View Full Version : sp-90 's vs. humbuckers

04-28-2005, 11:03 AM
I have a lot of learning to do. I was looking into this godin guitar, but there is an option on pickups. Humbuckers, or sp90's.

The thing is, I don't know how they compare. What are each better at doing? What styles of music are each better for.
And anything else you all could tell me about the differences, and qualities of each kind would be greatly appreciated.

Godin LG p90

Godin LG hmb


04-29-2005, 10:24 AM
Sorry for posting twice, but I just wanted to see if I could find out what you all think.

04-29-2005, 10:44 AM
Basically the difference between P-90 pickups and humbuckers is that P-90s are actually single coil pickups with a LOT more wire wrapping around the magnet than the single coils in a strat type of guitar. The P-90s kinda give an in between sound between a single coil and a humbucker.

They are not as bright on the highs as a single coil is, but they are also not as muddy sounding on lows as a humbucker can be sometimes. You can hear a recording of one, if you ever listen to "Mississippi Queen" by the group "mountian".

It is also important to note that the reason humbucker pickups were invented in the first place, was because of the "hum" associated with P-90 pickups. The Gibson Les pauls from the 50s befoire humbuckers were invented, all had P-90s in them. However, being the owner of a PRS Mcarty soapbar guitar with P-90s...I can say that the "hum" issue is not as great as some make it out to be. And that P-90 pickups sound terriffic!!

Also, the people I have talked to on the net that own a Godin P-90 guitar have said that it was the best value they had seen in awhile for a guitar of that quality.

As far as humbuckers go, they are commonly found in Gibson les pauls and many other brands. BOTH types of pickup can be suited to just about any kind of music you want to play....it all depends on the sound YOU in particular are after. Go to a store that has both and play through both of them, then decide which kind you like. That would be my advice.....there is nothing to let you know if you are going to "bond" with a guitar more, than if you just go to a store and play one!

Hope this helps.

04-29-2005, 04:23 PM
thanks webe123...
I think the godin's are defnitely a nice guitar for the money especially.
My bass player had a fretless godin, that he traded in and I really loved that bass. We have one song recorded with it, and I'm really into the sound we got on the recording.
We are going to be playing out shows in NY, and I was looking for a nice sounding guitar that wasn't too expensive so I wouldn't be paranoid the whole time of it getting stolen or damaged. I have an alembic skylark and I think it's a little too much flash for some places and especially the places we are gonna get shows at since we are just starting to play out., little bars etc.

04-29-2005, 07:14 PM
It's not my intention to hijack this thread but...

I've been a strat and tele guy for ::decades::, but I've got some GAS for that "mahogany" midrange sound. I'd like your opinions on whether to go humbucker or P90 with a mahogany set-neck. I used to own some cheap humbucker variants years ago, but was always disappointed with their lack of definition, sparkle, character, tone et.al. Don't get me wrong, I'm not raining on the humbucker parade, just that some of these dog guitars I had owned in my dark past really just sucked (HMT Tele, Epi Les P. Jr).

Specifically, I'm looking for a defined midrange clean, with that midrange bark. The thing that comes to mind is the tone from Caldwell (Marshall Tucker), old Lynard Skynard (sp?), Bad Company, you know what I mean? I don't need something to push the amp front end for my tone. I'm also not looking for a Blues pickup; I've got my Strats for that. Will 90's do it? Seth Lovers? Any suggestions? Help!?


04-30-2005, 01:45 PM
Yes, P90's should get you where you want to go IMO. I'm quickly learning that P90's can do just about everything I need a pickup to do, with no annoyances except for some hum.

04-30-2005, 09:36 PM
I have a 67' Epi Olympic (Melody Maker copy). I'm going to mod this thing and either put two P90's or humbuckers in it. It's going to take some routing, so it's pretty important if I go one direction or another. I could route it for humbuckers and go the humbucker sized P90's if I don't like em, or route it for P90s and be done with it. I wouldn't mind trying 'buckers first, but I would like to make an educated guess on what to try.

Like I mentioned before, I really don't want a "blues" guitar, but more of a country/rock guitar. My experience with 'buckers has not been good, so I appreciate the input.


05-03-2005, 05:24 AM
Today, P90 equipped guitars don't seem to hum much. Part of that is that quite a number of P90 manufacturers make a set of P90s with one of them reverse wound (or the magnet) so you get the exact hum-cancelling effect as a humbucker when both P90s are on. Also, the better guitar manufacturers do a much better job of shielding the cavity.

I had a 70 SG Special that sounded great but hummed like you wouldn't believe. Ended up selling it back to my brother ;) Early Sabbath was with a P90 SG, but it drove Iommi nuts so he switched to HBs. I guess Pete Townsend either rode the volume knob (like a Strat player) or just didn't care.

05-03-2005, 08:18 AM
why don't you like the single coils that are stock in your Epi? I have the same exact same guitar; I was just going to put hotter pups in it. I think the next flexing so much has put it on the back burner! May have to reset neck first.

You don't know where to find stock Epi knobs for that guitar do you?

05-04-2005, 06:53 AM
The knobs on the Epi are actually a gold/clear gibson "hat" knobs I believe. I'd try Gibson aftermarket for replacements. Depending on the model, yours may be different. Its a sunburst, one pickup, double cutaway model.

I've used the stock pickup for a number of years, but it has never had that midrange bark that I want, IMO, and its very noisy for some reason. Also, I want the tonal diversity two pickups will give you. My main axe is a MIJ Strat with a push/pull pot for 9 different pickup configurations, so I'm hooked on the different tones multi pickups gives me.