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Do bigger pole pieces produce P-90 type tone?

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

  1. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

    Oct 21, 2014
    Florida
    I feel like the Cavalier Humungous Lion gets even closer from the demos I’ve heard. Fellow member roknfnrol has a great demo on YouTube. Both are great pickups. You can’t go wrong with Cavalier!
     
  2. Paul-T

    Paul-T TDPRI Member

    37
    Nov 23, 2018
    London
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
    Teleterr likes this.
  3. Zeonoid

    Zeonoid Tele-Holic

    551
    Dec 17, 2008
    Slovakia, EU
    everything stimmt whats up there ..exept much more compressed sound which is something I am not ofter with single coils
     
  4. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    the tone and output of a vintage repro fender passive pickup is about it's footprint and height (height being governed by the length of its alnicX rod magnets), the type and amount of coil wire going around those rod magnets, the coil wire tension, the amount of magnetism the rod magnets (gauss rate) are capable of producing, and how and where the completed pickup is both situated in the guitar and what it feeds both onboard and outboard. wow, that's a mouthful to chew on.

    so, no - magnet size alone won't produce "p-90 tone". in fact, if too large or too small, such magnets may not INSTIGATE any kinda pleasing tone or output. there's more to this than meets the eyes or ears.

    "p-90 tone" has a LOT to do with it's footprint and height.
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Age:
    59
    Mar 16, 2003
    Arlington, VA
    In my experience no. I have a couple different makes of "P90 in a tele bridge" pickups and both are fine pickups but don't sound like a p90. They sound like mid-focused higher output tele pickups.

    As other have said a lot of the key to a p90 is the wide coil. You can't get a coil as wide into a tele bridge slot.
     
    BB and bender66 like this.
  6. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    *IF* there is a need to have a tele or esquire offer a "p-90 like tone", then get a tele humbucker bridge and stick in a p-94, which *IS* a p-90 bobbin inside a humbucker frame. the results will be "p-90 tone" as governed by how that p-94 bobbin is built, its components, and how it's coil wound - not all p-90's are the same!

    also realize there WILL be more humbuzz than a typical tele/esquire bridge pickup, because the humbuzz emanates from the physical size of the coil wire surface, where said surface is far more in a p-90/p-94 (wide/short coil) than any tele/esquire bridge pickup (narrow/tall coil).
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.
  7. Teleterr

    Teleterr Friend of Leo's

    Feb 7, 2011
    Lewes De.
    Aren t Squire Tele Bridges P90s w a taller coil ? I m familiar w the Squier Strat versions and it does have that BITE from the magnets orientation. Should be about $10 ebay for the 2 bottom magnets version, add 2 Firebird AlNiCos to replace the stock ceramics and you ll have a good/great sounding p-up cheap. I did a Squier Strat p-up like that and it sounds as good as a $100+ boutique.
     
  8. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

    Mar 16, 2003
    Colorado
    Rio Grande MuyGrande or Dirty Harry.
     
    BorderRadio likes this.
  9. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    Not exactly the same. The P-49 puts more turns of wire, as well as the permanent flux source further away from the strings, so the strength at the pole tops a bit weaker.

    Some people talk about the shape of the magnetic field being important, that in and of itself doesn't have a tonal impact, but how much the magnetized pole pieces tug on the strings, and how close the wire loops are to the guitar string, must have some effect on the output, if not the resulting tone. When people say P-90 and P-94 don't sound alike, I'm not even sure it owes to these factors, because claims made in the absence of a double blind test are not really worth giving weight to anyway. P-90s and P-94s might actually sound indistinguishable in practice.


    [​IMG]
     
  10. Rob DiStefano

    Rob DiStefano Poster Extraordinaire Vendor Member

    Age:
    72
    Mar 3, 2003
    NJ via TX
    there are p-94's and then there are P-94's. a P-94 that's made with a proper P-90 bobbin *IS* a P-90.
     
