what defines the P90 sound? - Telecaster Guitar Forum
The Number 1 Fender Telecaster Guitar authority in the world.
   

Go Back   Telecaster Guitar Forum > Other Discussion Forums > Just Pickups
Forgot Username/Password? Join Us!
Notices

Just Pickups Forum for discussing guitar pickups.


Wilde Pickups by Bill & Becky Lawrence WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Amps, Mods, Pedals dallenpickups.com Warmoth.com seymourduncan.com


Forum Jump


Reply
 
Thread Tools
Old June 29th, 2006, 03:11 PM   #1 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
appar111's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Ohio
Age: 39
Posts: 2,713
what defines the P90 sound?

Can someone explain the characteristic sound of the P90? I'd like to know how it differs from something like an overwound strat or tele pickup, or a low output humbucker. Is there a standard output level for a P90 in relation to a stock strat, tele or PAF pickup? Also, do P90's hum as bad as regular single coils typically do?

With all the talk of strat and tele size pickups designed to emulate the sound of a P90, it makes one ask the question: what is it that defines the "P90 sound"?

appar111 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old June 29th, 2006, 05:29 PM   #2 (permalink)
BB
Friend of Leo's
 
BB's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Great Pacific NW
Age: 59
Posts: 4,273
Tone is so hard to describe....one hears the terms "girth", "meaty", "fat", etc associated with P-90's. While all that is true when played with overdrive, the inherent clean tone of a good P-90 is what makes them among my favorite pickups.

They seem to be more harmonically complex than other pickups. For me, P-90's are very articulate and translate subtle playing nuances other pickups don't.

Check out T-Bone Walker, Gatemouth Brown, Early Pete Townsend, Leroy Parnell, Hubert Sumlin, Freddie King, Leslie West, Grant Green, Beatles, etc for P-90 tones.....both clean and driven.

As far as hum, depends on the pickup. The P-90's on my 57 Les Pauls Special were very noisy. The Lollars ( and to a lesser extent, Gotohs ) I used were much more quiet. Most makers today produce P-90's that are humbucking in the dual pickup mode.
BB is offline   Reply With Quote

Old June 29th, 2006, 07:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
Telefied
 
Mark Davis's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Bakersfield Ca.
Age: 64
Posts: 31,440
The song Mississippi Queen is a P-90. Thats all you need to know they are killer.
__________________
I'm so blind my seeing eye dog needs glasses.
Mark Davis is offline   Reply With Quote

Sponsored Links   #
Sponsored posting
 

Old June 29th, 2006, 08:46 PM   #4 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 255
If you have heard any of Social Distortions work a lot of that is P-90 loaded Les Pauls and Les Paul Jrs. Green Days American Idiot has a lot of LP Jrs with P-90s. I saw them live, the opening riff from that song is Billie Joe screaming with those P-90s awesome sound, I was surprised how good they were live!
Rob
__________________
No wonder Joe Strummer played a Tele!

Last edited by onceagriffon; June 29th, 2006 at 08:46 PM. Reason: syntax
onceagriffon is offline   Reply With Quote

Old June 29th, 2006, 09:03 PM   #5 (permalink)
---------------------------
Doctor of Teleocity
 
fezz parka's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Del Floria's Tailor Shop
Posts: 13,853
Depends on the guitar it's in. They sound different in an ES5 than they do in a SG Jr...
fezz parka is offline   Reply With Quote

Old June 29th, 2006, 09:16 PM   #6 (permalink)
Poster Extraordinaire
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Somewhere over the rainbow
Posts: 8,021
like most any Pup, they can be great or they can be so so.....depends on the guitar they're in, and upon the amp you're playing them through....
the "Duncan designed" P90s in this guitar that i got for my brother were absolutely killer into my old Princeton, but didn't seem to fare as well with a JC90, or my Twin for that matter....

maestrovert is offline   Reply With Quote

Old June 30th, 2006, 02:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: USA
Posts: 255
There is a shop I go to for parts that has a Strat with P-90s in it, I haven't hearrd it but it just looks wrong, ugly yuck.....
Rob
__________________
No wonder Joe Strummer played a Tele!
onceagriffon is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 2nd, 2006, 06:50 PM   #8 (permalink)
Tele-Holic
 
The Amazing Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Luton, England
Age: 29
Posts: 558
P-90s are great pickups, I got a '67 SG junior and it sounds pretty good clean, but amazing when I 11 it. I played a double cut thinline with Seymour Duncan P-90s in and it sounded pretty good too, if a little muddy. But generally, if you get a good soapbar/dogear pickup you're sorted. I'd steer clear of soapbars on Epiphones or other budget guitars since they will be very noisey and I think the quality difference between pickups notices more with this style. Maybe it's the fact they're single coil but have an output comporable to a humbucker? I must admit they don't have a reputation for being quiet, but I was never unduly concernedover noise.
The Amazing Phil is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 2nd, 2006, 06:53 PM   #9 (permalink)
Super Moderator
Doctor of Teleocity
 
J-man's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2004
Location: North Wales
Age: 26
Posts: 15,318
I love P90's, best way to describe them is halfway between Single Coils and Humbuckers.

I know it's not a very specific answer but that's always what I hear when I play them.
__________________
"Yeah, well, you know, that's just, like, your opinion, man."
J-man is online now   Reply With Quote

Old July 2nd, 2006, 08:47 PM   #10 (permalink)
Tele-Holic
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: States
Posts: 535
"what defines the P90 sound?"

