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Lundgren Heaven 57 review
By Ulf Edelönn UGG.
Lundgren Heaven 57
When Seth Lover invented the “Humbucker” he probably had no idea that his pickups would be the industry standard 50 years later, and that the original pickups from the 50’s would command big bucks on the vintage market. When it comes to electric guitar pickups that are considered”holy grails”, the so called PAF’s (Patent Applied For) wins by a large margin. These pickups where standard equipment on Gibson electric guitars and was used between 1957 and 1962 on various models. This era is considered the golden age of electric guitar building, which ads to the mystique surrounding the PAF pickup.
In recent years there have been a number of boutique pickup builders that have made their version of the PAF. Although Gibson is manufacturing the Classic 57 and the Burstbucker pickups, many feel that they aren’t as true to the originals as would be desired.
This is where hard core enthusiasts and driven craftsmen like Johan Lundgren steps in.
Johan has been winding pickups since 1990. He has well known clients like Scott Gorham of Thin Lizzy and Fredrik Thordendal of Meshuggah. He also has supplied guitar manufacturers like the Ibanez custom shop with his products. His clients are well known but Johan is still a well kept Swedish secret. This is hopefully about to change.
The Heaven 57 is Johan’s latest creation and is his version of the PAF humbucker pickup.
First Johan’s own words describing the pickup:
“I have been building pickups for over 15 years. During this time I have been fortunate enough to be able to analyze original PAF’s from 1957 and 1958. My goal with the Heaven 57 is to make a pickup that look, sound and feel like the real thing. It has the silver nickel base plate and wooden spacer under the bobbin. It is wound with the correct Plain Enamel AWG 42 wire and the magnets are of a special alnico alloy. The heaven 57 comes wax potted but can be ordered without the potting if so desired.
They come in black or zebra and are available with ether new or aged covers”
I used my trusty Les Paul when trying these pups out. This guitar has had everything from Duncan Antiquity’s to Tom Holmes in it. Now I have settled for an original set of PAF’s from 1960 that sounds spectacular. With these sounds as reference I gave the Heaven 57’s a spin.
When you see reviews of these kinds of pickups there are always the same buzz words being used. “Hollow mids” “Sweet non piercing highs” “Complex and rich sounding”
“Tight but full bass that doesn’t fart out” etc etc…but I’m afraid I’m not better. All these adjectives that you see all the time fit the pickups perfectly. The bridge pickup really does sound sweet without loosing the bite. When lowering the volume it has quite a unique shimmer.
The neck pickup sounds very fat and stringy. Actually it’s almost to fat. I would have preferred a lower output neck pickup. Johan assures me that the neck pickup can be wound sounding even more open with less output. These pickups came with the aged nickel covers. They look great and ad to the vintage feel.
And now to the big question: Do they sound like real PAF’s? Well, I have yet to try two PAF’s that sound alike but The Heaven 57’s definitely have the vibe nailed down and I would gladly recommend them to anyone looking for their own PAF sound.
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