how do P90s sound?

HK-47

Member
Messages
27
i know that a lot of people here love P90s, but unfortunately for me, i've never played a guitar equipped with one. can it do the sounds typically associated with strats, teles, LPs, or 335s? and does anyone have clips of how they sound clean and overdriven? thanks!
 

cvansickle

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
12,052
Give a listen to Carl Perkins on Sun Records, Leslie West with Mountain, or Paul Dean on Loverboy's first two albums (if you can stomach Mike Reno's singing!).

With each example above, you have very different musical genres and guitar styles. Yet in each, the guitarist is using a P90 equipped guitar.

To my ears, there is no "one" P90 sound. Quite the contrary, it's a versatile pickup in that it allows the true personality of the player to shine through.
 

HHB

Member
Messages
6,641
the solo in "I love Rock n Roll" by Joan Jett is a perfect example of the dogear P-90 into a brit style amp, down to the neck bend on the low E!
 

HK-47

Member
Messages
27
thanks for the responses! the clip above sounds like a "big" strat to me, which for me is a good thing. hmm... looks like i really need to try a P90 guitar one of these days...
 

jreardon

Member
Messages
411
HK-47 said:
thanks for the responses! the clip above sounds like a "big" strat to me, which for me is a good thing. hmm... looks like i really need to try a P90 guitar one of these days...
As a Strat user, big or fat Strat is perhaps the best way to look at it.
 

Dave Orban

Member
Messages
16,866
P90s have a certain note-by-note clarity to them -- call it single-coil zing -- that I don't typically find in humbuckers. They usually have a bit of edge-y grind to them when they're full-up, but clean-up extremely nicely when you roll-back the volume a bit. To me they bridge the best of a Fender-style single coil with the best of a PAF-style humbucker, and are very responsive to pick attack.

That said, I've owned many P90 guitars -- both vintage and new -- over the last couple of years, and no two have sounded alike. While they all share similar characteristics, P90s -- especially vintage ones -- can vary quite a bit.

Fralins and Lollars are my favorite contemporary P90s. They are typically brighter and more hi-fi than their vintage counterparts. Duncan antiquities are usually a bit closer to the "vintage" P90 style, IMO...

P90s can be found on records by Grant Green, early Burrell, some early Benson. Of course, there's the Leslie West sound and the Pete Townsend/"Live at Leeds" sound, but I think that they are only the tip of the P90 iceberg, and that there's much more versatility in a good P90 than anyone would be able to infer from "Mississippi Queen"...
 
S

Srini

Years ago, I owned a Valley Arts Larry Carlton signature model (#12 of 100, no less) with P-90s. I hated that guitar and eventually sold it. I didn't like the ultra thin neck, I didn't like the fretboard and, most of all, I did not like the tone at all. Now, I don't know if the P90s had everything to do with it, or perhaps the body/neck wood combo (mahogany/maple).

Ever since I've been soured on P90s, but it is very possible my opinions are colored by the whole experience.

Srini
 

Calloway

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,696
http://sombrabella.com/bumbox

I used my Les Paul Goldtop for some clips for my buddy Nate's amps as well as my standard. You can hear the two in comparison, personally I'm partial to the P-90 clips. I have since swapped out an Antiquity in the Standard for a 59 and it has changed the whole guitar all over again.
 

michael patrick

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,746
Lou Reed's live album "Rock and Roll Animal" with Steve Hunter and Dick Wagner is another fine example of P-90 tone.
 

Clorenzo

Member
Messages
1,930
A classic example is David Gilmour's solo in "Another brick in the wall II", which is the neck pu of his Les Paul Goldtop fed via a compressor directly to the multi-track and then played back through a Mesa combo. Gorgeous tone.
 
Messages
5,703
fender single coil PUPs - clean and bright w/ lots of twang potential.
gibson style HBs - thick sounding PUPs that drive amps into OD well.
P90s - PHAT! PHAT! PHAT! the clarity of single coils plus the potential to push the input section of an amp.
 

GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,820
Dave Orban said:
P90s have a certain note-by-note clarity to them -- call it single-coil zing -- that I don't typically find in humbuckers. They usually have a bit of edge-y grind to them when they're full-up, but clean-up extremely nicely when you roll-back the volume a bit. To me they bridge the best of a Fender-style single coil with the best of a PAF-style humbucker, and are very responsive to pick attack.

That said, I've owned many P90 guitars -- both vintage and new -- over the last couple of years, and no two have sounded alike. While they all share similar characteristics, P90s -- especially vintage ones -- can vary quite a bit.

Fralins and Lollars are my favorite contemporary P90s. They are typically brighter and more hi-fi than their vintage counterparts. Duncan antiquities are usually a bit closer to the "vintage" P90 style, IMO...

P90s can be found on records by Grant Green, early Burrell, some early Benson. Of course, there's the Leslie West sound and the Pete Townsend/"Live at Leeds" sound, but I think that they are only the tip of the P90 iceberg, and that there's much more versatility in a good P90 than anyone would be able to infer from "Mississippi Queen"...
Man, that Baker I got from you is fat, like 3 pounds of bacon sizzling.
:dude
 

Dave Orban

Member
Messages
16,866
GAT said:
Man, that Baker I got from you is fat, like 3 pounds of bacon sizzling.
:dude
Glad you're still enjoying it, Gil...!

Do let me know if you ever consider parting with it. ;)
 

GAT

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,820
I will, but I think this is a keeper, killer guitar.
 




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