My first set of P90's?

Pwrmac7600

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Ok so I just purchased my first P90 LP. With that being said I am not to familiar with P90's at all. Is there a difference between the neck and bridge? or are they the same exact pickup? I am talking stock Gibson P90's here.
Is there any difference between slug and screw besides the adjustability?
I haven't tore my new Special down yet to restring with my gauge, adjust and setup to my liking and clean the fretboard. Once I do I am going to pop the P90's out to take a look since I have never owned any. but just thought I would try and familiarize myself ahead of time.
Thanks for any help.
 

thrashmetl

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Honestly, who cares? If you like them (I LOOOOOOOVE P-90's) who cares what's under the hood?

Honestly not sure if there's a difference between neck and bridge output, but a lot of people love stock Gibson P-90's. I know that Gibson P-90's are Alnico V. I personally like a mix of magnets in P-90's. Alnico V is sometimes too sharp and not fat enough. If you find that this is the case I would recommend swapping one of the A5 magnets out (P-90's have 2 bar magnets instead of just one like a PAF style hum bucker) and replace it with an A2 magnet. The A2 magnet will fatten up the sound, add some angry mids, and take off some of the treble.
 

RAG7890

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They are the same PU, albeit the Neck will have a longer lead & potentially a lower output than the Bridge.

It is not unusual to find Neck P90's with higher readings than the Bridge. Happens often in Vintage & modern Gibson from what I have seen.

Awesome PU's IMHO. :)

:cheers:
 

Pwrmac7600

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This is what I was wondering, because the neck pickup in my special is incredibly louder than the bridge, even with the bridge cranked up as high as it will go height wise, and the neck cranked down as low as it will go. I am going to meter them today and see what's going on. If the neck has a higher reading, I could technically switch them since there is no real difference between the 2 right?:hmm:

It is not unusual to find Neck P90's with higher readings than the Bridge. Happens often in Vintage & modern Gibson from what I have seen.
 

Walt_T

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Swap them and see what happens.
 

RAG7890

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This is what I was wondering, because the neck pickup in my special is incredibly louder than the bridge, even with the bridge cranked up as high as it will go height wise, and the neck cranked down as low as it will go. I am going to meter them today and see what's going on. If the neck has a higher reading, I could technically switch them since there is no real difference between the 2 right?:hmm:

Correct, you can swap them around if the lead on the Bridge PU are long enough. If not you'll need to carefully splice a length in or get someone who knows what they are doing to do it for you.

As I mentioned higher outputs in the Neck are not that uncommon.

Good luck.

:cheers:
 

thrashmetl

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Exactly. I bought a cheap P-90 beater and it came with Wilkinson P-90's. The bridge was a bit too hot and muddy and the neck was too thick. I did a little research and found that the readings were 9.5k bridge and 8.5k neck and that they were A5. Since I tend to prefer lower output pickups I pulled out the neck and put it in the bridge. It was still missing something. I decided to throw in some degaussed Alnico II magnets and wow did that do the trick. Instant vintage tone and it felt right. There was still a little mush but they just sounded good. I'm a Tele guy though and I like a good pick attack which Alnico II doesn't quite get you so I decided to toss in a full strength A2 and I had an unoriented A5 that I had laying around and Holy Shizzle! Absolutely perfect! As I mentioned above you get the fatness and the warmth of the A2, but the tight low end and sharp pick attack of the A5, the best attributes of each magnet. A simple magnet change has turned a cheap pickup into the best P-90 I've ever played hands down.
 

bridger

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" I know that Gibson P-90's are Alnico V."
Really? I didn't know that. I have an R-6 with stock Gibson P-90's that have that incredible raw, bright, P-90 growl and string clarity. A friend has an R-4 with boutique p-90's and Alnico -2 mags and it sounds a bit muddier . Can this be attributed to the difference between Alnico -5 and Alnico -2 mags?
 

RAG7890

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" I know that Gibson P-90's are Alnico V."
Really? I didn't know that. I have an R-6 with stock Gibson P-90's that have that incredible raw, bright, P-90 growl and string clarity. A friend has an R-4 with boutique p-90's and Alnico -2 mags and it sounds a bit muddier . Can this be attributed to the difference between Alnico -5 and Alnico -2 mags?

Yes but Magnets are not created equal............source, type & charge.

You can always swap Magnets but remember you need to get 2 x Magnets per PU, as opposed to one for a Humbucker.

Have a look at Throbak's site for reference to the various Magnets & perceived tones &: -

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/pickups/326736-pickup-magnet-comparison.html

:cheers:
 

thrashmetl

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" I know that Gibson P-90's are Alnico V."
Really? I didn't know that. I have an R-6 with stock Gibson P-90's that have that incredible raw, bright, P-90 growl and string clarity. A friend has an R-4 with boutique p-90's and Alnico -2 mags and it sounds a bit muddier . Can this be attributed to the difference between Alnico -5 and Alnico -2 mags?


Yes but Magnets are not created equal............source, type & charge.

You can always swap Magnets but remember you need to get 2 x Magnets per PU, as opposed to one for a Humbucker.

Have a look at Throbak's site for reference to the various Magnets & perceived tones &: -

http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/pickups/326736-pickup-magnet-comparison.html

:cheers:

Yes, but the Throbak magnet descriptions are a bit deceptive. I suspect that the magnet descriptions are the attributes of his own magnets when compared to the typical attributes of the todays regular magnets.

Alnico 5 is typically strong, bright, and mid scooped with a tight low end. Alnico 2 is typically mid-heavy, not bright, and with a loose low end.

Your assessments above of your Gibson P-90's with A5 versus your friends boutique P-90's with A2 are exactly in line with typical attributes of A5 v A2. If you wanted to add some fatness and midrange to your Gibsons then replace one of the magnets with an A2, if your friend wanted to tighten up the low end and add some sharpness to his boutique P-90's then replace one of the A2 with an A5.
 

RAG7890

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Yes, but the Throbak magnet descriptions are a bit deceptive. I suspect that the magnet descriptions are the attributes of his own magnets when compared to the typical attributes of the todays regular magnets.

Alnico 5 is typically strong, bright, and mid scooped with a tight low end. Alnico 2 is typically mid-heavy, not bright, and with a loose low end.

Your assessments above of your Gibson P-90's with A5 versus your friends boutique P-90's with A2 are exactly in line with typical attributes of A5 v A2. If you wanted to add some fatness and midrange to your Gibsons then replace one of the magnets with an A2, if your friend wanted to tighten up the low end and add some sharpness to his boutique P-90's then replace one of the A2 with an A5.

Also there is more to Magnets than the Alloy used (which can vary from manufacturer to manufacturer). The charge has a big impact.

I have Sheptone Tributes with Degaussed A5's & they sound great. I had several Sets of Boutique PU's & original '59 PAF's tested in this particular Guitar. The Tributes were very close to the PAF's but some of the others were not. One in particular was ice picky & had A5's.

So even though the above relates to Humbuckers A5's are not always A5's.

My friend (a Luthier) winds his own Humbuckers with A5's & they sound awesome but he worked out exactly the right charge.

FWIW & IMHO, I'd go A4 vs. A2 which to me sound muddy but again A2's are not always A2's.

Lastly, the Guitar they are going in, the Amp you are using & your own ears also come in to play in a big way. We lose high end hearing as we age, so it wouldn't surprise me to see people opting for a brighter PU purely because their hearing is not as good as it once was. :)

:cheers:

P.S. I'd love to know what is in my '58 P90's because whatever the full package is I have never heard anything else that comes remotely close (P90 or Humbucker) & I have several great Sets of Vintage Humbuckers to compare them to.
 

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