Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups
Asher Guitars WD Music Products Amplified Parts Mod Kits DIY Nordstarnd Pickups

Do bigger pole pieces produce P-90 type tone?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Michael A., Dec 5, 2018.

  1. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    Virginia Beach, VA
    I see the SD Quarter Pounder and some other suppliers using bigger diameter magnets to achieve what sounds like a thicker sound, from the clips I've heard. It makes sense to me that a bigger magnet would mean a stronger signal, but I don't know if that translates to a fuller sound. I'd like to try this but don't want to spend SD pricing on an experiment. Will all Tele pickups with the bigger poles sound close to a P-90? Can anyone recommend a budget set that will give that result? I want the original look, not rails, but am ok with an uncovered neck pickup. Thanks for any suggestions or links to clips.
    Tootle likes this.
  2. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

    Sep 7, 2008
    Princeton, NJ
    Are you looking for a pickup that sounds close to a P90? Larger poles are not the original look and are not used by P90s, so I'm not sure what you're trying to get.
  3. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I do not think that bigger magnets = stronger signal = thicker sound,What you're probably looking for is an overwound true single coil instead, which the Quarter Pounds are one example of. They are wound very hot for a tele pickup - 15k or something. More output in the midrange, less high end. But P90s are bar magnet type pickups anyhow. The Cavalier Huge Lion I have gets pretty much in P90 territory. It's not going to be exactly the same of course.
    BCblues55 likes this.
  4. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Thanks for the fast replies.

    Sorry for lack of clarity. I do want to get closer to a P-90 sound, or even to HB sound, but in the standard Tele bridge pickup form factor. IE, exposed pole pieces and bobbin, not single or twin blades. I'm not bothered however if the poles are bigger than original, and kind of like the bigger ones, but that is not the objective. I'm after more bass and mids, and I guess more of a jazzy/bluesy or fatter tone. I am on a limited budget, and the pickups are going into a $65 Sawtooth Tele.

    Yes, I've heard that pickup and like it very much, but the price is more than I paid for the guitar, so above what I want to spend while sorting this guitar.
  5. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

    Dec 18, 2016
    Camden Point, MO
    I have an Artec large pole Tele neck pickup in my vintage blonde Classic Vibe. It matches the stock bridge pickup extremely well, much better in fact than the stock neck pickup did. However it isn’t really anything like a P90 to my ears.

    I am a Total P90 fan so I understand your quest. You might look to Rose pickups, I believe he might be able to get you close. But a P90 is a P90 because it’s not built like anything else.

    Best of luck to you !
    Fiesta Red likes this.

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    GFS makes a "Fatbody" line.

    Both neck and bridge have larger pole pieces.

    Both would run you about the price of your guitar.
    darren7 and Tootle like this.
  7. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

    Sep 4, 2008
    Hudson Valley, NY
    I missed the part about Duncans being too expensive. Do you have a budget in mind? Most aftermarket pickups are more expensive than Duncans, not less.
  8. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    Just put P90's in it and be happy. GFS has some good ones.
    GuitLoop likes this.
  9. archetype

    archetype Fiend of Leo's Silver Supporter

    Jun 4, 2005
    Williamsville NY
    It's all up to you, of course, but I'll put some logic around this. What you spent for the guitar is a sunk cost and has no actual relationship to money you will spend to get the tone you want.

    A $65 Sawtooth with a $60 Cavalier Huge Lion is going to sound many times better than a $125 guitar.
  10. BorderRadio

    BorderRadio Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Apr 2, 2014
    Phoenix, AZ
    Seems to be answered but no, they won’t be P90 sounding.

    What you might want to look at are some Rose Pickups, Freedom T90s.
  11. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

    Jan 12, 2013
    Virginia Beach, VA
    Thanks to all for the good replies. I have found a couple of low cost suppliers that I've sent messages to, and hope I can find something for which I can hear a clip that sounds good to me. If not, I may just end up extending my budget to try the Huge Lion, as it is very close to the sound in my head.
  12. acrylicsuperman

    acrylicsuperman Tele-Afflicted

    Nov 17, 2010
    Mojotone makes a couple p90 territory pickups for tele. Not sure what your budget is though.
  13. bender66

    bender66 Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

    Jan 18, 2010
    on my bike
  14. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    For the most part, P-90s are just very hot single coils with a weaker magnetic pull. I used to run a set of Quarter Pounds in a Tele and if you like P-90s, the QP bridge will cover that territory, especially if you set it a little lower, but the neck pickup won't so much. The neck is not nearly as dark as a P-90, but it's still darker than a typical Tele neck pickup. The Tele bridge pickup is slanted, so it will never sound like a P-90 that is perfectly perpendicular to the strings, but if overall you're going for a fatter tone, it will to that.

    I have measured electrical values for various P-90s and the Tele QP, so I can verify that that the bridge is especially similar on top of my anecdotal experience them both, while the neck pickup is not. I'm not sure that there is a stock looking Tele neck pickup that achieves the inductance of a P-90, because the bobbin is so tiny that it's almost not doable. I took the QP set out of my Tele and got a tuxedo black P-90 Les Paul, sort of Neil Youngish, and restored the Tele to being the best Tele it can be.
  15. Paul-T

    Paul-T TDPRI Member

    Nov 23, 2018
    Don't forget the key constructional difference between a P90 and a tele is not just the shape of the coil (flatter and wider, senses more string, less treble), but the P90, like a humbucker, has a magnet at its base; the pole pieces are a ferrous metal and only direct the magnetic field towards the string. In a tele the pole pieces themselves are magnetic.

    This means the entire magnetic field of the two pickups is different, so there will always be a different sound, beyond all the other constructional differences. That's why, for instance, Fender wide range humbuckers, which have magnetic pole pieces, sound v different to Gibson ones, which have bar magnets underneath and ferrous metal pole pieces to direct the field.
    mad dog likes this.
  16. RomanS

    RomanS Poster Extraordinaire

    Jun 21, 2006
    Vienna, Austria
    EDIT: Duh - you said you wanted something looking like a Tele bridge PU, my bad.
    G&Lplayer likes this.
  17. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    oh heck yeah - bigger is always better! i can see going one up on those quarter pounders, i'm gonna build me some HALF pounders. yeah man, big magnets always make for BIG SOUND. jolts of volts. hammers from hell. pounding pounders. i need my meds, please .... why thank you very much.
    src9000, CFFF, voskarp and 3 others like this.
  18. PBO Blues

    PBO Blues Tele-Holic

    Jan 15, 2016
    Chatham County, NC
    I love this response. Makes many of my harebrained decisions a bit more palatable. I thank you!
  19. Squiertony

    Squiertony TDPRI Member

    Dec 3, 2018
    Maud Oklahoma
    I put a fat pole bridge pickup from guitar Heads 20180421_104607.jpg in a tele and it was a bit P90ish.
  20. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    I have tried many qtr lbs. Most just give you more mid, not more P90
    bender66 and Rob DiStefano like this.
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.