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DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup Black F-Spaced

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The DiMarzio PAF DP103 humbucker pickup has a smooth, almost voice-like quality and that intangible swell to the notes after attack. It possesses vin...Click To Read More About This Product

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OVERVIEW

Classic vintage tone without microphonic squeal.

The DiMarzio PAF DP103 humbucker pickup has a smooth, almost voice-like quality and that intangible swell to the notes after attack. It possesses vintage output and breathes freely with an open, warm character. Played flat-out through a non-master volume tube amp, the 36th anniversary PAF recreates the deep character of the great plug-in, turn-up and wail school of tone. Modern potting techniques and tight, consistent winding eliminates squeal and microphonics common to the original guitar pickups.

FEATURES
    SPECIFICATIONS
    • Wiring: 4-conductor
    • Magnet: Alnico 5
    • Output: 250mV
    • DC resistance: 7.31
    • Year of introduction: 2008
    Reviews
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    Review Snapshot

    by PowerReviews
    DiMarzioPAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup
     
    4.5

    (based on 22 reviews)

    Ratings Distribution

    • 5 Stars

       

      (17)

    • 4 Stars

       

      (2)

    • 3 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 2 Stars

       

      (1)

    • 1 Stars

       

      (1)

    85%

    of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

    Pros

    • Improves sound (10)
    • Good quality (8)
    • Functional (5)
    • Easy to use (4)

    Cons

    No Cons

    Best Uses

    • Concerts (3)
      • Reviewer Profile:
      • Experienced (8), Professional musician (5)

    Most Liked Positive Review

     

    Brilliant pickups!

    I have a couple of Les Pauls and a UK made Gordon Smith Graduate 60 (Les Paul) which I bought in 2008 and was fitted with Wilkinson Zebras. Overdriven it gave a great...Read complete review

    I have a couple of Les Pauls and a UK made Gordon Smith Graduate 60 (Les Paul) which I bought in 2008 and was fitted with Wilkinson Zebras. Overdriven it gave a great sound but clean was really muddy. So I decided to refit with the 36th Anniversary DiMarzio DP223 at the bridge and DP103 at the neck. Amazing sound difference. The guitar is now a tone monster. Absolutely everything I would hope for from a Les Paul, and I've been playing them for almost 40 years. The output is lower than previous - but all the tones are now in the right place. I now prefer the sounds out of this to those from my 1973 Gibson LP Custom ! I'm playing through a 5 Watt Fender Champ (Class A), a Marshall EL84 20/20 and a Peavey Triumph 60. I record via a Digitech 2120 (which also drives the Marshall 20/20) and a Marshall JMP1. The guitar and these pickups sound amazing through all of them !

    I should add that I went for DiMarzio as I bought some of their pickups in the late 1970's and indeed still have several SDHB DP100s and a PAF and Dual Sound. I liked them at the time but age has gotten the better of me and I now like tone more than distortion. I now like to see the amp do its work rather than the pickup - if the pickup output is good quality, the amp will sound fine whatever. And this pickup (and the DP223) certainly produce a quality output. Try them - you will not be disappointed !

    VS

    Most Liked Negative Review

     

    nothing to write home about

    was looking for some new pup's to drop into my ibanez artist, never had Dimarzio but always heard great things, figured these would be way better than the stock Ibanez AH-1 pups...Read complete review

    was looking for some new pup's to drop into my ibanez artist, never had Dimarzio but always heard great things, figured these would be way better than the stock Ibanez AH-1 pups ...ahhh no, very thin sounding, no warmth, no bottom end, no roundness, I guess I have no clue what a PAF is supposed to sound like, I never owned a 57 les paul, but really I can't imagaine they would sound like this, didn't the blues guys in England dig early pauls for expressive creamy tone, these are not it, very plain jane IMO, ended up exchanging them with Dimarzio for air nortons, which are much better than these IMO

    Reviewed by 22 customers

    Displaying reviews 1-20

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    (10 of 11 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    True Sound

