“One of the most expressive pickups I’ve ever played... notes gloriously blossom into sustained feedback that reaches those magical upper overtones”: Shed Pickups HA-59 PAF Set review

A period-correct pickup set that seeks to nail the holy grail golden-era Gibson tone. Is there a better aftermarket humbucker on the market?

Shed Pickups HA-59 PAF
(Image: © Shed Pickups)

Guitar World Verdict

There is nothing quite like Shed Pickups’ HA-59 PAF Set, which over-delivers as an exceptional pair of full-sounding, harmonically rich humbuckers that achieve hallowed vintage PAF tones with remarkable warmth and clarity.


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    Near period-correct PAF sound and look [mic drop].


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    Pricey, but price includes free worldwide shipping.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Ask any guitarist and they’ll tell you that installing new electric guitar pickups with the hopes of invigorating your prized guitar can be a roll of the dice. Sometimes, the result doesn’t always meet your expectations. 

To illustrate, I own a 2002 Gibson ’59 Historic Les Paul that’s been one of my main stage guitars for well over two decades. It’s been a “love/like” relationship; I love the guitar, but I only like the way it sounds. I attribute that to the numerous humbuckers I’ve installed in the guitar – from boutique to name-brand – all of which have been lukewarm to adequate in tone. 

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Paul Riario

Paul Riario has been the tech/gear editor and online video presence for Guitar World for over 25 years. Paul is one of the few gear editors who has actually played and owned nearly all the original gear that most guitarists wax poetically about, and has survived this long by knowing every useless musical tidbit of classic rock, new wave, hair metal, grunge, and alternative genres. When Paul is not riding his road bike at any given moment, he remains a working musician, playing in two bands called SuperTrans Am and Radio Nashville.