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Old November 30th, 2010, 11:56 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Just Installed 2 P-90'S

I recently bought a Squire Standard off the bay for the purpose of rebuilding. I have installed two Might Mite P-90's and it sounds like butter through my SCXD. My objective is to make it as Jazzmaster-like as possible. So, I have also installed a Jazzy type tremolo- works slick.

I have one more thing to do with the electrics on it. I went to the Fender site to check the components in a '62 Jazzmaster. As a result, I'm planning to install 1 meg audio taper pots with a .03 capacitor.

From what I understand having searched the subject, the higher resistance pots will bring out the highs and suppress the lows from the P-90's a bit.

Does it sound to you guys like it's headed the right way? Thoughts please.


This poor guitar has been beaten around a little. So I feel like I'm doing a good thing by spending the time (and money) on it.

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Old December 1st, 2010, 11:44 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Good to hear that you like the sound of the Mighty Mite P-90's.
Is this your first guitar with P-90's, or do you have others to
compare them against? I'm asking because I like P-90's and
would like to find low-priced options.

Sorry that I can't help you with your question about choice of
pots and capacitors.

Quote:
Originally Posted by fredgold52 View Post
I recently bought a Squire Standard off the bay for the purpose of rebuilding. I have installed two Might Mite P-90's and it sounds like butter through my SCXD. My objective is to make it as Jazzmaster-like as possible. So, I have also installed a Jazzy type tremolo- works slick.

I have one more thing to do with the electrics on it. I went to the Fender site to check the components in a '62 Jazzmaster. As a result, I'm planning to install 1 meg audio taper pots with a .03 capacitor.

From what I understand having searched the subject, the higher resistance pots will bring out the highs and suppress the lows from the P-90's a bit.

Does it sound to you guys like it's headed the right way? Thoughts please.


This poor guitar has been beaten around a little. So I feel like I'm doing a good thing by spending the time (and money) on it.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 12:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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If you hear that a higher value volume pot, such as 1Meg, will make the guitar brighter, you are only hearing half of the story. It is true that a 1Meg volume pot will sound quite a bit brighter than a 500K volume pot, but only when that volume pot is turned all the way up. When you roll the volume back, a higher value volume pot will also drop high frequencies much faster than a lower value volume pot.

Most people feel this treble rolloff is too dramatic, and they compensate for it by adding a small value capacitor across the input and wiper lugs of the volume pot. This will retain highs, but it is a balancing act. Many times, the value of the cap used for this function is too high, which makes the guitar sound like it gets brighter, when you roll off the volume. So, people started to compensate for the high value of the bypass cap (which, itself is a compensation for a high value volume pot) by adding a resistor along with that bypass cap. The resistor tends to smooth things out, but it is also lowering the value of a portion of the volume pot (the portion between input and wiper).

The usual value for volume and tone pots mated to P90 pickups is 500K, for each. Of course, there is no law that says you have to use that value. If the guitar is naturally bright, you might want to back off to 250K, at least for the volume control. If the guitar is naturally dark, you might want to boost the volume pot to 1Meg. If you go with the 1Meg volume pot, experiment with different values for the bypass cap. Try several values between 100pf to 1000pf. Keep in mind that the treble rolloff you hear will also be affected by the length and capacitance of cable you use.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 01:15 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Any time you put 2 P90s in a guitar you are definitely heading the right way, IMO. I've built 3 or 4 scratch Teles with dual P90's and they have all been great sounding guitars.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 04:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim.Collins View Post
If you hear that a higher value volume pot, such as 1Meg, will make the guitar brighter, you are only hearing half of the story. It is true that a 1Meg volume pot will sound quite a bit brighter than a 500K volume pot, but only when that volume pot is turned all the way up. When you roll the volume back, a higher value volume pot will also drop high frequencies much faster than a lower value volume pot.
That is important for me to know. I'm one of those players that controls volume at the guitar. I may be better off just adding a treble bleed cap at the volume pot.

This may be my first P-90 equipped guitar. It depends on how you feel about a Jazzmaster. Jazz pickups seem to be P-90's to me, but I don't know.

I read many positive comments about Mighty Mite P-90's and their pickups in general right here on the Tele Forum. When I was a kid, some of my friends had the single and dual pickup Gibson SG guitars. I loved the sound.

