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  • Writer's pictureBarış Şahin

Mojotone ‘59 Clone HOT Review

Updated: May 27

Mojotone ‘59 Clone HOT Review

Regular followers of Tone Journey know that the Virtual Hot PAF is one of my favorite moderate output bridge pickups, even ranking in my top three. I really appreciate the ~10K overwound PAF-style bridge pickups because they encompass almost everything I love: the right amount of compression, sufficient power, clear definition, a rich EQ curve, and so on. Of course, the VHP is not exactly a ~10K PAF, as I explained in detail in my review. However, in terms of tonality, it closely resembles these types of pickups. I was also very curious about the "Hot" version of Mojotone’s 59 Clone series, known for their meticulous attention to detail. Thanks to the wonderful team at Mojotone, especially Keith, I had the opportunity to try out the set. I extend my respects to the entire team for their support of Tone Journey.


Installation

The '59 Clone HOT I have still sits on its throne on my hand-made superstrat that has a Turkish alder body, a Q-sawn one-piece maple neck in a chunky Endur-Neck profile, Gotoh 510T-FE1 tremolo, 25.5” scale, steel frets, Bourns 500K pots, and 009-042 Elixir strings in E-standard tuning. The guitar has a Mojotone ’59 Clone standard neck and custom wound middle (true single with coil tapping 5,5K/6,5K windings) pickups. Its primary (unplugged) tone ranges from balanced to medium-bright.


Evaluation

Mojotone 59 Clone HOT

Let’s read the desciption first;


“The 59' "Patent Applied For" Clones are for the tone purist. Authentic to every detail using all American made parts. 1959 spec butyrate bobbins, 1959 spec long leg frame, custom vintage spec plain enamel wire, custom alnico 4 cast magnets, maple spacer, vintage spec screws, and vintage spec slugs.


The new "Hot '59 Clone" bridge humbucker closes the gap between vintage P.A.F. tones and modern rock tones offering a fuller sounding bridge pickup with more presence and authority. Paired with our standard output "59 Clone" on the neck, you have a perfect balance from neck to bridge with every bit of clarity and articulation you would expect from a vintage humbucker.

Stock with vintage braided single conductor leads, and vintage 49.2mm spacing. Unpotted coils just like the originals.”



Very basic explanation. All true. But does not give you something about the tone they claim. But first my measurements;


Mojotone ‘59 Clone HOT

Magnet – Alnico 4

Advertised DCR: 9,1 K Ohm (Series)

Measured DCR: 9,15 K Ohm (Series)

Inductance @100Hz: 5,96H (Series)

Measured C: -32,5 nF (Series)

Output: Moderate (according to Mojotone it’s “6” whatever it means)

EQ (B/M/T) – 5,5/7/5 (advertised)

Wire Gauge: 42 AWG Plain enamel

Gauss: 230G slug, 245G screw (measured at top center of pole pieces)


First of all, when we examine the pickups, we can see all the hallmarks of a typical PAF, as mentioned in the official description. There’s no need to repeat the same things again. You can immediately smell the distinctive scent of the typical butyrate bobbins as soon as you open the package. I don't have a PAF fetish, but I think I like that unpleasant smell :)


As I mentioned in the introduction, ~10K overwound PAF pickups are my specialty. They provide almost everything I seek or need for the bridge position; they excel in versatility. Yes, they have a bit of natural compression, but it's at "sweet" levels and never to the point where they say, "no matter how you play or how much you roll off the volume pot, this is who I am!" Overall, they perfectly meet the need for "the clean, bright-yet-warm tone." They don't overly emphasize a single frequency group while neglecting others. When examining the Bode Plots of these types of pickups, you typically see a curve with a slight bump at the resonance frequency, often accompanied by a low Q-factor character.

Mojotone 59 Clone HOT

Did you remember what did i call VHP? “Tone friendly”; a humbucker has everything most of us want and need: “Clean, Bright Yet Warm Tone with Moderate Output”. ’59 Clone Hot does have it all and something more… ’59 Clone HOT can’t be considered as a high output pickup but I feel it louder than some of moderate output humbuckers and most of the PAF bridge variants. Definitely not distorted or saturated in any way just like any other high output humbuckers like JB or Super Distortion. Compression level is lively wonderful. There is a natural compression feeling at highest volume but never goes senseless. Just what you may need.



The fact that they are unpotted reveals itself in a very sweet way in both clean and overdriven tones. It’s not something as obvious or dominant as night and day, but the 3-dimensional presence it adds to the overall tonality is priceless to me.

The EQ given is over there at measurements list but to my ears it’s very balanced except it has sweet (but not overly prounced) mids. It has sweet top end, tight and rich lows that never goes muddy. Brilliant hi end end never goes ear piercer and harsh. Notable , singing mids that make your sound meaty. It has beautiful “aaawww” effect on your tone but not “AAAWWWWWHH”, if you know what i mean.


In the search for infamous early Van Halen tone, ’59 Clone Hot, too, can be an interesting alternative. It has enough brightness, power, tightness, right amount of mids.


Yet, despite everything i have told, i have three negative points for that PAF variant. i) ’59 Clone Hot does not have F spaced option, ii) There isn’t 4 conductor cable option and iii) There isn’t an option for shorter legs which may be too important for some modern guitars. Those three disadvantages clearly and definitely limits its role because ’59 Clone Hot can absolutely find more space and symphathy in the modern guitar players world. Therefore, my suggestion to the good people at Mojotone would be to definitely work on these three points and offer options to us customers.



As mentioned in the second point above, the lack of a 4-conductor option made me dislike the tone in the 2nd and 4th positions of my HSH guitar. I kindo never liked Humbucker+Single tones, and this old opinion of mine remains unchanged after all it seems. Although I didn’t feel much of a deficiency in clean tones with my middle single coil, I often wished it had been 4-conductor in order to have more options for cleaner parts.


Additionally, if your guitar already has very bright tones and you don't want it to become even brighter, it might be wise to reconsider your choice carefully. However, if you have neutral or warmer tones, the '59 Clone Hot can be a real treasure. It is rich in dynamics, powerful, and has a lot to offer tonally. Under ultra high-gain, it remains clear, but being unpotted is somewhat noticeable in a negative way.


Mojotone 59 Clone HOT Review

Conclusion


This set was the first Mojotone pickup set I’ve tried so far. I will be sharing my thoughts on the '59 Clone Neck here in the coming weeks, but I can already say that this set is a fantastic combo. I found everything I expected in terms of tone from this type of humbuckers. However, it would be truly beneficial if guitarists were given an option in the three areas I mentioned above.


Great tone, great mojo and in a perfect place between PAF output pickups and the higher output ones. Perfectly balanced and tuned. It is always pleasure to have a humbucker like that on the bridge. It give you enough room with quality to move in a musical journey.


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