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

P90's HB sized vs soap bar

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by navigate40, Jul 9, 2018.

  1. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I've wondered about this, if it was doable. Good job. Did you consider replacing the through pickup screws with plastic screws or brass screws?
  2. schmee

    schmee Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2003
    I've thought about that, but the manufacturers use magnetic screws so didnt worry. I often use SS screws for everything though, cant remember what those are.
  3. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  4. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

    Oct 24, 2012
    Southern California
    I would recommend SD Phat Cats..........realize they are hotter than vintage P90s.
    Mincer likes this.
  5. Uncle Bob

    Uncle Bob Tele-Meister

    Mar 5, 2017
    West Virginia
    I ordered a Mean 90 today, to go in the bridge of a single pickup strat I'm building (from a Squier). The rest of the electronics are classic LP Jr style. I'm hopeful it will all work out. :D
  6. Wrong-Note Rod

    Wrong-Note Rod Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 4, 2009
    another vote for P-Rail, Mean90 or Dream90, and anything from Rio Grande.
  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Meister

    Jan 30, 2015
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    I'll just drop this here for the moment. Guitar Madness versus Gibson.

    How come my Soundcloud tracks won't show ?
    Last edited: Jul 10, 2018
  8. Antigua Tele

    Antigua Tele Friend of Leo's

    Jun 2, 2014
    west coast
    A lot of forum posters remark that humbucker sized P-90's don't sound like the full sized ones, having used both... I think people hear with their eyes. They don't look like P-90's, so they decide they must not sound like them, either.

    Another factor to consider is that the pole pieces of a real P-90 are usually closer to the neck and bridge respectively. We all know pickup location dramatically impacts the tone, as this is what sets apart a bridge and a neck on any electric guitar, but few people, if any, who claim to hear a difference between a P-90 and a P-94 have ever accounted for this difference in their evaluation.
    Miff, Bootstrap and RLee77 like this.
  9. DrBGood

    DrBGood Tele-Meister

    Jan 30, 2015
    Sutton QC, CANADA
    Hmmm, not on my SG and they sound incredible.

  10. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Tele-Afflicted

    Feb 11, 2006
    Near Athens GA USA
    When I was modding my SX Tele for a P90 neck (an GFS vintage wind P90) I carefully broke off the dog ear flaps from the base so that it would fit, barely, the in the humbucker rout. I don't really recommend that with an expensive pickup though. I screwed the pickup directly into the body after that.

    hellopike and schmee like this.
  11. optofonik

    optofonik Tele-Meister

    Dec 23, 2015
    Los Angeles
    I was considering a Telecaster with the HH route, been auditioning it for a few days now. One of the things I want to be able to do is swap the HB pups for HB sized P90s. I just assumed any HB sized P90 would sound like a P90.

    Another guitar I'm auditioning has a swimming pool route which is beginning to sound like the better choice.
  12. navigate40

    navigate40 TDPRI Member

    Jun 26, 2018
    SE FL
    Appreciate all the replies. I have given up, though. Not really willing to throw money at something I am not sure of. One of my concerns is that an HB sized P90 will sound too dark in the neck. And do not really want to mod the body.

    SO, trying a much easier route. Found a Fralin Blues Special strat pickup. Like the sound and like Lindy's pups a lot. Have a strat pickup routed pickguard for the tele. This one sounds very interesting and could give me a unique tone while avoiding the darkness :)

    And, found as used one on Ebay.

    So, will put a ToneRider Rebel 90 HB sized P90 in the bridge (had one leftover from a project) and the Fralin Blues special in the neck. Should make for an interesting axe. 250k pots on the this combination should be OK.
  13. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

    Personally I love a P90 neck pickup. All depends on the music you play and the sounds you want of course. The Fralin Strat pickup will sound fine in a Tele. I was underwhelmed by the Rebel 90s. They don't sound like a P90 to my ears. They sounded decent enough in my SG copy but there was no real personality to them IMO. But you have the pickup already so yeah, try it. You may like it and that's all that matters.

