Fitting P90s to S/C Affinity Tele

Discussion in 'Squier Tele Forum' started by KelvinS1965, Nov 2, 2015.

  1. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I've been thinking about a P90 equiped guitar for a while now, but finally got to try a couple today. I didn't get on with the feel of either (Gibson Melody Maker 2014 and a Fender Jim Atkins hollowbody). I did like the sound, particularly the MM as the hollowbody was a bit too bassy, but it confirmed that I'd like a P90 guitar.

    However, this now gives me an idea for my 'spare' Squier Affinity Tele that I now rarely play since I got my 50s Classic last year (and pinched the OV pickups that I'd had in the Affinity for many years). I would like to change this Tele to a P90 one.

    I've found a P90 pickguard and modestly priced P90 to put in the neck position, so will cost under £40 all in (I can do all the soldering, etc myself including the routing). However, the bridge pickup is the issue. The place I've found does a replacement bridge which has a cut out for a humbucker and I could use their humbucker sized P90. However, they only do the humbucker sized P90 in a 'late 50s' sound (Alnico V rather than the 'early 50s' Alnico III), so I'm just hoping it doesn't end up too smooth sounding.

    Has anyone else done this? The Affinity really isn't worth much at all (it was only £99 new about 14 years ago) so I'm not concerned about devaluing it and there isn't really a new guitar I can buy that I like the feel of that is within what I'm prepared to spend.

    I'd prefer to just get two of the P90 'dog ear' models (£22 each), but it's the fitting at the bridge end I'm struggling with, hence the humbucker bridge option. However, this puts the price up (£52 for the P90 and £20 for the bridge) and the bridge is for a through string body (mine is a top loader), so I've either got to drill the body or drill the new bridge to make it a top loader.

    I may just fit the P90 neck pickup and then see how well it works with the existing single coil bridge pick up, but it would be good to have an idea of how I could deal with the bridge P90 later.
     
  2. TimmyV

    TimmyV Tele-Holic

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    Rose pickups could wind you a custom set of HB sized p90s. Probably use whatever magnets you want in them and wind them the way you want them too. They're pretty reasonably priced. I've never used them but have heard a lot of people rave about them.
     
  3. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    I've come across Rose via searches, but they don't seem easy to get in the UK, plus the price will be pretty high by the time I've got them here.

    I'm thinking that I might just buy one dog ear P90 and put it in the neck position and see how I get on. I do tend to use the neck pickup quite a lot on my Classic 50s Tele, so it seem the best place to start on the Affinity Tele.

    I fancy a change to a black pickguard to go with a black P90 as per the picture in this link, though my Tele is a mid blue non metallic I'm not so sure it'll look as nice as this picture. Depending how it works out (and if I end up drilling the body for a string through bridge) then I might respray it a mid metallic grey.

    http://www.axesrus.co.uk/Pickguard-P90-Conversion-Suitable-for-Tele-p/60stp90spec2.htm
     
  4. Vintagemod8

    Vintagemod8 TDPRI Member

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    Putting P90's in your Tele sounds like a great. idea. One inexpensive P90 to look at is the GFS Mean 90. I have them in two guitars. Their tone really works for me. I don't know if they would be expensive for you to import them but I suggest you look at the reviews for them.

    Good luck with your mod.
     
  5. luckett

    luckett Banned

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    Those 2014 MMs don't use traditional P90s. They have alnico pole magnets that are brighter than the screw pole versions. You might want to go with a low wind P90 to get closer to the alnico pole P90 tone.

    For the bridge, you can use a cheap wilkinson short bridge and just do a normal P90 route.

    I wouldn't use the mean 90s. They have a fatter tone and dont have the brightness of the alnico pole P90s.
     
  6. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Thanks Luckett, that's exactly the sort of input I need to avoid going to the trouble of putting it all together then wondering why it doesn't sound like I hoped it would.

    I think the short bridge might be the way forward and then a matched pair of low wind pick ups like you say.

    This will mean I'd pretty much have to respray the body to hide any holes/marks, so that would be the excuse to paint it similar to the 'Ghost silver' Tele that I've seen with a black pickguard. Not only will it sound totally different to my white Classic 50s, it'll look different too. :)
     
  7. Big-Tele

    Big-Tele Tele-Meister

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    I installed GFS Vintage wound Alnico P90 pickups into a Hagstrom Viking and they sound great.
     
  8. Sollophonic

    Sollophonic Friend of Leo's

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    Put a P90 in the neck slot, but leave the bridge as it is.

