Les Paul Special p90's vs LP Pro split hb's

Cedarburger

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Please pardon my ignorance here. I have an Epi LP Plustop Pro. I am looking at buying an Epi LP Special (p90). What is the sonic difference between splitting the hb's on the Pro vs the p90's on the LP Special? Would they sound the same?

Thanks in advance!
 

CerebralGasket

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A P-90 is a single coil pup, but sounds fatter than a split humbucker.

My favorite pup combo is a P-90 at the neck for cleans and a hum cancelling P-90 at the bridge for hi gain use.
 

ARandall

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Well, a p90 was the archetype tone that the PAF was aiming for - but in a hum cancelling form. So the tone of the two are not too dissimilar. The p90 is more raunchy and has hum - both due to the singlecoil design.

A split humbucker is not only a LONG way from a p90, its also a poor/weak version even of a vintage Fender singlecoil.
 

Cedarburger

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Thanks for the responses. I want a single coil guitar, but can't get on with Strats, and am fixing to sell the 3 I have. I'd love a Reverend Warhawk 390 w/bigsby, but just can't afford it. Hoping the LP Special might scratch that single coil itch.
 

DrBGood

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Yep, a P90 is in a class of its own, the very essence of tone.

If you're on a budget and want to fully experience the P90 "thing", your best bet is to get the Epiphone P90 LP with the bolt-on neck, it is called the LP Special 1 It has all the tone the new Inspired by Gibson Special has and weigh next to nothing. By far the best dollar to fun to tone guitar out there. Then if you really dig P90s, you might want the new one with a set neck and a beefier profile.

Inspired by Gibson on the left - Special 1 bolt-on neck on the right.

TV YELLOW.jpg
 

mdubya

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I have never met a split humbucker sound that I liked in any way at all. I would rather roll down the volume and tone a bit than split a humbucker.

P-90's sound glorious if you want big sweet clean tones, take fuzz like nothing else can, and have raunchy edgy dirty rhythm tones that only come from fat single coils. Only the sweetest humbuckers come close.

JMHO.

I cannot imagine you having any regrets from getting an LP Special with P-90s.

And if you do (have regrets), they are pretty popular and easy to move these days.
 

jbash

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PRS* is the only company that I felt ever does split humbuckers justice. They don't sound like Fender singles or P90s, but they do sound good in their own way (as all PRS' do- they are their own animal) Conversely, any of the Gibson/Gibson esque guitars I've owned with splits/taps sound anemic and not terribly musical. You are better off with Minis, or a very bright low output pickups like T tops if you want to get into those kinds of tones and have a "full" humbucking sound as well.



*But my PRS were all high end "Core" guitars- no idea if their S2 or SE lines hold up the same.
 

fry

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Yeah, a split humbucker is going to sound nothing like a P90. The P90 pickup has a great tone, and people who love them really, really love them. I have a friend that discovered them and wouldn’t play anything else after that. They sound gnarly through an overdriven amp, and I also think they respond better to the volume and tone controls on the guitar. Personally, I just can’t get past the hum. I’ve tried, but it’s too much for me.
 

cybermgk

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I think one of the problems with splitting Humbuckers, is where the resonant peak shifts to. Humans just hear mid range frequencies better. In series, aka a humbucker mode humbucker produces more mids. Split that and use just one coil, and the resonant peak shifts, with a lot less Mids, ergo, to our ears it sounds weaker.

There is another option, running the Humbuckers in parallel, mode, i.e. as two separate single coils, in parallel. Both coils are 'active'. This has been the one way, I've liked splitting the coils more consistantly. Still doesn't sound like actual single coils 100%, but it approaches it. Can sound a little P90ish as well.

But, yes, P90s are really their own tone/beast.


Now, for those that are saying "Hey, if you split a HB with 2 4 ohm DC resistance coils you get, a 4 ohm single coil, but if in parallel, that is 2 ohm resistance". True, but DC resistance is and always has been a poor complete indicator of output of the pickup. Pickups work in the world of AC to start. But then there is also the resistivity of the coil, which is a factor the thickness of the wire, how much is wound on the bobbin.

