P90 or humbucker for variety of tone

InTheEvening

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So I have a Les Paul standard 60’s with 61R/T pickups, and a Les Paul Junior with a dog ear p90. And I can only add one SG but struggling to decide if I should go humbucker or p90. I played and liked both so just trying to see which one will be less redundant and more useful to have in my rig.

1) SG special with p90’s (soap bar pickups)-would the special bridge pickup sound too close to my Les Paul Jr.?

2) SG with humbuckers (Super 57/57 Classic, or 490T/R or 498T/490R)-would these sound too similar to my Les Paul standard with 61 R/T pickups?

I guess question is, do I get more tonal variety from having both an SG special (soap bar p90) and LP Jr. (dog ear p90)?
Or more variety from having both an SG standard (490T/R, or 57 classics) and a Les Paul standard (61T/R)?

This is further complicated by the fact the SG standard plays better than the special but find SG special is a much better price and may be harder to find in the coming months as a discontinued model.
 

CerebralGasket

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Both.
P-90 and Hum Cancelling P-90.
In the same guitar.

Find a second hand SG Classic. Install a Hum Cancelling P-90 at the bridge for hi gain use and keep the stock P-90 at the neck for cleans. For Hum Cancelling P-90's, I really like the Kinman and Fralin Hum Cancelling P-90's.

SG Classic
Bridge: Kinman Hx Nasty 90 Heavy
Neck: Stock Gibson P-90

 
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mdubya

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If you are playing for your own pleasure, the Special with P-90s will be more versatile, imho.

It may make you wish you had an LP Special instead of an LP Junior.

I have:

SG Classic
LP Special
Goldtop (Tokai Love Rock) LP with P-90s

I have a Goldtop ES LP with humbuckers, too. While I love the guitar, I prefer the P-90 guitars almost all the time.

If you want a humbucker guitar, get an ES 335! :naughty:

I even put a Phat Cat (hb sized P-90) in the neck position of my humbucker SG.

I am tempted to do the same with my hb Firebird.
 

uncle mud

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P90's are my favorite but I don't need a lot of versatility. I do have some Les Pauls with humbuckers. There is a big difference in versatility between a one p/u and a 2 p/u guitar, no matter what p/u. I basically live on the neck p/u for my tone.
 

endial

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A Junior stands alone in tonal quality. Try getting a Les Paul Special to sound like a Junior. It just can't, and will not happen.

With that said, an SG won't sound like a Les Paul either. Your safe in my mind with either choice, for the "balance of variety" you desire. Which brings you to the deal on the discontinued Special. If you bother to get a decent set-up on it, I'm sure it has the ability to play as nice as the Standard.
 

Leee

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P-90 regardless of the guitar.
I sold an SG Special a dozen years ago, and I regret it.

And I will agree with the above statement that a Junior without a neck pickup influencing the strings is definitely a thing.
I have a Les Paul Special that I really enjoy, but I would love to get my hands on a bare-bones basic Junior.
 

efstop

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I have an SG Special with P-90s and a Junior Tribute DC with a bridge P-90. There is also a Squier Bullet (Strat) with a bridge P-90 and a Les Paul Melody Maker with a pair of P-90S slugs. All those P90s and they all sound different.
So, any two different bodies with P90s should have their own sound.



 

mdubya

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I owned these two, SG Classic and LP 50's Tribute, at the same time.

I did a blind demo, comparing the two. The SG was more mid focused and the LP had a broader EQ spectrum.

Funny part, SG guys guessed the LP was the SG and LP guys guessed the SG was the LP.

For me, it was down to did I feel like playing an SG or an LP on any given day? The architecture of the two guitars is starkly different. The LP was a beast and I still own the SG.

 

InTheEvening

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Appreciate the responses guys! Looks like the SG special is the clear winner. Glad to know it will sound different enough from my junior that I can justify both. Gonna be hitting the stores this weekend with the sales going on.

Both.
P-90 and Hum Cancelling P-90.
In the same guitar.

Find a second hand SG Classic. Install a Hum Cancelling P-90 at the bridge for hi gain use and keep the stock P-90 at the neck for cleans. For Hum Cancelling P-90's, I really like the Kinman and Fralin Hum Cancelling P-90's.

SG Classic
Bridge: Kinman Hx Nasty 90 Heavy
Neck: Stock Gibson P-90

Hum canceling p90 is a great thought. I honestly hadn’t even thought of that as an option. Never played a guitar with them. I like playing hard rock so that would actually be best of both worlds, handles gain like a good humbucker with the clarity and punch of the p90.

I was so close to pulling the trigger on an SG Classic on guitar center used this week but it priced higher than I was willing to spend. I think people have caught on to these.

If you are playing for your own pleasure, the Special with P-90s will be more versatile, imho.

It may make you wish you had an LP Special instead of an LP Junior.

I have:

SG Classic
LP Special
Goldtop (Tokai Love Rock) LP with P-90s

I have a Goldtop ES LP with humbuckers, too. While I love the guitar, I prefer the P-90 guitars almost all the time.

