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Old July 6th, 2009, 11:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Best P90 Pickups Currently on Market?

Hi. Looking for opinions regarding P90 pickups for my goldtop 56 reissue les paul. I'm currently using the Gibby's which don't sound too bad, but I can't help but wonder if there is something better out there. I play classic rock, blues, some jazz. I like clean tones and edge of break tones. Thanks!

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Old July 7th, 2009, 12:58 AM   #2 (permalink)
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look into Harmonic Designs.
His P90 style pickup is supposedly amazing.
I have a set of his tele pups and LOVE them dearly.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 01:02 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Speaking of P90's, has anyone tried the Fralin humbucking P90?

Bill
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Old July 7th, 2009, 05:34 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I've compared Gibson's P90s with Seymour Duncan and prefer the Gibbos - BY FAR!!!
They sound great in a Les Paul btw.
Maybe consider changing something else down the line, like speakers for example?
Good luck.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by fordfanjpn View Post
Speaking of P90's, has anyone tried the Fralin humbucking P90?

Bill
Will check into this. Always wanted a P90 neck on a Tele. The price looks ok too.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 07:29 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Clear, tight and detailed - Lollar
Clear, warm and organic - Antiquties
Splitting the difference - Fralin

All very musical.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 09:56 AM   #7 (permalink)
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organic is such a silly term.

P90s are hard to mess up. I have played anything from the gibsons, duncans, dimarzios, and lollars. I love the lollars because I could switch magnet type. But for me its all about the ceramic p90s. They twang harder, get nice and raunchy but can be smooth and clean when I rolled back or ease up on my right hand.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 10:19 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Duncan

I like the Duncan Vintage P90's.

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Old July 7th, 2009, 10:41 AM   #9 (permalink)
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I played a LP Jr. with a set of Smit's Handwound P-90s in it (I'd never heard of the winder) and it sounded fantastic. $150 a set.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 06:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I recommend Vintage Vibe; you can switch the magnets and Pete is a great guy: he will answer any question, try to give advice on how to get the sound you're after and build whatever you want at a reasonable price. Bil
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Old July 7th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Can't go wrong with Tom Shorts. So many choices, so few guitars.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:31 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Organic to my ears = natural, musical, complex.

That's how I hear the Antiquity P90s I've used. They capture a 'broken-in' vibe that most new pickups don't. I can't say the same for stock Gibson/Duncans I compared them too.

Plus they look like they have been sweated on, or buried in the groud. So I'm sticking with organic
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:34 AM   #13 (permalink)
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organic works for me, good post tjalla.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:51 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Gibson and Wolfetone P90's are my favorites. I swapped several P90 pickups in and out of my guitars, and before I settled on these two as my faves I had: Lollar, Harmonic Design and Seymour Duncan.

The Lollars are good, but a bit "sterile" sounding to me. Harmonic Design P-90's are just plain bad (to me) and I generally love HD pups (just not the P90). By "bad" I mean that whenever I had those pickups (vp90) in one of my guitars (and I had the same P90 set in two different ones), I was always fiddling around with the tone knob to dial out some annoying frequency. Happened in both guitars.

The Duncans I had were one of the overwound, "hot" P90's that came stock with one of my guitars. Honky and horrible. Never tried the Antiquity. I suspect that would have been more to my liking.

I took the stock Gibson P90's out of my Historic Les Paul, thinking there "had to be something better" even though I liked them. I ended up switching back to the Gibsons. Booteek is NOT always better.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:53 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goldtop78 View Post
Hi. Looking for opinions regarding P90 pickups for my goldtop 56 reissue les paul. I'm currently using the Gibby's which don't sound too bad, but I can't help but wonder if there is something better out there. I play classic rock, blues, some jazz. I like clean tones and edge of break tones. Thanks!
Are you using Gibson P90's or the pickups that came stock with the Epiphone? Those guitars do not come stock with Gibson P90's.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:30 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Has anyone compared the new production Gibsons, Lollars etc. to the vintage P90ish pickups such as Harmony/Silvertone Gibson P13:s or the Kay Barney Kessel pickups? I bought a Silvertone Espanada and a Kay Swingmaster and I absolutely love the sound of both guitars but as they really aren't the hi-end of luthiering I'd like to find the pickups to match those as I'd like to get the same sound from my newer archtops. Any suggestions?

He're are the P90:s I've tried so far:
- Gibson P90: Fat and really middy, brilliant on the bridge with the pole pieces really close to the strings but for some reason I couldn't get these to sound good on the neck, they seem to have lots of upper middle but not enough presence
- Sheptone P90: Skinnier sounding than the Gibsons but for some reason I couldn't dial out some shrill upper-mid-range that annoyed me
- GFS P90: These don't sound like P90 to me at all, really thin single-coil sound that actually resemble the Fender texas special strat pickups, only louder. I actually have the on a tele and I love these pickups in it, they sound bright and clear, just not P90:ish
- Ludgren P90, 10% underwound: Smokey smooth, funny compressed fat sound but still enough highs to sound good clean, I guess this one's closest to the Gibson P13 of the ones I've tried
- Gibson P13 on Silvertone 1427: Brilliant, fat and thick with funny down-to-earth feeling, unbelievably dynamic to the extent you really have to watch your picking. Really "organic" sounding with lots of harminic content, these make a clean amp sound like it's on the edge of break-up
- Kay Barney Kessel: A bit brighter and cleaner than the P13:s but they have the same feeling to the P13:s. Lots of harmonic over/undertones which I guess make the "organic" sound..
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:05 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Are you using Gibson P90's or the pickups that came stock with the Epiphone? Those guitars do not come stock with Gibson P90's.
I appreciate the reply's so far.

ac15: the P90's I have are Gibsons.......my LP is a historic reissue.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 09:52 AM   #18 (permalink)
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I appreciate the reply's so far.

ac15: the P90's I have are Gibsons.......my LP is a historic reissue.
Gotcha. Sorry, misread your post, didn't realize you had the Historic. I've got the Historic 54 (great guitar as well, exactly like the 56 except for the wraparound bridge), and I really like the Gibsons, although I currently have Wolfetone pups in mine.

One thing I like about the Wolfetone pickups is that he uses Alnico II magnets (instead of alnico V like most use). Alnico II mags were used on the very earliest P-90's. It's a slightly less punchy sound, but you get more sustain (due to less string pull) and a smoother breakup. Clean sounds are way better than any alnico V I've tried.

I've heard that the Fralin P-90's are really nice, and somewhat like the Gibsons in terms of overall flavor. I've never actually tried them though. That may be an option if you like the basic flavor of the Gibbys but want something slightly different (plus the neck pickup will be slightly underwound, so they match better, something the stock Gibson P090 does not have).

Happy hunting.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 12:23 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Antiquities are also Alnico II, fwiw.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 02:16 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Anyone have experience with the Lollar 50's Wind P-90's?
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