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Discussion in 'Pickup Forum' started by thomquietwolf, Jan 12, 2018.

  1. jvin248

    jvin248 Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 10, 2014

    P90s to me are like a ready bar room brawl any time you want it, and that you'll want it again the next night.

    Remember that humbuckers were designed to mimic P90s but give noise reduction. They traded off great tone to get noise reduction. Humbuckers can start to be fizzy where a P90 growls and bites. Or like two saws where one has half the teeth of the other and which will tear and rend more?

    The Tele bridge pickup, with a steel baseplate, is very similar to a P90. As if Leo found a way to make a P90 output with a lot less wire and smaller magnets all for cheaper production. His goal was to sell amplifiers with a side of guitars while Gibson's goal was to sell guitars with a side of amps.

    kchurch and Yaralag like this.

  2. simoncroft

    simoncroft Dr. Stratster Strat-Talk Supporter

    May 30, 2013
    SE England
    Pickup makers and customisers starting putting more winds onto traditional pick-up designs from the 1970s to get a hotter output. So you could say those pickups were 'overwound'. Putting less winds on the coil than the contemporary norm to get a more vintage performance would be 'underwound'.
    Paperback Rocker and Bodean like this.

  3. Jamie

    Jamie Strat-O-Master

    Jun 18, 2015
    So what I'm getting here is that it's hard for P90's to sound bad which validates my current GAS for this.


  4. Dan_Q

    Dan_Q Senior Stratmaster

    Jan 26, 2016
    NW UK
    i got my first P90 guitar a couple of months ago, it sounds fantastic even at bedroom levels- I'm hoping to take it to a jam so i can turn up the juice a bit later this year :)

    Thanks everyone for all the interesting information and comparisons etc- i know nothing about them! :thumb:
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  5. Highway Star

    Highway Star Former Member

    Apr 22, 2016
    Who knows?
    In most cases I actually think that P-90 sounds better than humbuckers on a Les Paul. A lot more bite, punch and clarity. Humbuckers tend to be a bit fuzzy in my opinion and the notes comes out more blurry.

  6. crashbelt

    crashbelt Strat-Talker

    Feb 27, 2012
    I've got them in 50s Les Paul Junior and a Special and an early 60s 330.

    They all sound brilliant and very different. LPJ is musically brutal LPS is only slightly mellower and perfect for slide and the 330 is pure Grant Green jazz tone. Go figure:whistling:

    My favourite pickups even over PAFs.

  7. Shortstop

    Shortstop Strat-Talk Member

    Nov 27, 2012
    P90's are like any other pickup and there's dogs and gems available depending on personal taste.

  8. fezz parka

    fezz parka Strat-Talk Supporter

    Apr 21, 2011
    Simple: less turns on the bobbin. Less turns, lower DCR, more high end, less lower mids.
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  9. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    [retracted comment]
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2018

  10. johnnymg

    johnnymg Senior Stratmaster Strat-Talk Supporter

    Sep 5, 2015
    Central Coast Ca

  11. CaseCandy

    CaseCandy Senior Stratmaster

    May 9, 2015

  12. fender kev

    fender kev Strat-Talker

    Jan 1, 2010
    I like the ones in my tele thinline . but the neck is a bit dark.

  13. dirocyn

    dirocyn Strat-Talker

    Jan 20, 2018
    Murfreesboro, TN
    I didn't realize how hot P90s are until I got an HSS strat. I plugged into an amp I'd been playing with an Epiphone Casino, set for mildly distorted electric blues. The strat plays through the same settings without a hint of dirt. Including with its humbucker.

    And yet at the same time the P90s sound warmer and fuller, less bright. Though it's a different guitar, so who knows. Anyway, they're very good pickups.

  14. gibsonsmu

    gibsonsmu Senior Stratmaster

    Oct 16, 2015
    One is also a hollow body and one has a centerblock.
    Paperback Rocker likes this.

  15. stratomatt

    stratomatt Strat-Talker

    Sep 23, 2010
    San Diego
    IMHO the design of the P90 makes them sound so good. (Well duh!) And by that I mean even the cheapest ones have the P90 growl and clarity. For those who don't know this already, P90s have 2 bar magnets, one on each side of the poles. This is why the bobbins are relatively flat and wide. I have 3 P90 guitars now, all cheaper Epiphones. They all sound great. My favorite is a LP Junior from Craigslist--not even a real P90. I put a humbucker size P90 in it, a no name Chinese one from eBay that I had on hand. The chrome cover started to flake apart, so I found an open nickel cover and put it on. I got to see inside. It was basically a strat type bobbin with the 2 magnets. I love that cheap guitar's tone. So yeah, the design. Seems like it would be easy to convert a ceramic bar magnets strat pup to something like a P90... :rolleyes:

  16. Antigua

    Antigua Senior Stratmaster

    Feb 28, 2014
    in between
    P-90's typically have about 8 henries inductance. PAF humbuckers usually have around 5H, and Strat pickups have around 2.5H, so P-90's are actually "high output" for all intents and purposes, but nobody really thinks of them in those terms because they were never marketed that way, and they haven't specifically been used in that capacity. It's all about context, and prompting, and what people are used to.
    Zeekrider, lineboat and albala like this.

  17. Zeekrider

    Zeekrider Strat-Talk Member

    Jul 14, 2016
    This ^ is a truly wonderful guitar and priced at a bargain. I hope you get it! I have an Epi 339 Pro P90 and a Gibson ES-339 (with Classic ‘57s) and I actually like my Epi 339 better! It plays better, feels better, and sounds awesome!


    I am a P90 fan also.

    Epi 339 Pro P90 with my Epiphone Elitist Casino

    Gibson Les Paul Special Jr.

    PRS SE Custom Semi-Hollow

    There isn’t a dog or poo among them. They all sound great. Even the least expensive among them, the Epi 339 Pro P90 sounds fantastic. In fact, it may be my favorite sounding of them all.

    I haven’t yet added a Strat or a Tele with P90s, but I do think about that, often!
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2018

  18. thomquietwolf

    thomquietwolf Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Dec 2, 2010
    Peardale CA
    Wow, unwinding a pickup...
    Holy smoke..