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Best P90 Pickups

bschultzjames

Member
Messages
1,229
I recently bought a lower-end fender telecaster thinline deluxe with their own p90 pickups -- I know there has to be a better pickup out there. What is your favorite P90 that won't break the bank?

Not sure if there is another post about this, I tried to search the forum pretty extensively using the search section and couldn't come up with anything.
 

korus

Member
Messages
1,334
There is no such thing as best P90s. Luckily, there are optimal P90s for your guitar and you. But some info is lacking.

The first question is what P90s you hear in it - lower or higher wind?
The second might be - are you OK with real P90s' hum or you would prefer something humbucking?

There are a lot of options with P90s, but if you do not give more info regarding what you want/expect of that guitar you will only read what others want ... which might be somewhat entertaining but it won't answer your question.

Type of music, amount of drive, references to someone's tone ... you get the idea. Description of the guitar is fine, but some pics wouldn't hurt.
 

teleman1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
15,126
You have to decide on the sound you want;gritty creamy to smooth and sweet. I'd look to Duncan Antiquites and Wolfetone. I like old school grind. Any alnico 5 p-90 just doesn't have it. Look for alnico 2 & 3 magnets. These are more creamy grit, BUT, I sold my p-90 Lollars casue they were too polite;original Lollars. But they have their place for a Jazzy sound. I have found most p-90's when they are screaming,clean up nicely when you lower the volume3 on the guitar.
 

bschultzjames

Member
Messages
1,229
There is no such thing as best P90s. Luckily, there are optimal P90s for your guitar and you. But some info is lacking.

The first question is what P90s you hear in it - lower or higher wind?
The second might be - are you OK with real P90s' hum or you would prefer something humbucking?

There are a lot of options with P90s, but if you do not give more info regarding what you want/expect of that guitar you will only read what others want ... which might be somewhat entertaining but it won't answer your question.

Type of music, amount of drive, references to someone's tone ... you get the idea. Description of the guitar is fine, but some pics wouldn't hurt.
The guitar is the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe. http://www.fender.com/products/modernplayer/modern-player-telecaster-thinline-deluxe

It's really the first guitar with p90's I've played. I have a ton of other great guitars, but haven't had much experience with p90's -- figured I'd post here and get some suggestions.

To answer your two questions
1) The first question is what P90s you hear in it - lower or higher wind? -- I prefer higher wound pickups, I like my clean amps to get pushed a bit
2) The second might be - are you OK with real P90s' hum or you would prefer something humbucking? - I prefer something noise cancelled, but if there is a GREAT pickup that still has buzz, this can always be dealt with. I don't ever really leave my guitar "on" when it's buzzing, I have my tuner at the end of my chain, or I'm intelligent enough to roll the volume down or turn off any effect that amplifies buzz when it's not needed :)

I like a cleaner tone that I can boost with tubescreamers and other overdrives in to a clean amp. The other guitars I have are an Eric Johnson Strat and a hagstrom super swede with will boggs vintage-tone-PAF-Hot pickups. I know those pickups are a sore topic on this forum, but they sound fantastic.

I also realize that a p90 should be between a single coil and a humbucker, so really I'm just looking for some good names anyone here knows and I'll go do my own research. Thanks in advance everyone who will post and thanks to those who have posted so far!
 

Ape Factory

Member
Messages
2,506
I actually just went through this with that exact guitar and ended up with some Kent Armstrong pickups, hotter in the bridge, reversed wind in the neck for noise canceling. Slight improvement, not huge but after adjusting the pickup height and pole pieces, much better. I have 50's wiring going in with a brighter 500K volume pot for the neck, sticking with a 250 for the bridge. Ordered a pre-wired setup from Mojotone.com from the 72 Thinline with a Dijon cap. The Kent Armstrong pickups can be found on ebay for about half of what WD charges for them making them a much more affordable upgrade vs. some of the boutique stuff and more in line with what the guitar costs if that's a factor.

Thread here:
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecast...yer-thinline-deluxe-upgrades.html#post4401992
 

korus

Member
Messages
1,334
The guitar is the Modern Player Telecaster Thinline Deluxe. http://www.fender.com/products/modernplayer/modern-player-telecaster-thinline-deluxe

It's really the first guitar with p90's I've played. I have a ton of other great guitars, but haven't had much experience with p90's -- figured I'd post here and get some suggestions.