    This guy seems to have found a way to wind a HB P90 in a way that is more like a real P90. I haven't tried the pickup but he does make very good Strat pickups.

    "There have been attempts to make humbucker sized P90's for around 30 years. The technical issues involved have resulted in some killer pickups but few, if any, that really sounded like a P90.

    "Thanks to a very simple idea (that it took me 3 years to think of) Gemini Pickups now has humbucker sized P90's available that sound exactly how they should. The key problem is that a P90 coil extends up to 12.7mm from the core and is shallow. Fitting into a humbucker format, there is only 7mm available at the ends. Gemini P90H's use a butterfly design bobbin. Under the strings, the coil is the traditional shallow, wide P90 coil. At the ends, the coil exopands vertically by an additional 3.5mm, allowing a traditional P90 wind in a humbucker format with the taller section restricted to an area outside the strings where it doesn't matter.

    "Almost all the others use either finer wire or a taller coil, either of which makes a big difference to the tone."
  14. AndreDanican

    AndreDanican Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

    Feb 5, 2014
    I put a set of SD phat cats in a hagstrom Viking. They brought the guitar to life beyond my expectations. A short sample starts at 0:24 of this video:

  15. E5RSY

    E5RSY Poster Extraordinaire

    Mar 5, 2009
    Georgetown, TX
    Anyone have the SD Phat Staples? They have always intrigued me.
  16. navigate40

    navigate40 TDPRI Member

    Jun 26, 2018
    SE FL
    The Gemini pickups sound very interesting. Found that they have a US site.

    I liked the soap bar P90's I had...but just not willing to spend hundreds wait weeks just to see if something is good.

    I was underwhelmed by the Toneriders too, but in the bridge, it works OK...for now. A 2 magnets soften the they are not too twangy...have the '52 tele for that. Might try another sometime (maybe a Gemini).

    I think a SC in the neck in a tele will sound good. This guitar is a back up, so, a project platform. Good and fun, but, I do not want to throw a lot of money at this. The goal is to have this guitar fit in between my Les Paul (Gibson 490's) and other Tele (ash with Fender '52's). So, perhaps a strat SC in the neck, with a P90 in the bridge might be interesting. This guitar would be geared more towards surf rock (it is sea foam pearl). [note added: I tried a set of lipstick pickups ….but felt they were a little for more tone...hard to describe...but I think you guys know what I am trying to say]

    I play mostly clean. Classic rock, surf rock, country.

    Appreciate all the great advice.
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2018
  17. 11 Gauge

    11 Gauge Doctor of Teleocity

    Mar 21, 2003
    Near BWI Int'l
    I've twiddled with the location of the poles with a few parts guitar builds now, and it really will make or break things. I also found that there could be more leeway with the coil itself, as long as the location of the poles was correct.

    ...If you want to witness just how much it can throw things out of whack, find a Reverend Buckshot, and listen to how 'wrong' the Tele bridge pickup sounds, because it's like 5/8" further from the bridge saddles. IMO, it almost sounds like position 2 (or 4) on a Strat's 5-way switch.

    I had a pair of Mean 90s in an Epi LP Jr'ish thing, and the bridge also had that kind of funky/weird (in a not so good way) thing to it as the Buckshot does, just not as extreme. Point being that even a difference of just 3/16" or so would result in an audible difference.

    It would be interesting to try mounting Strat pickups in PAF mounting rings, at the correct polepiece locations, just to get an idea of how key that one single aspect truly is. That might make a good rainy day project...
  18. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2011
    Southeast Florida
  19. navigate40

    navigate40 TDPRI Member

    Jun 26, 2018
    SE FL
    Hi Bull - thanks for the link. I am near Stuart. Where are you? What do you play?

    I am looking for folks to jam with.

  20. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

    Jun 5, 2011
    Southeast Florida
    Hey John, sorry it took so long to reply. I'm in Ft. Pierce, the White City area. The rest of my band mates live in Stuart, and we mostly play down there.
    Maybe we can get together in the near future, you can try out my HB size P90s.
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