1984 Les Paul Standard Goldtop “Tim Shaw Pickups”

The Blue Book Says…..


– single cutaway mahogany body, set-in mahogany (or maple) neck, bound carved 3-piece maple top, 22-fret bound rosewood fingerboard with pearl trapezoid inlay, tune-o-matic bridge/stop tailpiece, blackface peghead with pearl logo inlay, “Standard” engraved on truss rod cover, 3-per-side tuners with pearloid buttons, chrome hardware, cream pickguard, 2 covered humbucker pickups, 2 volume/2 tone controls, 3-position switch, available in Cherry Sunburst, Dark Sunburst, Ebony (EB), Gold Top, Heritage Sunburst, Honey Burst, Natural, Tobacco Sunburst, TV Yellow, Vintage Sunburst and Wine Red (WR) finishes, mfg. 1974-1997.

I say…..

Gorgeous pickups – great looking guitar.

Just had the guitar out for a quick check – I’d forgotten what a dream this one is to play – lovely slim ’60’s style neck, low action – just fabulous. It has a really generous bass response, but without being muddy, and the tonal range covered by the two pickups is awesome.  It weighs in at 9lb (4.1kg).

The crack in the headstock runs from the top of the guitar down to the G tuner, and is stable. The fact that I can’t open it to repair it suggests that it’s already been done – or – it’s not that bad. The fact that the lacquer appears to be intact over the crack suggests that it may be pretty superficial.

A few dinks and scrapes as illustrated – one repaired crack in headstock, and some significant wear to the front on the upper bass bout. Otherwise for nearly a 30 year old guitar it’s in great condition.

On Tim Shaw Pickups:

They were all made in the same place. They all had a seperate inked in number on the base plate in addition to the stamped patent number.
The first three digits will tell you the type. 137 is a neck pickup with less windings and 138 is a bridge pickup with more windings. There is a date code after the fist three digits. 1381280 would be a bridge Shaw made in December 1980. Not all of them had the silver PAF sticker.
They had PAF coilforms with the square/round inspection holes and no T on top. The wire is a bright copper color. The magnet was a special Alnico V that was longer like the 50’s style and rough cast. This is a special magnet and the closest to a vintage PAF in tone to my ears. They had white plastic spacers and braided connecting wire.
They typicaly read under 8Kohms and seem to average out in the middle 7’s. They sound very big and powerful in spite of the low readings.
Tim Shaw who designed these pickups under Norlin restraints did a remarkable job IMO. They really are a neat sounding alternative to most humbuckers. the Magnet , as was explained to me was “Unoriented AlnicoV” I do not know what that means other than it isn’t a regular AlnicoV. It seems that AlnicoV has higher gauss mesurments or something to that effect than any other type of pickup magnet, and Tim said that by deleteing a final step that puts a full charge or orientation on the magnet, the tone was closest to what he was after.

The Tim Shaw pickups DID have some other numbers –


The set in this guitar are the 372/373 variety….