To answer your two questions
1) The first question is what P90s you hear in it - lower or higher wind? -- I prefer higher wound pickups, I like my clean amps to get pushed a bit
2) The second might be - are you OK with real P90s' hum or you would prefer something humbucking? - I prefer something noise cancelled, but if there is a GREAT pickup that still has buzz, this can always be dealt with. I don't ever really leave my guitar "on" when it's buzzing, I have my tuner at the end of my chain, or I'm intelligent enough to roll the volume down or turn off any effect that amplifies buzz when it's not needed :)

I like a cleaner tone that I can boost with tubescreamers and other overdrives in to a clean amp. The other guitars I have are an Eric Johnson Strat and a hagstrom super swede with will boggs vintage-tone-PAF-Hot pickups. I know those pickups are a sore topic on this forum, but they sound fantastic.

I also realize that a p90 should be between a single coil and a humbucker, so really I'm just looking for some good names anyone here knows and I'll go do my own research. Thanks in advance everyone who will post and thanks to those who have posted so far!
I followed the link and found these there
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=b-_HA8iOHYA
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=CXOFJufWFKY

It might be the amp also, but these stock P90s sound muddy to me. I think Fralins or Wolfetone might be the ticket for barking (hotter) but non muddy P90s. Listening to demos and even more - talking to both of them might help you decide which is optimal for you. Sure there are others, but check these two makers first. HTH

edit : oops I forgot Zhangbucker, check him also. Folks love Gibson's current P90s, but they were muddy neck/harsh bridge for me in R6 and Jr.
 
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bschultzjames

Member
Messages
1,229
I actually just went through this with that exact guitar and ended up with some Kent Armstrong pickups, hotter in the bridge, reversed wind in the neck for noise canceling. Slight improvement, not huge but after adjusting the pickup height and pole pieces, much better. I have 50's wiring going in with a brighter 500K volume pot for the neck, sticking with a 250 for the bridge. Ordered a pre-wired setup from Mojotone.com from the 72 Thinline with a Dijon cap. The Kent Armstrong pickups can be found on ebay for about half of what WD charges for them making them a much more affordable upgrade vs. some of the boutique stuff and more in line with what the guitar costs if that's a factor.

Thread here:
http://www.tdpri.com/forum/telecast...yer-thinline-deluxe-upgrades.html#post4401992
I'm reading through that entire thread right now -- wow you've been through a TON with this! The first thing I'm doing is taking this guitar to a a tech here in town to get it set up. I did a few adjustments on my own and I'm a lot happier with the feel, but there is a tech here that just makes guitars play just plain amazing. I'll be posting on your thread from now on rather than this one with any updates I do so you can keep track and maybe get some ideas if I end up trying new things too.
 

bschultzjames

Member
Messages
1,229
@Korus, I saw those videos too...I think it's the amp and their mic setup in that video...mine doesn't sound that dark. Mine is pretty bright as-is actually. I do like a darker sound, but I get that sound from my amp's and pedals' settings...not by playing a muddy guitar :)
 

Ape Factory

Member
Messages
2,506
I'm reading through that entire thread right now -- wow you've been through a TON with this! The first thing I'm doing is taking this guitar to a a tech here in town to get it set up. I did a few adjustments on my own and I'm a lot happier with the feel, but there is a tech here that just makes guitars play just plain amazing. I'll be posting on your thread from now on rather than this one with any updates I do so you can keep track and maybe get some ideas if I end up trying new things too.
Honestly it hasn't taken me that long to sort it...a few nights here and there. I do find it's amp sensitive, works with some, not with others. This is through an Eleven Rack however. Took a bit of fiddling/setup to bond with the H&K Tubemeister but I'm really liking it on the 5W clean channel maxed with that nice distortion with gain and master cranked.

Other than that, it was an inexpensive guitar I could mess with and learn a bit more about wiring, pickups, etc...and not worry if I screw something up. Turns out that I actually like to play it though and it's a great little guitar with some mojo. Perfect? Nope, but it's getting there!
 

Groberts

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,672
I love the Gibson P90's that came stock in my 2011 Gibson Goldtop R6 '56 VOS reissue. I'm sure there are different PU's, but not sure better. Just 'different.'
 

Silkrodamus

Member
Messages
819
new production Gibby kicks most other's ass IMHO
I second this notion. The Gibby p90s in my 2019 SG Special nail all the vintage tones. Lowered them slightly after I got the guitar, and heard the sound in every rock and blues record that I have heard recorded with old p90 Gibson guitars. Never looked back...or forward.

They are not going anywhere.
 
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