How different are Mini-HBs to P90s?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by carltonh, Jun 10, 2005.


  1. carltonh

    carltonh Member

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    I've played P90s but not minihumbuckers. I hear them both described as a cross between a standard humbucker and a Fender type single coil. So how different are Mini-HBs than P90s?

    I know P90s are rarely humcancelling, but there is probably a reason that P90s are more popular than mHBs.
     
  2. dzeitlin

    dzeitlin Member

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    IMHO, mini hums sound closer to a humbucker than a P90. Minis don't have the top end of a P90, and have an overall tighter sound.
     
  3. MCG

    MCG Member

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    I agree with the above, and will add that P90's have more of a midrange growl.

    MCG
     
  4. erksin

    erksin Member

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    Well, you don't see many minis because they were originally on guitars that weren't hugely popular at the time (Firebirds, LP Deluxes, the original Epiphones they debuted on). I think Gibson decided thay people didn't like them based on sales, so they kind of faded away for awhile.

    The minis are clearer in the mids, and have more top and bottom end. They do sound more humbuckery, and don't drive your input as hard as a P-90 does. They share a similar 'throatiness' in the neck position, but the bridge units are pretty different sounding with the mini sounding much brighter and thinner.
     
  5. Riscchip

    Riscchip Member

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    I'm one of those few who like mini humbuckers better. Unless we're talking about Pete Townsend...that's a P90 sound I can dig. Then again, he sounds great with mini-hums, too. Okay, getting off track here... :p

    They sound a lot different, actually. P90s seem more to-the-point, focused, loud and without a lot of openness. Mini-humbuckers are more mellow, open sounding with less, but more detailed, high end. That's how I hear it anyway.
     
  6. erksin

    erksin Member

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    I like both equally, in fact my '78 LP Deluxe is my main guitar closely followed by a Tele with Z-90s (not a true P-90 of course, but in the neighborhood IMO)...
     
  7. paulg

    paulg Supporting Member

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    Three? Don't forget the Firebird Mini is very different than a mini mini. To me a mini sounds like a small HB. A firebird sounds like a humbacking fender pup. And a P-90 sounds like a huge Tele. My 2 cents
     
  8. John Phillips

    John Phillips Member

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    That's how I hear it too. I have directly compared them in the same guitar (without even changing the strings ;)) - a LP Deluxe.

    The mini-HBs were brighter, contrary to what is often said - the top end was clearer and more detailed, and a little metallic-sounding. They have less guts in the midrange, and are 'cleaner' and more chimey, whereas the P90 is rougher and more raw.

    Of the two, I would have said the mini-HB was the one that sounded closer to a Fender-style single-coil - really quite like a Tele, both neck and bridge; jangly and cutting. The P90s were somehow more 'Gibson' sounding, thicker and more woody, despite being more focused than a normal humbucker.
     
  9. erksin

    erksin Member

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    That's how I hear them too...

    Kind of funny to be able to get Tele-ish tones out of a LP, but they're in there. A great example of that particular tone is 'Who Are You?' - Pete got some really jangly tones on that album.
     

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