Lets try this again....P90 recommendations

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by dazco, Jul 19, 2015.

  1. BoogieManSC

    BoogieManSC Supporting Member

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    Sweet, please report back on the Wolfetones! (I'm the guy who tried/changed SD's, Lollars and stuck with the Fralins)....I've been very curious about the Wolfies and would love to hear your opinion. Tone Report, Please!!
     
  2. stratter

    stratter Member

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    Not trying to be a gibson fanboy here, but I've only used P-90's once or twice, and my friend has a guitar he fitted with gibson P-90's. (http://store.gibson.com/p-90-single-coil-with-soapbar-cover/)

    I thought they sounded pretty damn good for P-90's.

    I've heard Lollar is pretty good too.

    Side note: P-90's are very bright. They're more used for some sort of overdrive, and my strat is my go-to for clean tones.

    Just my opinion, don't flame me.
     
  3. Sensates

    Sensates Member

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    To my ears, I prefer Lollars over Wolfetones. They seem to clean up better, sounds clear and sparkly, have the just right amount of treble, yet I have no problem turning them up for Metal. But I'm the guy who never likes a hot, angry P90.
     
  4. tamader74

    tamader74 Member

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    This may sound kinda' weird, but as far as looking for/wanting a great P-90 sound/tone without spending a Kings ransom, and still getting a set of great P-90 pups...I have a set of GFS Surf '90s in my '97 Guild Bluesbird and they Kick some serious P-90 Butt, everything you would want in a P-90,...from Vintage to current genres of Music.

    I have a Friend who has at least 4 Strat.'s that are anywhere from a American Standard, up to a Strat. Select that all have GFS pups in them, and I was shocked to find that this 'tone snob' would even think of using anything 'priced' at where GFS pups are priced at (he does have 3 other Strat.'s with higher $$$ pups in them, and the only reason they haven't been swapped out is he is keeping those guitars stock),...

    ...then another Buddy has a Guild Bluesbird that he put P-90s in, and they sounded awesome and when I asked just what pups he had put in it when he pulled the HB's, he told me GFS Surf '90s...I was Floored!!!,...anywho, my '97 Bluesbird came with P-90s (Guild offered the BB with P-90s in '97),...and now sport these Surf '90 pups...proudly,...

    ...I also have a set (Neck and Middle anyway) of GFS Staggered '64s in my '05 American Standard Purple 'Survivor' Strat., along with a SD '59 HB in the bridge, this guitar has 'Vintage' wiring (switch) in it and 500K pots...by having it wired this way I get ALL the full sound/tone from each individual pup, makes you love the Middle, and all the 'Fat' from the Bridge HB, at least it don't cost nothing to check out the reviews on them, Good Luck in your search. Tom
     
  5. Madguitrst

    Madguitrst Member

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    I think you're right.

    Yes, this is what I have, and suggest.
    I bought from http://www.vintagevibeguitars.com/pickup_sc.html
     
  6. dazco

    dazco Member

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    Actually, he wasn't right and i already knew that but i left it at that till now. I can tell what it is thats needed after doing this for 40 years, trust me. And i knew it was the pickups. If you didn't read the thread you missed my post where i mentioned just having done a swap and it now sounds much better. The neck mags haven't been changed but they will soon enough.
     
  7. captainironmax

    captainironmax Member

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    http://www.tonefordays.com/
    I have JS Moore 5% underwound in my LP Special DC....... I almost can't put that guitar down. It sounds amazing. Especially the neck p/u.
     
  8. zguitar71

    zguitar71 Supporting Member

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    Whatch this:


    Listen to the pickups and to what they have to say about small winders.

    Watch this:


    Check out the time they put into the pickups that the big companies do not spend. If you want good tone find one of these guys and go for it. In the end Tyson's prices are not that much more than lollar PUs. Btw I have the standard lollar P90s and have the same issues you have. I am probably going to get the Tyson PUs after a few more paychecks.
     
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  9. dazco

    dazco Member

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    I put nearly no stock in video demos, but i must say the tyson neck p90 sure sounds a lot like what i'm after. I have A3 mags on the way that are going in the neck P90, but if they don't cut it i may try a Tyson. Clean it sounds nice without that upper mid spike that kills clean tones in the gibsons. anyone use these in the neck, and which model?
     
    Little Robert likes this.
  10. teleman1

    teleman1 Supporting Member

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    Sometimes I think tubes and pickups give us the same hassles. But, Tubes are easy to change out, pickups aren't. And everyone can point at where to go for your PU sound, but in the end, its like tubes, sometimes you have to roll some to know some.
     
