Tell Me About P-90s

ezra1

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I am interested in recommendations for P-90/Soap bar pickups
 

CerebralGasket

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It's really difficult to mess up a P-90.
I've used Lollars, Fralins, Kinmans, stock Gibsons and they all sound great to my ears.

I prefer either a Kinman or Fralin at the bridge position for hi gain use without 60 cycle hum and a single coil P-90 at the neck for cleans.

Neck: Stock Gibson P-90
Bridge: Kinman Nasty 90 Heavy (zero hum)



Left: Kinman Nasty 90 Heavy (zero hum)
Right: Stock Gibson P-90




Bridge: Fralin Hum-Cancelling P-90

 
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Wuuthrad

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Stock Gibson P90 on my LPJDC sounds incredible- clean or mild distortion all the way up to hi gain.

Nothing like it really!

I’m not a good judge of other pickups though, I always roll with stock setups and make the most of em, but you can’t go wrong with P90s if you’re looking for a certain quality of sound- crunchy and clean and in between... single coils and humbuckers that is.

Like ViktorB said, I’ve noticed even the Gibsons are highly sensitive to the control knobs.
 

Les Kiwi

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I would describe them as like a strat or Tele on steroids. A heavier/thicker single coil sound that covers most things esp punk rock (think Joan Jett) really well. Incredibly fun pickup.
 

Oldskoolrob

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While on the subject, should you use a 22cap with them or a different value?
 

Barnaby

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I've wound a few over the years and feel like I'm getting a bit better at voicing the damn things. My early experiments were acceptable but not great.

For no particularly good reason, I prefer soapbars to dogears. The last pair I did for a tele build sound really quite good and, as Victor says, tend to change character with the volume knob. I have a tendency to stay in the middle position, where I get both pickups and a hum cancelling effect. I used a .022 Russian PIO cap and find that I can roll it off a fair bit without the tone getting unusably muddy.


For the record, the single best-sounding guitar I have ever played was a '54 Goldtop LP with original P-90s. To this day, I regret not buying it.
 

ezra1

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I watched both those Doug and Pat shows and liked everything.
I have also heard good things about Wolfetone.
I am looking for Steve Marriott to Leslie West.
I put a Hot Lollar into a Junior a few years ago and it was too hot to my taste.
 

bad565ss

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I've used Gibson, Lollar Vintage, Duncan Antiquity, and Vineham. The Duncan left me
feeling a little disappointed but I'll give it a shot in another build. The other three are all
very good. The Vineham is a terrific value.
 

northernguitarguy

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Plenty of wonderful sounding noiseless/humless ‘P90s’....but they ain’t P90s.
 

BigJim

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Going through a pile of them now, I got my first P90 guitar a while ago.

For all the boutique P90s I have bought (Zhangbucker, Lollar Noiseless, Rewind Electric, Fralin Noiseless, Gibson Historic), the Rewind Electrics are really nice.

I have learned that the hotter the wind, the more mids are present. I worked with @cooljuk because originally wanted hotter winds, but they got really mid focused, so he took a few winds off and now it sounds just right...

I was also surprised at stock Gibson Historic P90s, big sounding and very similar to the boutique winds.

The noiseless were lifeless and lacked that high end sparkle that the non noiseless had....that said, the non noiseless are really noisy, lol.
 

dspelman

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I think stock Gibsons are still the benchmark for P90's.
I'm not a fan of overwound P90's -- way too noisy.
I think Fralins are often a bit wussy.

If I've gotta pick, and Gibsons aren't available, Kinman noiseless are pricey but outstanding. Mike Reilander (up around Vancouver somewhere) makes some handwounds that are surprising. And here's an off-the-rails choice: the modeled P90's in a Variax are not only really really good, but noiseless as well (because they're digitally modeled...)
 


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