    By Oski

    from Atlanta, GA

    See all my reviews

    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

    I realize that Dimarzio tends to generally focus on their higher-output pickups, and that's what people seem to be playing these days, so I feel like part of a dying breed here(maybe not?). I have tried all kinds of pickups in my u.s. strat: seymour duncan pearly gates(too bright and fuzzy, no depth), dimarzio paf pro(not as bright, still no depth, no focus when overdriven), and dimarzio air zone(way too much bass for me, and frankly sounds very processed, really messy sounding when overdriven, especially when chording). Finally I decided to just go old school with my pickup and just let my amp(mesa boogie 50 watt) and, when I'm recording, computer software, take care of the gain and distortion, and I do play with a lot of both. Should've got this pickup years ago. Maybe it could be a tad hotter, but I really like they way the guitar resonates, almost like hearing the wood of the guitar itself vibrating. And maybe that's what I'm liking about this pickup; it really seems to give the true tone of the guitar. It's true what Dimarzio says, the sound is balanced. It's just a solid pickup, man. I don't know if I would really recommend this pickup to an inexperienced player or someone who only cares about completely unintelligible distortion. This pickup is about letting your personal sound and style come through, where I think higher output pickups really homogonize/sterilize people's sound, but hey, they let you play reallyreallyreally fast, right? Oooookay...

    (8 of 9 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    AMAZING PICKUPS!

    By MS862002539

    from Canada

    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

    Installed these in my Cort TS250 Les Paul Model.... UNBELIEVABLE! I'm not even kidding, these pickups are so tight, crisp and clean it's not even funny. I play in Church (Hillsong/Jesus Culture styles) And also Hard Rock to Metal these things sing! I'm very happy with this purchase.... quit scouring the net and reviews and BUY THEM! You will not regret it.
    Amazing Sound!
    Very solid build. Quality materials.
    I mean this price for each! How can you beat that?

    (7 of 62 customers found this review helpful)

     
    1.0

    Warning pickups to avoid like the plague

    By Starlover

    from Orlando, Florida

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Pros

    • Look Like Real Pickups

    Cons

    • No Bottom End
    • No Roundness
    • Poor Quality

    Best Uses

    • Returning

    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

    I have been playing guitar for 45 years professionally. I have owned many quality guitars and occasionally done my own repairs and upgrades to my instruments. But generally leave it to the real pros for my guitar work. This is just to let you know I am not an amateur, that my experience and expertise is extensive.

    I recently purchased a PRS Single cut SE for playing live. Not the quality of my Gibson Les Paul Custom, but a less expensive quality guitar that could take the rigors of live performance and still sound good.

    I decided to upgrade the stock pickups to get a better quality sound. I heard the Gibson 57' Classic's, Dimarzio and Seymour Duncan were all about the same. (NOT! Read on.)

    I looked at the price of all 3 brands and decided on the Dimarzio DP103 and DP223. The Gibson's were twice price. I then had the best guitar work guy in the state install the new Dimarzio pickups.

    I soon discovered why there was such a price difference between Gibson and Dimarzio. And it is NOT just the name brand thing. The Dimarzio DP 103 and DP 223 pickups are poor at best. And that's being way to kind.

    The pickups are very thin sounding, no warmth, no bottom end, no roundness! They were so trebly and "twangy" sounding that the guitar sounded more like a really cheap single coil Stratocaster than a PRS with Humbucker's. Frankly, Dimarzio pickups don not rate one star.

    But it gets worse. Read on.

    One of the reasons I chose the Dimazio was they have an "exchange" program. Supposedly if you are unhappy with the product they will exchange for a different pickup. Yeah right!

    So I called Dimarzio and spoke to their "tech support" guy. I politely explained the pickups were just not the sound I expected and would like to exchange them for one of their other pickup models. From the start, he was extreme rude. I was told there was nothing wrong with the pickups and there was no way Dimarzio would exchange them. Period!

    I politely asked again, saying that I really needed to exchange them and was there someone in management that I could appeal to for an exchange. The Dimarzio "Tech Support" guy replied NO! Not going to happen. Period! Without a doubt this was the rudest and worse support I have ever encountered in my musical career. (I suspect they only have one "Support Guy" too. I finally advised him, I would probably have to return them to the retailer then. He said "You do what you have to do", and then he hung up on me.

    So that's just what I did. I returned them. Musician's Friend is awesome. I had no such problems with them. They happily exchanged them for the Gibson 57' Classic and Classic plus no problem. And WOW! What a Difference. Pay the extra amount for the Gibson 57' Classic's. They have an incredible sound that just keeps giving. Just go read the reviews on the Gibson's. They are all true.

    Avoid Dimarzio products like the plague. Trust me. This is THE review to read for the Dimarzio pickups. Buyer beware.

