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Wiring 2 P-90s

Phillbis

Member
Messages
18
Guys,
just doing a sanity check here. I'm putting together a guitar that will have 2 P-90s with a 3 way switch, one volume, one tone knob. I should use 250K pots and .022 caps, correct?
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,832
I've wired up P-90s a bunch of different ways, but to my ears the best is 500k pots and .047 caps.

That's just me though.

--chiba
 

peegee

Member
Messages
8
250k is regarded as the norm for single coils in general. However the natural difference between a strat single coil and a P90 being the height of the coil wind, it's been noted that P90's were sometimes using 330k pots. That being said, i still use 500k and .047 as well.
 
Messages
136
Gibson used 500k pots, and to my ears that's the right value. P90's are too dark with 250k's, in my experience.

One learning from wiring up a few P90 guitars is that, like humbuckers, a lot of the magic happens from balancing the volumes against each other -- that's why Scott Lentz, for example, uses a vol/vol/tone arrangement on his dual P90 guitars, I suspect. Lead tones are fine without the dual volumes, but for rhythm versatility it's actually hard to beat a 2xP90 guitar set up that way.

Of course, that's just my experience, your needs may vary!

~j
 

jaydawg76

Member
Messages
890
Personally I like 250k's. The difference really isn't all that much and I like the subtle roll off of the "ice pick" frequencies, especially at the bridge. IMO there is no lack of high end in your average set of p-90's. I also like to use a 0.022uf for the tone. Gives a more usable range. I don't ever roll my tone all the way off so I don't need the extended range that a 0.047uf offers.

If you want to get really jiggy with it, take the neck pup off the tone control. You'll have all the high end you'll need in the neck and the sound of the un-loaded neck pup is just great.

What ever you do don't get hung up on how the big boy's did it. Remember, there's more then one way to skin a cat!
 

John Thigpen

Member
Messages
3,696
What about a four way switch with a series wiring option? My tele has this, and it's a very powerful sound. I bet it would sound killer with P-90's. Do the dual volume thing and I bet you have a very flexible guitar.

John
 

Jack Briggs

Member
Messages
1,607
I use 500K volume and 250K tone with a .022uf cap. Treble bleed circuit on the volume keeps the clarity on all volume settings. YMMV.


Cheers,
 

Chiba

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
7,832
What about a four way switch with a series wiring option? My tele has this, and it's a very powerful sound. I bet it would sound killer with P-90's. Do the dual volume thing and I bet you have a very flexible guitar.
I've got my McInturff Royal wired up this way. It does sound really good :)

It did require a little surgery on the neck pickup though!

--chiba
 

Phillbis

Member
Messages
18
I'm basically restoring a guitar to it's original configuration. The original config was 2 P-90s, 1 volume, 1 tone and a 3 way switch.
 

mattwasserman

Member
Messages
266
Don't mean to hijack this thread, but I am also unsure of what pots/caps to use for my first set of p-90s.
I would prefer to have a darker sound than something harsh and trebbly, so it seems like 250k pots and .22 caps may be the way to go. I am planning on buying GFS Mean 90s for my Ibanez Artcore.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
 

socalscott

Member
Messages
1,799
250k pots w/treble bleed mod. Especially since every pup maker is using Alnico V mags.

Buy 2 A2 bar mags and swap one in for each pup. Lest you enjoy the harshness and ice pick. A5's were not around for vintage 90's.

Just sayin'
 

uOpt

Member
Messages
898
P90s should usually go with 500 Kohm pots, but there's obvious taste variance.

And some guitars also cause the cutoff of a 250 Kohm setup to come out better. For example, a tremolo can often make 250 Kohm come out better for most high-quality pickups.

Obviously you can also go 250 Kohm volume and 500 Kohm tone. Turning down the tone pot to where it reads 250 Kohm is the same thing as having a 250 Kohm in the first place. Same trick doesn't work for the volume pot but just the volume pot at 250 Kohm doesn't cause that much of a difference.
 

dirk_benedict

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
6,481
Bringing this thread back from a dead...I have a simple 2xp90 guitar now that is basically wired up like a tele. What would be great is if I could have separate tone knob settings for each pickup, since the EQ for the neck pickup sound needs to be way brighter on the amp than the bridge. Is there a way to do this with a push-pull or sending the neck straight to the jack?
 

gmann

Member
Messages
8,592
Don't mean to hijack this thread, but I am also unsure of what pots/caps to use for my first set of p-90s.
I would prefer to have a darker sound than something harsh and trebbly, so it seems like 250k pots and .22 caps may be the way to go. I am planning on buying GFS Mean 90s for my Ibanez Artcore.
Thanks in advance for any suggestions.
Well Gibson used 500k for the vol and 250K for the tone, back in the day. .22for the caps.
 

swiveltung

Member
Messages
14,501
I like 250k with P90's but I believe Gibson often used higher value. Depending on your guitar basic tone (dark or bright?) you may want to use .022 or up to .1 cap.
 




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