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Z-90 Harmonic Design Review. Yowza!!!!!!!!!

autonomous

Member
Messages
674
I replaced the 2 SD that come standard in my G&L ASAT Deluxe Hollowbody with 2 HD Z-90 pups. All I can say is holy crap and yowza am I happy. The cleans are bold an d thick while the dirt tones are so open and articulate. I can hear every note. I have never played real p90 pups so I cannot comment how they sound relative to them, but these are amazing pups. BTW, they do not sound nasally at all in the bridge as some bridge pups can. I can go from Interpol in the 1 position to beautiful strumming in the 2nd position and finally to Killing Joke's "eighties" in the 3rd position. Eighties is my benchmark song for openness and articulation. With the SD humbuggies, I could barely hear the ind. notes, but with the Z90's it's exact and pure. OK I'll stop gushing now, But these are the real deal. Lastly, tomorrow I expect the Caitlin Bread DLS to arrive and I will do a shootout between Brownie, Butah, Signa Drive(all cmatmods) and DLS. I will post when done. I was playing through a Blackstar HT40 1x12 with a Blackstar 2x12 extension. Talk to you all soon
 

autonomous

Member
Messages
674
Steve Morril in Boston did the install and has worked on my gear for 2 yrs. He's a great guy and easy to talk to. I highly recommend him. Cheers, John.
 

fretless

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,791
A couple of things.... first off I love your musical references in your review. I love both Interpol and Killing Joke. You never hear much about either on this forum. Secondly, did you use 500k pots in your swap (I think that's what come stock in your ASAT)?

Glad you're digging your new p/ups. I've been curious about those for awhile.
 

erksin

Senior Member
Messages
23,126
Those Z-90s are killer pickups - they sound absolutely huge but are capable of real nuance and have a lot of air to them despite being high output. You definitely can't hide behind them as they let everything through, but the pay off is a lot of detail and harmonic content. I've had Bardens and these get compared to them sometimes but for me it was absolutely no contest - the Bardens were cold and sterile - very stiff feeling pickups. The HDs while powerful and articulate have so much juice to them the harmonics make them sound warm and smoky - I love that about them.



I have their STP and Vintage Plus pickups in my Strat and they are fantastic too.
 

Dave1

Member
Messages
428
One more vote for the z90s. I think they are great pickups. The only downside for me is the middle position. It is hollow and thin for me, and I believe by design.
 

autonomous

Member
Messages
674
I believe they are 500k pots. I left that up to Steve. I am pretty sure they are. I'm going to put their Humbucker Vintage + in the bridge and 2 strat + pups in my G&L Legacy Tribute next. Thanks for chiming in.
 

Gas-man

Unrepentant Massaganist
Messages
18,605
Hmmm...I have some in an import 335. Will have to fire it up today!
 

IPLAYLOUD

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,104
HD Vintage Plus in my Esquire.
Sounds amazing through any amp. Covers it all.
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,187
I had a set swapped into my Ibanez Artcore and they sound great - and they do sound pretty darn good. Middle position is parallel humbucking - low noise and nice full range sound.

 

AB07302

Member
Messages
88
Having a Jazzmaster built by Kevin at KLH Custom Relics right now.

Harmonic Design happily built me a custom set of Z90s in Creme Jazzmaster enclosures for the guitar. Just $10 for the custom build.

Should be a MONSTER Jazzmaster!!
 

slippyknees

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,056
Steve Morril in Boston did the install and has worked on my gear for 2 yrs. He's a great guy and easy to talk to. I highly recommend him. Cheers, John.
+1

Steve is amazing. Such a nice / knowledgeable guy and one of the few techs I've ever met that understands that you can't always drop your guitar off for 6 weeks waiting for a really basic set-up, mod or tweak (unlike a lot of local techs). I highly recommend him without reservation, for whatever my 2 cents is worth to ya!
 

BigDoug1053

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
5,187
@bgood - I lived in a house with 2-wire power and fluorescent fixtures in the basement, and the Z-90s will pick up some noise - but not as much as my LP Special DC P90s, or Strat-like single coils. If you are playing venues with iffy power and wiring (most of them IMO) and noise bothers you, you might wanna intall a kill switch on your guitar or add a noise gate when the wiring makes AC hum and other single coil noise a nuisance.
 

bgood

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
951
Thanks Doug. I have an SG Classic with the stock Gibson P90's. They are not terribly noisy under good conditions but there are some venues that I play where I just leave the guitar at home. I'm trying to decide between noiseless P90 PUPs, new less noisy P90's (if there is one) or a pedal like a Decimator so I can basically play the guitar I want without considering wiring, lighting etc. I've gone to noiseless singles on my Strat and Tele - love them - in both cases DiMarzio. The trouble is the noiseless P90s I know of are STUPID expensive so a pedal is the likely option.

b

@bgood - I lived in a house with 2-wire power and fluorescent fixtures in the basement, and the Z-90s will pick up some noise - but not as much as my LP Special DC P90s, or Strat-like single coils. If you are playing venues with iffy power and wiring (most of them IMO) and noise bothers you, you might wanna intall a kill switch on your guitar or add a noise gate when the wiring makes AC hum and other single coil noise a nuisance.
 

DavidMgT

Member
Messages
405
Great pickups - I put a set in a 2006 Hamer Studio Custom and continue to be blown away by how awesome they sound.
 

lonesomebill

Member
Messages
210
I just bought a used set of these. They are the older ones with the Vintage Plus sticker. I have had them in a number of my builds and an HH Tele -- love them and pick them up whenever I see a set in the $100 range.
 






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