New to P-90's but falling so hard

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by Pastafarian, Mar 29, 2020.

  1. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

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    I have never owned a guitar with P-90's up until I recently got a killer deal on a Hagstrom XL2-P. I am completely blown away at the tone and feel of these pickups when run through my DRRI or and pretty much any low gain amp I have.

    Problem is I am really big on versatility in all the gear I own and these pickups can't do anything well above medium gain tones but man do they do low/medium gain better than anything I have.

    I can play on this thing for hours just yanking chords over and over but once I get into high gain territory it falls apart even on a super clean amp or VST.

    Are there any P-90's that can get into hard rock/metal territory without sounding loose and/or muddy? I have seen that Seymour Duncan makes some P-90's and that is my favorite brand of pickups for the major manufacturers but I am open to other suggestions.
     
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  2. eddie knuckles

    eddie knuckles Member

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    Mine work by pulling back on the pickup volume for clean tone, and full on for snarl. I use a volume pedal on the floor for overall control and a pedalboard for fuzz, modulation, etc..
     
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  3. JoePerkinsMusic

    JoePerkinsMusic Member

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    Amazing pickups. Just put a Monty's '54 into my LP Junior - fabulous sounding thing. For me, P90s take gain very well - though they'll need to be wax potted to take lots of it, which the Monty's isn't. But...yeah, super-versatile p'ups when you get your head around them. For heavier tones, I'd recommend getting to know the guitar's tone control to scythe off a bit of the sparkly high end - P90s are very responsive to knob adjustments, so there's a lot of nuances to be found and rolling off some highs can really help give them a softer sound.
     
  4. Kurt L

    Kurt L Member

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    As you’ve discovered, P-90s ARE versatile. That doesn’t mean they’re great for everything, and it sounds like you want one to behave like a medium-to-high output humbucker.

    I don’t think you’ll find that... and if you do, that pickup won’t do what you like from your current pickups. My advice is don’t try to make it something it’s not.

    I’ve had several Hamers with Seymour Duncan P-90s, which were fairly hot. They distorted well, but to my ear sounded best with the volume pot rolled back some. And even set wide open, I wouldn’t use those guitars for metal. Rock yes, metal no.
     
  5. monty

    monty Member

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    Have to agree with this. P90s are versatile enough for pretty much any style of music but some pups just work better for some styles of music. I can get funky with P90s but for pure Chic tones I'd rather be playing a Strat.
     
  6. paddywhack

    paddywhack Silver Supporting Member

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    I have had some great P-90’s over the years....my new fave is the Budz Deep Dish P-90....solid pole....touchy as all get out and Dave will wind em to your preferences in terms of how hot you want em....highly recommended....
     
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  7. Fuzzr

    Fuzzr Supporting Member

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    P-90’s don’t do Metal or Shred, but they do Rock and just about anything below that.
     
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  8. whateverdude

    whateverdude Silver Supporting Member

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    I love P-90’s with fuzz, for stoner rock tonez.
     
  9. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

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    One thing that did just come to my mind is I have an original SD pickup booster. I always have left the toggle switch in the middle 0 position but I remember reading that in mode 1 or 2 they supposedly make a single coil sound more like a humbucker. I think it's time to un-retire it and see if that gets me closer for when I want a HB sound.
     
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  10. Purple_Plexi

    Purple_Plexi Member

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    This.
     
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  11. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

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    P-90s are my favorite pickups. Period. I can do anything with them. I can easily get hard rock tones with them (GnR, The Cult, Buckcherry). If you need more, adjust your amp to get the goods. Probably not the best choice for "modern" metal tones.
     
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  12. Dan R.

    Dan R. Supporting Member

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    I have a Greco DC junior that I purchased from a member here on TGP. It was great when I got it, but after installing a Mojoaxe tailpiece and upgraded grover tuners - this thing is an absolute beast. Love p90s...esp just one!
     
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  13. deepcove17

    deepcove17 Supporting Member

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    I use a Wolfetone Meaner P90 for Heavy rock.....it is awesome.
     
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  14. Mincer

    Mincer Member

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    The switch essentially lowers the resonant frequency of the pickup to sound more like a humbucker. I think it works really well for that.
     
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  15. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

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    Well I did find at least a short term solution. The Line6 distortion in my HX effects doesn't seem to care if I am using singles or humbuckers. I dont do a lot of heavy stuff but now I at least have an option that sounds good.
     
  16. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

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    Yep I went and used it along with a heavy distortion in my HX effects. Sounds pretty good for heavy stuff.
     
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  17. your name here

    your name here Supporting Member

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    I’ve never gotten along with them. Right in the middle between regular single coils and humbuckers, and not as satisfying as either.

    Not enough twang, not enough fatness/crunch. They’re pretty much a fail in my book. I keep trying guitars with ‘em though. Haha. Maybe one day, one will change my mind. Next up will be wraptail w/P90’s. Probably an R4.
     
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  18. Lamby

    Lamby Member

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    Bare Knuckle Supermassive P90s are great for heavy rock. I also have some Lollar P90s that love some gain too.
     
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  19. Pastafarian

    Pastafarian Member

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    Just read the description on their site. Seems like a no brainer.
     
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  20. jvin248

    jvin248 Member

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    .

    If struggling with muddiness, don't try the SDs as the tend toward "warm" in much of their products.

    Lower the P90s you have, raise their screw poles 1/8th inch and adjust the amp knobs. A series cap works on them just like muddy humbuckers so try that next, in series with the pickup hot lead wherever easiest to mount like a the switch (start with 0.047uF, then try 0.033uF for an angrier tone). It will cut the mud and give you more clarity.

    P90s are what humbuckers wished they could be, and can do everything and more ... just don't stop playing or turn the volume knob off when you do as the 60hz is there. You should also shield the guitar, make sure shielded cable goes to the jack, and you can even line the inside of the pickup covers with shielding tape and run a tab out to ground (just make really sure you are careful and don't nick the bobbin wires).

    .
     
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