Are your P90's too polite?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by DC1, Feb 23, 2009.

  1. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    I remember a thread a while back where there was some discussion about how few of the current PU guys are making the really old-sounding kind of snarly P90's that we rock players like.

    My S style has a Lindy P90 in the bridge.

    [​IMG]

    and that was one of the P90's that was supposed to lack that sort of grind. I gave it a good listen, and indeed, it sounded more Fendery than Leslie West, if you know what I mean.

    So, I tried an experiment...

    Lowered the screws almost flat to the top of the cover and raised the whole PU back where the screw heads had been (height wise)

    Holy cow!

    There it is...

    Snarl, bite, and Leslie all there.

    Turns out you can tune these PU's to be more of a Fender sound, or more middy and traditional P90 by the relationship between the screw height to the top of the cover, (taller screws = more of a Fender sound) and the closeness between the PU (with lowered screws) and the strings.

    The difference is not subtle and all factors are interactive.

    So, if you have a polite P90, try this, and see what happens.

    dc
     
  2. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Silver Supporting Member

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    Thanks! I'm gonna have to get the tools out...

    Tony
     
  3. CitizenCain

    CitizenCain Member

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    Yes, this is basically the same info I got from Jason Lollar when I was emailing him about P90s one time. Here's the text of one of the emails where Jason talks about setting up P90s;

     
  4. bluesjuke

    bluesjuke Disrespected Elder

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    Quite the opposite of conventional wisdom on the neck pickup adjustment.
     
  5. Motorhed

    Motorhed Member

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    I don't have anything to add but I have to say, that pickguard is great!!
     
  6. Funkwire

    Funkwire Member

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    Second that. Viva Mondrian!

    And Viva Fralin! I love the set in my Epi '56.
     
  7. Crazyquilt

    Crazyquilt Guitar Dad Silver Supporting Member

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    Yup. I learned this from Dave Stephens a couple of years ago, then read Lollar saying much the same thing. I have quite a few P-90 guitars, and this has always proven to be the case: For a real P-90 sound, lower the screws and raise the coils.

    Unlike Fender single coils, the string pull is not nearly as much of a problem -- the bar magnet's field seems to be much more diffuse than that created by a Fender's slug magnets. In that, they're more like humbuckers.

    Mojocaster teases me because I bring this up at nearly any chance I get, but it's true -- if you want great P-90 tone, and you think your Lollars are too polite, then RAISE 'EM UP! You have nothing to lose but thin tone!
     
  8. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    Thanks. I did that in Photoshop.

    dc
     
  9. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    I was amazed at the difference. Years ago, I had raised the screws and lowered the PU to see what would happen and it got thinner-sounding. I liked it for what I was playing, so I left it alone. Recently I have been playing heavier stuff and was thinking about pulling the P90 out and going HB, when I remembered the changes I made. Glad I went back and I am really enjoying the P90 now.

    dc
     
  10. A440

    A440 Member

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    I think Dave Stephens (stephens design) also recommended the same thing re P-90's. adjust the pole pieces down and bring up the pickup.

    I think I'm still getting a little bit of magnet pull (similar to strat-itis)

    I'll have to adjust the neck pickup down a bit I think.
     
  11. Kalalau Hiker

    Kalalau Hiker Supporting Member

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    thanks for the tip!

    I"ll try it on my PRS 3 P90!

    Bob
     
  12. FrankieSixxxgun

    FrankieSixxxgun Member

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    When you raise the pole pieces on any pickup you'll get more twang. Lower 'em, raise the whole bar, and you get more bite.
     
  13. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    Some pole pieces are not adjustable, and most HB's only have one slug that is.


    dc
     
  14. cvansickle

    cvansickle Silver Supporting Member

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    Does anybody else have Partridge Family songs playing in their head right now?
     
  15. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    Yes, it's called Broadway Boogie Woogie...

    [​IMG]




    :Spank



    dc
     
  16. Bryan T

    Bryan T guitar owner Silver Supporting Member

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    I want a Mondrian pickguard!
     
  17. DC1

    DC1 Member

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    These guys:

    http://www.pickguardparadise.com/custom.html

    can put whatever you like on a pickguard. I did the Mondrian takeoff myself, but there are other sources of course.

    The outfit that did mine (DarMar) is out of business, and I have not used PG Paradise, but they say they can do it.

    dc
     

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