    (6 of 7 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Amazing

    By Thomas-pn4RB

    from The mid-west

    See all my reviews

    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

    I don't usually write reviews for anything, but I had to for this pickup. First thing's first, I play a heavily modified Epi Les Paul Standard through a tubescreamer, phaser, and delay. It comes through nice and clear when played through a heavily overdriven Fender tube amp (I mainly use a Fender Mustang amp for practice at home). It's sounds amazing clean with lots of fullness and clarity. It's very woody sounding and I feel like I'm hearing my guitar's true tone at it's best. Highs aren't at all harsh, the midrange is good and the bass isn't flabby like my previous neck pickup tended to be (a Seymour Duncan '59). My playing nuances are really noticeable with this pickup no matter what I'm playing which includes everything from "Layla" to "Master of Puppets", and I'm surprised at the pinch harmonics I can get. Also, the other wiring modes sound really great, and I use both just as much as the normal wiring mode; classic single coil tones plus parallel wiring (which is basically a slightly less powerful humbucker with more highs and mids). All in all, a wonderful all-around pickup. I highly recommend this pickup to anyone for all styles and for those wanting more from their guitar.

    (5 of 5 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Very very nice

    By Spiff

    from Western US

    See all my reviews

    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

    Put the DP103 with the DP190 in my Epi Les Paul Ultra. This pickup is amazing. It is not an extreme high output pickups so no one should expect extreme distortions out of it. Pushed hard thru a tube amp however, will give you loads of creamy distortion or thick warm cleans without any harsh top end. I had already tried Duncans and they are stone cold compared with these. I would recommend this pickup to anyone looking for an all-around vintage voiced pickup with incredible clarity and warmth.

    (5 of 6 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    PAF 36th Anniversary Neck

    By Anonymous

    from Undisclosed

    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

    Playing an LP standard through Marshall VM w/1960a cab. I've tried the SD Jazz, '59, AlnicoPro2, PearlyGates & Dimarzio Breed, Evolution, AirNorton, PAFPro in the neck position. None of these gave my guitar the beef and dynamics it has now- for both clean and overdriven tone. A truly awesome pickup & the best I've tried. Mine is paired w/an Evolution bridge and they sound fantastic together.

    (4 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

     
    5.0

    Great classic sounding humbucker

    By Pedalbored

    from USA

    About Me Professional Musician

    See all my reviews

    Ask me a question

    Pros

    • Cheap Compared To Others
    • Cleans Up Nicely
    • Good Quality
    • Great harmonics
    • Very Touch Sensitive

    Cons

      Best Uses

      • Any Style Of Music
      • Neck Position

      Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

      I have this pickup in 2 guitars. I paired it with PAF 36th Anniv Bridge in my Gibson SG, and with AT-1 bridge in my Music Man BFR Petrucci. Balance is a little better with the PAF/AT-1 combination IMO. This pickup has a nice open sound. Works great for rythym and solo. Compared to the stock Gibson, the pickup is more clear and articulate with more of a vintage tone. Handles extreme overdrive without squealing and cuts through nicely. Compared to the stock Liquifier in the BFR, it is night and day difference. Much less compressed and it has less of the mid boost of the LF. Really lets the tone of the wood come through. I mainly play the JP6 guitars live, and I wanted one of them to have a more vintage sound. This pickup fit the bill perfectly !

      (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

       
      5.0

      Still One of the Best.

      By Big Jim 57

      from USA

      About Me Professional Musician

      See all my reviews

      Ask me a question

      Pros

      • Easy To Use
      • Functional
      • Good Quality
      • Improves Sound

      Cons

        Best Uses

          Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

          DiMarzio started the replacement pickup thing. In the 1970's everyone used DiMarzio pickups. I have been using them since they came out. I am a lifelong guitarist and luthier. I also build amplifiers (ex-Soldano, ex-Ampeg). It would be difficult to beat a DiMarzio PAF for Classic Rock. All of the newer "boutique" PAF clones are way too expensive, and many of them do not sound right. The DiMarzios always sound right. I have owned more DiMarzios than anything else, and the quality and consistency are right on every time. I have also owned nearly every other pickup out there more than once, and I always come back to DiMarzio. Need more power than a PAF? The DiMarzio Super Distortion is the ticket. These pickups were modeled to sound good through a real Marshall amplifier from the 70's. That's the pro set-up. Folks who change their pickups and then play through a Line 6 or a solid-state Yamaha amp or something will not realize the benefits of a professional pickup.

