Ending the P-90 Quest

Discussion in 'The Small Company Luthiers' started by Tramp, Feb 1, 2015.

  1. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    Over the past several years, I've bought and sold P-90 equipped guitars by some of the best makers in the biz (John Suhr, Scott Lentz, David Myka). All stellar guitars, but none hit the mark I was after with P-90s: clarity like a Tele, but with loads of grit on tap.

    A few months ago, I took a Thorn Jr. 90 Slimline in on a trade. (It's Slimline #5 on Ron's site.) What an outstanding instrument! Playability is exceptional and the neck shape perfect IMO. But what's even better is how quickly (and controllably) it goes from clean to mean. I'd all but given up on the p-90 quest, but felt I needed to give the GT-90s a shot. Very, very glad I did!

    Anyone else done the same (with Thorn or a different builder)?
     
    Last edited: Feb 1, 2015
  2. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I was going to chime in and say GT-90s, but you've already found out for yourself. :beer
     
  3. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    Thanks. Kinda makes me wonder why I didn't drop GT-90s into the Myka. But there's something about the semi-semi hollow nature of the Slimline that's perfect with these pickups!
     
  4. WayneM

    WayneM Member

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    I own 4 Thorn guitars with GT 90's (semi-hollow and solid bodies)
    One of them originally had HD VP-90s. That changed to GT-90's also.

    Definitely my favorite P-90 type PU's. (and I have tried 6 different brands).
     
  5. FreeBlues

    FreeBlues Silver Supporting Member

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    I stated in another thread the my GT-90's were the best I've ever tried - or at least the best new pickups I've ever had. That said, personally I made the "mistake" of trying a vintage equipped LP Junior Special with original '58's, did a direct A-B comparison. The vintage P-90's were a slight, tiny, very bit better for me. FOR ME!

    So, against all reason I sought out and purchased a vintage set and recently installed them in my Collings 290. This particular guitar is sorta dark, maybe a bit "polite" as some would say. The vintage set of pickups are a bit brighter and livelier than the GT-90's and seems to compliment this guitar just a bit more, so I'm gonna keep them. I guess what I'm really saying is the vintage pickups are maybe just a bit different, not necessarily better. (Vintage are certainly more expensive!)

    But, now I have a slight problem. I loved the GT-90's and liked the couple "different" things they did (a bit fuller, fatter, more meat but still wonderfully clear), but I only have one guitar with P-90's. Part of me is trying to figure out how to get another P-90 guitar just to put these pickups in, but a saner part says I should probably sell them. So, even though I pretty much know what y'all will say, give me some advice: another guitar or sell the GT-90's?
     
  6. Irreverent

    Irreverent Silver Supporting Member

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    Another guitar.

    I also have a few Thorn guitars with GT-90's, and they are just stunning. I bought another set to put in my Artinger.

    Another guitar.
     
  7. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Huge fan myself having two Junior 90s
     
  8. fishleehooker

    fishleehooker Supporting Member

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    I have two guitars with them and love them.
     
  9. localmotion411

    localmotion411 Supporting Member

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    Had a Junior 90 and at the time it just didn't do it for me. I might love it now if I still had it.

    My P-90 quest ended with a Fano JM6. Unreal guitar.
     
  10. svenhoek

    svenhoek Supporting Member

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    GT-90s sound interesting. I must admit I like the stock P90s in my Gibson VOS 59 330. But I like the David Allen Philthy Cats in my RnR relics even more. They are to die for...
     
  11. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Like anything, tone is subjective, and not everything is perfect for everyone. But Ron's P90's are far and away my favorites. I also have some very good wolfetone's in a Kauer that I don't plan on changing. It just depends on your wants needs.

    I play the **** out of my Jr90's stock.

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  12. Tramp

    Tramp Gold Supporting Member

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    Great stuff all around, Big Mike! I consider you an enabler in the decision to pick up the Jr. 90. :drink

    Localmotion411, I'm curious what you found in the Fano that you didn't in the Thorn.
     
  13. localmotion411

    localmotion411 Supporting Member

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    The Thorn was a ridiculously nice guitar. Exceptionally well built with probably the best fretwork I've ever seen, lightweight, sounded great but not quite there for me. The 25" scale and tremolo might have had something to do with it. PRS guitars have never worked for me due to that scale length. The Jr 90 seemed to have a little too much give from the tremolo and I always felt myself wanting more snap out of it.

    The JM6 is the most incredible guitar, and everyone who plays it wants it. I swapped out the Tonestyler for a regular tone pot and .022uF cap and am now in heaven. The guitar is by far and away the most responsive to volume/tone knob changes I've ever played. When you roll back the volume from a thick gainy tone it gets nice and sparkly, perfect for edge of breakup tones; roll it forward and get all the gristle you could ever want. And it always sounds lively and (hate to use this term but it is the most appropriate) SPANKY. I typically live on a telecaster, and this guitar is like the best beefy yet articulate telecaster on earth. Lightweight mahogany body with rosewood/maple neck. Guitar weighs around 6.5lbs.

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  14. mulvavroop

    mulvavroop Member

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    Oh the David Allen Cat Series is fantastic -- so many good P90s out there, Manlius, Wolfetone, and of course stock Gibsons!
     
  15. John Hurtt

    John Hurtt Supporting Member

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    :drink I opened the thread to do exactly the same thing.
     
  16. fishleehooker

    fishleehooker Supporting Member

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    Sheptone supposedly has a very good P90 too. I am wanting to try a Sheptone and Wolftone. Love my GT90s though and will always have a guitar loaded with a set.
     
  17. esoteric pete

    esoteric pete Supporting Member

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    And I still have that 'ol Lentz of yours! :)
     
  18. big mike

    big mike Moderator - EL34 Emeritas Staff Member

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    Wolfe makes my second favorite set I've owned.
    Also Jim Wagner makes a great one I heard last october now.

    Lots of good choices but I still far and away prefer the GT90's. (or the original Jr90 pickups..same thing I guess).
     
  19. customguitars87

    customguitars87 Member

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    Bareknuckle Nantuckets were the end-all for me. Incredible tone from clean all the way up to super high gain, and the clarity (as always with Bareknuckle) is crazy.
     
  20. FreeBlues

    FreeBlues Silver Supporting Member

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    Has anyone heard, or heard of Wizz P-90's? Guys over the MyLesPaul claim his P-90's are dead on exact replicas of true early '50's P-90's, tones true to the originals.
     

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