volume p 90's vs. humbuckers

Discussion in 'Luthier's Guitar & Bass Technical Discussion' started by alainguitars, Oct 10, 2008.

  1. alainguitars

    alainguitars Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    I have two Gibsons, one has vintage 1955 p 90's the other has paf's that measure about 8 ohms. The p 90 guitar is noticeably louder. The paf's are set up very close to the strings as are the p 90's. Shouldn't the humbuckers be louder? The p 90 guitar is a 61 melody maker, the humbucker is a 57 LP custom.

    Thanks
     
  2. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,911
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Broward
    Fletcher Munson, anyone?
     
  3. alainguitars

    alainguitars Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    Scott,

    I don't get the reference?OK, did a search found the volume curve info. To be more specific about my problem is why a p90 melody maker would sound louder,clearer and have more sustain than a Les Paul with humbuckers. Cost aside I find myself liking the tone of my MM more the the LP?
     
  4. thesteve

    thesteve Member

    Messages:
    1,456
    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2007
    Location:
    San Diego, CA
    I believe the reason is due to the frequency response of the P90s vs. the response of the humbucker. Aren't PAFs typically focused more in the mid/low-mid range of the frequency spectrum while P90s are focused more mid/upper-mid range? Given that this is true, the higher frequencies of the P90s would stand out more than the humbuckers.

    any other thoughts?
     
  5. alainguitars

    alainguitars Member

    Messages:
    566
    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2003
    Location:
    New York
    Steve,

    I've been going back an forth for the past hour. You're probably right. The higher mids in the p90's really stand out. The humbuckers have a smoother tone which seems a bit dull after hearing the p 90's.
    They seem to have more of the "honk" that people always praise humbuckers for having.
     
  6. Scott Auld

    Scott Auld Staff Member

    Messages:
    11,911
    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2007
    Location:
    Broward

    What I meant was that P90 guitars produce more pronounced response in the ranges that our ears HEAR better, so it 'sounds' louder. That's all.

    I got my first P90 setup earlier this year and really really like them way better than traditional humbuckers, and I was a humbucker guy for decades.

    Grrrr, then I discovered TELECASTERs, upsetting the applecart yet again.

    Sorry for the long delay in my reply.
     
  7. Zelja

    Zelja Member

    Messages:
    1,442
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2007
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Sometimes, some pickups just sound louder than others for reasons which are hard to explain. I tested a couple of after-market P90s last week - they both had about the same inductance (about 7 Henries, which is a lot), one had a DC resistance of about 8K, the other about 10K. Conventional wisdom states that the one with greater inductance or greater resistance should be "hotter" & hence louder, with maybe less highs. The one with the 8k DC resistance was considerably louder - huge diff - this pickup seems to be the loudest I have ever had! Both setup with similiar heights in relation to the string, in the same guitar.

    I was comparing then to a baseline of other guitars that I had so that I didn't have to rely on memory. The 8k guitar was louder than my guitar fitted with Tom Holmes PAF style HBs, the 10k one was softer :dunno

    The different EQ curve theries may also have some creedence, but as I found out above, different pickups of the same type & with specs in the same ballpark, can have widely different outputs, so there is potential for even more fluctuation between different types of PUs.

    Don't forget the effect of the guitar as well as some are more resonant than others which can affect volume.
     

Share This Page