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Searching for a P90 guitar

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,053
I was very much ready to buy a Collings 290 in the future, but due to some various circumstances and bills, I've gotta drop my budget way down. I'm looking at options in the price range of $1k max.

My preference would be for a smaller-bodied, double cut, solid body guitar with P90s (or just one P90) and a wraparound bridge. I prefer fatter necks and I don't care for teles.

Anyone got opinions or experience on any of these? Or did I miss anything I should be considering?


1) Godin Core CT P90



+ wraparound bridge
+ 2 vol, 2 tone is always handy
+ looks beautiful
- single cut

2) Reverend Sensei 290



+ double cut
+ looks extremely nice
+ I've heard good things about Reverend's high pass / low pass tone knobs
+ offset body
- stop/TOM bridge is a bummer

3) Fender Mustang P90



+ double cut
+ offset body
- pretty sure the bolt neck, woods, bridge, etc. are gonna move this pretty far from that traditional "P90 guitar" sound I'm after?

4) Gibson SG Classic



+ double cut
+ IMO these are a killer bargain for the price
+ 2 vol, 2 tone
- stop/TOM bridge
- already have an SG and kinda wanna branch from that

5) Yamaha Revstar RS502



+ double cut
+ wraparound bridge
? the "dry switch" seems interesting

Runners up:
- Godin Icon 3. Looks rad, but it's a single cut with a stop/TOM bridge and I'd probably rework the switching.
- PRS SE Soapbar. Just a looks thing, I guess. I like the shorter, smaller bodies of the Revstar, Sensei, SG, etc.
- Epiphone 339 Pro. Stop/TOM bridge and it's not a solid body, but they're damn cheap right now and I kinda dig the tiny semi hollow look.
- Japanese clones of the Les Paul Junior and Les Paul Special. Found a few Edwards, Greco, etc. under $1k and they seem nice? They fit the bill features-wise, of course. I dunno.

Just looking for new suggestions and/or opinions of any of these.
 

cap10kirk

Member
Messages
8,821
If you can get an Edwards Junior within the budget you have, that is absolutely the route I'd go. I'd be buying an Edwards if I wasn't building my own Junior.
Out of what you posted though, I prefer the Reverend. Although I prefer the Sensei Jr over the 290. The bass contour gives some additional tonal variety you don't get from most P90 guitars. However, as you pointed out, it doesn't have a wraparound...having a TOM and stop bar would be a deal breaker for me, except the rest of the guitar is so good.
 

Matt117

Member
Messages
636
That godin is a great guitar.
When I had my p90 les Paul, it was more about having the Gibson gold top. But the godin at the store sounded and played better.
 

Tim Plains

Member
Messages
6,140
If you have another guitar(s), I would personally not settle and just wait until I had the funds to get the guitar I really wanted. Anytime I did settle for the cheaper alternative, I ended up selling it in order to get what I really wanted.

But from your list, I would go with the Gibson. SGs are awesome and nothing wrong with having two (or five).
 

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,053
If you have another guitar(s), I would personally not settle and just wait until I had the funds to get the guitar I really wanted.
I both understand and agree with this, and this is what I've done in the past, but my budget cut is more or less permanent. I won't be able to look at buying a more expensive guitar for years, and doing so would be unreasonable to pursue right now. Too many bills and too many real-world things to put money aside for.

So, let's consider the $1k budget to be the absolute max and push out any possibility of the Collings or similarly priced instruments!
 

Starshine

Member
Messages
998
I've been eyeing the Fender and the Yamaha lately, so those are my choices. If you want even cheaper, you can get a 2014 Les Paul Melody Maker used for around $400. Great guitars, great '59 type neck.
 

S1Player

Member
Messages
3,448
I'd pick my favorite partscaster body and a huge neck from Musikraft. Have them put P90 size holes in the body and you have everything customized to your preferences.
 
Messages
5,195
Of those options, I'd go for the Godin...

But my choice would be a Gibson Midtown. I owned one for a while and in the end once I realized I just didn't really jive with P90s, I still had to admit it was the best of the P90-equipped guitars I've owned over the years.

You can often find em at about $1K used so it's on the higher end of your spectrum, but (unlike many other Gibsons, in my opinion) they're 100% worth the price.
 

mikealpine

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,541
I own a Sensei RA, and would easily consider the Reverend. Played a Junior, it was really excellent. That being said, in a popular guitar forum, you'll many opinions. Perhaps you can buy from someone with a liberal return policy.
 

Steve Hotra

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
9,195
I think you have suggested some good options there.
However I went a different route for my first P90:
A PRS 277 SE baritone with soap bar pickups.
I didn't have a bass player at one of the Christmas Eve services I played at.
Using a baritone added a whole new dimension to playing Christmas music.
 

MangoMango

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
671
Reverend does P-90s very well.
I've owned many and still do. The Sensei is a great guitar but there are other P-90 solid bodies as well.
Not all double cuts however and no wrap around as I'm sure you know.
The Jetstream with 3 p-90s kicks major ass.
 
Last edited:

smcgov

Member
Messages
2,796
Not to state the obvious, but a wrap tail Jr should be easily available for your budget? I have two, a 2010 and a 2015 (gforce etc) that are both great sounding / playing guitars.
 

665

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
357
The Godin or the SG. Have you ruled out hollow bodied guitars? Epiphone Casinos are dirt cheap and easy to add better pickups. Hollow body and P-90's are a great combination for some people.
 

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,053
Not to state the obvious, but a wrap tail Jr should be easily available for your budget? I have two, a 2010 and a 2015 (gforce etc) that are both great sounding / playing guitars.
As far as I know, Gibson hasn't made a double cut Junior that wasn't a historic model in quite a long time, and the specials tend to be pretty underfeatured. The single cut Junior thing just doesn't appeal to me at all for some reason. Otherwise, the PRS SE One would have been on the list, too.
The Godin or the SG. Have you ruled out hollow bodied guitars? Epiphone Casinos are dirt cheap and easy to add better pickups. Hollow body and P-90's are a great combination for some people.
Hollow bodies with P90s are great, but it's just a totally different sound and feel. The Epi Casino is awesome, though, I agree with that. Almost bought a natural finished one some time ago.
 

Multicellular

Member
Messages
7,939
Those Godins are excellent. I also have a Reverend Sensei (with HBs) and a Warhawk with p90s, also great. Really only one on your list Id have a question about is the Fender. I have a Fender Jag special with p90s and it is the least p90ish of any of my p90 guitars.
 

Carbohydrates

Member
Messages
3,053
Those Godins are excellent. I also have a Reverend Sensei (with HBs) and a Warhawk with p90s, also great. Really only one on your list Id have a question about is the Fender. I have a Fender Jag special with p90s and it is the least p90ish of any of my p90 guitars.
That's exactly what I'd be worried about with that one. It's so far divorced from the set neck mahogany/limba/Spanish cedar/etc formula that I associate with a "p90 guitar" that I suspect it would end up not scratching the itch.
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,755
I would probably never buy a Fender with P90s, simply because that pickup is a Gibson invention and truth be told, they still make some of the best P90s out there. There are a lot of choices out there, so go play all those guitars you mentioned and decide.
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,126
The Godin has vol and tone for each pickup which is HUGE, imo. Anything with less and you are missing out on a ton of tonal options.
 






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