What’s your favorite P90 brand?

cooljuk

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So what’s going on with the mid 50’s p90s compared to the early and late 50’s?
Mid 50's? Probably A3s. Really, "probably A3s" is likely the case clear though most of the 1950's until the end. I was leaning towards eras of more (though never finite) certainty.

In the early 50's they are pretty much guaranteed to be some type of A3 magnets, having a particular sound. By the very late 50's, after Gibson had introduced humbuckers and was getting swinging with that. Like the humbuckers at that time, the P-90 coils also seem to consistently have the dark rusty color wire and the long bar magnets ground on both polar faces, just like the humbuckers. It appears to me there are lots of stronger magnets around 1959. I've really loved the sound of the A5 P-90s from 1959 guitars that I get. Very definitive of a crunchy, raunchy, jangly rock P-90 sound.

I say "it appears" because, even though I've had lots of P-90s from just 1959 serial guitars grace by benches, that's still a small sample in the big picture. There's always that thought in the back of my mind like, "Well, what if only this wire, or that style, or ones with bobbins from this run or whatever are more prone to failure so I see them in disproportion to others?" Those sort of thoughts can be haunting and, being a factual person in a field of speculation, I feel the need to put disclaimers in my statements for reasons like that. Being a reseller or collector, in that way, would be advantageous to a more uniform demographic of guitars for a database. Having a focus on repair and restoration, I get stuff that needs repair or restoration in greater proportions.
 

Sp8ctre

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I have Sanford Magnetics 9022 in a 3 pickup semi hollow 27" scale and they are fantastic!

Not sure he's widing anymore?


 

cooljuk

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I was changing the strings on my '56 Les Paul Junior, so I took these photos. Hope it can shine some light. @cooljuk
I couldn't say much about the coil/magnets from the photos, other than the magnets do not appear to be the super thick ones, like the photo I posted earlier. If I had to take a shot-in-the-dark guess, I'd still guess they are probably A3s, if they original to a 1956 guitar. If you want to show me the North polar faces (the edges that point away from the keeper bar, to the outside) it could lend a clue.

btw - what's up with the black tape on the hookup lead near the pickup? Did it get cut out and spliced back together, at some point? Hard to see.
 

red_house356

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btw - what's up with the black tape on the hookup lead near the pickup? Did it get cut out and spliced back together, at some point? Hard to see.
It definitely looks that way. The p90 is original and the pots date to the 21st week of '56. Reads about 8.0k or so. I was actually unaware of it until you pointed it out and I i investigated further. It may find its way to UT sometime in future for new leads.
 

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cooljuk

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You have one of the very rare visual clues to magnet type. This only applies to 50's / 60's Gibson magnets. The unground rough cast North polar faces are a pretty strong indicator (IME, so far, 100% of the time) that those are A3 magnets.

Here's one just like those from 1957, but I have several more, as well. All A3s.



Here's the other (South) ground flat side of the same magnet:


Once humbuckers were in production, Gibson started using magnets with both the North and South side ground flat, for proper contact with both the keeper bar and the slugs. Prior to the introduction of PAF humbuckers in 1957, there was no need to have a flat North side of the magnets, as that side faced outward and contacted nothing.

Gibson did continue to use those "just one side smooth" magnets in P-90s for a while and occasionally, especially in 1957, also used them in PAFs. The one above is from a pre-decal PAF, actually. I've seen these types of A3s as late as the mid-1960's in the case of just one humbucker. That's very rare, though. Mostly, they seem to have been used in P-90s, once Gibson started using "double ground face" magnets, until they ran out.
 

Oldskoolrob

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So no one's mentioned SD Antiquities yet?


If I'm getting a pair of dogears, is there any benefit to having A3 in the neck and A2 in the bridge to balance them a bit?
 
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cousingrandpa

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The stock P90 in my BFG sounds great, every time I think of getting something better & play it I can't justify it. I put a BK Warpig in the bridge & generally change all stock humbuckers but the Gibson P90's sound great. I also left the stock P90 pros in my Epiphone 339 pro for the same reason. Both guitars have RS super pots, PIO caps & 50's wiring.
 

RAG7890

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I'm no expert but I am in love with the Vintage '58 P90's in my '54 GT Replica.

Great sounding set of PU's IMHO. 7.98 on the Neck & 8.35 on the Bridge (guide only of course).

I also love the tones David is getting here but it is David & it is his rig: -


:cheers2:
 

morbidalex666

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Tyson Tone without question
His 57 wraptail is the bomb as far as p90s go for me.
Bob Tyson's favourite pickups are p90s, his knows his s@#t.
 

dspelman

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Been thinking about getting another les Paul with p90s and just wanted to hear suggestions on some of your favorite p90 builders.
Standard Gibsons are fine.

Stay away from the overwound P90's or you'll have more noise than you ever wanted. And the underwound P90's that some winders are promoting as lower noise are just emasculated. Avoid.

Once past bog-standard P90's (and remember that almost all P90-equipped guitars had the exact same pickup in both bridge and neck positions, so don't fall for that "matched set" bullshit with an underwound neck), I'd suggest that you talk to Mike Reilander in Vancouver about his handwounds.

If you want noiseless pickups, the best are Kinmans. They nail the P90 sound and...no noise. Stay away from Fralins.
 

markbastable

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Bareknuckle Nantucket, certainly.

I'm about to put a Porter in a LP Jr. I'll report back,.

Edit: Actually, the Bareknuckle I have is a Mississippi Queen. You can see how I might get confused there....
 
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C_Becker

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Its a P90. No need for unobtanium bobbins or whatever. Gibson’s are quite fine for my tin ears.

My cheapo Tribute sounds awesome as is. It isn’t like there are a million variations- like PAFs.
This. Seems like P90s are hard to eff up.
Even the set of Wilkinsons I once had in my LP Special was quite good.
 

markbastable

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Thanks for that vid, by the way, garybaldy. Quite inspiring.
 

judson

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set of Lollars is my first set to start me down the rabbit hole....and they were a wake up call for me to hear ....they chime and distort clear which is the only way i know to describe it

see you guys in the hole but excuse me if i just keep running towards something that feels like ear masturbation...

:rofl:
 

ezra1

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I have a hot Lollar in a Junior and a set of Rewinds in a Les Paul.
I like the Rewind the best.
 

blix

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So, right now I have a Throbak 55/56 set and a single ReWind p90 cool 90. So far everything is sounding great, easily getting Danny Kirwan tones out of the Throbak.
 


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