I'm playing mine through a Super Champ XD in a Princeton Cabinet with a 12 inch in it. There's a Digitech RP155 in between. I feel like my outfit has unlimited potential for beautiful sounds. I have another "Tele" by Kramer that I upgraded the electrics on with a good set of Fender Tele pickups. I added a Jazzmaster tremolo to that one too. It's a good addition.

Thanks for your input on this.
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Old December 1st, 2010, 07:13 PM   #6 (permalink)
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What does butter sound like ?
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Old December 1st, 2010, 10:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What does butter sound like ?
It sounds kinda yellow. Yellow is a very good sound for a guitar. I thought everyone knew that.

Feelin kinda stupid right now. The Tele has 250K pots in it. That would be a huge jump to 1 Meg. I have some 500K pots coming. The 250K volume control with the P-90's is almost an 'off/on' switch rather than a gradual thing.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 12:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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The fact that the volume pot is more of an on/off switch has nothing to do with its value. This is what you'd get if the volume pot were linear, rather than audio. However, even if it happens to be audio taper, the quality of the pot, rather than the value, would cause this behavior. I'd bet your guitar has minipots, rather than full-sized pots. Minipots have notoriously inconsistent taper. This is one reason that people generally shy away from using push/pull pots on the volume control. Push/pulls (with a DPDT switch) are always built on minipots. The taper on minipots can be very uneven, and people tend not to like that, for a volume control, but don't mind it on a tone control.

This is not to say that there is no such thing as a smooth taper on a minipot. It is, however, less likely to find a minipot with a smooth taper than a full-sized one with a smooth taper.
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Old December 2nd, 2010, 03:55 PM   #9 (permalink)
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The pots in it are the stock Squire pots (mini). It's getting two standard sized 500K pots which seem to be the preferred ones for P-90's and PAF humbuckers. I also ordered a couple 1 Meg pots (audio) just in case I want to try them out one day.

I love messing with this stuff. But, considering the time required and the money spent compared to the actual knowledge gained I'd be better off reading a book.
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Old December 3rd, 2010, 08:00 PM   #10 (permalink)
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There is a good chance that stadard size pots may not fit in your control plate. I believe the shaft diameter is larger than a minipot shaft diameter.
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Old December 4th, 2010, 01:52 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you are correct, all that means to me is I will make the holes larger. I already made this sort of switch in a Kramer Focus tele clone with no problem.

Actually, on that guitar I had to rout the cavity a bit wider as it had been sized for the mini pots.

So far on this guitar I have:
  • fixed and filed the nut for proper string height,
  • cut down a bridge to fit with the P-90 while maintaining proper location for the saddles,
  • drilled the bridge to accept three brass saddles
  • routed the body to accept the P-90's and the Jazzmaster tremolo
  • shimmed the neck height to gain better break angle at the saddles
  • adjusted neck relief and set the saddles for .080 at the 12th fret

Given what I've already done to it, I don't see a problem making a couple holes bigger. I love this stuff
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Old December 4th, 2010, 04:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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sounds sweet dude...
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Old December 4th, 2010, 09:07 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Score a couple clip leads and a buncha different types (&/or values) of tone caps. Have a buddy change them out while you play and futz w/ the controls. It will be very enlightening.

Stock types: ceramic, mylar, polypropolene, paper-in-oil (there are others)
Stock values: .01, .015, .022, .047, .1
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Old December 5th, 2010, 12:20 AM   #14 (permalink)
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I'm going to have the .047, a .035 and a .022. I can install and record on my pc each cap. I'm looking forward to doing this. But I have to say, this Tele sounds wonderful with the present set up. Really smooth and classy and overdrives nicely. It has a great blues/jazz sound. I love playing it.

Of course, now I'm conflicted. The Kramer tele is all that and a bag of chips too. And what about humbuckers? Haven't even started messing with them.
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Old January 31st, 2011, 11:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Thought I'd post some pics of the P-90 Tele and a couple others as well.





The black Squier has the P-90's and a Jazzmaster tremolo. It's really a great sounding guitar. The blue one is a Kramer Focus Tele clone. The sunburst is a Jagmaster. A Jazzmaster tremolo is the only mod to that one so far.
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Old February 1st, 2011, 12:42 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Quote:
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What does butter sound like ?
Anywhere from cool, smooth, and creamy to hot, sizzling, and greasy.
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