Nice TPL + magnet combo for re-winding a 1961 P90?

C.J.

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I just picked up a really nice old 1961 ES125 and its been heavily modified over the years (its beat to death basically). Now has two P90's.
Unfortunately the original P90's were long gone and I got such a great deal on it sold-as-seen without any pickups in it at all.

I've got a couple of modern Gibson P90's (which I hate as they are just all midrange and lacking in dynamics). I was going to chop the wire off and re-wire them on my little CNC winder.

I usually do PAFs and have never wound myself a P90 before.

Would anyone be able to offer some suggested TPL for a nice warm tone? I have a huge box of sandcast magnets of all grades to play with. Was going to do degaussed long A5 or maybe A3 if its a bit spikey as these guitars can be when amplified.

Would I be better to go for a low TPL 30-55 or a higher TPL and use an A2 magnet or something to round it out?
 

LocoTex

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I have a couple of Wolfetone P90s that have A2 magnets wound to about 9k.They sound incredible! Go with A2s.
 

ARandall

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It would be interesting to see if any of the 'pro' winders would divulge this sort of info......being the typical sort of thing that I'd guess to be part of 'paying the dues' in learning to wind.
But of anyone around that I know of, the most generous with this sort of info is @cooljuk
 

cooljuk

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IME - original P-90s tend to be A3 or A5. They didn't see the variety of magnets that PAFs did. Gibson seems to have delegated their stock of single-side-ground A3s to P-90s when they decided they needed double-side-ground magnets for the new humbuckers. I'd speculate that by the time that supply was up, things were already getting to be A5s all around.

As far as TPL, I've shared some of that info regarding PAFs here before and gotten flack from colleagues about it. So, I no longer do that out of respect for others who have asked me not to. That said, I've published more first-hand and confirmed "inside info" on PAFs (much of which applies to P-90s, also) in my book than anyone else. So, please don't take me as stingy over the TPL figures. It's funny, because it's not like it takes a million dollar investment to buy some old pickups and count turns. That's something that doesn't require a lab or any special equipment. ...but it's one thing that ticks off the elders, for whatever reason.

More importantly, though, and I promise this is 100% accurate, is that no matter what TPL you choose to use on your rewinding, the steels and other aspects of the winding and wire are more important. TPL is a factor. All factors are important to varying extents. But, if other things are out of order, the TPL becomes more and more insignificant. What I would do, in your situation, is wind a couple coils high, a couple coils low, and a couple in the middle and see what works with the parts you have to work with, to your ears, in your guitar, in your rig. Don't worry about some particular numbers when others variables are off, and there's no right or wrong in sound, anyway. Just use your ears and you'll come out well.
 

jwinger

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The old bridge p90 in my goldtop was pretty underpowered compared to the neck. I'm a player not a collector, so I put the old magnets in a draw and tried more or less the full range from throbak. Tonally and in terms of evening out output with the neck, the a4 was my favourite
 

ARandall

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Magnets in p90s degauss easily. Not only can they be charged easily, but whatever you have in now will slowly go the same way.
 

jwinger

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Magnets in p90s degauss easily. Not only can they be charged easily, but whatever you have in now will slowly go the same way.
Very true...makes me chuckle when I see people taking long mags out old p90s and sticking them in a PAF clone. I've done it, they don't sound the same because they are audibly much weaker after the degaussing
 


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