P-90's: Love the sound HATE the hum!

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by JoeinLA, Aug 14, 2006.

  1. JoeinLA

    JoeinLA Member

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    Any suggestions? The thick creaminess is amazing, but god dammit that hum drives me CRAZY.

    I know you can't get away from the hum if you keep P-90's, but are there any suggestions for replacement pickups that sound somewhat similar?

    Or is it the nature of the beast - get a good noise gate or something.
     
  2. suhr_rodney

    suhr_rodney Supporting Member

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    Have a beer, chill and hang out while waiting for the Suhr BPSSC tuned for P90s.... :)
     
  3. Joe M

    Joe M Member

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    JoeinLA,
    With all due respect, every time I read about anybody complaining about the hum from P90's or single coils, the only thing I can say is that you sure can't hear it (the hum) when you're playing. I agree that if you're a studio musician the hum is something you can do without, but in any gig situation, or even if you just play at home, once you hit that first note or chord, you can't even begin to hear the hum....of course this is all MHO and YMMV and all that other disclosure stuff....;)
     
  4. T. Caster

    T. Caster Member

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  5. JoeinLA

    JoeinLA Member

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    Well I'm don't gig (at least not yet I hope!), but when practicing at home, the hum is really annoying. Perhaps I should just learn to use the volume knob more :p Tho when practicing, it's just another thing to think about. Would still love to get rid of the hum :)
     
  6. jmadill

    jmadill Gold Supporting Member

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    Like was said before, you can't hear the hum while you are playing ...

    On the other hand, you can hear it when you are not playing.

    Then again, if you get a set that are reverse wound, reverse polarity (RWRP) like the Lollars, the middle position (both pickups) is silent as it uses the paired pickups as a giant humbucker. This also produces an out of phase sound, similar to a 5 way Strat set in either the 2nd or the 4th position.

    If the pickups are not RWRP, then you get twice as much hum in the center position.

    If the guitar is properly shielded in the pickup cavities and the control cavity, then there is much less hum as well.

    All of this being said, I happily accept the hum in exchange for the single-coil goodness I get from my P90s. They are fuller, richer, less compressed and more dynamic than anything you can get from a hum canceling design, IMO. YMMV.

    BTW, I also have a guitar setup with the previously mentioned Z90s, and they are RWRP. Although NOT a P90 clone, they are excellent pickups and I most likely will not be without a guitar that has them. I think I actually prefer them to P90s, but they mount in a humbucker mount and are not a direct replacement for p90s.

    Electro Harmonix have just announced a device called the "HumDebugger" which alleges to remove hum without losing any of the tone. If it is as described, I'll be having one of those as soon as they are available.

    Here's a link to a video that demos the HumDebugger.

    -jm
     
  7. WordMan

    WordMan Member

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    Honestly? Choose your poison.

    Playing solidbody electrics through an amp is - like I assume it is for playing pretty much any instrument - a question of compromise. Do you want tone or versatility/convenience?

    What's better for you - a true P-90 tone where you have to roll off the volume between songs - or if you have a 2-pickup git, just have one rolled off and toggle to the quiet one - or a Compromise P-90 where you get quiet performance but the tone ain't 100%? And don't tell me that there are noiseless P-90's - they may sound great for what they are, but they aren't P-90's - let's not kid ourselves. If you are happy with how they sound - many are - then great, but don't claim they have that P-90 sound.

    my $.02
    Same thing with tube amps that have a Master Volume - some sound amazing, but dialing down the MV means by definition that you have altered the essential tone. If it works for you - great, but acknowledge it can't sound the same.
     
  8. walpow

    walpow Guest

    Two words: ISP Decimator.
     
  9. Mr.Hanky

    Mr.Hanky Supporting Member

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    Mine don't bother me that much, like was said get Lollar's reverse wound, at least you can flip the toggle during breaks.
    I gig mine with no problems, once the drummer comes in it's all good.
     
  10. Colt14jr

    Colt14jr Member

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    Just installed a new set of Seymour Duncan P90 Stacks in my LP Goldtop. Great P90 sound w/ no hum.
     
  11. MusicGearGuys

    MusicGearGuys Member

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    I also like the Duncan STK's hum canceling P90's.
    They are darker than a standard P90 though, which I like for Jazz and sultry blues.

    Gregory
     
  12. Dave Orban

    Dave Orban Gold Supporting Member

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    I sometimes use a volume pedal so I can mitigate the between-song hum.

    But most of the time, I just "grin and bear it", because P90s are what I play. ;)
     
  13. eric102673

    eric102673 Member

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    Waaah waah waah...

    I'd rather have all the tone and a little hum between songs than the alternatives. Hell, for my part I can't for the life of me figure out why folks even mention it, other than in extreme circumstances.

    On the other hand I've never heard a single P-90 wannabe (that was stacked or otherwise rendered hum-free) that gives the unrestricted response and interaction of a P-90. You either get all of the signal from a real P-90 or you get an altered version that makes efforts to stop the hum, but it's that unrestricted signal that makes the P-90 so great. The non-hum versions are always going to be less great. It's either one or the other.


    -e.
    :crazy
     
  14. Mickey Shane

    Mickey Shane Silver Supporting Member

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    Trying standing so that your p90 guitar is at 90 degrees to your amplifier. It gets pretty quiet. If you need to walk to the amp and tweak a knob, spin the guitar volume down to zero first. Then, of course, remember to turn the volume back up.:)
     
  15. billyguitar

    billyguitar Member

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    There's always a null spot you can stand in if you're waiting for the drum count. For the a guy at home a CRT computer monitor or Television set will also make a lot of hum. I had a Les Paul that came with P-100s. they didn't sound good so I got some Fralin P-90s and they are reverse would so they don't hun in the middle position, as someone else already mentioned.
    I'd have to here the Dehumbugger to hear if it affects the tone. At worst case it might help in really bad places like clubs with too many dimmers.
     
  16. Dan Desy

    Dan Desy Supporting Member

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    Exactly!
    And when you're not playing, turn down the volume, or switch to the middle position.
     
  17. walpow

    walpow Guest

    Slight hijack of thread:

    Eric, what about P90s (with no anti-hum stuff) in a humbucker size? Any you can recommend? I just ordered one of those Oscar Schmidt OE30s (they're down to 99 bucks at MF) and will want to put P90s in it.

    Thanks,
    Nathan
     
  18. BIGGERSTAFF

    BIGGERSTAFF Member

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    I've heard really good things about the Fralin P92s.
     
  19. enharmonic

    enharmonic Old Growth Gold Supporting Member

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    I have them (Fralin P-92's) in my Delia. They are the truth.
     
  20. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I had a great set of 3 Vintage Vibe Guitars P90s, and while they sounded great, I couldn't stand the buzz/hum either, so I sold them and got a set of 3 DiMarzios... Virtual P90 DP-169 (neck & middle) and DLX-90 DP-164 (bridge). I lowered them quite a bit and they sound just as good as the VVG P90s and other P90s I've heard, but as they say, virtually noise free.

    I'm very happy now, and I don't care what anyone says about them not sounding like 'real' P90s - I know what I hear and what I like and I'm very happy. Besides, there's no one single P90 sound. Just variations on a theme, like with all pickups.

    Same with Strat pickups - I've got DiMarzios... Area 61 (neck), Area 58 (middle), 54 (bridge). Dead quiet and Strat sounds all the way.
     

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