P-90s do you like em?

SoPhx

Member
Messages
714
Absolutely---been using them since 1974. I have 6 guitars of various types with P90s. But I have come to the conclusion that they don't sound very good in maple top or maple body guitars. I think mahogany + P90 is the ticket.
 

billyguitar

Member
Messages
5,954
Don't forget many classic jazz cuts were done with an archtop with a P90. Almost all Gibson lap steels after WW2 had one P90. Great pickups. I find a way to use about all of the different types of pickups, they still sound like me!
 

jgyn

Member
Messages
5,663
Like them, use them with my current band (LP Special), but can't say I like them better than HB or Fender single coil.
 

9fingers

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
8,427
I have a older (USA) Reverend Slingshot with 3 P-90s. I liked then pretty well but then added a Suhr (Ilitch) hum cancellaing back plate (works perfect with P-90s for hum free operation even in bad-hum rooms), a treble bleed on the volume control, and added a bass contour (bass cut) control. I can do anything with that guitar now, from full on P-90 growl & scream, to silky single coil sounds and quack tones, to nice thick jazzy tones.
 

WordMan

Wax Rhapsodic
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
10,837
I’m not hearing the High E should I heighten that pole?

I missed this on Page 1. In my experience, P-90’s are super, super responsive/sensitive to height adjustments - across poles on a pickup AND for each pickup’s height relative to the strings - to find both the best tone *and* to balance out volumes between bridge and neck. I am not aware of hard and fast rules. But getting a Neck pickup’s height correct to get that super-versatile tone while not over-powering the bridge pickup is worth investing your time to get right on your guitar. A twist or two up or down on a pole piece or overall Treble or Bass height can change *everything*.
 
Messages
373
Absolutely---been using them since 1974. I have 6 guitars of various types with P90s. But I have come to the conclusion that they don't sound very good in maple top or maple body guitars. I think mahogany + P90 is the ticket.
I'd be curious to know more. What is it that you notice happens with Maple top + P90s? I'm looking at a few P90 guitars, so this might help me out if you'd share your insights
 

haslar

Member
Messages
2,016
Like the sound of them but every time I’m playing a guitar with them I’m also reminded why humbuckers were invented.

Exactly. Also, I think that a PAF-type pickup sounds rather close to a P90, when played in a band context.
Actually, in context my R8 sounds similar to my '58 Junior, so much so that they're pretty much interchangeable.
I find the P90 hum rather annoying, though.
 
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datguytim

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,915
After around 35 years of playing humbuckers exclusively, I discovered p90s & now gravitate toward them. The articulation and crunch is so good. '57 Junior dogear & '54 Black Beauty, & 2 p90 Special get most of my time. To combat the hum, I had an Illich System put in my '54 BB RI and I gotta say - it works wonders! Eliminates around 93% of the hum & keeps the sound & response identical (to me).
 

SoPhx

Member
Messages
714
I'd be curious to know more. What is it that you notice happens with Maple top + P90s? I'm looking at a few P90 guitars, so this might help me out if you'd share your insights

I have had a few P90 goldtops ('68 'deluxe', R6, etc) and have a hard time taming the high end. A2, A6, overwound pickups, 50s P90s and harness, it's hard to get rid of it. Never had a problem with mahogany guitars---they seem to balance out the highs a bit. I play pretty clean so it's not masked by a lot of gain.
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,381
I love them for both clean and raunchy high gain. They are noisy but have a definite hairy character that makes them great for blues and gut bucket rock. I have several guitars with them...

2017 Gibson ES Les Paul VOS
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Reverend Warhawk 390
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Steinberger Spirit GT Pro with GFS Dream 90s and TruTube middle
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Ibanez Artcore AFS75T with Harmonic Design Z90s
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InkStained

Member
Messages
4,181
The only P90s I have at the moment are the Gibson P90s with alnico magnet poles in my 2014 Les Paul Melody Maker.

They're great; they cut through just a tad better compared to normal P90s but still find plenty of body and warmth as you turn up the volume on a good amp. And they're insane with a fuzz face or a Rat-type distortion.


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Messages
1,418
Had a bit of a false start with P90s as I picked up a Hamer XT Special Jr which had a single dog ear P90, it was nicely built but the pickup just didn't have enough detail when overdriven for my liking so a friend bought it off of me. Then I happened across this SG Classic and couldn't turn it down.

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I restrung it yesterday for use with another band I'm in and I always forget just how great of a sound it is, like a more middly, weighty Telecaster with just a bit of top end knocked off. It has this 'bubbly' quality when overdriven that I can't quite describe, other than it sounds extremely cool and very different to all my other guitars.

It goes all the way up to old school thrash metal too, especially with a RAT style pedal pushing the front of a Bassman/Plexi/800-style circuit. Sure it's a little bit noisy but that slightly unhinged edge is what makes it sound more interesting to my ears than modern metal guitar sounds.
 
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Messages
2,528
I’m going to try to lower the P90s a bit on my LP. The problem I have is that when I roll back the volume, they get anemic and muddy. Or, perhaps they are already too low then?
 
Messages
767
Got this beautiful Reverend Club King 290 last week ... my first guitar with P90s (well, not Gibson originals, but Reverend’s take on P90 style soapbar PUs). Loving it so far :love:

 




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