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Lets try this again....P90 recommendations

dazco

Member
Messages
14,890
I tried to ask this before but i just got tons of replies telling me what to do to make the P90's in my LP Jr special work for me. Please please please lets not go there. I know every imaginable way to do that and none of them work for me...EQ's, treble bleed (every imaginable cap/resistor/circuit) tried with no treble bleed, 500k and 250k pots....everything. So please keep it to pickups that will do what i need over the stock gibsons.

Ok, so this is my dilemma. The stocks sound pretty good on 10 with gain. My biggest problem with them is cleaner tones, especially those that are distorted amp, guitar turned down to clean up. And those inbetween amounts of gain. The problem i have there is the tone when clean loses a LOT of treble and bass and is left with nasally mids. again, please no advice on how to remedy that. The problem is they just have what seems to be a very narrow frequency width when cleaner like running a graphic and taking everything from the highest treble band and everyone after that down to about 2 or 3k down maybe 6 DB and doing the same to the bass end up to to about 200Hz. You just have this narrow nasally thing happening.

So what i want is a more full range P90 especially when turned down. I'd especially like to hear from anyone who felt the same as i do and found thier solution in a different P90. For tone reference i play a variety of things centered around classic rock/blues and not a shredder. I'm an old guy who's into classic tones touching on modern slightly high gain at times. Mainly using a degree of gain that cleans up almost completely on about 5.
 

RJLII

Member
Messages
10,332
I'm afraid what you're describing is simply the nature of the pickup/amp relationship. When you use the guitar volume to dial back from crunchy to clean you don't just lower the signal, you lose some of the important parts of the signal. This is what prompts folks to add treble bleeds, etc.. I'd offer the same as Rick51. Call or email Jason Lollar and/or Lindy Fralin. Both these guys have it figured out. They may suggest a coil tapped P90 that will give a switchable high/low output scenario. That would behave much differently that loading it down with a volume pot.
 

Phillip_H

Member
Messages
3,522
Lollar makes my favorite P90s. I really like the '50s neck with the overwound bridge. I have those in a '90s LP Special and they freaking kill. Clean tones, distortion, heavy gain, whatever.
 

logdrum

Member
Messages
2,116
Lollar because that's what the internet says but Gibsons are actually good and so are TV Jones. I put back the Gibsons in my Gibson after putting the Lollars. On my Godin I have the TV Jones but did not mind the sound of the Seymour Duncans in it. They were just so hot that it felt like like you had a OD pedal in the guitar. I had the pickups as low as they can get and were still hot, but they sounded good even though SD is not the top of the list for P90s. The TV Jones is really awesome on the Godin. I may revisit the Lollars some day but they too polite then.
 

27sauce

Member
Messages
36,426
^^^but do they retain their tone with the volume rolled down?

I'm not optimistic about your search, OP.
 

73Fender

Member
Messages
3,980
No expert but I swapped some very hot Duncan's for Wolfetone mean and meaners in a Hamer Special and was thrilled very vintage sounding if that makes sense. He has a good rep too. Sounds like Lollar is a go to as well. I have stock Gibson's in two guitar and I like them pretty well.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,890
I just tried what i've been meaning to since last time i asked...mag swap. I never got around to it but figured i may as well. Unfortunately the only magnets i had were not labels and i *think* i know what they are but i'm unsure. One i'm pretty sure is a A4 and the other i think A2. I just figured anythings gotta be better. And it was. Much nicer tone all around. I will experiment further tho with some who's type i know. I'm thinking maybe one stock A5 and a A2. On the other hand, what i really would like is more of that fender style wide response and chime i get from A3 fender single coils so maybe i'll try that. in any case i think this is the answer. I'll have to wait till another day tho....it's utterly unbearably humid today and just doing that swap made it necassary to take a shower !
 

