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Duncan Antiquity P90...Yowza! Where you been all this time?

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
As a long time P90 lover, I've owned or played a bunch of them.
Gibsons new and old, Fenders, Epiphones, BG, Lollar, standard Duncans, etc.
Most all have something good going on and I've always thought that the P90 must be one of the hardest pickups to botch, since even cheap ones have some good sounds on tap.
Recently, however, I snagged an Antiquity dogear for a custom build that I've been working to find that "just right" pickup for. Its immediate predecessor in this guitar was a Duncan Phat Cat but I've had some other stuff in there as well.
The Antiquity is going to stay, though. Wow. Seymour really nailed it with these.
Mine is a bridge model and reads 8.54k on the old meter. It has that nice woody thump when clean and the full on midrange grind with drive. This one definitely comes closest to the old 50s/60s models I've played over the years.
It's just an absolute filthy whore of a pickup. There's really nothing nice, kind or gentle about it. The wall of sound this thing makes through a cranked tweed is criminal.

That's about it. Just wanted to hear from some other antiquity owners to sing their praises.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,547
Good to hear....I need a couple of P90s right now, a neck for a Strat and a bridge for a custom build.

PS-how was the Phat Cat? Might be sticking one in the MIDDLE position of something.
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
Good to hear....I need a couple of P90s right now, a neck for a Strat and a bridge for a custom build.

PS-how was the Phat Cat? Might be sticking one in the MIDDLE position of something.
I generally like them but they didn't work well in this guitar.
To me, they're like a fairly polite P90. Mids are a little more subdued and highs a little more prominent. Very quiet, though.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,547
I generally like them but they didn't work well in this guitar.
To me, they're like a fairly polite P90. Mids are a little more subdued and highs a little more prominent. Very quiet, though.
Hmm..maybe that's not what I want. I'd like to get some of that nice,round P90 neck tone or at least some sort of useable middle option. I need to stick SOMETHING in there.

That Antiquity sounds perfect for the bridge of an LP Jr-style mahogany guitar I'm doing, though. I do not want polite or "modern" in that. I want nasty.
 

Lewguitar

Senior Member
Messages
5,663
The Antiquity P90's use two alnico 2 bar magnets. Many players on the Seymour Duncan Forum who use them seem to feel that the Ant P90's are not as trebley as P90's that use alnico 5 bar magnets, but have slightly more mids.

I believe most Gibson P90's were made with alnico 5 magnets.

Seymour seems to prefer using alnico 2 magnets in the Antiquity I humbuckers, Ant I P90's and Ant I Strat & Tele single coils, and seems to feel that alnico 2 sounds more like a 50 year old alnico 5 magnet.

Seymour does offer alnico 5 magnets in the Antiquity II version of the Strat and Tele pickups.
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
The Antiquity P90's use two alnico 2 bar magnets. Many players on the Seymour Duncan Forum who use them seem to feel that the Ant P90's are not as trebley as P90's that use alnico 5 bar magnets, but have slightly more mids.

I believe most Gibson P90's were made with alnico 5 magnets.

Seymour seems to prefer using alnico 2 magnets in the Antiquity I humbuckers, Ant I P90's and Ant I Strat & Tele single coils, and seems to feel that alnico 2 sounds more like a 50 year old alnico 5 magnet.

Seymour does offer alnico 5 magnets in the Antiquity II version of the Strat and Tele pickups.
The gang at the Duncan forum would swap magnets that were installed by Ted McCarty himself, blessed by Jimmy Page and sanctified by Jimi Hendrix.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,291
Hmmm.....when you say nothing nice kind or gentle about it, should i read that as the cleaner tones not being sweet and jangly at all? Your description is making me salivate, but if cleaner tones suffer that would be a deal breaker. I wish i hadn't read this because i love the stock gibsons and lost about $100 trying and selling a set of boutique p90s. Last thing i need is to fix what ain't broke yet again and lose more $. But damn, that description from someone who tried a lot of P90's has me salivating like a dog at a slaughterhouse.
 