          (3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Review of PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup

          By Maveric Matt

          from New York

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

          overall this is a great pickup i reccomend it to anyone if you really want some good sound get this along with the dp 100 super distortion pickup
          Dimarzio pickups are really good pickups and this one is very good no noise no issues what so ever
          The sound is awesome its the perfect balance I have this pickup combined with my dp 100 super distortion pickup and it sounds great this pickup gives you a warm creamy clean sound along with the a good solid crunch
          its awesome enough said

          (3 of 4 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          great vintage sound

          By 64540307

          from nc

          Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

          Many players make the mistake of buying high output pickups that lack clarity and warmth. These pickups have both clarity and warmth-as bright as a single coil with the amp set clean and plenty of great tone and sustain with the amp overdriven.Plenty of output too.I have DP103s in both neck and bridge of a frankenstrat and am well satisfied

          (3 of 15 customers found this review helpful)

           
          3.0

          Dimarzio PAF

          By nobody special-KPP5u

          from Indiana

          See all my reviews

          Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

          I first bought this pickup about eighteen years ago,and I've been using them since! I've used them in everything from teles to strats to les Pauls. These are very versatile pick-ups for any sound from blues to heavy metal! The only thing I don't like about them other than the warble from the bass strings(typical of Gibson,and similar humbucking pick-ups)is that they have four conductor wires which I never use! I read about Eddie Van Halens' experiments with these back in the eighties and realized I could do the same! Now I DO NOT recommend tearing your brand new pick-ups apart! I do take some of the windings off to create a thinner sound from the bass strings, so that I get a smooth sound in the overdrive channel on my Fender champ 12 without muddy over- tones! I am a luthier ,and have been doing this for eighteen years straight! I'll rewrap the coils,and wax pot everything again,so that it looks the same as before! I can rewind pick-ups,just NOT make them! This saves me a lot of time! I get the pick-up I want,with the sound I want,without spending a lot of time,or money trying to find that"perfect pick-up"!

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Incredible!

          By Roy

          from Baltimore Maryland

          About Me Experienced

          See all my reviews

          Ask me a question

          Pros

          • Easy To Use
          • Functional
          • Good Quality
          • Improves Sound

          Cons

            Best Uses

            • Backup
            • Concerts
            • Practicing

            Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

            I have been through a lot of humbuckers and single coils over the years and purchased the dp103 for the bridge and the dp223 for the neck of my double humbucker strat. I only bought these because I saw them in my local music store and thought I'd try something new in this particular guitar I was building. I've never been into dimarzio, not for any reason, just always went with bareknuckle, Duncan or frailin pups. I had a Duncan 59 in the neck and a Duncan alnico II pro in the bridge of this guitar and was blown away when I first played this set of 36th paf buckers. I lean towards a 70s billy squire, dirty blues and classic marshall crunchy rock sound and these were a PERFECT fit! I tested them through an orange or15 head and an orange 2x12 cab and then through a 1959 slp marshall and a custom marshall 4x12 cab and in both cases I was floored. Beautiful Classic PAF bucker tone and that perfect classic rock grit! The best part was the price. I don't mind paying a lot for pickups if they are worth it to me but these were on the cheaper side so needless to say I was way beyond surprised at how good they sounded. I haven't tried them in my les paul but in this strat they kill! Well done dimarzio.. You have a new fan!

            (2 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

             
            5.0

            awesome,must have

            By Dave Surrey Maiden British Columbia

            from Surrey BC Canada

            About Me Professional Musician

            Verified Buyer

            Pros

            • Improves Sound

            Cons

            • None

            Best Uses

            • Neck Pick Up Position

            Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

            i have never bought or used a neck pickup before,but when i was building my Dave Murray Replica,i had to get this pick up,and wow it sounds great,and gives me that tone for doing Dave Murray guitar solo's

            (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

             
            4.0

            Clear tone and coil tap is fantastic

            By DeaconBlue

            from Clifton Park, NY

            About Me Experienced

            See all my reviews

            Ask me a question

            Pros

            • Excellent Coil Tapping
            • Improves Sound
            • Very Clear Sound

            Cons

            • Slightly Compressed

            Best Uses

              Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

              The stock pickups in my Godin flat five semi-hollow were tarnishing, so I put these in (bridge and humbucker). They were different from the old pickups and wasn't quite what I had envisioned so I wasn't sure whether I liked them or not, but after using them for a few months I am very happy I chose these. These do not breathe as well as the stock pickups but when the coils are split they cannot be beat. I have received compliments on how clear my tone is now. I have the beef when I need it in humbucking mode, and a less compressed and surprisingly authentic single-coil tone when split. My favorite is the neck split with the humbucking bridge so I highly recommend separate splits for each pickup.

