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Neck PU Replacement: Mini 'bucker vs P90 vs P94?

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by Veeseaczar, Feb 12, 2018.

  1. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    38
    Oct 28, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    So Im having a Vintage Broadcaster lead pickup installed on a Squier Standard as we speak, and earlier I thought to myself

    "You know I really only use the middle and bridge positions on this guitar, but there *are* scenarios in which a big, creamy, flutier sound is necessary..."

    And that got me thinking about replacing the neck pickup with either a minihumbucker, a p90 or a p94.

    So my other telecaster is a dual p90 model, and I like that sound a lot, but I use the two guitars differently (and for different songs in the set).

    The articulation of the traditional tele singles is something I want to maintain, but with much more tonal bloom and general character from the neck pickup (which to me just sounds sort of boring and conservatively voiced).

    I understand the P94 is basically a humbucker-sized P90. Are there any meaningful tonal differences?

    And furthermore, would a minihumbucker add body without sounding smeary and nondistinct?

    To wit: I play low to medium gain styles in a mostly rhythmic role, with all of the overdrive and crunch coming mainly from my AC15. The music I play requires anything from chordal strumming to single note figures and rhythmic arpeggiations, usually seamlessly blending those methods. When I do push into full saturation, its for big washy moments where the guitar becomes a textural element... Think Sigur Ros or Radiohead atmospherics.

    What neck pickup style will best do the job?
     

  2. ebb soul

    ebb soul Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    58
    Jun 7, 2016
    Smyrna georgia
    Mini bucker all the way for me. But that's just me there is more love for the P 90. A 94 is awful IMO.
    Mini bucker for less mud, essentially.
     
    brookdalebill likes this.

  3. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 19, 2006
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)

  4. PumpJockey

    PumpJockey Friend of Leo's Ad Free Member

    Oct 12, 2010
    New Joisey
    Don't like the P94, other choices would be fine. If you think you want to go with a mini, consider a Firebird pup from Cavalier Pickups. He winds them in the original design. I like them a lot.
     
    ebb soul and Nickadermis like this.

  5. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Telefied Ad Free Member

    Age:
    61
    Nov 15, 2009
    Austin, Tx
    Another mini-humbucker voter.
    I am not a P90 fan.
    My personal first choice would be a TV Jones Supertron.
     

  6. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    Try to find a jazzmaster you can run through your songs/rig. I have been testing out a JM pickup in the neck position on a Strat lately and it might give you what you are looking for. P90/etc are high gain, though the volume can be turned back. I love P90s but the JM might find its way into the neck position of a Tele of mine.

    .
     

  7. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    38
    Oct 28, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    So I like this idea but the routing would be difficult.

    Id actually love a telecaster with only JM pickups in it. That would be a dreamy thing to have.
     

  8. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    38
    Oct 28, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    Someone hit me with the tonal difference between your general TV Jones type pickup and your Firebird pickup.

    Never played the Firebird.
     

  9. NICQ

    NICQ TDPRI Member

    88
    May 15, 2017
    Vienna/Austria
    Try a Firebird pickup - they sound great in the neck position

    A mini humbucker will have more mids and sound more like a real humbucker - firebird pickups sounds clearer and more in between a singlecoil and humbucker...

    Keep in mind that a Firebird pickup as well as a mini humbucker will need 500k pots to sound not too dark - which will make the bridge also brighter... I paired mine with a AV52 tele bridge and it sounds bright but still good. Just sayin if you have an already bright bridge with 250k it could be difficult to balance them ( you could try 330k pots from what I read)
     

  10. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    38
    Oct 28, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN

    I hadn't thought of that at all. Man. That tilts me back toward either a TV Jones or just a really good single coil neck pickup.


    Then again, I wonder what pots the Fender 72 types are fitted with, having a Widerange in the neck and a single in the bridge.....

    Anyone know?
     

  11. Andy B

    Andy B Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

    Mar 16, 2003
    Colorado
    Firebird or Mini. Both are great.
     

  12. NICQ

    NICQ TDPRI Member

    88
    May 15, 2017
    Vienna/Austria
    The original Tele Custom '72 had 1 Meg on all 4 pots - though you could go 1M for the Widerange and 500k or 250k for the two SingleCoil pots if you wanted to because the 2 pickups on a custom have seperate vol/tone controls (the guitar has 4 pots)

    If you buy a set of replacement pickups now they match the bridge to have more output/sound duller so that it will sound ok with 1M on all positions.. 1M is essential for the Widerange to sound more like a singlecoil...

    A Vintage Broadcaster bridge pickup shouldn't sound too bad with a 500k pot - you could try that easily, pots are cheap and switching it to give it a try before buying a firebird neck pu is also not that much of a deal
     

  13. DSharp

    DSharp Tele-Holic

    560
    Apr 26, 2003
    Southern Indiana
    I use a Seymour Duncan Antiquity Firebird in my main Tele with 250k pots and it's got plenty of treble for me, and I like treble! I tried a mini-bucker at some point and it didn't do it for me--too much like a humbucker and they never sound right to me in a Telecaster. The Firebird is less muddy or something, and it sounds great clean or crunchy.
     
    Mincer likes this.

  14. Veeseaczar

    Veeseaczar TDPRI Member

    Age:
    26
    38
    Oct 28, 2016
    Chattanooga, TN
    I dont know. I play through the Top Boost, dialed to sound articulate when Im playing the P90s tele. Those setting make the Squier Standard **pretty bright**. I either already have to switch to the Normal channel or roll back the tone pretty significantly to balance it out.

    The Top Boost makes the MIM neck pickup sound pretty great with the tone all the way open, but the bridge becomes strident.

    Obviously people adjust this on the fly, but I like to set it and forget it. Thats a wonder thing about the 72 style wiring... Maybe I should route the guitar for it... Get a blank pickguard and cut it for single coils...
     

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