It may not be too helpful, but honestly ... my '61 Les Paul TV Special, in spades.
Sunburst Island is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 2nd, 2006, 09:07 PM   #11 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
TexGoneNW's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Victoria, TX
Posts: 1,133
I kind of gravitate to P90's. Lots of good stuff on previous posts, but I'll add my spin.

As gain vs. proximity to string go, I find Strats to be weakest, and Teles almost right up there with P90's, but the peak on the harmonic response on the P90's, to my ear, is about a half to 2/3 of an octave lower than the Tele.

I can approximate a P90 on my '71 Tele by rolling off the highs a little bit and using a clean boost, but I haven't been able to do that with my other Tele's.
TexGoneNW is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 3rd, 2006, 01:42 AM   #12 (permalink)
Tele-Meister
 
bwanasonic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Belmont, MA
Age: 56
Posts: 277
Quote:
Originally Posted by TexGoneNW
I can approximate a P90 on my '71 Tele by rolling off the highs a little bit and using a clean boost, but I haven't been able to do that with my other Tele's.
Does the '71 have the same value pots as your other Teles?

Kerry M
bwanasonic is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 3rd, 2006, 01:45 AM   #13 (permalink)
Tele-Afflicted
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,525
I just did a gig tonight with P-90s.

All I have to say is they sound good.
RockinCarl is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 3rd, 2006, 07:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity
 
Telenator's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
Location: Connecticut
Posts: 12,222
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Davis
The song Mississippi Queen is a P-90. Thats all you need to know they are killer.
Great example.

So is "Theme For an Imaginery Western" on the album Climbing! by Mountain.


For clean P90/Les Paul tone "Old Judge Jones" and "What's it Gonna Be?" off of Les Dudek's album "Say No More" is a great example of classic P90 tone.

You'll find some sound clips at http://www.lesdudek.com
__________________
Replacement Wide Range Humbucking pickups and modifications. Yes, we've got the CuNiFe

www.telenator.com
Telenator is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 3rd, 2006, 09:04 AM   #15 (permalink)
Friend of Leo's
 
weelie's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Helsinki, Finland, Yer-up
Age: 40
Posts: 2,145
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark Davis
The song Mississippi Queen is a P-90. Thats all you need to know they are killer.
Never heard the song, but gladly I was able to find it on allmusic, to figure out that the band performing it is called Mountain.
__________________
<- I don't need smileys, I'm smiling already.
weelie is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 3rd, 2006, 11:55 AM   #16 (permalink)
Tele-Holic
 
The Amazing Phil's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Luton, England
Age: 29
Posts: 558
Also, probably the best known example that just popped into my head...

"Another Brick in the Wall pt II" is done on the neck P-90 of a '56 Les Paul with a Bigsby Bridge that David Gilmour has, fantastic sound.
The Amazing Phil is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 3rd, 2006, 12:29 PM   #17 (permalink)
Doctor of Teleocity
 
JohnnyCrash's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: Fullerton, CA
Posts: 10,692
Quote:
Originally Posted by J-man
I love P90's, best way to describe them is halfway between Single Coils and Humbuckers.

I know it's not a very specific answer but that's always what I hear when I play them.

That sort of describes it.

They do have hum like all single coils, no different kind of hum than other single coils.

The sound a tad more brighter than humbuckers, but a lot meatier and fat than single coils.

The upper mids seems to be a lot more present to me as well.

For cleans they're not thin or shrill, but warm (and still bright). For dirty stuff they always seem to "bark" or "grunt". Like an angry pitbull. It's beautiful :)

I use my Tele 33%
My P90 LP Jr 45%
My '57 RI LP 22%

As you can see from this pie chart...

HAHAHAHA
__________________
-

3 Gibsons, 5 Teles, assorted other guitars, about a dozen amps, about two dozen pedals, a Smith & Wesson SW40VE, & a .40 SIG Sauer P226R = too many toys, no money, carpal tunnel, and a serious hearing problem.
JohnnyCrash is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 4th, 2006, 12:54 AM   #18 (permalink)
Tele-Holic
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Location: Canada
Posts: 934
Carlos Santana used a P90 equipped guitar early on from the clips I've seen.
I have an Ibanez Talman with P90s and I love the sound. It's full sounding yet clear.
As far as noise issues go, P90s are as noisy as any other single coil. You can alleviate some of the noise by properly sheilding your guitar.
teleman65 is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 6th, 2006, 09:21 AM   #19 (permalink)
TDPRI Member
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: Aurora, CO.
Posts: 25
Who "Live at Leeds" is a defining p90 sound imo. Martin Barre's solo on "Aqualung" would be another.
poke is offline   Reply With Quote

Old July 6th, 2006, 09:57 PM   #20 (permalink)
NEW MEMBER!
 
AC30's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: SoCal
Posts: 2
Dean DeLeo is a P-90 wielding God!

Listen to any STP CD and you'll hear his 1957 LP Special. He's able to coax magical tones out of that instrument! Some of the most amazing P-90 utterances ever heard!!
AC30 is offline   Reply With Quote

Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off

Forum Jump

/td>

» Random Photo for Guests
MIJ Telecaster
Untitled Document



 


Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.2.2



IMPORTANT:Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult! No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2014, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.
Content Relevant URLs by vBSEO 3.6.0 RC 2
© TDPRI.COM 1999 - 2014 All rights reserved.