Bootstrap Skookum Mean 90s Humbucker review

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by OttoCorrect, Jan 23, 2019.

  1. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    D6EBEFB2-1FAE-4C90-9C66-55176F3B1E49.jpeg B1E262BB-8901-4108-AA76-DFC94FC3C9EB.jpeg AA101524-8157-460E-9724-A64ADBF0EE37.jpeg So I got these Bootstrap Skookum Mean 90s for my Agile 3200 (essentially a Les Paul), installed them the other day. It was the first time doing my own pickup install and it went pretty well!

    Today I got a chance to actually crank them up and hear what they sound like. Here are my thoughts.

    First off, they are not true p90s, and upon closer inspection of the Bootstrap website none of the p90s are really p90s. What I mean by that is they are not made with bar magnets on the bottom, they have alnico magnet poles like any classic Fender style single coil does. That’s not a knock, the website essentially tells you as much on the page so if you’re surprised they don’t have bar magnets that’s kinda on you for not paying attention.

    Anyways, I absolutely love the look. The material that make up the covers has a brushed appearance and looks pretty classy. The pickups themselves don’t mount quite as low as humbuckers do in my guitar so I had to cut the mounting springs down quite a bit to be able to raise them to a proper height. I still might need to make the bridge a bit higher. The pushback wire is of good quality as is everything else. They are very well built.

    Soundwise, they are good pickups! In a word: KERRANG!!! These are hot, somewhat bright single coils with decent mid presence and good top end bite. The bridge falls somewhere between a traditional p90 and a hotter tele bridge pickup. Nice top end sparkle, not as deep of bass as a tele but also not as much mids as a p90. Good balance if you’re looking for a hot single coil. Produces good distorted tone when needed but also really feeds back at a certain point because, again, these are single coil pickups. That’s the nature of the design.

    Neck is warm and full without being overly bassy or muddy and seems like a good choice for blues or jazz songs. Again, it’s a single coil sound but a high quality one.

    In short, they’re good for what they’re designed to be, hot single coils that go where a humbucker normally would. Fans of the standard mids-forward p90 sound may not love these as that’s not exactly what they have going on. But if you’re looking to put great sounding single coils in a formerly humbucker equipped guitar, these are quality, great sounding pickups and they cost between $40-$50 for a pair.

    A pretty cool pickup, made well, and at a great price. I like them.
     
    emisilly, Keefsdad, CFFF and 6 others like this.
  2. Derek Kiernan

    Derek Kiernan Friend of Leo's

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    I guess this is the obvious question — what makes them not a Jazzmaster pickup in terms of construction, outside of the cover?
     
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  3. idjster

    idjster VERY grateful member Silver Supporter

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    Great review. Thanks!
     
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  4. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    KEWL!!!! I've been extolling the virtues of Bootstrap for some time now, although I've yet to try their P-90s.....I love my Palo Duro Telecaster set.....and you're absolutely right about the build quality and attention to detail, as well as the reasonable prices. I also try to mention the SERVICE they provide......I will acknowledge there are LOTS of good pickups and pickup makers out there, and will never argue with anyone about their personal choices and preferences.....but I hope anyone looking for new pickups will at least check Bootstrap out, and, considering the amazing prices, give them a try.
     
  5. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    Maybe Ryan of Bootstrap will weigh in with an answer. He occasionally checks in here.
     
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  6. OttoCorrect

    OttoCorrect Tele-Meister

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    From what I can tell, the bobbin is higher and the windings are narrower and therefore all the wire is tighter to the magnets like on a strat or tele pickup. Jazzmaster pickups are very shallow bobbins which makes the wire windings broader since it has to wind out due to the shallow height around the magnets.

    From what I can make out peeking between the cover and the bottom of the pickup these look closer to the strat tele style winding height.

    If any of that makes sense, I feel like it’s difficult to describe using just words and no images.
     
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  7. Bootstrap

    Bootstrap Tele-Meister Vendor Member

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    Hey! Thank you for your review! I'm thrilled that you dig your new pickups!

    In a lot of ways, they are. Single coil pickups are simple things, and there are only so many combinations of magnets, length of wire and form factor. The Skookum-90s have a taller coil height and taller, stronger magnets than a typical JM-style pickup.
     
  8. Fearnot

    Fearnot Friend of Leo's

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    The polepieces are pretty much the reason I want a set.
     
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  9. preactor

    preactor Tele-Holic

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    I bought a set of the Clean P90s and love them.
     
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  10. Grateful Ape

    Grateful Ape Tele-Holic

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    Tell me about the Palo Duros....am seriously considering a set of Bootstraps...V-mods are too hot, too bland.
     
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  11. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    What can I tell you? To my ear, they sound very traditional "Tele", although I don't really do the "twang" thing. The bridge and neck sound very "balanced"....neither over-powers the other. I play 80% on the middle selector position, so combined neck and bridge. Ryan also built a middle pickup for me, so I'll probably soon go back to a three pickup configuration, allowing me to get that Strat "cluck"....much like Mark Knopfler or Richard Thompson. (two of my favorite guitarists)
    I don't know what shipping charges do to the total price to send to the UK, but here in the colonies it's VERY reasonable. I've dealt with Ryan (at Bootstrap) four or five times now, and his attention to customer service and satisfaction is second to none.
    I recently gigged with my PRS with a P-90 in the bridge and a Hot Rails-style humbucker in the neck, and, while it sounded pretty darn good, I'm going back to my Telecaster for regular (rock) gigs. The other guitarist in the band is now playing a Stratocaster, and my Tele just "partners" so well with it, as well as cutting through the mix without excessive volume. I cannot promise the Bootstraps are what you're looking for, but I just believe they're the best for combining price, sound quality, and company service. Best wishes! ;)
     
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