Additionally, there is the inductance of the pickup as well.

IN simple terms, the magnet(s) of the pickups generate a magnetic field. The strings run through this field. When plucked, struck, strummed, what have you, they vibrate in that field. That vibration, induces an AC current in the coil on the bobbin, or bobbins.. So, again in simple terms, in Series (HB mode), and Parallel mode, that humbucker has both coils inducing an AC signal, whereas, split GENERALLY just the one coil.


So, how well a HB sounds split, depends on how the pickup is wound.

But, imho, many sound good put in parallel mode, instead of split.

THis vid touches on these topics, shows the differences in all the modes as well. It also shows why PRS tend to sound good 'split'. They do, because, a lot of times they do parallel along with series, and when they do actual split Humbuckers, they are wound specifically for that.

 

cybermgk

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Now, for the OP, another option to above, or a P90 guitar is

A Line6 Variax JTV-59. It's a Les Paul Single cut shape, with actual humbuckers, but also individual string piezo pickups that when used run through onboard Guitar simulation. I.E. when not using the Magnetic Pickups, it can simulate Acoustic Guitars, Strats, Teles, P90 guitars, Resonators, 12 strings, sitars, combinations of all the above. If you use the software you can create a sim, that uses a strat body with whatever pickups, Les Paul body with tele neck and bridge, etc. In reality, you can also blen sim with the magnetic pickups.

You can also, when using JUST the piezos, i.e. modelling a guitar, can drop tune with the turn of the tuning knob, to pretty much any tuning you want. And, on mine, I have a LP humbucker sim setup that matches the magnetic pickups almost exactly. THat one is great for doing alternate tuning. You can also do a virtual capo, convert to a bas guitar, alto, etc.

In the JTV line there are other body styles. But, you seem to like the

The biggest draw back is keep it in tune. On the piezos, that can amplify being out of tune, depending on what you are doing.

There are some pointy 'metal models, not shown in last video.

(The LP SPecial setting is P90s btw)



 

Cedarburger

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Now, for the OP, another option to above, or a P90 guitar is

A Line6 Variax JTV-59. It's a Les Paul Single cut shape, with actual humbuckers, but also individual string piezo pickups that when used run through onboard Guitar simulation. I.E. when not using the Magnetic Pickups, it can simulate Acoustic Guitars, Strats, Teles, P90 guitars, Resonators, 12 strings, sitars, combinations of all the above. If you use the software you can create a sim, that uses a strat body with whatever pickups, Les Paul body with tele neck and bridge, etc. In reality, you can also blen sim with the magnetic pickups.

You can also, when using JUST the piezos, i.e. modelling a guitar, can drop tune with the turn of the tuning knob, to pretty much any tuning you want. And, on mine, I have a LP humbucker sim setup that matches the magnetic pickups almost exactly. THat one is great for doing alternate tuning. You can also do a virtual capo, convert to a bas guitar, alto, etc.

In the JTV line there are other body styles. But, you seem to like the

The biggest draw back is keep it in tune. On the piezos, that can amplify being out of tune, depending on what you are doing.

There are some pointy 'metal models, not shown in last video.

(The LP SPecial setting is P90s btw)



So I could sell all my guitars and buy this one? Hmmmmm. But, what happens when software support ends?
 

Cedarburger

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Yep, a P90 is in a class of its own, the very essence of tone.

If you're on a budget and want to fully experience the P90 "thing", your best bet is to get the Epiphone P90 LP with the bolt-on neck, it is called the LP Special 1 It has all the tone the new Inspired by Gibson Special has and weigh next to nothing. By far the best dollar to fun to tone guitar out there. Then if you really dig P90s, you might want the new one with a set neck and a beefier profile.

Inspired by Gibson on the left - Special 1 bolt-on neck on the right.

