Anyone here installed a standard p90 into a guitar?

stringbender11

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I've researched this a bit but am still confused. Basically I'm planning on having my LP Jr routed for a neck PU, and I want to install an old Gibby p90 that I have. I know you can get HB shaped p90s but am not interested in those. Also since I have to route the body anyway, I might as well use the one I have.

Anyway what I dont get is how the p90 is mounted. On some guitars it appears the PU is covered with a dog ear cover, and the cover is screwed right into the body wood, on other guitars I see just the p90 without the cover seemingly installed cleanly in the wood.

My question is how is the pickup mounted in both applications? With no visible mounting tabs how do you attach it firmly? Thanks!
 

Barcham

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The dog ear pups have side screws similar to a humbucker that screw into the top. A 'soapbar' P90 has two screws that screw directly into the bottom of the pup cavity and usually has some foam or springs under it to give the proper height.
 

stringbender11

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The dog ear pups have side screws similar to a humbucker that screw into the top. A 'soapbar' P90 has two screws that screw directly into the bottom of the pup cavity and usually has some foam or springs under it to give the proper height.

Hmm, looking at the bottom of my soap bar I dont see anything that looks like it could be screwed into the pickup cavity. Just the tips of the 6 pole piece screws.
 

Barcham

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If you look at these soapbars, you can see the holes between the 2nd and third and 4th and 5th pole pieces where the screws would go.

P90CreamLarge.jpg


With the 'dog ear' you can see that the retaining screws go on the 'dog ears' on the side of the pup.

MC_IMP9R-BD.jpg
 

stringbender11

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Oh ok, I see. Yeah my PU has those holes underneath. So what do the screws mount to on the guitar, is there some kind of plate or something you screw the PU onto?
 

stringbender11

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Interesting. Thanks for posting those pics. So I guess there has to be access through the back of the guitar then to screw in the screws?
 

Barcham

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No, not at all. The screws fit through the top of the pickup and go down into the wood. If you look at a P90 guitar, it actually gives the impression that the pickups have 8 poles instead of 6.

$(KGrHqJHJFEFCcQOTgNvBQu1pbOTK!~~_32-740x400-0-0.JPG
 

stringbender11

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Oh wow, I had assumed the cover didnt come off the PU, but I just pulled the one on mine right off. And sure enough, there are the 2 screw holes I need, lol.
Well that's a relief, now I just have to get route done, and drill a hole through to the other route for the wiring and iIshould be good to go.

Thanks again for posting all the info. :)
 

DrBGood

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You don't need to take the cover off. The screws (wood screw) go through the cover, the PU and then in the wood below. To make the PU come back up when you adjust its height, you either put a piece of rubber foam or springs in the cavity.
 

stringbender11

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You don't need to take the cover off. The screws (wood screw) go through the cover, the PU and then in the wood below. To make the PU come back up when you adjust its height, you either put a piece of rubber foam or springs in the cavity.

Thanks. Yeah I just meant I didnt realize the cover was even removeable.

So I've been looking into getting the cavity routed and it looks like I'll be lucky to get it done for under $100. Ugh. A lot to pay for what's a very easy thing to do with a router and a basic template. Also a lot to put into an inexpensive guitar.
Still i think I'm gonna do it, I play the guitar a lot and with a p90 in the neck I think I'll play it even more.

I plan on posting pics in this thread once I get it done. :)
 

Barcham

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When you want to get some routing like that done, you can always look into local schools that teach woodworking or guitar design and see if they would be willing to do it as a project for the students. You might get the work done for free or a small donation.
 

Bristol Posse

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Also if you want a guitar without gaping holes around the top and bottom edge of the P90 pickup, you need to first fill and level the humbucker route since a P90 is longer but thinner than a humbucker, then route for a P90 and then refinish the leftover unfinished new wood around the top and bottom of the new route.

If you're getting that for $100 that's a good deal

If you're not, in the long run it may be a lot easier and cleaner to get something like a Phat Cat from Seymour Duncan which is a humbucker sized p90 type pickup and will work with your existing mountings and pickup cavities

http://www.seymourduncan.com/products/electric/specialized/specialized-instruments/sph901_phat_cat/
 

stringbender11

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Thanks for the tip, Barcham. Yeah that thought had occurred to me. I guess I'll check around a bit, see what I can come up with. :)
 

stringbender11

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Also if you want a guitar without gaping holes around the top and bottom edge of the P90 pickup, you need to first fill and level the humbucker route since a P90 is longer but thinner than a humbucker, then route for a P90 and then refinish the leftover unfinished new wood around the top and bottom of the new route.

If you're getting that for $100 that's a good deal

If you're not, in the long run it may be a lot easier and cleaner to get something like a Phat Cat from Seymour Duncan which is a humbucker sized p90 type pickup and will work with your existing mountings and pickup cavities

Phat Cat™ SPH90-1 - Seymour Duncan Specialized Instruments

I'm actually installing the p90 into a Jr which has just a bridge PU, which leaves the neck area to be routed. I wouldnt attempt replacing an actually HB with a soapbar p90 on such a cheap guitar. Way more work and expense than I'd wanna do. :)
 

Curmudgeon

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So I've been looking into getting the cavity routed and it looks like I'll be lucky to get it done for under $100. Ugh. A lot to pay for what's a very easy thing to do with a router and a basic template. Also a lot to put into an inexpensive guitar.

Still much cheaper than buying a router and bits, unless you would have other uses for them. Of course, if you're looking for an excuse to buy 'em....:naughty:
 

56GT

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Still much cheaper than buying a router and bits, unless you would have other uses for them. Of course, if you're looking for an excuse to buy 'em....:naughty:


Nothing that can't be done with a sharp chisel and hammer, plus lots of patience! :naughty:
 

stringbender11

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Nothing that can't be done with a sharp chisel and hammer, plus lots of patience! :naughty:

A sharp chisel & hammer - who needs that? I was thinking more along the lines of a cordless drill, a hammer, and a wide flathead screwdriver. ;)
 

56GT

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If you're feeling adventurous, and you own a Dremel tool, you can buy a $20 router base for it, and go to town... :D
 

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