New pickups: GFS Fat Pat and Mean-90

ninjaaron

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1,133


That there is a Dean EVO of some sort that I picked up used for $200 (cuz' cosmetic damage). The stock pickups were not the worst I've ever played... but they weren't great either I could never get them to cut through with a band. Even split (this guitar came with push-pull pots), the singles tended to get lost in the mix. Got some GFS pickups that sound better. Here are the manufacturer's pages for each:

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Alnico-Fat-Pat-Boutique-Humbucker-Black-Bridge-Position_p_77.html

http://www.guitarfetish.com/Mean-90...ico-P90-FAT-and-Loud-Neck-position_p_476.html

Anyway initial thoughts:

First off, I mostly play Strats and Teles, and I normally don't get along with LP-style guitars for whatever reason. Humbuckers + 24.75" scale tends to feel too muddy for me, especially in a band, so I don't have a good basis to compare with other LP-style guitars. My other two main guitars are both 25.5" with maple necks and bright pickups. That's what I like. Still, figured I ought to get this one usable.

Fat Pat:

Series - They market this like a slightly hotter vintage-style pickup, but to me, it is much more like a shredder-style sound, kinda like the JB, Tone Zone, or Super Distortion, though not quite as hot. It does have Alnico V magnets, like a JB, so it does have a little of a vintage vibe in terms of feel and response, but to me, a good "vintage" style humbucker has a little of the sparkly high end. This is pretty rolled off at the very top. But, that's what I wanted. I asked the rep what he would recommend that was similar to a JB, and he pointed me to this. Compared to the JB, it's not quite as hot, it doesn't have as pronounced of an upper mid hump. I'd say it has an overall very smooth, "balanced" kind of sound, with a little more emphasis in the lower mids. I would like it with maybe a tad more definition, but I raised it it pretty close to the strings, and it's getting there. My plan is to use this mostly for "singing leads."

Split - I really like this split. It's a hot humbucker in the first place, so it splits pretty well. It's got a little more sparkle than my tele bridge (which is actually a split Tone Zone T, most of the time), but not as much twang. It reminds me more of my strat bridge, but also less twang and a little more body. I guess this is because it's the slug coil, which is farther from the bridge, and it's a 24.75" scale. It's good that I like it, because that will probably be my go-to setting for crunchy rhythm, which I what I'm playing most of the time. Pretty excited to try it out on Sunday (I'm a churchy player).

Mean 90

Marketed as a fat, loud, hum-sized P-90. I don't have much experience with P-90s, but I always liked the idea of it, and I wanted something that could come close to matching the output of the Fat Pat. This has a much lower DC resistance than the Fat Pat, but it is loud nonetheless and matches well with the Fat Pat. In terms of tone, well... It's like the top end of a smoother single coil with almost as much bottom as a humbucker -- and all the frequencies in between. Hi-Fi cleans and fat and bluesy dirty. It's a great pickup.
 
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guitararmy

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2,705
That's a great looking guitar. Thanks for the tone report...I'll keep those pu's in mind next time I'm looking for a change.
 

ninjaaron

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1,133
Just used it at church. It was great! Exactly what I was hoping for! Very ballsy, cut through well. The P-90 thing really hits the spot for pairing with a humbucker in the bridge.
 
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MattC

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,580
I threw Mean 90s in my 2015 Gibson Midtown Standard and wow, they sound great. Nobody who hears them in person can believe that they're $35 pickups. The guitar sounds awesome, especially when I kick my Fulldrive on the clean channel of my DSL40CST. Great jangly crunch.
 

Da Geezer

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,040
Just used it at church. It was great! Exactly what I was hoping for! Very ballsy, cut through well. The P-90 thing really hits the spot for pairing with a humbucker in the bridge.
Mean 90 is a favorite of mine

So, how was the noise/hum from the M90? Was there any hum cancelling at all in the middle position?

I've always been interested in using the M90 with a 'bucker, but need the hum canceling mid position

TIA, G
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
7,626
"It's like the top end of a smoother single coil with almost as much bottom as a humbucker -- and all the frequencies in between. Hi-Fi cleans and fat and bluesy dirty. It's a great pickup."
Good description of the Mean 90. It is an exceptional pickup.
They are fairly quiet hum-wise due to the shielding of the metal cover.
 

ninjaaron

Member
Messages
1,133
I threw Mean 90s in my 2015 Gibson Midtown Standard and wow, they sound great. Nobody who hears them in person can believe that they're $35 pickups. The guitar sounds awesome, especially when I kick my Fulldrive on the clean channel of my DSL40CST. Great jangly crunch.
Yeah. I'd love to try a Mean 90 in the bridge, too. I kind of want to get a super strat one of these days, and I might move the Fat Pat in there, and get another Mean 90 for this guitar.
 

ninjaaron

Member
Messages
1,133
Mean 90 is a favorite of mine

So, how was the noise/hum from the M90? Was there any hum cancelling at all in the middle position?

I've always been interested in using the M90 with a 'bucker, but need the hum canceling mid position

TIA, G
When the bridge is split, there is hum cancelling.

Even though it looks like a black plastic cover on mine, it's actually painted metal, so it's shielded.

But, I use a noise gate, so I wouldn't notice the hum much. I can at least say that it's quiter than my tele, but whatever (my Strat has Zex Coils, which are absolutely silent, as far as my ears can tell).
 

Starshine

Member
Messages
963
I put a Mean 90 in the bridge and a Surf 90 in the neck of an Ibanez semi hollow I have. Wish I had gotten the Mean 90 for both positions. The Surf 90 is fine, kind of like a Strat neck pickup, but overall kind of blah. The Mean 90, on the other hand, is aggressive and fat. Such a great value.
 

geodr

Member
Messages
1,446
Yeah. I'd love to try a Mean 90 in the bridge, too. I kind of want to get a super strat one of these days, and I might move the Fat Pat in there, and get another Mean 90 for this guitar.
Do it! Mean 90 bridge is great!
 




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