Les Paul w/ P90 PU's is WAY WAY Noisey

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by msrecprod, Jul 6, 2006.

  1. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    Ok, so I need some help. I have a Gibson Les Paul with Duncan Hot and Vintage P90's in it, as well as an upgraded RS wiring setup. My problem is that it's really noisey, to the point were I can't even play it. I'm thinking maybe some higher quality pickups, or something to that effect might help. Any advise!
     
  2. Calloway

    Calloway Supporting Member

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    Check out some P-90's that are hum cancelling, like Vintage Vibes or Lollars. I have stock Gibsons in my R6 and while I do have some hum, I generally get used to it and top noticing. Check out Vintage Vibes though, my friend Nate from Bumbox amps has them in a guitar and they sound incredible, and they cancel wonderfully in the middle position.
     
  3. shallbe

    shallbe Deputy Plankspanker Gold Supporting Member

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    I had the Duncan P-90 Hot and Custom Soapbar in a guitar once. WAY too noisy, plus they were flat sounding. I replaced them with Harmonic Design P-90's----incredible tone and quieter--not hum cancelling but the bothersome noise no longer got my attention. I've never heard any of the new hum-cancelling P-90s, so I can't comment. Once I heard the HD's, my search was over.
     
  4. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    So what would be the best P90's to go with for hard rock?
     
  5. Rusty G.

    Rusty G. Member

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    I took the Duncans out of my Hamer Special and installed two Lollars. What a world of improvement. Lollars can do hard rock easily!
     
  6. duckbunny

    duckbunny Supporting Member

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    Lace P-900.
    A true humbucking P-90. Looks like a P-90, sounds like a good P-90. Zero hum.
    Seriously.
    Why these things have flown under our radar for so long, I'll never know.
    I have them in one guitar, and everyone that plays it can't believe them. They think I've hidden something under the covers.


    -db
     
  7. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I have stock Gibsons in my Les Paul and they used to be noisy as hell, sensitive to every little electrical impluse: my hands, any appliance, computer monitor, preamps, anything with a current. But I love the tone of those pickups! I shielded the control and pickup cavities with shielding paint and it helped the hum level a lot. They will never be "quiet" pickups in anybody's dream, but they are considerably less noisy and much less sensitive to every stray electron in the room.

    FWIW I have not yet heard hum cancelling P-90-ish pickups that I have liked half as much as the real thing, noise and all. Fish swim, birds fly, P-90s hum.
     
  8. the_Chris

    the_Chris It's All Been Done Before Gold Supporting Member

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    +1. My R0 LP Special DC's stock pickups were fantastic (I didn't like the P100s). A little shielding can go a long way with those pups and I used an ISP Decimator to knock down some noise as well.

    I use and swear by Lollar P90s, but those stock Gibsons were great pickups. I wasn't very happy with Harmonic Design's stuff (I owned the S-90 bridge, Vintage + neck and Z-90 bridge). They were noiseless, but the extended frequencies didn't float my boat. They had a sterile, hi-fi thing going on that I couldn't dial out and I feel that the extended frequencies that they add don't quite, well, make them sound like a P90 (P90s are mid heavy, overwound single coils, change that and it's not a P90). Different strokes for different folks, but P90s with noise have been the only ones I've liked.
     
  9. MichaelK

    MichaelK Member

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    I don't know much about replacement P-90s because I've never been in the market for them. But before I pulled out the plastic for the LP I had played a sh*tload of guitars with their respective stock P-90s. The only ones I liked were Gibson and PRS. They had that deep butter-and-chocolate tone that just laid me out.

    All the other brands just sounded awful to me, not even "sort of OK." The worst were Hamer & Guild.

    At one point I was in a store that had both a brand new McCarty Soapbar Standard and a 57 or 58 LP Junior among the guitars I was checking out. I was surprised by how similar they sounded. The McSoap had the Junior's tone nailed to a "T." I don't know how representative either guitar was of the best of its kind, but I thought that was kinda interesting.
     
