P90 to Humbucker Conversion (With No Routing)

Discussion in 'Luthier's Corner' started by RebelWithoutACausey, Sep 9, 2017.

  1. RebelWithoutACausey

    RebelWithoutACausey Junior Member

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    Greetings! Newbie here but been a lurker for some time.

    I have a Deluxe and I am dead-set on putting a Duncan JB in the bridge, however if I can pull this off without routing, that would be much preferred.

    Throughout my searching, I have heard that you can get a humbucker in the P90 route but shaving down the baseplate a few millimeters, but I have also heard that you can actually put a humbucker on a P90 baseplate with a little modification, but i'm not tech-savvy enough to know what that process looks like...can someone enlighten me?

    Thanks in advance!
     
  2. Al Walker

    Al Walker Senior Member

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  3. RebelWithoutACausey

    RebelWithoutACausey Junior Member

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    Alright, yeah, fair enough....just ordered a JB and a Jazz soapbar!

    I guess that addresses my problem for now, but while the thread is here, if anyone could address the OP it could help someone else out (and by that I mean me, when I inevitably want something different later on :thumb:).
     
  4. Bobby Mahogany

    Bobby Mahogany Senior Member

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    You never know when P90's might be in your future so...
    Never route!
    :D
     
  5. Al Walker

    Al Walker Senior Member

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    I prefer P90s. But, you asked.
     
  6. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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    Scroll down to post# 27(Captain tightpants)

    http://www.mylespaul.com/threads/can-a-humbucker-fit-in-a-p90-cavity.41946/page-2


    Copying/pasting this from the thread so you don't miss it..


    "edit...I do have to stress again, this WILL NOT work with a covered pickup, there is no room, there is just enough room for what I have shown here. If you want covers, you will indeed have to route."
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017
  7. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    One thing I've noticed from having three guitars with p90's at the neck, is that it takes a fairly hefty HB at the bridge to keep up, or... you set the p90 at the neck very low, which tends to lose a bit of tone, it gets thinner.
    Gibson used a regular (or at least current) p90 in the BFG, coupled with a BB#3 at the neck, and they balanced pretty well, even if you didn't care for the concept of the BFG. I built two Teles with the same combination. I tried a 57 Classic at the bridge, it was far too weak to mate up well with the p90 at the neck, so I switched to what worked, the BB#3.

    Speaking of P90's, Gibson has changed the winding over the years. Early p90's were a lot weaker, thinner, and were first used on hollow or semi hollows. If you research the pickups, you'll see them in the 6-6.5k DC resistance range. Unsure of the magnets. These days, P90's are usually much hotter, above 7.5k, or even 8k ranges. It sort of irks me a bit when folks talk about liking a p90 tone, without saying which p90. Its like saying I want to put a HB in my guitar, I love the HB tone. That's painting with an awfully broad brush methinks.
     
  8. chasenblues

    chasenblues Senior Member

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  9. Leña_Costoso

    Leña_Costoso Senior Member

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    Early 50's maybe up to about 1960 or so. Even from 1980 through 2006 (my last p90 pickup) things got a whole lot hotter. The SG I converted, and bought two p90's for are just shy of 9k dc each, which is a mean growl of a pickup. I've got an SG Classic and those are about 8.2k dc, from 2004. Had many conversations regarding p90's with collector acquaintance. Lots older is thinner, they were made for hollows. Later on, for solids, they beefed the P90s (they being Gibson).

    (edit in)
    Reviewed the link... and to me it only shows there was a change, but not a uniform one. Also, one "issue" of older pickups is that they may not be as originally wound. I'm sure that's not a terribly common thing, but when you see an oddball number in a field of more or less flat numbers, one does need to suspect the oddball. Not being the most widespread tester of pickups... I can only go on what I've seen, or who I personally trust. And finally... we've got to see a 150 to 300 ohm variance between raw pickup testing, and testing at the output jack, due to the loading of the volume pots (and the value of the pot, which is really only a guesstimate unless its isolated and tested).

    I'll stand on the general trends. First being newer is hotter than very old. Second is that there are ups and downs, so that "that p90 tone" is about as elusive as "that humbucker tone". There are many colors to each. For that matter, the P94 is also something of variable nature. First one I got was hotter than a scalded chili pepper. One I tested recently was kinda mild. Seymour Duncan makes the Phat Cat, and two I have in the ES-333 (blonde) are what I've called my "musical" pickups, in that guitar at least. Newer ones are reportedly much fatter.

    And back on topic.... I'd like to hear what the P90 "humbucker" pickup sounds like. That's another, and more recent addition to the tonal pallet. Not tried that yet. They gotta be better than the old P100's (aka "wet toilet paper tone")
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2017

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