Thorn GT-90 Pickups - Best Ever?

FreeBlues

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
844
Posting this here because I think you guys that hang out in this space can most appreciate my experience.

I've had both a Gibson LP Junior Special and now a Collings 290 for about a year. I totally fell in love with P-90's, they are "me" in terms of tone, feel and style. I'm really into the big, fat clean tones these pickups give, and I love the angry, snarling OD thing they do when pushed. For the most part I either play jazzy or blues like things, usually straight in to a Tweed amp (5E3) or, occasionally, something Voxy.

Because this is TGP, as much as I liked the stock pickups (Gibson to start) I wondered how much better/different other pickups could be. I found the Gibsons to be nice, but a bit harsh, kind of nasally, not exactly perfect. In the Collings, the stock Lollars were a bit too thick and syrupy, they didn't have the string definition I wanted and they really did not do the snarly thing, at least for me.

I tried several different sets, at first deciding the Harmonic Design VP-90's were perfect. Indeed, I would rate them as second best I have tried. They are a bit different than other P-90's, maybe a bit clearer, not quite as old school raunchy, but a huge range of useable tones. I was close to dropping them into the Collings when I got a recommendation (thanks Big Mike!) to give Thorns a try.

Yikes! I've had the neck pickup in the Colllings for a few months and just recently installed the bridge pickup, going for the full set (I play mostly on the neck, didn't want to pay the full cost for a set if I wasn't going to use it). All I can say is these are the BEST P-90's I've ever played. Indeed, these are the best pickups - period - I have ever played. They really do it all. Wonderful clean tones, big, fat, clear, ringing, chimey, you name it, they do it. Pushed, they get exactly the snarling, angry tones I want to hear. To my surprise, as good as either the neck or bridge is alone, the middle position is rapidly becoming my favorite electric guitar tone ever. Yes, they are that good.

Final word on customer service. I had a couple issues with my installation, Nick was fantastic. He emailed instantly, then got on the phone (several times) and talked me through the details. Talked guitars, talked pickups, talked stuff. Great experience.

I am done searching for tone, these are the real deal.
 

SeanMc

Member
Messages
1,630
I have a GT-90 equipped guitar and I agree that they are amazing pickups. Got a GT-90T in my T-Style as well.
 

shallbe

Deputy Plankspanker
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
11,935
They must be good if they beat out the Harmonic Designs.
 

dbeeman

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
5,967
I have one on a Jr style guitar. Quite nice turned down. Quite mean turned up
 
Last edited:

Dana Olsen

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,910
I have a GT-90 equipped guitar and I agree that they are amazing pickups. Got a GT-90T in my T-Style as well.
Me too Sean - I dropped a GT-90T in my '66 parts Tele and a Pasadena neck - 'freakin dazzling. Plus, those two pickups balance very well.

Plus, I'm a vintage queer and I think they're AWESOME for vintage tones, and beyond.

Thanks, Dana O.
 

tommc

Member
Messages
1,731
What value of pots are recommended with a pair of the GT-90 in a guitar with one vol and one tone?
 

mslugano

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,327
I'm SHOCKED that Mike recommended Thorn P90s! :) It's always great to find some pickups that "work". Congrats.

A very good friend has them in a McInturff and they were way too thick for my tastes but it could be other stuff.

Tried some Suhr S90s in my PRS SE Soapbar II and fell in love. They go from clear as a bell to perfect rock tone. Then I bought a Suhr T Jr. all mahogany with S90s and his silent system. Totally blown away.

Maybe I'll try some Thorn again if I can pick up some used ones at some point. I'd love to give them a go in another guitar. I also want to try the Harmonic Design.
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,275
You know I love em.
Glad your digging them!
500k pots with those bad boys!
 

big mike

Cathode biased
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
13,275
I'm SHOCKED that Mike recommended Thorn P90s! :) It's always great to find some pickups that "work". Congrats.

A very good friend has them in a McInturff and they were way too thick for my tastes but it could be other stuff.

Tried some Suhr S90s in my PRS SE Soapbar II and fell in love. They go from clear as a bell to perfect rock tone. Then I bought a Suhr T Jr. all mahogany with S90s and his silent system. Totally blown away.

Maybe I'll try some Thorn again if I can pick up some used ones at some point. I'd love to give them a go in another guitar. I also want to try the Harmonic Design.
They can be thick but are very sensitive to pickup height.
Back em off and they brighten up nicely.

I tried a suhr with stock p90 and they were very nice as well.

Wolfe and Wagner also do some cool p90 stuff but nothin beats Rons for me.
Nick is a peach as well. Great guy.
 

Ron Thorn

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
2,626
Thank you FreeBlues! I'm glad they're working out for you, what a great review. Thank you everyone else that commented too.
I'm quite smitten with them also.
 

enharmonic

Old Growth
Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
8,996
The Thorns are my favorite P-90 as well. They sound so good. :beer

I had a LP Special for a while. It was a good guitar stock, but dropping in a set of GT-90's turned that guitar into something special. Also swapped out the bridge, posts and screws at the same time. The difference a few tweaks can make are pretty remarkable.
 

WayneM

Member
Messages
1,589
I'm a fanboy of GT-90's.

I ordered my second Thorn (#58) with HD VP90's and liked them.
However, when I changed them to GT-90's, the game was over.

Ron's "staple pickups" rule!

(I have many guitars these PU's....tone+)
 

MykeWright

Member
Messages
207
I'm such a fanboy of the GT90s (I have one of the first 10 Junior 90s) that I not only had Ron put a GT90T in the bridge position of my SoCal C/S, but had him invent and develop the GT90S model for the middle and neck positions. Absolutely AMAZING pickups, but as Big Mike says, very sensitive to height adjustment.
 

NickVig

Member
Messages
232
Thanks for the kind words. I'm glad you're enjoying the pickups as much as you are. I'm a dyed-in-the-wool humbucker guy but as of the last few years I basically just play these pickups and the single coils in my R/S. There's really something special about these pickups, that's for sure!
 

sleepingtiger

Member
Messages
4,329
I've got them in my PRS KL380 & they are phenominal, but definitely sound better backed off the strings a little. Nick was a pleasure to deal with. When I bought the guitar it already had black GT90s in the neck & bridge & I asked if they could wind me one calibrated for the middle, but with a cream cover & get some cream covers for the other two. They hooked me up quick & look & sound great & I couldn't be happier! Big Mike & I definitely concurred on these:BluesBros! One of the few times I got MORE than I paid for!:omg

Tony

 

bforest4

Member
Messages
1,433
Definitely my favorite P90's and I have done many shootouts including boutique and vintage P90's, Thorns always win!
 




Trending Topics

Top