First Les Paul: Should I go P-90 or Humbucker?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by HyakuShiki, Feb 16, 2012.

  1. HyakuShiki

    HyakuShiki Member

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    I would like to try the P-90s, but is there any single coil weirdness I should be wary of?
     
  2. gtraddict

    gtraddict Member

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    For the first try with a Les Paul I would go humbucker, sometimes through brighter amps the p90s can give off higher tones that you sometimes normally think of Lester tones. I would go with something that has a lower output/vintage sounding pickup.

    If you want later you switch out for a humbucker sized p-90.
     
  3. BigDoug1053

    BigDoug1053 Supporting Member

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    Your first Lester? I would go with humbuckers. If you have no experience with P90s you will notice the noise from these pickups. But they have a unique tone and vibe and are great raunchy rock and clean jazz pickups. I suggest looking for a LP Special with P90s if you want to try the P90 sound.
     
  4. stilesg57

    stilesg57 Member

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    I'd get hummies in my first LP. There are lots of other great sounding P90 platforms, but nothing sounds quite like a double bucker LP. It's a classic tone that every guitarist should try.

    Try the P90s on something else first.
     
  5. Cleet Mongaire

    Cleet Mongaire Member

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    Really depends on what music you play. High gain is better with hb's and heaps less noise. Cleaner stuff/low gain, I love p90's.
     
  6. dnauhei

    dnauhei Member

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    Depends on what kind of music you want to play. I prefer P90s. I find hummies to thick and muddy.
     
  7. TheBigFlatwound

    TheBigFlatwound Member

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    go with HB's . I disagree with Cleet above - makes no dif what kind of music you play. i play jazz only and clean clean clean and i will not use anything BUT a humbucker. In fact the cleaner you get i think the worse a single coil or p-90 sounds - toooooo thin. But that is stricktly opinion only- some love the single coil sound.
    And also Seymor Duncan makes a humbucker/p90 split pickup now where you can have a push/pull pot to get the p-90 sound.
    but a les paul should have humbuckers.
     
  8. cowboytim

    cowboytim Member

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    I agree....I have both...Humbucker 1st......But a 56 R with P-90s hard to beat! Love mine.
     
  9. old crow

    old crow Supporting Member

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    I'm wit Cleet. Really depends on yer style. If you play hard rock get the buckers everything else I prefer 90's.
     
  10. GCDEF

    GCDEF Supporting Member

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    I like them both. P-90s are great for high gain sounds IMHO. They've got a growl that HBs don't and to me, they sound a bit more aggressive. The real problem is it depends on the power where you play. I like to play P-90s, but some places there's just too much noise and I have to switch to HB. Either will sound good, and I'm not sure I have a clear preference.
     
  11. guitguy28

    guitguy28 Member

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    I agree with the others who said go with humbuckers. Basically because humbucker pickups come in a "standard" size so you have a lot of pickup-swapping alternatives.

    That will give you more tonal options: you can choose from a wide variety of humbucker flavours if you want to experiment with that. And you can get split-coil HB's for single-coil tones along with the HB sound. And of course you can get HB-sized P90s if they do turn out to be what you want.

    One earlier poster said he found HBs too muddy. I disagree in that it really depends on the pickup. I had Gibson pickups in my mid-90s Paul- very muddy. I swapped 'em for Duncan Alnico II Pros and it sounded way brighter, better cleans, cut through better. The Duncans were amazing and gave my Paul the classic LP tone I had always been after.
     
  12. jaxn slim

    jaxn slim Member

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    Why do you want a Les Paul?
     
  13. HyakuShiki

    HyakuShiki Member

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    I'll be honest, I'm looking for middle of the road rock with Foo Fighters-type stuff but I'm also looking to do some more lighter, ambient-esque stuff. A good example would be "As You Left" by the group Life in 24 Frames or some of the less metal portions of various Incubus songs. With the Foo Fighters thing, I recall Chris playing a goldtop Les Paul with P-90s for some of the set, so that's why my mind is wondering this.
     
  14. itstooloudMike

    itstooloudMike Member

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    You need to stick with low output humbuckers for what you're wanting to do.
     
  15. jaxn slim

    jaxn slim Member

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    With that kind of stuff, you could do either. We play a bit of Foo Fighters in our show, and I usually use my LP with HBs, but I wouldn't think twice about my P90 LP if that's what I was already holding.

    Personally, I'd start with humbuckers just because that's the more typical Les Paul sound IMO. At the end of the day, it's probably about the particular guitar that you bond with the most. Play a bunch of different models, and see what works for you.
     
  16. HyakuShiki

    HyakuShiki Member

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    Thanks fellas. I think I'll stick with hums for now.
     

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