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P90s: Staple vs Pole?

bikeracr

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,059
I'm thinking of dipping my toe in the P90 pool soon. I'm curious how the version with stapes sounds compared to the version with the pole pieces. The staple looks cool, but tone is what matters.
 

cvansickle

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
11,995
Some years ago, I played a reissue of an LP Custom that had a staple neck pickup. That guitar yielded the best woman tone I ever heard. I wish I had bought it.
 

TB72

Member
Messages
1,443
While their footprint is the same (meaning they fit in the same sized cavity), the P90 and the Alnico 5 Staple are different sounding pickups.

The staple has a sound that could be described as a more hi-fi version of a P90...a bit more clarity and high end sparkle. This makes it a nice option for the neck position...balances nice with a traditional P90 in the bridge position.
 

big mike

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,552
Completely depends on the staple pole. There are/were a few on the market. Some are meant to emulate the early Gibson pickup, some aren’t.

my favorite currently easily available p90s are the wolfetone mean/meaner set and the Wagner g90s both have regular screw head poles.

the Thorn GT90s are my fav all time but aren’t available right now. While being a staple pole it was not a Gibson clone, it has a huge tone that responds well to volume control and picking changes, plenty of horsepower.

The Lollar staples are nice but closer to a mild mannered Underwound tone
 

zombiwoof

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,820
You might as well throw into the mix the Gibson P90S pickups, which have Alnico rod magnet poles. I would assume they would be somewhere in the middle tone-wise between a standard P90 and a Alnico Staple pickup.
Al
 

Benz2112

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,942
You might as well throw into the mix the Gibson P90S pickups, which have Alnico rod magnet poles. I would assume they would be somewhere in the middle tone-wise between a standard P90 and a Alnico Staple pickup.
Al
Love these, like beefy strat pickups.
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,152
The staple pickup is really its own thing, it's not a pickup that I'd consider if I want a P90 tone. To me, it sounds closer to the Dynasonics that old Gretsch guitars had than it does to a P90. Also, the staple is a very tall pickup (or at least it is if you get something that is made like the original Gibson pickup), and will require routing to fit in most P90 cavities.

IMO, if you want a P90, get a P90. The staple pickup won't scratch that itch...and neither will the rod magnet P90S pickup that Gibson made in recent years.
 

AaeCee

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
18,213
Some years ago, I played a reissue of an LP Custom that had a staple neck pickup. That guitar yielded the best woman tone I ever heard. I wish I had bought it.
I have one of those. Best damn LP on the planet.

For tones, the staple is full and punchy and great for the neck, but I like the standard P90 in the bridge. It cuts better and has a bit more bite, which of course is why that combination used like that works so well.
 

Zexcoil

Vendor
Messages
5,687
The pole piece is really the single most defining aspect of any pickup.

People talk about "Humbuckers versus Single Coils",

when really the conversation should be "Steel Pole Pickups versus AlNiCo Pole Pickups".
 

macmax77

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
12,633
Completely depends on the staple pole. There are/were a few on the market. Some are meant to emulate the early Gibson pickup, some aren’t.

my favorite currently easily available p90s are the wolfetone mean/meaner set and the Wagner g90s both have regular screw head poles.

the Thorn GT90s are my fav all time but aren’t available right now. While being a staple pole it was not a Gibson clone, it has a huge tone that responds well to volume control and picking changes, plenty of horsepower.

The Lollar staples are nice but closer to a mild mannered Underwound tone

yes!
 

Yamaha 350

Member
Messages
6,932
So know we are thinking a staple sounds different than a pole? I wonder what is next? Block inlays create tone along with that 1 screw that is gold plated news at Eleven.

 

big mike

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
12,552
It makes a huge difference
Mass, shape, magnetic effect on the string
 
Last edited:

Tony Done

Member
Messages
5,938
Incorrect. The Gibson staples have adjustment screws for each pole (staple).
Thanks, I hadn't realised that, the Lollars I looked at seemed to be fixed, or at least doesn't have adjustment screws on the top.. The Seymour Duncan version also has adjustment screws. - Given these differences, I would be checking the type of staple pickup if I was interested in that option.
 

edward

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
4,441
Keep in mind that the Gibson and Seymour Staple pups require a deep route because they are adjustable, deeper than the standard Gibby P90/bucker route, IIRC, but someone please correct me if I'm wrong.

My R4 has the stock P90s that I dig, but try as I may (height, pole adjustments, 50s wiring, treble bleed circuits), I just couldn't get the neck to get thin and clear enough for my liking, but I resigned myself to it well enough. Then on a whim tried the Lollar Staple in the neck: bam! It retains 90% of the Gibby's tonal character, dynamcs, and raw bark when at 10, but without the bottom-end woofiness, and notes are clearer, especially more defined when playing chords. All good, to be sure! But the real benefit is when I roll back the vol knob and this staple cleans up better then the Gibby, thinning out nicely and maintaining all that P90 chime. It is just what I wanted in a P90 neck tone. Keep in mind that if one does not care for the Gibby P90 tone, don't buy the Lollar staple because it really is like a close cousin; but if you like the general timbre and dynamics of the stock Gib P90 but want more clarity and definition, especially when rolling back the vol, I think the Lollar staple is the perfect solution for the right neck P90.

That said, I have no desire to try the staple in the bridge position as the Gib P90 truly excels there. So like all things "tone," ymmv.

Edward
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,152
So know we are thinking a staple sounds different than a pole? I wonder what is next? Block inlays create tone along with that 1 screw that is gold plated news at Eleven.


If serious, it absolutely does sound different. Look up the Gibson staple pickup, since you obviously don't know what we're discussing.
 

Rotten

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,184
Is the staple less loud than the P-90? I play 175s with P-90s and would like to try a staple in the neck. However, the bridge pickup currently is not as loud as the neck due to the string vibrations. I wouldn't want the staple to overpower.
 




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