  10. Unburst

    Unburst Member

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    Lollars are hum cancelling?
    :confused:
     
  11. dudeunitx5000

    dudeunitx5000 Senior Member

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    Maybe you are playing with too much distortion. I have two guitars with P90s and have yet to have a problem with noise.
     
  12. riffpowers

    riffpowers Member

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    I've got a duncan custom p90 on my hamer korina jr and yes its noisy, but then again so are all P90 pickups!!Yes they get noisier the more gain you put on em too.My advice is to find the spot/playing position in the room where you get least noise and stay there!!
    Theres always hum cancelling P90's.I've got a set of p100's and despite what everyone else says they sound great.
     
  13. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I've got a set of 3 Vintage Vibe P90s in a guitar and they do sound great, but they are not hum cancelling, except in the combined positions. The noise was unacceptable to me, so I've got 3 DiMarzio noiseless P90s coming. We'll see how they sound - the reviews I've read have all been favorable.
     
  14. msrecprod

    msrecprod Member

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    what's the best way to add shielding to the guitar?
     
  15. Calloway

    Calloway Supporting Member

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    I really don't know, I haven't even heard them, just know their rep. on this board. If I was incorrect, sorry, my bad. The Vintage Vibes are hum cancelling and sound incredible! I bought a pair for my R6, but the cavity wasn't deep enough to put them in... bummer. They really do sound good!
     
  16. ScottB

    ScottB Gold Supporting Member

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    I shielded and grounded the insides of the pickup covers with copper foil on my P90's, worked great. Significantly less noise and no noticable tone loss.

    Buy new covers from WD Music or someplace, then you don't have to worry about screwing them up.
     
  17. mybusinessmy

    mybusinessmy Member

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    Just to clarify, Lollars are not hum cancelling. Nothing Jason makes is. They are RW/RP in combo.

    Hum cancelling pickups never sound as good as the real thing. However, Dimarzio seems to stay on the cutting edge of noiseless technology.
     
  18. mainsale

    mainsale Member

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    Shielding is good and Jason "Mr. P-90" Lollar is the way to go, but you've already heard that.
     
  19. JustAHack

    JustAHack Member

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    I used to have a mid-80s LP Special single cut w/P-100s. I replaced them with a Rio Grande Jazzbar/Bluesbar set, and the noise was horrible!!!! I played Strats before that, and I'm not talking about Strat-like hum. These pickups were unplayable. I even bought a noise gate, no real help. I literally threw them away, rather than sell them to somebody else.

    I replaced them with Lollars, which were WAY quieter. I think hot-wound P-90s are just noisy, period. And, that LP Special was just a noisy guitar. Even the Lollars had a little more noise than I expected - in that guitar. I sold the guitar.

    Since then, I've bought two more P-90 guitars - an LP Faded Doublecut, and a Custom Shop '54 Goldtop. Way different prices, but neither one are noisy. There 's some hum, of course. They're P-90s. But it's entirely manageable, NOTHING like the LP Special I had. The '54 has an RS Kit in it, great mod.

    Sorry to ramble, just telling my experiences with P-90s and noise. I think switching to P-90s that aren't overwound, like Lollars or Fralins or Gibsons, and doing some shielding, may solve your problem. Not playing around computers or TVs might also reveal the problem. You might also want to check the wiring current in your house, as it may be the culprit.

    Is the guitar always noisy, everywhere?
     
  20. WordMan

    WordMan Member

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    I have a '54 Custom Limited Edition Reissue from the 70's and it started off noisy when I first got it - inappropriate squealing/feedback unless I rolled the volume and/or treble off a lot - I like to roll the tone off a tad on a P-90 but this was too much.

    I posted here on TBP - look up "squeal" I would think - and a poster - maybe HHB? - and he told me to shove a hunk of foam rubber (the kind you might find in a seat cushion) underneath the P-90 - it was something Steve Morse told him to do.

    I did it - and never had a problem since then. It sounds great - standard P-90 hum but nothing outrageous.

    Easy to do, no mods to the guitar - go for it!
     

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