BoogieManSC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,727
Had the Lollars...way too tame. Fralins are it for me...they have a much nicer growl but so articulate...and clean up gorgeously w/the volume knob
 

Tony Bones

Member
Messages
1,214
Recently I've tried Lollar 50's wind, SD Antiquities, and Fralin with 15% underwound neck. The Antiquities are the most organic, but they can also be a little fussy. At l least on the one guitar I tried them in (Guild Bluesbird, sort of a chambered Leslie Paul type thing) I found that sometimes the bass could be a little boomy and too loose. Might work better in other guitars. ( I have other P90 guitars. What's stopping me?) Overall, a super satisfying pickup. The Fralins on the other hand are a little less organic, very slightly less sexy, but more balanced and easier for me to get along with. The Lollars really don't do much for me. They're very artiiculate, and way better than the overwound SD's that were in there, but they don't make me want to keep playing like the Fralins or Antiquities.

I also ordered some Wolfetones about six weeks ago, but they haven't shown up. I guess I should give him a call.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,438
I'm afraid what you're describing is simply the nature of the pickup/amp relationship. When you use the guitar volume to dial back from crunchy to clean you don't just lower the signal, you lose some of the important parts of the signal. This is what prompts folks to add treble bleeds, etc..
This is true of passive controls directly loading the pickup. But what about active?

Just as an experiment, have you tried an active volume pedal, or a passive volume pedal placed after another pedal that has a buffered output?

I only suggest this because you said you do like the sound of the stock pickups turned all the way up. Using an active preamp may be a way to be able to keep that.
 

doc

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,205
I'm not sure a different P90 pickup will fix this for you. Have you considered adding a clean onboard preamp? It would change the tone some, but would prevent some of the loading problem that changes the EQ as you turn down. I considered not posting this as this type response is exactly the type advice you said you didn't want, but I'm not sure what you want is really possible.
 
Messages
1,871
I just tried what i've been meaning to since last time i asked...mag swap. ...I'm thinking maybe one stock A5 and a A2.
Like so many others, I've tried all the usual suspects and some unusual ones as well. I have a half dozen P90 equipped guitars, 2 pickup, 3 pickup and an LP Jr. What I've found as the best P90 scenario is what you've done. I use an A2 and A5, or an A3/A5 combination, using the weaker of the two on the bridge side (although I don't think it makes any difference). The combo of A2/A5 gives me the sweetness of the A2 while keeping the output where it should be - no spikes but enough treble when rolling the volume down. I haven't experimented with "types" of magnets - that is; sand cast, degaussed etc., but there may be something to that as well. My advice, FWIW, would be to buy a bunch of magnets to try before going through the range of P90 winders.
 

kracdown

Custom User Title
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,981
Wolfetone.... Nails the classic tone better than the Fralins, Lollars, or anything else I've tried. I think the historic gibsons are pretty good too... I like antiquity's a lot but have only used their neck pickup.
 

dazco

Member
Messages
14,890
Like so many others, I've tried all the usual suspects and some unusual ones as well. I have a half dozen P90 equipped guitars, 2 pickup, 3 pickup and an LP Jr. What I've found as the best P90 scenario is what you've done. I use an A2 and A5, or an A3/A5 combination, using the weaker of the two on the bridge side (although I don't think it makes any difference). The combo of A2/A5 gives me the sweetness of the A2 while keeping the output where it should be - no spikes but enough treble when rolling the volume down. I haven't experimented with "types" of magnets - that is; sand cast, degaussed etc., but there may be something to that as well. My advice, FWIW, would be to buy a bunch of magnets to try before going through the range of P90 winders.
Good to hear other experiences with this. I will be trying a few, but just as it is now it not only sounds better when i turn down, but wow....the tone on 10 is much better ! It;s grittier but at the same time tighter and really smooth feeling. I think it may be a keeper as is, but i've got get the neck right and thats gonna be tough i think. I want that mellow clean tone but with crisp attach and still be able to get that hollow tuby OD lead tone. On this guitar i tend to use the bridge more so i was most concerned with that, but then if the neck sounded how i want i'd use that a lot more. Heres a thought i just had....i wonder what a P90 would sound like if you only use one magnet. Ever tried that?
 

Deed_Poll

Member
Messages
3,088
Volume pedal. They are active, so won't change the signal other than reducing the amplitude. This in turn won't drive your amp as hard and you'll have the cleans you want.

As far as great P90s that clean up well on the volume pot, I can't recommend BareKnuckle Mississippi Queens and SuperMassive P90s enough. I haven't played a Stockholm but I bet they are also superb.
 




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