              If you are thinking about replacing your humbucking pickups and are hesitant due to the cost of the Seymours or Gibsons, I think you would be VERY happy with these.

              (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

               
              5.0

              What I was looking for

              By Gold Topless

              from Los Angeles

              About Me Professional Musician

              See all my reviews

              Verified Buyer

              Pros

              • Good Quality
              • Improves Sound

              Cons

                Best Uses

                • Concerts

                Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                I bought one for the neck position of my Les Paul and loved it. So I bought another for the bridge. They sound amazing and look great. Nothing else to say.

                (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

                 
                5.0

                Brilliant pickups!

                By Smooghead

                from Highlands, Scotland, UK

                About Me Experienced

                Pros

                • Easy To Use
                • Functional
                • Good Quality
                • Improves Sound

                Cons

                  Best Uses

                    Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                    I have a couple of Les Pauls and a UK made Gordon Smith Graduate 60 (Les Paul) which I bought in 2008 and was fitted with Wilkinson Zebras. Overdriven it gave a great sound but clean was really muddy. So I decided to refit with the 36th Anniversary DiMarzio DP223 at the bridge and DP103 at the neck. Amazing sound difference. The guitar is now a tone monster. Absolutely everything I would hope for from a Les Paul, and I've been playing them for almost 40 years. The output is lower than previous - but all the tones are now in the right place. I now prefer the sounds out of this to those from my 1973 Gibson LP Custom ! I'm playing through a 5 Watt Fender Champ (Class A), a Marshall EL84 20/20 and a Peavey Triumph 60. I record via a Digitech 2120 (which also drives the Marshall 20/20) and a Marshall JMP1. The guitar and these pickups sound amazing through all of them !

                    I should add that I went for DiMarzio as I bought some of their pickups in the late 1970's and indeed still have several SDHB DP100s and a PAF and Dual Sound. I liked them at the time but age has gotten the better of me and I now like tone more than distortion. I now like to see the amp do its work rather than the pickup - if the pickup output is good quality, the amp will sound fine whatever. And this pickup (and the DP223) certainly produce a quality output. Try them - you will not be disappointed !

                    (2 of 10 customers found this review helpful)

                     
                    2.0

                    nothing to write home about

                    By cogswell

                    from detroit

                    About Me Experienced

                    See all my reviews

                    Pros

                    • None

                    Cons

                      Best Uses

                      • Nothing

                      Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                      was looking for some new pup's to drop into my ibanez artist, never had Dimarzio but always heard great things, figured these would be way better than the stock Ibanez AH-1 pups ...ahhh no, very thin sounding, no warmth, no bottom end, no roundness, I guess I have no clue what a PAF is supposed to sound like, I never owned a 57 les paul, but really I can't imagaine they would sound like this, didn't the blues guys in England dig early pauls for expressive creamy tone, these are not it, very plain jane IMO, ended up exchanging them with Dimarzio for air nortons, which are much better than these IMO

                       
                      5.0

                      Third time I bought this!!

                      By Black Strat

                      from New Jersey

                      About Me Experienced

                      See all my reviews

                      Verified Buyer

                      Pros

                      • Improves Sound

                      Cons

                        Best Uses

                          Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                          This time I replaced the Gibson 490r with the dp103 and dp223 in the bridge. A great improvement! I have this in dp 103 and dp223 set up in my hh Strat and my hh tele . Same pick ups but slightly different in each set up . A huge improvement over fender black top hum-buckers.

                           
                          5.0

                          My new favorite Pickup!

                          By Mike

                          from NJ

                          About Me Experienced

                          See all my reviews

                          Verified Buyer

                          Pros

                          • Functional
                          • Good Quality
                          • Improves Sound

                          Cons

                            Best Uses

                              Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                              This is my new all time favorite pickup, the 36th and 36th bridge combo. I installed my first set with silver/nickel covers in my PRS McCarty and it brought new life back into that guitar. I liked the sound so much I decided to put them into my Ibanez RG prestige. The guitar is super versatile now and a big upgrade from the stock V7 V8 pu's. You can achieve great PAF tone that stays clear even under heavy distortion. I use these pu's for all styles of music and they are perfect, highly recommended!

                              (0 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

                               
                              4.0

                              Very good service

                              By Rodneyk33

                              from Vancouver, WA

                              About Me Novice

                              Comments about DiMarzio PAF DP103 Humbucker 36th Anniversary Guitar Pickup:

                              The first pickup I received had a defect with the adjusting screw threads. I received a replacement with no hassle in a timely manner.

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