How important is F-spaced on a P90 style pickup?

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,870
So, I've been jonesing for a P90 style pickup for quite a while. But, the pickup I want (price) doesn't come in an F-spaced option. Am I going to be happy with the performance anyways, or should I go with a more vintage style F-spaced humbucker?

For record, I had an old Epi SG Goth with the Duncan Jazz/JB combo before and just did not like the tone at all. Looking for something warm and punchy, or maybe just something that's not the JB. Anyways, I know what pickups I'm going to decide between, just not sure how much the F-spaced matter.

Thanks everyone!
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
Honestly I think it's 95% or more cosmetics. Unless you set your pickups like 1/16" from the strings, the field should 'bloom' plenty enough.

F-spaced humbuckers didn't arrive until what, 1985 or so? Plenty of good music made with normal humbuckers in Fenders prior to that.

I buy F-spaced when I can, but I wouldn't let the lack of availability stop me if that was a situation in which I found myself.
 
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KGWagner

Member
Messages
3,243
I agree. It seems that side-to-side variations in string position have a lot less effect than distance from the face.
 

Mark Robinson

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
9,391
Don't really agree on P-90 pickups, they seem to be more sensitive to misalignment than humbuckers or Fender types, in my guitars anyway.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,483
Not important at all. I had 3 Gibson P90's on my strat for a long time. Loved it. When you think about it, Fender makes guitars with quite a variation in string width, but they don't make pickups for each width!
 

calfzilla

Cynical Hack
Messages
3,870
Not important at all. I had 3 Gibson P90's on my strat for a long time. Loved it. When you think about it, Fender makes guitars with quite a variation in string width, but they don't make pickups for each width!
is it just the angle of the picture, or are those pickups tilted at an angle in the pickguard?
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,483
Not sure as it's been a few years, but the pickups are likely level and are set low with the poles up a bit. I like P90's well away from the strings.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
Not sure as it's been a few years, but the pickups are likely level and are set low with the poles up a bit. I like P90's well away from the strings.

I think he means slanted - it looks a bit like they're slanted a little bit, with the bass sides closer to the bridge than the treble (IOW, the opposite of a Strat bridge pickup slant). Might just be parallax, though.
 

strumnhum

Senior Member
Messages
1,338
Don't think it would make a big difference. I replaced my Squier (avatar) pickguard with a loaded Fender Pickguard--the Fender pups are spaced wider, which I didn't consider when replacing. If you only heard it and didn't see it, you'd never know, so, while mine isn't P90's, still don't think you'll notice it.
 

AdmiralB

Member
Messages
3,060
If you think about it, Strat neck and middle pickups - especially neck - are nowhere close to lining up. But they seem to work just fine regardless.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,483
I think he means slanted - it looks a bit like they're slanted a little bit, with the bass sides closer to the bridge than the treble (IOW, the opposite of a Strat bridge pickup slant). Might just be parallax, though.
No, they were not slanted. Actually when I made the pickguard out of a S-S-S pickguard, I used one edge of the standard neck pickup for the P90 hole cutout.
 

Tone_Terrific

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
38,110
If the string is over the polepiece, you're good.
There are pups where you can hear the volume drop if you bend the strings to a between the pole position, though.
 

walterw

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
40,982
if the pickup is high and the polepieces are low/flush, i don't see it as a big deal. gibby-style pickups with the bar magnets on the bottom have a more diffuse field than fenders with individual alnico polepieces, and as i understand it even have a bulge in the field on the ends, enough to catch the E strings even if they overhang those screws a little.
 




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