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G&L MFD vs P90

pcovers

Member
Messages
1,227
I'd love to hear from anyone that has replaced a P90 with a G&L MFD pickup. I had an ASAT Tribute years ago and the most memorable thing to me about that guitar was the MFD pickups, which I really loved. I am a P90 guy to begin with, but I would love to know if anyone has gone from P90 to MFD pickups. I can imagine an LP Special double cutaway style guitar with G&L MFD instead of P90...

Anyone?
 

candid_x

Member
Messages
9,669
I personally don't think they sound alike. MFDs (all) strike me as glassy and round sounding, without the P90 bite or edge.
 

bgood

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
951
sort of agree. more refined to me but still can get pretty edgy when pushing a cranked amp - bridge postion on my ASAT.
 
M

Member 995

So they are hefty, glassy, and round.
Which seems like a contradiction to me, at least in how I use the terms 'glassy' and 'round.'

To my ears, MFDs are very hi-fi. P90s are more midrangey and have a stiffer feel. I love both.

I actually replaced an MFD with a P90 in an ASAT Junior. Lollar built me one that fit in the stock MFD pickup cover. It was cool, but demonstrated just how different the two pickups are.

Bryan
 

Jet Age Eric

Member
Messages
7,672
I know it sounds contradictory, btu I think it really illustrates how much range these pups have. They're glassy without being harsh (hence, round) but they don't skimp on the midrange and low end (hence hefty).

Strats can be glassy, but you don't think of them as having much muscle. MFDs, to me, are glassy in the same way, but with more muscle.

Hope that makes sense. -E

Which seems like a contradiction to me, at least in how I use the terms 'glassy' and 'round.'

To my ears, MFDs are very hi-fi. P90s are more midrangey and have a stiffer feel. I love both.

I actually replaced an MFD with a P90 in an ASAT Junior. Lollar built me one that fit in the stock MFD pickup cover. It was cool, but demonstrated just how different the two pickups are.

Bryan
 

jcground

Member
Messages
1,175
I have two G&Ls with MFDs (an early 80s SC-3 and an early 90s S-500). To me, the MFDs have a lot of sparkle and higher output than a traditional strat-type single coil. Not much like a P-90, which I'd agree with other posters typically has more of a midrangey tone.

I really like MFDs, though they're probably not the answer for somebody looking for vintage strat tones. As far as P-90s go, there are a lot of different ones to choose from, and a lot of tones to go with that variety. Lollar makes a very nice P-90, and I've never heard any that I liked any better than Ron Thorn's GT-90s - wonderful pickups!

So... for me, apples and oranges, but both good tones.
 

geetarman

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
2,116
I own a couple of ASATs with MFD's and love the pups but they're very different from P90's. The MFD's are more like a Tele pup on steroids alot more output and beef but they do sound great clean too if you back the volume off a bit. They really shine in live performances with a band as they cut through extremely well.
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
I've owned a bunch of G&Ls and I agree with everything these guys are saying. There are "big" MFDs (in the ASAT Special) and a couple different "small" MFDs (the ones in the S-500 are a bit more juiced than the ones in the ASAT Classics. I love the big MFDs because they are very hi-fi and airy, but with so much lurking underneath that you can bring out with EQing and playing dynamics. The big MFDs remind me of Fralin P-92s, for the refinement and airiness, but the P-92s are a bit less toppy but a bit more muscular. I find that I always need to roll off the tone on my big MFDs, and that the MFDs in the s-500 LOVE the bass-contour knob that guitar has. S-500s are simply the fattest single-coil "Strat" there is, when you tweak that knob. It's true that MFDs ARE hefty, glassy and round, all at the same time, but you do give up one the more you dial in the other, if that makes sense. Still the sum total is great, and different from any other pickup out there. I don't think everyone should own a G&L, but I do think any serious guitar guy should find a G&L dealer and spend an hour with the five or six different models (since there are also the Z-coil MFDs and the Legacy model with traditional Alnicos). Just sit and play and familiarize yourself with the tones. You never know when it will click and you will decide you want to dive in. And the Indonesian-made Tribute line is just better than ever. The pickups are identical -- they're the same U.S.-made pickups. And the build quality is amazing. End of pitch.
 

NoahL

Member
Messages
1,423
I misspoke. The Fralin P-92s are not as muscular. A bit more refined. And when I said you have to give up something with the MFDs, I meant that you give up a little glassiness and roundness if you dial up the beef, but it's still always there. In fact, MFDs don't cover up your mistakes.
 




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