with great examples of vintage guitars taught me that it was indeed possible to get versatility, clarity, and inspiring clean and semi-dirty tones out of humbuckers".

So the team at Suhr and Pete collaborated to develop a modern/vintage style PAF pickup that will address the muddiness issue. They experimented with important variables like wire, magnets, winds and even covers, and they created a number of prototypes for testing. Eventually they developed a design that they all approved of, a pickup set that reproduces the essence of old PAF style pickups that comes with modern clarity, reliability and connectivity.

For the Thornbucker neck pickup, they settled with Alnico V magnet, plain enamel wire and a DC resistance of 7.3KΩ. The Thornbucker bridge pickup uses Alnico IV magnet, plain enamel wire and has more DC resistance which is at 8.4KΩ. Both pickups feature modern four conductor wiring and come with a variety of spacings to make them easier to install into various types of guitars. The company also mentioned that the Thornbucker is built to be sturdier and more reliable than aging vintage PAFs - and as such they are ideal for upgrading your workhorse instrument.

Check out official video demo of the Suhr Thornbucker

Suhr concludes, "If you are a player searching for a product that captures all the subtleties, nuances and feel of a great vintage pickup, then Thornbuckers are the perfect pickup for you."

The new Suhr Thornbucker is now available in a variety of finishes including White, Black, Parchment, Zebra and Reversed Zebra. The open version is priced at $130, while you can have one with a Nickel/Silver cover for $150. Head over to Suhr for more information and other details.

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