If you want a humbucker guitar, get an ES 335! :naughty:

I even put a Phat Cat (hb sized P-90) in the neck position of my humbucker SG.

I am tempted to do the same with my hb Firebird.
Thanks! Yup, will be playing for fun and recording at home with it.
That’s really what I wanted to know, if the p90’s are more versatile than the humbucker I think that will be more useful for me. I’m downsizing my guitar collecfion to a select few guitars and am selling my only single coil tele, so the special might be more useful to have.


That’s a nice collection!
I wouldn’t be surprised if I want an LP special soon too. Ive been looking for one to try in person. But I def can’t imagine letting my Junior go now. It’s still in the honeymoon phase but it feels effortless to play, I lose track of time whenever I pick it up.

Now a ES335 would def give me something different tonally. If the size were a bit smaller, I’d be looking at one now. ES339 might be in my sights down the line though.

P90's are my favorite but I don't need a lot of versatility. I do have some Les Pauls with humbuckers. There is a big difference in versatility between a one p/u and a 2 p/u guitar, no matter what p/u. I basically live on the neck p/u for my tone.
I don’t have much experience with the p90 neck pickup but if it adds a lot of extra nice tones I could see the special being nice to have with my junior.
A Junior stands alone in tonal quality. Try getting a Les Paul Special to sound like a Junior. It just can't, and will not happen.

With that said, an SG won't sound like a Les Paul either. Your safe in my mind with either choice, for the "balance of variety" you desire. Which brings you to the deal on the discontinued Special. If you bother to get a decent set-up on it, I'm sure it has the ability to play as nice as the Standard.
Thanks, this is what I really wanted to know. I know the neck p90 will give some new tones but I didn’t know if the bridge p90 in the junior would be the same as the beige p90 in the special. Good to know they’ll still sound different. I love my LP Jr. it has such a powerful sound.

I’ll def see if I can tweak the setup on the special. If I can get it to play as well as the standard, it’ll make the choice much easier.

P-90 regardless of the guitar.
I sold an SG Special a dozen years ago, and I regret it.

And I will agree with the above statement that a Junior without a neck pickup influencing the strings is definitely a thing.
I have a Les Paul Special that I really enjoy, but I would love to get my hands on a bare-bones basic Junior.
That’s good to know. I love the dog ear bridge p90 on my LP Jr. But I wanted to make sure the special would still sound different enough that I could justify it. There’s def some magic in the junior.

I have an SG Special with P-90s and a Junior Tribute DC with a bridge P-90. There is also a Squier Bullet (Strat) with a bridge P-90 and a Les Paul Melody Maker with a pair of P-90S slugs. All those P90s and they all sound different.
So, any two different bodies with P90s should have their own sound.



Wow! That’s a beautiful collection. I really wanted to mod my Squier strat to have a single p90 like that. Couldn’t find a pickguard to fit it and ended up selling it.

Good to hear from someone who owns both. I def feel better about the special if it’ll sound different from the junior. Makes sense, pickups mounted differently, and def different body designs.

I owned these two, SG Classic and LP 50's Tribute, at the same time.

I did a blind demo, comparing the two. The SG was more mid focused and the LP had a broader EQ spectrum.

Funny part, SG guys guessed the LP was the SG and LP guys guessed the SG was the LP.

For me, it was down to did I feel like playing an SG or an LP on any given day? The architecture of the two guitars is starkly different. The LP was a beast and I still own the SG.

That’s quite funny. At least it’s good they sounded different. I wasn’t sure if the design and build would affect the tone even with both having p90’s but looks like it does. I’m limited in how many guitars I can have, so I feel better knowing the special will sound and feel different from the LP Junior and LP standard that I have.
 
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efstop

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@InTheEvening
Thanks. The Squier is an $88 pawn shop buy and the pickup is worth more than the guitar. It's routed for a bridge pickup only and that's the original guard that I butchered a bit. I had to drill holes and install blind nuts to install the P-90. It looks good from a distance :laugh2:.
It's now a plywood Junior with a Fender scale :D
 

InTheEvening

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@InTheEvening
Thanks. The Squier is an $88 pawn shop buy and the pickup is worth more than the guitar. It's routed for a bridge pickup only and that's the original guard that I butchered a bit. I had to drill holes and install blind nuts to install the P-90. It looks good from a distance :laugh2:.
It's now a plywood Junior with a Fender scale :D
That gives it more character. :dude: Which is always a good thing. Bit like EVH’s Frankenstrat.
You were doing the Fender Noventa before they did.
If you really want some versatility in your stable of axes, get an sg with batwing guard and stick a p90 in the neck and humbucker in the bridge.
With my Junior that actually would actually give me all the tones I’d need. I rarely use the neck humbucker anyways. I’ve seen other forum members also recommend the humbucker bridge and p90 neck combo for versatility. Really curious to try that out now.
 

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