I like these GFS Mean and Dream 90's, but...

dazco

Member
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15,063
....I'm puzzled that so many seem to find they sound like P90's ! Granted, the PRS 24.5" scale santana I put them in (mean bridge, dream neck) is a very fat dark guitar to begin with, but the gibson P90's in my special by comparison are like razor blades to the GFS's smooth PAF sound ! Of course the guitars make a big difference. But I'm pretty sure as different as these are from the gibson it can't be all the guitar. These just don't sound anything like a P90 to me. But i have seen a ton of people here over the years say they do.

Anyways, they ARE good sounding pickups. To my ear they sound like a real clean PAF sound more than the single coils that they are. My only thought is the chrome cover must have a lot to do with that. But knowing what they surely look like under that cover i'm sure they'd look horrible w/o.

But no problem, i like them more than anything i've had in it so far which includes dimarzio 36th's, a duncan hybrid 59/custom, and a couple others. They really sound much clearer than anything else i tried except the 35th's, tho i like these much better because the only reason the 36th's sounded as clear or clearer maybe is they were thin and bright sounding. These sound much fuller and clean up better. They also don't buzz near as much as my gibson P90's, again probably the cover. By the way, some say the dream sounds worlds different. Being in the neck with the mean in the bridge i can't really compare too accurately, but they sure don't seem much different considering the typical neck vs bridge difference in tone. Sounds to me like if i put the dream in the bridge it would likely be close.

So a definite good deal for the money to be sure, but a P90 sound? I think not. Just a clear chimey PAF sorta sound, at least in this dark guitar. What do those of you who have them think? By the way, they look great in my SE. Adds a really classy look.
 

archey

Member
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6,390
I have tried a few different gfs pickups. None of them really impressed me to much. In my experience they are kind of sterile sounding.
 

dazco

Member
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15,063
True, but I didn't post about OTHER gfs pickups, and these are said by many to be the exception with more than a few reviews preferring them over like pickups by some boutique guys. You can't judge the entire line by the few you try. No doubt at all these are good subject to individual taste of course, but they are certainly not sterile.
 

archey

Member
Messages
6,390
True, but I didn't post about OTHER gfs pickups, and these are said by many to be the exception with more than a few reviews preferring them over like pickups by some boutique guys. You can't judge the entire line by the few you try. No doubt at all these are good subject to individual taste of course, but they are certainly not sterile.
Good point. Maybe I will give em a whirl!
 

Starshine

Member
Messages
993
I have a 12 string with a Dream in the neck and a Mean in the bridge. The Dream sounds nice, but definitely not P90. I like the Mean a lot more and think it does get more into that P90 territory. I'd love to try a couple of Mean 90s in a 6 string some day.
 

Polynitro

Member
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23,616
wait if they sound like a PAF then they must sound like a p90 because those sound the same.
 

dazco

Member
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15,063
I have a 12 string with a Dream in the neck and a Mean in the bridge. The Dream sounds nice, but definitely not P90. I like the Mean a lot more and think it does get more into that P90 territory. I'd love to try a couple of Mean 90s in a 6 string some day.
Actually, you hit on a thought I've been having all nite as i play these things. I wonder whether i;'d prefer a mean in the neck also. I have a 10 day return option which will cost me probably 1/2 the cost of the pickup in shipping. But I may consider doing that, sending the dram back for a neck model of the mean. Anyone else who's used these have an opinion on that?
 

Polynitro

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23,616
Are you serious? Because the P90's in my gibson sound about as much like a PAF as a strat sounds like a LP !
have you ever done a blind test? nobody can pick out which is a p90 or PAF because they sound almost exactly the same.
eric johnson might be able to though
 

Glenharris1971

Silver Supporting Member
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174
I've had both (bought because of the rave reviews) and they were just meh....Worse than the 490R and 500T they replaced.
 

dazco

Member
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15,063
have you ever done a blind test? nobody can pick out which is a p90 or PAF because they sound almost exactly the same.
eric johnson might be able to though
I'm dead serious....the PAF's i've used are so different than my P90's i doubt i can think of another pair of pickups that are more different ! Why is it that theres a line of people around the block 10 fold here at TGP that are always talking about how P90's are unlike anything else and blew them away saying things like "where have these been all my life", "rude", "cutting", "nasty" etc, and such? They cite them as being very different and special than anything, never a mention of how they sound like PAF's. If they did why would anyone want them when PAF's are quiet?! There are uncountable threads like that thru the years here, so no disrespect intended, but i have no idea how you can say that.
 

dazco

Member
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15,063
Wow, these are indeed better than i thought and more like P90's than i've been saying. Funny how much difference adjustment can make, but i tried lower, higher to no avail. Then i remembered the trick with P90's of raising the polepieces to get a more single coil tone. I raised all of them maybe 3-4 turns then lowered the entire pickups so the distance between the stings and poles was the same as before. Night and day. they now sound a lot more like P90's but they sound much fuller when you roll back the volume. Now i don't just like them, the guitar is transformed. It's exactly what i was hoping for when i bought these. And to think, how many people tossed thm because they didn't cut it. They are now just sweet as hell when rolled back and they cut like a knife when on 10. Love this ! Not bad for $77 shipped for both. :aok
 

geodr

Member
Messages
1,446
So I have a Fralin P-92 in the neck of my Tele with a Blues Special in the bridge, 4 way wiring, sounds pretty good, but sometimes I think the P-92 is too polite. Would a Mean 90 be any different?
 

Jon Silberman

10Q Jerry & Dickey
Silver Supporting Member
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42,309
I disagree. The Dream 90s are nothing like real P90s nor are they intended to be. The Mean 90's do.
 

dazco

Member
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15,063
Thats basically what i meant, the mean 90. But still don't feel it's total P90, but much closer since i raised the poles. i do however feel the dream is fairly similar, it's now as different as some say from what i can tell. i may have to try it in the bridge one day just to see.
 

tikabear

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
387
I installed Mean 90's in my SE Bernie Marsden which is also 24.5" scale, I believe. They are better sounding to me than the SD Phat Cats and are half the cost.
 

Polynitro

Member
Messages
23,616
its true for some reason p90s like to be raised really high.

i think overwound p90s sound mean and barky and very mid heavy but low wind, not so much.

didnt seth lover design the paf to sound exactly like p90s though?
 

dazco

Member
Messages
15,063
its true for some reason p90s like to be raised really high.

i think overwound p90s sound mean and barky and very mid heavy but low wind, not so much.

didnt seth lover design the paf to sound exactly like p90s though?
Thats not what i meant. I raised the polepeieces about 1/16" or so above the cover. Then i lowered the entire pickup so the poles were at the same distance from the strings as before. Just raising the whole pickup didn't do anything but make it hotter and muddier.
 






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