TheBuffalo

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,625
Hmmm.....when you say nothing nice kind or gentle about it, should i read that as the cleaner tones not being sweet and jangly at all? Your description is making me salivate, but if cleaner tones suffer that would be a deal breaker. I wish i hadn't read this because i love the stock gibsons and lost about $100 trying and selling a set of boutique p90s. Last thing i need is to fix what ain't broke yet again and lose more $. But damn, that description from someone who tried a lot of P90's has me salivating like a dog at a slaughterhouse.
Don't drool on yourself it's not an actual whore it's just a pickup ;)

But that's good to hear for me as well, I like my gibson p90s but I do wish they were a little more rude. I've been thinking about just changing the bridge pickup in it. But I feel like I'd be trying to fix something that's not broke as well. But I would like some rudeness In my sound
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
Hmmm.....when you say nothing nice kind or gentle about it, should i read that as the cleaner tones not being sweet and jangly at all? Your description is making me salivate, but if cleaner tones suffer that would be a deal breaker. I wish i hadn't read this because i love the stock gibsons and lost about $100 trying and selling a set of boutique p90s. Last thing i need is to fix what ain't broke yet again and lose more $. But damn, that description from someone who tried a lot of P90's has me salivating like a dog at a slaughterhouse.
I had this same pickup in both the neck and bridge positions. It was a little too hot for the neck and it got pretty boomy but it sounded totally different on the neck.
Certainly not jangly by any means but the clean tones were pure P90 "piano tones." Everything you expect from a good P90. With drive it didn't have quite the same grind as it does in the bridge but it made a killer "wall of sound."
Had to move it to the bridge, though. It was just too much in the neck.

Went back to a firebird style mini in the neck.
 

Matt L

Member
Messages
11,547
I've also tried a few boutiques that were no better than the stock Gibsons.

Best I've had.......you guessed it.....the dogears in my '64 ES-125TCD.
 

TheBuffalo

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,625
How are these different than their vintage p90?
I only know this because I've researched them not because I tried them..

But the antiquities have alnico 2 and the vintage have alnico 5. That's for sure

I've read that the vintage are harsher but again I haven't tried them so can't be sure of that
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
How are these different than their vintage p90?
Not that much.
I run the Duncan vintage set in my PRS SE soapbar.
Definitely in the same ballpark. The vintage is a little sharper, edgier sounding and the bass is a little tighter.
The lack of wax in the antiquity gives that hint of reverb sound you can only get from unpotted pickups. Which is, of course, the same effect so many high gain players hate. That can turn to squeals with enough distortion and volume. I don't play with anything rowdier than a cranked tweed, so it isn't an issue for me.

In a live setting, I probably couldn't tell the difference.
 

scott520

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
2,113
Damn't! This is not what I need to hear right now! I recently put a SD Antiquity humbucker in a HSS strat project that I've been working on for some time now. I started a thread just like this one just to proclaim that I'm in F'n LOVE with that PU. Subsequently I've been beyond curious to hear what the p90 Antiquity sounds like. I love a great pickup...especially a filthy whore of a pickup! LOL!
 

SPROING!

Member
Messages
8,794
Damn't! This is not what I need to hear right now! I recently put a SD Antiquity humbucker in a HSS strat project that I've been working on for some time now. I started a thread just like this one just to proclaim that I'm in F'n LOVE with that PU. Subsequently I've been beyond curious to hear what the p90 Antiquity sounds like. I love a great pickup...especially a filthy whore of a pickup! LOL!
I feel your pain, man.
 

Black Squirrel

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,188
I'm A p90 guy I have 5 p90 guitars I recently acquired a 66 casino with antiquity p90 and sound great. I had written off Seymour Duncans a long time ago but these. are great.
 

mad dog

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,020
A pair of Antiquity P-90s came to me in a Guild Starfire III. For awhile it was P-90 paradise here, as I also had a Collings 290 with Lollar P-90s, and an Epiphone ES-295 with the Wolfetone Mean/Meaner set.

All beautiful in their own ways. I find it hard to assess just the pickups when the guitars they're in are so different. The Antiquities sound very 50s in that Guild. A big tonal presence, room filling sound, the coolest low end from the neck p/u. The big surprise there is how well these p/us work with an aluminum bigsby bridge. FAT meets aluminum. The result is just about perfect.

I wonder how the other P-90s would do in my Guild, but will not be finding out. The Wolfetones and Lollars are just as good. Different flavors. While these Antiquites are the best p/us I've heard from SD by far.
MD
 

slogger

Member
Messages
1,719
Wow! you have peaked my interest. Great review, you should send it into SD. I have a pair of Phat Cats and love them. They were my final choice to replace a set of HBs. I was under the impression that Phat Cats were p90s in HB sized casing, no? Is this also the case with antiquities?
 






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