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Old July 31st, 2012, 03:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dream 90 vs Surf 90 vs Mean 90 (All humbucker sized)

Hi!
I got a maple neck Blacktop tele and I want one that'll get me closest to a single coil neck pickup that will sound like a neck single coil on both clean and overdriven. From your experience, what would be best? Think buddy guy\John Frusciante\another break in the wall solo sound. Thanks.


Last edited by mulic3; July 31st, 2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: more details
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Old July 31st, 2012, 03:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I've got all three, and I think Dream90. Surf90 is too clean and Mean90 is too mean, basically, for what you're going for, I think. The Dream90 sounds awesome clean, and good driven. YMMV
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Old July 31st, 2012, 04:11 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The surf 90 is very cool sounding, in a twangy/Gretsch/DeArmond Dynasonic sort of way. Buddy Guy/John Frusciante/David Gilmore strat tones don't come to mind when I play my surf 90, but with enough EQ and the right overdrive, maybe. It is definitely a single coil and sounds like it, but it doesn't have the big midrange that a P-90 has.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 04:14 PM   #4 (permalink)
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The scale goes like this, Surf90-very bright, almost Dynasonic-like, as spankdplank said.
Dream90-very nice full clean sound. Mean90-the most traditional humbucker sounding, maybe leaning a little more toward a P90.

I do find myself wishing that GFS made something to fill in the sonic space between a Surf90 and a Dream90, and a Dream90 and a Mean90. Because there's really quite a bit of difference there, between all three.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:05 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Thanks a lot guys. Looking forward to hear more opinions!
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:45 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Dream 90.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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The scale goes like this, Surf90-very bright, almost Dynasonic-like, as spankdplank said.
Dream90-very nice full clean sound. Mean90-the most traditional humbucker sounding, maybe leaning a little more toward a P90.

I do find myself wishing that GFS made something to fill in the sonic space between a Surf90 and a Dream90, and a Dream90 and a Mean90. Because there's really quite a bit of difference there, between all three.
I'm surprised the Surf 90 would be brighter than the D90. Which would you say has fatter upper mids? The regular P90's should be between the M90 and D90. I have one in the neck of a XV-585 and it sounds very good, if not maybe a bit thin in the upper mids. Still, it's good for a distinct sound in the neck. I'd probably want something fatter in the bridge.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Thanks man. You think it'll match the style I'm looking for? How close will it sound like a Neck single coil? By the way, I already got the Dream 180 at the bridge position wired to Series\Split\Parallel.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 06:57 PM   #9 (permalink)
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If you put a Dream 90 in the neck and coil cut the dream 180 you will get a very Stratty sound in the middle position. I had a Dream in the neck of my standard tele withthe stock bridge pup and it sounded Stratty in the middle position.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 07:46 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Save some more money, and get Gibson P94's.

The GFS P90's in the humbucker cases don't sound anything like a P90. The set I had (mean or dream, I don't remember which) lasted 2 days and were removed. I took one apart and it had an overwound strat PUP inside it. Which explained why it sounded NOTHING like a P90.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 09:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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That sounds like the D90. I think the M90 is constructed more like a P90. I highly doubt Gibson is doing anything more advanced, or using any better materials than GFS. They're probably all made in some Chinese factory, or another. Gibson just has the legendary status. For the OP's needs, I'd say it comes down to the D90, or Surf90. He doesn't want a P90 sound.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 10:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"I'm surprised the Surf 90 would be brighter than the D90. Which would you say has fatter upper mids?"

They are both bright pickups, the fatter upper mids would be a hard call. The S90 is more bell-like, the D90 seems to have a little more mids complexity.
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Old July 31st, 2012, 11:51 PM   #13 (permalink)
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That's what I thought. I'd call the more bell-like upper mids of the S90 fatter, because that reminds me of the shape of a bell. With either pickup, you can always smooth them out and fatten them up by turning the recommended value tone knob down to ~7, or ~5, depending on your needs. Many people don't use the tone knob because it can sound dull. You'd be surprised at how much you'll enjoy the creamy and meaty tones you can get with the knob above ~5 if you use a low capacitance cable.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 03:27 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Thanks for your opinion guys.
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Old August 1st, 2012, 11:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Where does the Vintage '59 neck humbucker stand compared with the others?
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Old August 4th, 2012, 01:29 AM   #16 (permalink)
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Don't P94s have a strat-sized coil?
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Old August 7th, 2012, 06:32 AM   #17 (permalink)
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Thanks guys. Went for the Dream 90. Should be here any day now.
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Old August 7th, 2012, 12:40 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Cool, I think you made a good choice, the Dream 90 is a very good middle ground and the Surf and the Mean are a little more at the extreme ends of the spectrum. Report back!
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Old August 10th, 2012, 05:56 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Quote:
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Thanks guys. Went for the Dream 90. Should be here any day now.
Please report back...! I have the same questions. Tele, neck HB needs replaced.

Thanks
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Old August 19th, 2012, 03:20 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Please report back...! I have the same questions. Tele, neck HB needs replaced.

Thanks
Hi man,

Got it today! I'm quite dissapointed, but it might change. I have to say, overdriven, it sound very well and clear in chords and such. In terms of lead - Didn't make up my mind yet. What sound re you lookin for?
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