P90s: 2 or 3 of them in a guitar?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Jim S, Jun 21, 2006.


  1. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    I'm thinking of ordering a Tele-body style guitar with P90s, either 2 or 3. (Probably redwood top on alder; bolt on neck;a maple or rosewood fingerboard.) I still might opt for two humbuckers.

    If I get 3 P90s, will I get decent in-between strat position 2 & 4 sounds or something different and remote from that tone? Is it 'overkill' and should I just go with two P90s?

    I have limited experience with P90 guitars: my Les Paul '54 Custom Reissue is the only one. I had a recent Gibson LP special with 2 P100s and that was lame and I sold it.

    Thanks!
     
  2. AaeCee

    AaeCee Member

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    IMO, of course...DEFINITELY 2! That middle position is the sweetest and by far my favorite, and can't be had with 3 pups...unless someone knows some wiring wizardry to get there. So those stratty 2 and 4 positions be dammed...2 P-90s middle position rules! AC
     
  3. Macaroni

    Macaroni Member

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    I just got a new 3 x P90 guitar, and it can easily be wired to get 7 tones - the 5 classic positions, plus neck + bridge, and all 3 together. You just wire the tone control as a push/pull, which when pulled up, engages the neck pickup, when you are on the bridge position or the bridge + middle. Lots of people do this with their Strats too. The inbetween positions are similar to a Strat and very useful.

    You can have it all! ;)
     
  4. floobeedust

    floobeedust Member

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    Check out an extraordinary guitar a Yamaha TVL signature model which is a 335 style with 3 P90's and the toggle switching option. Very well made guitar with top shelf killer tones....blues freaks will wet their pants.
     
  5. Eric Pykala

    Eric Pykala Member

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    Hey Splatt, where did you find the chrome P90 covers? sorry to derail, but I've been looking...-Eric
     
  6. gtrplayer23

    gtrplayer23 Member

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    :drool:drool:drool:drool:drool:drool:drool
     
  7. zappafrank

    zappafrank Member

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    Howdy---I had an ES-5 copy w/ 3 p90's---no switching, just blending w/ volume pots---a LOT of tones in there!--it was wired so that when all 3 vol. were all the way up, it was a very THIN, nasally tone---cool for the T-Bone thing---I sold it a couple weeks ago, but still have two 2p90 guitars--56' LP RI, and a 63' ES-330---blues machines in every way, if that's yer bag! (It's mine--)

    here's my friend and mentor Little Charlie Baty (I've actually sat in quite a few times w/ the Nighcats---God/Buddha help me!!!) with his very cool 3-p90 solid body---splatt---that is a BEAUTIFUL work of art there!!

    http://www.mvbs.org/tlcharlie450.jpg

    have fun---whichever route you go!

    ac
     
  8. Chiba

    Chiba Gold Supporting Member

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    They both have positives to them.

    With 2 P-90s you get simple, classic switching (one, the other, or both) and tones.

    With 3 P-90s you have to learn your switching, but you get access to more variations in tone.

    Personally, what I would do is pretty simple. Put the bridge & neck pickups on a Tele-style 3-way switch, then put the middle pickup on either an on/off toggle or a push-pull pot. That way I can use the "classic" P-90 setup most of the time and add in that middle pickup whenever I wanted to. I've done this on a few guitars, and usually got the best results with having the bridge pickup be the RWRP one in the bunch.

    --chiba
     
  9. Clorenzo

    Clorenzo Member

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    That's a very sensible option, or if you happen not to like/use one of the "quack" positions, with a Superswitch you can easily replace that one with Neck + Bridge. That's exactly what I did in my Strat-Tele hybrid with 3 s/c's: N, N+M, M, N+B (instead of M+B), B.
     
  10. atquinn

    atquinn Supporting Member

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    I've had guitar with 2 P90's and 3 P90's and they were all great (I'm a P90 fan). If you're looking for a basic rock/blues guitar, I'd just go for 2 P90's. However, the "strat" positions on a 3P90 guitar are great, so if you like the those positions, you won't be dissapointed with 3P90's.

    I don't have a 3P90 guitar now (just 2 P90's and a P90-P90-Hum), but when I get another one, I'll wire it like Clorenzo suggested since I like the neck-bridge combo more than the bridge-middle combo.

    -Austin
     
  11. Tinman

    Tinman Member

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    I have lots of guitars and my clear favorite, the one I use 95% of the time has 3 P90s. You can cover SO much ground with a guitar like that. I agree with others that the Oak-Grigsby Superswitch is the way to go. The middle position gives you the bridge and neck in parallel. I put the alnico pole piece Fralins in the middle and neck positions for a touch more clarity and brightness. Go for 3. It only adds to the guitars versatility.
     
  12. mavrick10_2000

    mavrick10_2000 Member

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    I tested out a Hamer Monaco elite yesterday and it was sweet with 3 P-90's. Definitely some different but useful tonal options. I really loved this guitar, but I'm going to wait until next year.
     
  13. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    :) Thanks guys/gals! I could see the switch wired for my tastes
    1. N
    2. N + M
    3. N + B
    4. M + B
    5. B
    or something like that.
     
  14. Strung Up

    Strung Up Member

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    You can get the middle postion by using a 5-way and a blender pot: switch to 1 or 5, and blend in the other.

    That said, I have 3 strats w/ 3 P90s, and while I do like the 2 and 4 (not-quite stratty, but in the neighborhood), and the middle alone is pretty rockin', and they just look cooler, at this point, I'm more annoyed by all that 'soap' under my fingers for fingers or pick&fingers.

    I'd say go 2.
     
  15. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    To contradict my last post, 2 P90swould be fine as well since I can get the stratty tones with my two SSS and one HSH guitars.*


    *'62 Relic & two Sadowsky seen in link to pic below
     
  16. Jim S

    Jim S Silver Supporting Member Supporting Member

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    Middle P90 sound clip c/o Lollars website http://www.lollarguitars.com/mp3/P90_MIDDLE.mp3

    I don't know if he means middle position of the pup selector for the 'Tele' sound or a middle P90 pickup of a three pup guitar. It sounds like the former to me with two P90s combined.


    -
     

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