View attachment 565822
You're in PHX? I found on of each of those for sale locally. Thinking about going inspired by Gibson even though a little more $$.
 

DrBGood

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You're in PHX? I found on of each of those for sale locally. Thinking about going inspired by Gibson even though a little more $$.
Nope, not mine. I'm about 2,600 ENE miles away.
 

cybermgk

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So I could sell all my guitars and buy this one? Hmmmmm. But, what happens when software support ends?
Well, one, it's a 2 humbucker single cut, now and forever. On the software, it is just used to change the various guitar sims loaded on the guitar, load non stock, or edit any of them.. In reality, you don't have to use it at all. The sims are all on the guitar. Only real worry, as per software, is when you can no longer run it on a PC (PC OS advances to where it won't run. Even then, you would just be stuck with whatever sims were currently loaded on the guitar at that point. The only real longevity issue, is the Piezos under each string.
 

fry

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Now, for the OP, another option to above, or a P90 guitar is

A Line6 Variax JTV-59. It's a Les Paul Single cut shape, with actual humbuckers, but also individual string piezo pickups that when used run through onboard Guitar simulation. I.E. when not using the Magnetic Pickups, it can simulate Acoustic Guitars, Strats, Teles, P90 guitars, Resonators, 12 strings, sitars, combinations of all the above. If you use the software you can create a sim, that uses a strat body with whatever pickups, Les Paul body with tele neck and bridge, etc. In reality, you can also blen sim with the magnetic pickups.

You can also, when using JUST the piezos, i.e. modelling a guitar, can drop tune with the turn of the tuning knob, to pretty much any tuning you want. And, on mine, I have a LP humbucker sim setup that matches the magnetic pickups almost exactly. THat one is great for doing alternate tuning. You can also do a virtual capo, convert to a bas guitar, alto, etc.

In the JTV line there are other body styles. But, you seem to like the

The biggest draw back is keep it in tune. On the piezos, that can amplify being out of tune, depending on what you are doing.

There are some pointy 'metal models, not shown in last video.

(The LP SPecial setting is P90s btw)



I had one of those JTV-59's once about a year or so ago. I was curious about them and went on the hunt. I found the goldtop w/ p90's used at a GC pretty cheap. That one is impossible to find. It was cool as hell, honestly, but I knew a hack like me would never really get the best out of it. I flipped it for a tidy profit.
 

cybermgk

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I had one of those JTV-59's once about a year or so ago. I was curious about them and went on the hunt. I found the goldtop w/ p90's used at a GC pretty cheap. That one is impossible to find. It was cool as hell, honestly, but I knew a hack like me would never really get the best out of it. I flipped it for a tidy profit.
I'v been looking for that one. They are very hard to find (only found used now). I use mine at a couple of places I do ELectric and acoustic. Take it and my Katana 100, and I'm good to go.
 

fry

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I'v been looking for that one. They are very hard to find (only found used now). I use mine at a couple of places I do ELectric and acoustic. Take it and my Katana 100, and I'm good to go.
Another “shoulda kept it” situation.
E11D90F7-EE0F-4B4C-B097-12D65BD15D0E.jpeg
FE711511-160C-45C7-BB48-63603650A9D2.jpeg
565CAC80-C3E9-46E8-92DA-741B65102F17.jpeg
 

Cedarburger

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Well, I couldn't pass it up. It is mint. 2020 and still has original strings and gig bag. I found an LPS I P-90 used locally but the seller was asking more than I thought it was worth used. Sweetwater is still out of stock on these, and I have been waiting for awhile, so I bought it.
20211015_124017.jpg
 

Lester

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Welp, get to changing those strings and playing. My experience with Epi's is that they need a little setup time, and then they rock well beyond their weight class. P90's are great... play on 10 through an amp with just a little - and I mean a little - gain, and they are 1970's Santana. Play through a clean amp on 7-8 and they are warm and sweet.
 


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