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P100s/ES-135 questions or alternatives

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Woody Duke, May 7, 2008.

  1. Woody Duke

    Woody Duke Member

    May 5, 2008
    Fullerton, CA
    I've been thinking about an ES-135 with P-100s as a more affordable alternative to the ES-330 with P-90s that I played back in the day.
    What's your take on the P-100s? How about a lower-priced alternative (red, hollow, P-90, single cut)?
    Thanks for your expertise,

  2. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

    Apr 22, 2005
    North NJ
    The ES135 is incredible for the money. I have the EXACT guitar that you're describing.

    The P100s are awful. It's a mystery how a pickup can sound so flat and so thin at the same time. Lifeless.

    Get a nice used ES135, and throw some Fralins, or Lollars, in there. Make sure they're calibrated to give the bridge a bit more oomph, and the neck a bit more clarity.

    PM sent.
  3. Jahn

    Jahn Listens to Johnny Marr, plays like John Denver Supporting Member

    Feb 27, 2007
    I put Harmonic Design Z90s in my ES135. Really transformed that guitar, sounded great, and no hum either!
  4. ahab

    ahab Member

    Jun 5, 2005
    Yup. The P-100's are one of the worst sounding pickups that I have ever heard. Toss a set of P-90's in there and you have a winner.
  5. utterhack

    utterhack Member

    Feb 5, 2006
    SF: Mission
    That's just silly. The P100 is a perfectly nice stacked humbucker and sounds great through a nicely cookin' amp - with slightly different settings (EQ and volume) than you'd use for a P90.

    The perfectly-goodness of the P100 notwithstanding, I agree with this completely :)
  6. henry_lee

    henry_lee Member

    Apr 22, 2008
    Hi there -

    I have two ES-135's. Both came with P-100's which I swapped for Gibson P-90's. I HIGHLY recommend the swap. P-90's get this guitar where it should be tonally. Perhaps one with '57's if you're into humbuckers.

    I use one in standard tuning and the other as a backup / open D blues or slide tuning. They are awesome live guitars. Honestly, after owning countless guitars over the years, the ES-135 seems to be the best of all worlds for me.
    Sound, tone, feel, playability, fit, finish. The whole nine yards. I have Bigsbys on both of mine too.

    Try looking for a few of them to test out. My two are pretty close tonally, however the older one (1990) resonates more like a normal hollow body since the center block doesn't touch the back as much. So it can howl and moan in a REALLY cool way when cranked up.

    If I had the time, money and space, I'd pick up a 3rd / blonde one too!:Devil

  7. WaysideRickNJ

    WaysideRickNJ Member

    Aug 28, 2007
    Madison, NJ
    +1 on the Lollars - I have a '91 135 with Lollar P90's, and the thing screams...I love it. knocked my other guitars aside and became my #1 immediately after the pickup change.
  8. Catoogie

    Catoogie Senior Member

    Feb 13, 2008
    A well-known pickup designer designed the P-100's and if I'm not wrong he posted on here at one point about them.

    If someone can find that post, I'll count the seconds before the previous naysayers retract their previous assertions that P100's...

  9. sickboy79

    sickboy79 Member

    Aug 17, 2006
    ES-135s are fantastic guitars. I've had one for about 6+ years now and it's one of my favorites. Personally, I think P-100s get a bad rap because a lot of folks think they are suppossed to be a hum canceling P-90 - but, they aren't. I'm a true P-90 addict - hands down my favorite pickups for my tones. I think P-100s have some of the qualities of a P-90 - but sound different. They have that piano like bottom and and midrange quality like a P-90 - but, then have their own thing going on. It's almost like a humbucker/P-90 setup.I like them for what they are.

    Back to the 135 - highly recommended! And heck - you can always stick a great set of P-90s in it if you like!
  10. Cottage

    Cottage Member

    Jan 5, 2006
    Edmonton, Alberta
    I picked one up in a trade about three months ago and swapped in a Gibson P90 in the neck and a SD Hot P90 in the bridge. This guitar just sounds great through my Top Hat. Its quickly becoming my #1. I also found that I prefer the trapeze tailpiece to the stud--that surprized me. Its sounds much more lively that way.

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