    Then wire them both to a 4 way switch.

    I did this to an Affinity I had a while ago, and it was a monster, the combo of a P90 and a Tele bridge pickup in series, is great IMO.
     
  9. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Tonerider, a Brit firm, might have a good hum-sized P90. I have their Al II vintage P90s, and they are very good.

    Otherwise one of the GFS range, also very good in my experience.

    Another option I like is P90 neck and humbucker bridge for a warmer thicker bridge sound.
     
  10. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Good call with the 4 way switch, I took one out of it when I put it back to standard (same time as I took the OVs out of it for my 50s classic). The standard bridge pick up isn't great though, so I'd maybe have to get a different s/c bridge pick up if I don't go with Tony's suggestion.
     
  11. Journeyman22

    Journeyman22 Tele-Meister

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    I put a couple together my self. I have to say both are awesome sounding. I did a complete make over on both (from Rondo Music, Douglas and SX brand). It was well worth while, plus I learned a whole lot about working on guitars. Good Luck! The HB sized I used were SD Phat Cats. The Soap Bar re-winds are pictured. Either way you will be happy.
     

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  12. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Lovely guitars there Journeyman22, I'm sure they sound as great as they look.

    I keep going round in circles with this as the whole idea is not to spend a fortune doing it (otherwise I may as well just buy another guitar with P90s on). However, I think I'm going to just get a single soapbar pickup and the modified pickguard for the neck position for now, at least it's pretty much reversible too (the larger route being hidden by the original S/C pick guard) as I have a feeling it'll be a stop gap...

    I was tempted to trade it for a Cabronita and change the pick ups for whichever P90 would fit directly, but they seem hard to come by now. The HH Telecasters could also be used, but they're pretty expensive when you add the cost of the P90s on top, though might be the way to go longer term seeing how nice Journeyman22's guitars look.
     
  13. Journeyman22

    Journeyman22 Tele-Meister

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    Thank You Sir. Not counting my labor between 300 to 400 dollars for one. I don't lay the money out all at once. Just a little here and there one piece at a time. I also straighten the neck, level/re-crown/polish the frets myself, between 14 to 20 hours work.
     

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  14. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I too have a P-90 build planned! Although I put a pair in a strat-style guitar a while back to take the edge off the GAS ...

    This is an Affinity that someone hacked at the body and I had to inlay new wood to repair it. The inlay strips are around 1/4inch thick (2x walnut and maple). I sanded off the face veneer to reveal the inner wood. You could do the same, cut the new top for the P-90s, and finish it off with a short bridge.

    [​IMG]
    rebuild notes here
     
  15. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Nice job Jvin248, a bit above my wood working abilities though I think. I think you're right regarding the short bridge, it's just whether the P90 would cover the hole(s) made by the existing SC bridge pick up. I could fill any screw holes and respray, but it's the larger holes that would cause me trouble to fill.
     
  16. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    checkout soapy joes P90's at WarmanUK guitars.... good value, sound great...

    closer to home for you....;)
     
  17. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

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    I would definitely go for a neck P90 and a Bare Knuckles Piledriver in the bridge. That would save all the hassle of installing a bridge P90 and the two pickups would be a great match. The Piledriver is worth every penny.
     
  18. alexcoupe

    alexcoupe Tele-Meister

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    I put a p93 on the neck a 4 way switch a texas special custom shop, and its amazing.

    [​IMG]
     
  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    You mentioned you could do router work to make a pickup fit and that is what I used to do the inlay. You'd need a couple of rails to the sides of the body with rails or plate for the router to be on and run guides along the inlay path. It's basically like making a big pickup cavity. Glue the wood in and sand it all flat.

    The standard bridge pickup hole is quite large and at an angle while a P90 is longer and narrower so a direct replacement you'll end up with gaps. You might cut a small custom surround that could fill everything in.

    You'll want to fit for a classic sized P90 or else you will always wonder...
     
  20. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Tele-Holic

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    Some great feedback there guys, thanks very much. Alex your Tele looks great too with the P93 it must be barking up the right tree there. :D

    I might have a line on a NOS 2013 Gibson SG 50s Tribute (with P90s of course) which should have the neck shape I prefer rather than the 2014 MM I tried. I'll see how I get on with that before I start cutting holes in the Affinity, which they will take in as PX as well if it works out. (Though I might need my flame suit on if I do, this being a Tele site and all :oops: I'll still have my 50s Classic though :cool:).
     
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