  11. frankie5fingers

    frankie5fingers Member

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    Nope, never done that. If I wanted to (and I have) really dial down the output, I used an all A2 configuration. Sound wise I imagine it'd be kind of weak but then again, I never did it so I couldn't say.
    Concerning brands and the endless stream of possible recommendations, I'll leave that to whomever cares to post a preference. IME, the Lollars are quite bright in a heavier solid body, bright but kind of woody in a chambered or semi-hollow body, when cranked. At lower volumes they clean up nicely in both applications but lose a little more girth (who the hell says that?) in the solid body at lower volumes. The Lollars also impart a kind of "sweetness" to the tone - I believe to be unique to them because every one I've heard, whether in mine or someone who installed them, all had that same round and sweet overall dimension added. I won't claim a golden ear that'll always pick them out but they are distinctively different than any other I've tried. That said, while they are a great pickup, they're just too clean and clear and they aren't for me in most applications but... I really like one in the neck when paired with a Special T in a Tele.
    The Meaners (never tried Mean or Meanest) from Wolfetone are the grittiest of all I've tried at any volume and in any application but I found 'em slightly thin at low volumes. Not enough to complain about though - they're my favorite bridge BTW.
    I didn't care for noiseless Fralins in any of the guitars; I found them too "narrow", neither treble-y nor bass-y, kind of like a recording of a P90 if that makes any sense. I didn't care for the Rio Grande Bluesbars. I found those too hard-edged.
    I did like the Vintage Vibe P90s - especially when mixing magnets. They aren't a particularly high output pickup but they hold together at any volume and the A2/A5 combination keeps a fairly hard edge cranked and a nice - mellow but not muddy - lower volume tone. My favorite neck, along with late '60s Gibsons - but I have no idea what magnets are in those - they came from an SG.
    In the grand scheme of things, and after trying maybe 12-15 different P90s (including those mentioned), I've settled on the idea that at least for that pickup, with a few exceptions, the differences are subtle and that it's more about what I do with the amp and effects if any, than whose P90 I use (not saying there weren't some stinkers but no point in mentioning those).
    Don't know if that helps but after almost 50 years of play, I tend to sniff fewer corks and go right to emptying the bottle.
     
    Last edited: Jul 21, 2015
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  12. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    I've tried only Gibson and Fralin. Gibson sounds more aggressive but still very usable, both very nice options.
     
  13. 73Fender

    73Fender Member

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    I liked that pickup shoot out. Those guys are ok. But they say to call up the winder and describe what you're after, I'd have no idea of the tone speak to get that done. The 50s Lollars sounded cool, I'd have to write down the video times of the various pickups and go back and forth for a good comparison.
     
  14. dazco

    dazco Member

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    As an update, i now have i believe 2 A2's in the bridge and 2 A3's in the neck. World of difference. Now the thing sounds much wider and useful when clean and the distortion is better too. I guess the typical P90 thing just ain't my thing. Too middy/beamy, like a tall nasty mid peak. Great for raunch, not great for versatility. But amazing what a mag swap can do. This is the second time i resurrected what i knew was a great a guitar with a cheap mag swap. This should be the first thing to try whenever the stock pickups aren't doing it for you. Of course some you can't like tele/strat pickups. But HB's and P90's can be changed radically. Putting A5'sin place of the A2's in my santana SE was a god send. So much cheaper and easier than buying a selling a bunch of aftermarket pups and taking a $20-50 loss on each one.
     
  15. kiwicanuck

    kiwicanuck Member

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    These are great. A bit pricey, but the sweetness and chime is awesome.

     
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  16. saf_1

    saf_1 Member

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    Wolfetone K-90's (Special wind for Kauer Guitars - basically his Mean/Meaner set, with a slightly underwound neck). Just installed a set in an R6 Goldtop. Best sounding P-90's I've ever played/owned. Started a thread on here (just slightly prior to this one), raving about their virtues, but it keeps getting buried. Anyway, VERY highly recommended. Check this out on YouTube:
     
  17. Dale

    Dale Member

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    Harmonic Design ... sounds like your description in most ways.

    http://www.harmonicdesign.net/allpages/gibsons.html
     
  18. dazco

    dazco Member

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    LOL! You aren't going to believe this, but the one replacement i tried was exactly that...harmonic design ! Didn't do it for me at all so i sold them to a member here.
     
  19. guitarnut_1

    guitarnut_1 Member

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    this is one of the best P90s demos I've seen on the web.....
     
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  20. JPF

    JPF Member

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