The Häussel 1959 pickups for the Mark Knopfler Les Paul sound

Those beautiful 1958/59 Les Paul Standards are probably the holy grail not only for Mark Knopfler fans – Mark owns a 1958 and a 1959 and plays them on all his tours – but for all guitar players. Unfortunately the prices for these are in the region you’d normally pay for a house, so most of us will hardly ever get the chance to touch one of these. They came with those legendary original PAF humbucker pickups. Germany’s top pickup winder Harry Häussel has tried to replicate all tonal nuances of these with his 1959 model. Here is what the manufacturer himself says about his pickup:

The “Häussel-1959” model gives you that legendary old PAF sound, still sought-after by professionals the world over. Manufactured with original wire, original-sized magnets and our optimally-matched winding, this pickup will captivate you with its silky, ‘woody-warm’ sound – on chord work, the sound of each string is clearly defined, while the overall sound is breezy and slightly nasal, but never muddy. The extremely agreeable, sweet highs make each tone a desirable delicacy for sound gourmets, while solos become a symphony of soaring sonic satisfaction. The 1959 model ‘smacks’ beautifully each time you strike the strings, gliding effortlessly into harmonic overtones and feedback. This is a pickup with a powerful ‘hook’ -and perfect if you want to get that truly authentic PAF sound.

Of course I don’t own a 1958 or 59 Les Paul, just an ‘ordinary’ 1974 Les Paul Custom . With its cherry sunburst finish it looks nice, especially after I replaced the black plastic parts to cream ones, and I also like the sound.  I was really satisfied with the original pickups – and many commentators on my youtube clips on which I played this guitar agreed with me. Nevertheless, I recently installed the Häussel pickups to hear for myself what all the talk about the silky, woody tone of the Häussel 1959 is about.

I recorded a youtube video when I plugged in the guitar directly after putting in the pickups, so you will really witness my first impression of these pickups. Check out why I will leave them in my guitar and why I cannot go on with the original Gibson pickups anymore.

The Häussels are not cheap but if you like me become addictive of this warm but transparent sound, you can get them for a top price here in my online shop.


7 thoughts on “The Häussel 1959 pickups for the Mark Knopfler Les Paul sound

  1. not only the best MK related, just one of best music related site, and more…one of bests sites ever !
    very sincerely 🙂

  2. Thank you both for your comments.

    J.F., especially thanks for your contribution (you are the #1 commentator, plus your valuable work on the gear wiki pages 🙂

  3. Couldn’t agree more with the comments above, keep this work up Ingo it is well appreciated. It is so great after years of very little info on Mark’s gear to have this site!
    Oh and fantastic sounding 59′ style pick up too, really well defined!

  4. It’s a pleasure Ingo 🙂
    But I’m not sure that all visitors on your site are aware of these gear pages 🙂
    I’d say that the link to these pages is a little bit “discreet” 🙂
    However I’ve tried to advert it on AMIT some months ago when I joined in, I hope that visitors number will grow more and more 🙂

  5. It’s always strange to me when I hear/see the Sultans riff on another guitar than a strat 🙂
    Sultans on a Les Paul ? God ! how could it be ? 😉
    I know there are several guitarists on youtube playing Sultans on les paul or wathother guitar
    Maybe is it only psychological, but I can’t 🙂
    I know it’s a bit weird, but I have iconic pics in my mind :
    e.g. hey Joe can only be played on a strat, not a Les paul or a SG
    walk of life, or Born to run can only be played on a Tele !
    and I couldn’t imagine Honky Tonk Wommen on anything else than a Les Paul or a SG !

    well, Mark even played Wild theme on a Les paul in 1997 and 2000 STP TV promo tour (e.g. the version on the STP maxi), so why not sultans one day ? 😉

  6. Hello Ingo,
    very nice work in your blog as always!
    How the HAUSSELS are compared to the STANDARD 490R/498T (I have these on my Gibson Les Paul Standard 2001 Honey Burst), CLASSIC ’57 (used in the new Traditional models) and BURSTBUCKERS (used in the Custom Shop vos 58, 59, etc.) ?

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