3 x P90 guitar - what to look for ?

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by gitman, Jul 3, 2006.


  1. gitman

    gitman Member

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    ever since someone posted a link to a David Torn(splatt)/Koll mp3 ( which has since disappeared ... ???) where he improvises with this fabulous 3 P-90 equipped Koll Tornado i have this tone in my head - gotta look for a guitar like that ! i know of Tom Anderson and his Cobra models, which sometimes come with 3 P90's (there are some nice mp3's on the Bogner website with Micheal Britt playing such an Anderson Cobra - sounds great ! ) and then there is the Ernie Ball/MusicMan "Albert Lee " model and finally the PRS version. so far i've only played the EB/MM guitar and the pickups did not win me over. has anyone here had the chance to play the other models i mentioned and if so, how do they compare ? i am looking for a really big and fat tone with more sparkle that usually attainable with HB equipped guitars ...
    gotta have a trem, too. as of now i'd rather go look for a used guitar than go all the way and have one built - it would probably be a Koll Tornado .... !
    thanks !
     
  2. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I recommend a mahogany bodied guitar, maple top with a mahogany neck and rosewood board. Tom Anderson makes a great Cobra like that,and I have one. However, great pickups are the key. Not all P-90s are good, and some are great. For instance, I don't like the PRS P-90s or the Tom Andersons. I replaced my set of three with Harmonic Design. I truly don't think it gets better than this!
     
  3. stekks

    stekks Member

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  4. Jon Silberman

    Jon Silberman 10Q Jerry & Dickey Gold Supporting Member

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    Yeah, what about it? ;) (This one's an older USA Eastpoint phenolic).

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  5. 59burst

    59burst Gold Supporting Member

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  6. michaelg

    michaelg Member

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  7. Schlep

    Schlep Member

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  8. lonestargtr

    lonestargtr Silver Supporting Member

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    Hi,

    I'm Michael Britt and I just wanted to say thanks for the kind comments on my guitar earlier and tell you a little something about the pickups I use in mine. It originally came with the Anderson p90's and I thought they sounded very good, but I wanted more of a vintage softness with sparkle to them. I got some lower output p90's from Tom and they were better, but they still lacked the twanginess I was looking for. I stopped by Seymour Duncan's shop out in CA and talked to him about it and he had his best pickup lady (the amazing woman who does most of the custom shop pu's) make me a set of antiquities just for my guitar. The bridge pu has an alnico V magnet so it's a little hotter and brighter and the neck and middle are alnico II's. Since I got those pickups that guitar has pretty much been my main stage guitar. I do highly recommend a mahogany bodied guitar, if for no other reason than Les Paul Jr.'s had mahogany bodies and apparently that's what God intended to go with P90's. I've never played the other guitars mentioned here, but I have entertained getting a similar 3 pu PRS. I love those guitars as well.

    Here are a couple of pics from NAMM this year with Blues Saraceno and Greg V. playing my guitar at the Bogner booth.

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    (thanks to whoever took these pictures, by the way. I'm the green sleeve in the blues s. pic)

    I just like the 3 P90 combination because I can cover everything from Tele sounds to strat sounds to P90 crunch all on one guitar, but somehow it retains a unique character throughout.

    Mike
     
  9. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    The PRS CU22 Soapbar is a brilliant guitar. I've had 3 over the past year. For some reason, I keep buying them, selling them, immediately regretting it, and then picking up another one (right now I'm without one, but I will be buying another one as soon as one pops up). I had no problem with the stock Duncan P90's in them, but P90's are very easy to swap out and there are lots of after-markets out there, so I wouldn't let that be too much of a concern.

    -Austin

    -Austin
     
  10. Mike Duncan

    Mike Duncan Silver Supporting Member

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    Tone to the bone on this aluminum topped/backed beauty!
     
  11. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    Depends on your budget. It sounds like you want to get your feet wet, as it were -- in that case, the Reverend is a great guitar, and it fulfills what you're looking for -- 3xP-90 with a trem, and add in a mahogany chambered body & spruce top, and I think that's a hard combo to beat. The only downside I can see is financial -- used ones are hard to come by & you'll lose out if you sell a new one later. Finding an older Slingshot Custom is also an option, but finding one with a trem (almost always a Bigsby) will require a lot of patience, and probably, given current trends, between $600-1000. Reverend's P-90s are very good; they're hotter than, say, a Lollar, and not quite as rich sounding, but with the bass contour on the newer Revs, you can tame that heat a bit & get that killer P-90 clean tone.

    I love Hamers, and I've only heard raves about the Monaco III. You can likely grab one used, again with some patience, but it'll be pricier again. Of course, used, it'll hold its value if/when you decide to go for a Koll.
     
  12. PlexiBreath

    PlexiBreath Member

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    I've seen some nice Thorn and Koll 3x90 guitars.
     
  13. gitman

    gitman Member

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    hi guys, thanks so much for the replys so far - educational ! Michael, great to see you're on board here ! i assume your Cobra is a hollow body version ?
    i will try ad get one of the CD's you play on - which one are you most proud of ?
    i have a Hamer Monaco with 2 Harmonic Design Z-90's in it and that guitar is just so much fun now ! at first i tried a set of TV Jones powerTrons but the combination of the small hollowbody etc. did not convince me in the end. now the guitar can cover the classic hollowbody/ES tone and venture into Gretsch territory as well - a great fiddle full of character for a great ( used ) price and highly recommended. i have not had the chance to try the 3 pickup Monaco-III yet but it is certainly very high on the list. it'll be an intersting hunt !:RoCkIn
     
  14. lonestargtr

    lonestargtr Silver Supporting Member

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    Actually, my cobra is a solid body with a maple top. And the cd's I'm most proud of are our current cd, Coming Home and also our Christmas cd This Christmas Time. I don't think I had the cobra for either of those cd's, but I used a PRS CE24 with duncan phat cat P90's on the majority of the solos on Coming Home.

    thanks for the interest.
    Mike
     
  15. tommc

    tommc Member

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    Have a look at this Gibson I used to own with 3-P90s. I bought this on Ebay for about $600 and sold a couple years later for about the same. It was fun to mess with but not a high quality guitar. Finally sold it mainly because the neck was very slim so I wasn't playing it much and it became time to buy something else. We all know how that goes...
     
  16. yanquii

    yanquii Member

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    Yamaha SA503 TVL, Troy van Leeuwen signature. They list for 900 bucks or so.
     
  17. floobeedust

    floobeedust Member

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    That Yamaha TVL is one hot killer blues machine..every once in a while a special guitar comes along and this one is it :AOK
     
  18. Antero

    Antero Member

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    Whoa, that's a pretty hot design...
     
  19. Mike_C

    Mike_C Member

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    Here are some Hamer options.

    Hamer Korina Artist semi hollow.
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    A Monaco III larger bodied hollow bodied single cut.
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    And my own personal favorite a Custom order Hamer Standard. not sure they will make this one again but it is a monster.
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    edited to add I have no affiliation to Willcutts. They just have some awesome photos.
     
  20. JackD

    JackD Gold Supporting Member

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    Wow, great thread! I'm a 335 guy but also love p-90s (I started of with a '64 SG jr.). I've always wanted to get a PRS Hollowbody w/ 3 P-90s like Jimmy Herring, but those are only custom made Private Stock ($8-$9k!!). The Yamaha and those Hamer look VERY interesting. I'll have to check them out!
     

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