July 15th, 2012, 11:35 PM
I had my first gig since installing two GFS Mean 90 Pickups in a much loved Squier Standard Tele of mine last night. This guitar has always been a great "house guitar"- so much so that I once brought it out as a spare, and ended up playing it all night after a broken string. That night, I realized how inadequate my neck pickup was, especially- very weak and piddily. The bridge was ok, a stock humbucker, but was rather whistle-y and shrill at higher volumes. I never played it out again, but loved the look and feel of it. I noticed it was routed for a humbucker in the neck , I ordered them, and wired 'em up.
While not a total p90 sound, there is such a fullness overall, especially in the neck, there's no comparison to the stock pickups. They have great response, very good clean for swing and Texas swing and rockabilly sounds. Against a band, loud and clean, they RANG, and for the first time in my 25 years of teles, I played the neck pickup for breaks several times, POW! I don't work for 'em, don't know 'em, but I can tell you they came fast, and sound GREAT. I'm putting them in at least one more neck of mine.....
July 16th, 2012, 08:43 AM
Cool review, thanks!
July 16th, 2012, 11:36 AM
Yeah, it's a great pickup. Make sure to spend time adjusting the individual ple-pieces, They're adjustable for a reason!
July 16th, 2012, 11:44 AM
hmmm I have a new strat body with a pool route and a mean 90 sitting in a box in the basement...
July 16th, 2012, 09:19 PM
I will look into adjusting the pole pieces, Sarah, thanks for the tip. I just got home from work and played it, and again, that neck pickup is off the chain smooth- and as a pair, they're relatively equal in gain, and the middle position is very cool. I don't really ever use distortion, so be mindful, I guess, as you read my "review"- they do, I can attest, deliver a real Ron Asheton tone with a little gain, but MAN, what a deal for that much tone. There was no such cheap gear when I was a wee picker.
July 16th, 2012, 10:40 PM
aside from a real gibson p94, the mean 90 is a definite fave of mine, and the metal cover helps with the humbuzz while "thickening" the mid-range tone a tad (which is why it doesn't sound like the true p90 that's hiding under the cover).
July 17th, 2012, 06:22 PM
Rob, you're right there is a lot less "humbuzz" than most comparable p'ups. There's a bit of an almost 'compression' sort-of effect at times, almost a clipping kind of thing, ever, ever, so slight, which I was unsure of at home, but found to be amazing with our band. These needed lowering, which killed most of this clipping effect (for lack of a better phrase, so hard to describe tone sometimes) . I'm really enjoying these!
July 17th, 2012, 06:25 PM
They've made me totally fall in love with this old junky Squier!
July 18th, 2012, 11:14 AM
Yeah, I love my Mean 90 mostly for its clean tones. I could never quite bond with the standard tele neck, but this thing in the neck, sweet, sweet, sweet. And SOOOO clear and articulate.
As far as adjusting the pole pieces, mine describe a gentle parabola; that is, the e and E polepieces I screwed down a tad, and I raised, by just a bit, the D, a bit more the G, the B is about where the A is. I get great clarity, not too much boomy bass. Maybe the high e is a little higher than the low e, just enough to get plenty of bite.
July 20th, 2012, 08:47 PM
I have one In my Hwy 1's neck. Love it.