Some P-90 and P-100 questions

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Jack Dotson, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    I recently purchased a Gibson LP Jr and LP Jr Special. The Jr has the single dog ear P-90 and the Sp has P-100's. These are the first guitars I've ever owned with either of these pick-up's so I'm in unchartered territory.

    My questions have to do with proper set-up. The P-100's pole pieces are all screwed down fully and flush with the pick-up cover, but the P-90's are staggered at different heights. The P-100's have adjustment screws which enable me to raise and lower the height of the entire pick-up while the P-90 if affixed to the body and the only way to raise or lower is via the adjustable pole pieces.

    I'm guessing he P-100's will need to be adjusted like a tradition HB without messing with the poles. If this is correct, what would be a general height adjustment from the top of the poles on the high and low E's to the bottom of the strings?

    Same question for the P-90's, but should all pole pieces be the equal distance or different? If different could someone give me some general guidance? The previous owner had them all set equal distance from for each pole with about 1/32" clearance with the strings depressed at the last fret.

    Once again I'm hoping you guys can help.

    Thanks.
     
  2. TonyD

    TonyD Member

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    With the dog ears you can only adjust the pole pieces so find what your ear likes as far a balance.

    With the P-100's, PP in, PP out, PU treble up-bass down.
    Experiment and find what you like.
     
  3. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    i would suggest the staggering should be to get the string-to-string balance right, and the overall height set to get the output and tone where you want it.

    on the soapbar, try the D pole a little higher than the rest (maybe one turn), with the rest flush and adjust the whole pickup fairly close to the strings. (the plastic cover over the bobbin keeps the actual coil kinda far away from the strings even when it's brought up close.)

    on the dog-ear, since you can't adjust the pickup itself without shimming the whole thing up, try bringing the D pole up close and the rest a little further away.

    check things by plugging into a totally clean amp and comparing the volume of each string, and adjusting the poles accordingly.

    usually on plain G string sets the Es and the B are loud, the D is weak, and the others are in between.

    the pattern should be sorta like this.
    [​IMG]
     
  4. garretrevels

    garretrevels Member

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    This may be a stupid question, but how would one tell (other than sound of course) the difference between a P100 & a P90??

    I recently bought a '57 Reissue Epiphone Jr, that I knew came stock with a P100, however to me it sounds like a P90 and given the other "player" mods it has had done to it, I'd assume it would be.....a P90.

    Is there a easy way to look and see to be sure?

    thanks
     
  5. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    If you pull the cover & it has 2 stacked coils, it's a 100. The P100 are also much "Deeper", due to the dual coils.

    Tony
     
  6. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    Thanks for the responses. If not too much troube, I'd like to hear from some of you who use these pick-up's to see what your measurements are. I've been dialing them in by ear, but I still would like to know how they come from the factory. Espeically the satgger used for the P-90's.
     
  7. RockStarNick

    RockStarNick Supporting Member

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    I have found a good method for adjusting P100s.

    Loosen the the height adjustment screws, counterclockwise, until they come out of the guitar. Loosen strings, remove pickup, and throw it into the nearest river. It sounds great that way.

    JUST KIDDING!!!

    In all seriousness, though, I think after a while of playing that real P90 back to back with the P100s, I'd be really suprised if you didn't start liking the P90 alot more, and eventually replace the P100s... that's what happened to me.
     
  8. auraelux

    auraelux Member

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    Oh man, you have a guitar with P-100s...I'm jealous :(
     
  9. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    I can already tell you that is the case. The P-90 in my Jr. has allot of character for sure. However, the guy before me told me he experimented with the poles until he got them totally screwed up and then just adjusted each equally. He said he never could get it to sound as good as when he bought it and wished he had left it alone. This is why hoping to find someone who hasn't messed with there's so I can see how they came from the factory and then make adjustments from there.

    Anyhow, yes, I agree the P-90's are nice. However, I don't hate the P-100's, they're just different. They sound more like a traditional HB to me and don't have the spunk of the P-90, for lack of a better way to describe them.
     
  10. 84Bravo

    84Bravo Member

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    Walter gave good advice for adjusting pole pieces along with a visual. P100s sound like humbuckers because they are, and which is why they lack that juicy, throaty midrange that P90s offer. Different sounds for different tastes.
     
  11. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    Yes he did and I followed his advise and have achieved excellent results. However, I would still like to get the exact measurements as they came from the factory just to compare. I also realize the P-100 are HB's; I worded my previous post poorly. However, IMO they have a different sound from I'm used to hearing from traditional HB's.

    Since we're talking about P-90's and P-100's what are considered some of the better one's I might try as an upgrade? I realize this is subjective, but I'd really like to hear the opinions of who use these types of pick-ups.

    I'm dig-gin both guitars. A nice change of pace.
     
  12. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    Just a quick update. Spent the last couple of hours comparing both guitars and IMO there is no comparison. I like the P-90 so much better. Guess I'll have to look at getting the 100's replaced. Still looking for some recommendtions.
     
  13. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    the factory "setting" is all poles flush with the cover and the pickup a mile from the strings, i.e., no setting at all.
     
  14. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    Thanks Walter. I tried it like that too and it sounded like crap. I've got three Strat's and I was messing around today emulating the stagger of each of those and found the one's used on my Alnico III's sounded really good on the P-90.

    The P-100's lack the punch and clarity, but I can get a pretty decent dark and distortion from them.

    Thanks for your time and help, I really do appreciate it.
     
  15. walterw

    walterw Gold Supporting Member

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    now you're likely cursed with the currently unsatisfiable desire for a p-90 that sounds like the real thing but doesn't hum, aren't you?

    so far, the only choice is to buy a suhr with p-90s and his SSC system built in, or put p-90s in a strat-style body and get the suhr BPSSC backplate retrofit system.

    supposedly kinman is finalizing a hum-canceling p-90, which should be promising.
     
  16. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    Before you change out the 100's, you might try untaping the coils & cutting the wire(white, I THINK?) going to the bottom coil, which turns it into what I call a P900, hehe! I have a Junior Lite with them & I love it! A bit of noise, but a lot of tone! I'm not a high output kind of guy, bu these sound great TO ME! Worth a try & you don't even have to remove the pickups to do the mod. I've done it to 3 different sets of 100's& even I didn't screw it up.

    I just thought I'd share...

    Tony
    PS - The output is doubled with this mod.
     
  17. Jack Dotson

    Jack Dotson Supporting Member

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    You pretty much put hit the nail on the head. I've been reading allot and have all but decided to keep my Special stock with the P-100's. But, if Kinman comes through with that P-90 I'll be very tempted to drop it in my Jr.
     

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