  11. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    The one pictured came form an Epi LP that boasted having "Gibson" pickups

    [​IMG]
     
  12. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    42
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    Contact GFS or one of the other importers of decent quality import pickups.

    There's no great reason single coil pickups need to cost that much (i've had better luck with low cost single coil pickups than with low cost humbuckers).

    I'm not advocating GFS specifically (never used them) but see that they have 10k overwound bridge tele pickups and noiseless pickups in the 12 range. If you want more bass and mids, just go for more output. Won't sound like a P-90, and the frailins that I had years ago that were overwound were very noisy, but definitely thicker sounding.

    https://www.guitarfetish.com/KP--Al...le-Bridge-Pickup--Kwikplug-Ready_p_21967.html
     
  13. luckett

    luckett Friend of Leo's

    Jun 14, 2011
    .
    A "proper" P90 bobbin is too wide to fit under a humbucker width cover like that used in a P94.
     
  14. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    It most likely comes down to the use of steel and ceramic used where AlNiCo would be expected, and using brass where nickel silver would be expected. If they use the vintage correct metals, and wind the coil to a vintage correct inductance for that type of pickup, it should perform like any higher priced equivalent.
     
  15. telemnemonics

    telemnemonics Doctor of Teleocity

    Age:
    59
    Mar 2, 2010
    Maine
    What aspects of sound make one player say P-90 may not be the same as what another player hears as P-90.
    Agreed though, alnico poles are not going to sound as P-90 as bar magnets under the coil with steel poles.

    The Leo era G&L Tele bridge pickup is built pretty much like a P-90 in the shape of a Tele bridge pup. Steel poles with a bar mag underneath.
    It has the sound the OP described, warmer/ darker and fatter with more mids and less highs.
    Not exactly a P-90 but a great sounding pickup that is IMO a keeper.
    I would say you won't get an angled Tele mount pickup or any pickup that fits a Tele bridge to sound exactly like a P-90 mounted without the angle.

    Very hard to find but I've had this one in my watch list for a while, good price.
    http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=362429334811
     
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2018
  16. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    The reason for that is no mystery though, the steel screws lower the Q factor, increase the inductance and bring less flux density to the guitar strings, while the AlNiCo poles maintain a high Q, a lower inductance, and a higher flux density at the strings. There are other ways of altering all three parameters aside from switching between screws and AlNiCo poles. For example, using 1meg pots will bring the Q back up, more turns of wire will increase the inductance and the output, ceramic or larger AlNiCo magnets will increase the flux at the strings, as will raising the pickup to be closer to the strings.
     
  17. BB

    BB Poster Extraordinaire

    May 17, 2003
    Great Pacific NW
    True dat Max. My experience (and yours anyway!) with a handful of tele pups marketed as P-90 tone in tele form failed to deliver the tone I wanted. As MAx said, they were all fine pickups, just not the tone I was after.

    I had a fella wind me a tele bridge single coil with Alnico 8 slugs at 12.5K. With the tone rolled back a bit, it's the closest I've found, but still well short of a P-90. YMMV
     
  18. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    Tele pickups are positioned a little differently under the strings than P-90s in Gibson guitars, so it's essentially impossible for them to sound the same. It becomes a question of how loose a person's standards are, which is also something that can't be easily quantified, if at all. It's all very vague, and a person is liable to change their mind about these things without even realizing it's happening.
     
  19. D_W_PGH

    D_W_PGH Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    42
    Aug 28, 2018
    Pittsburgh
    Agree - and there are a lot of alnico pickups that are wound with sellers giving the impedance numbers for fairly low prices.

    Not a lot of low-priced humbuckers like that, and I have never made a pickup but I see many of the single coil makers say that it's more complicated so there isn't an array of alnico single coil pickups with good data and a lineage that isn't just "random chinese" like there is with single coil.
     
    Tootle likes this.
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