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For those with P90 experience

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Lazer, May 1, 2015.

  1. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    ^^^^ Yes, the range of tones is enormous. I tend to classify anything with one coil showing and screw poles as a P90 type.

    I think a lot of the result will depend on the amp. I have an LP Special with the much-maligned P100s. It sounds excellent through a bright amp (H&K St Dual El84), gentle attack, warm, complex and compressed (which I like!), but I don't think it would sound very good through a warmer amp.
     
  2. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

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    Don't remember, have to open up to see. They are getting scratchy and needs to be
    Changed. I'll make sure to get 500k ones.

    Cheers
    L-zr
     
  3. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    I use Warman UK P90's.. @8-9K A5 bar magnets, full coils...

    here's two.. a kent armstrong and a warman... the warman has the bigger area coil... as you can see..

    500K V pots.... various tone stacks... or none, in my latest...

    a fender TBX will clear any mud you might have,,,,;)
     

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  4. majorbugout

    majorbugout Tele-Meister

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    I didn't see anyone mention adjusting the pole height. I have some that sounded crappy and I messed with the adjustment and they woke right up. Also a quick way to check if the tone/volume circuit is adversely affecting is to bypass it with a alligator clip test lead.
     
  5. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

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    I have now spent 2 hrs (again) to play with height, from rediculesly low to almost
    kissing the strings. They do NOT change character, only louder or quiter. A closer
    look inside tells my 250k cheap small pots and the pickups themselfs say Duncan
    designed. After looking it up on the web it tells me theese are cheap chineese ones.
    That's probably the reason. I actually believed they were real Duncans. I will get
    some 500k pots and put in another pair. I have a pair of GFS in standard housing
    and a pair of Dimarzios. They don't drop right in but I can probably find a scratch
    plate that fits in my stash.

    I pick a lot of parts here and there without really knowing what I am getting.
    Are Duncan design p90's crap?

    Cheers
    L-zr
     
  6. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    Have you seen this?
    http://www.award-session.com/pdfs/P90 Hidden Talents.pdf
    It worked for my Epiphone p93 Riviera with stock [HOT] Epi P-90 Dogears.
    They have alot more single coil slice,chime and clarity after losing one of the 2 magnets.
    Might be worth a try at least?
    This guitar is my first foray into semi hollow / p90 guitars and I'm really enjoying it.Even using it live through a jc120 and its got a great clean tone AND distorted tone.
    Of course, I'm considering trying a lower output p90 for more [less] of a good thing. Even though I'm playing gigs with this guitar, its hard to justify dropping a $200.00 set of pickups in an Asian Epiphone.At the same time, I don't want to blow money on Warman/GFS/Wilkinson etc only to find that I prefer the stock epiphone dogears with the one magnet mod....
    Any suggestions for a set of Dogear pickups?
     
  7. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    I'm new to P90's, but from what I've read lowering the pickup and raising the polepeices gives more trebel cut...right?
    While I'm here, what is the optimal distance between pole-pieces and strings?
    Should the poles be staggerd/level or just adust them to put out roughly the same volume as the adjacent stings?
     
  8. czech-one-2

    czech-one-2 Friend of Leo's

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    500K pots for sure. and a tone cap no bigger than .022..
    Since your Duncan designed pickups are basically on par with my asian epiphones [ie cheap] try removing one of the magnets and report back. It didn't really lower the output of mine very much, just lowered the bass/midrange and made them less dark and more focused.
     
  9. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

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    Don't know if I'm ready for modding the pickup, I'm
    happy with the mini buckers and have a stash of
    Other pickups to use. I think the bottom line
    Is that these are not for me. I think I will make a scratch plate and install the dimarzios.

    Cheers
    L-zr
     
  10. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I'd go with 'no-load' for the tone that way the pot is taken out of the circuit when the control is on '10' giving you the most treble available. 500K will be brighter and more open than 250K but 'no load' will be brighter an more open than a 500K. It's an easy mod to do to most standard pots. There are plenty of write-ups on how to mod pots to 'no-load'
    I pretty much use 'no load' tone pots on everything now. From buckers to single coils.
    Pots can make a fairly big difference with higher inductance pickups like P-90's and buckers. Too low value can definitely cause a very dark and compressed tone. 'Lifeless' might be a good word to describe it.
     
  11. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    Short answer, yes. You get the overall bass-treble balance and output by adjusting the overall height and tilt of the pickup. This also affects tone. You then adjust individual string output with the pole screws. For example wih the poles flat and a plain 3rd string, the 3rd might sound hotter than the wound 4th, so you lower the 3rd and/or raise the 4th. I've often wondered how much of folks perception of pickups is related to string-to-string balance. FWIW I generally end up with mine set 123123for a plain 3rd, and 123412 with a wound 3rd, more or less, bass to treble, with 1 = low and 4 = high. I also do this to plastic bobbin strat SCs. I can't understand how anyone can like vintage stagger strat SCs with a plain 3rd string, but each to his own.

    Pickup height is a matter of try it and see, but mine would be about 1.5 - 2mm with the strings fretted at the highest fret, for vintage-output pickups. Also, I aim to have mine so that both, or all three, have about the same output, maybe a little more from the neck pickup, on both the bass and treble side.
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2015
  12. Davo17

    Davo17 Friend of Leo's

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    I lower my P90's to make them sound a bit brighter/clearer and with less output.

    Other things to look at-Fezz/50's wiring, lower output pups, lower value pots on the tone control, and a no-load wiring.
     
  13. Davo17

    Davo17 Friend of Leo's

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    (

    I run a TBX with my fralin underwounds (7K neck/8K bridge)really love what it adds, I ended up with a .022 tone cap for the top end, cant recall what I used for the bass cut side.

    Its very flexible, with bass cut its in strat territory, easy to dial in a little meat and get more like a tele, then you get all the great P90 tones and if you roll off the tone its into humbucker territory.

    I also like fezz parka wiring because I can dial back the volume when I want cleaner sounds, and theres still enough top end.
     
  14. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    500k pots and a top quality lowish output pickup. That's all. I have Lollar's standard wind P90 in my Tele. Sounds great. Plenty of dynamics and punch. Spend your money wisely and spend it once.

    I'm assuming the guitar is a Tele. If so, the bridge pickup aint gonna like 500k pots. There's a way to wire a 250k resistor in the circuit so the bridge pickup "sees" 250k but the neck pickup still sees 500k. A lot of people do that. I can't remember the details but there are threads on it in the pickups forum if you do a search.

    Or do what I did and use stacked 250k/500k pots. A bit fiddly to adjust on the fly but they sound right.
     
  15. stephent2

    stephent2 Poster Extraordinaire

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    most modern p90s are overwound and what you describe is exactly the problem w/ an overwound pickup. Check out Budz p90 if you're still looking.
     
  16. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    How many ohms do each of the pickups measure with an ohm meter?
     
  17. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Jon Moore from Tone for Days will also wind you up some to your taste.
    Nice guy with nice prices.
     
  18. Lazer

    Lazer Tele-Meister

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    Through guitar cable, all pots fully open
    Bridge 9.9k
    Neck 6.8k
    Middle 4.0k

    Not the best measurement but close enough for rock n roll -:)

    Cheers
    L-zr
     
  19. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

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    even cheap p90s sound good. its not that hard to make a p90.
    I prefer overwound (lollar at 9.5K)
    but most dont.
    overwound are very mid rangey, and compressed sounding.
     
  20. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

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    The middle seems low to me.

    What kind of amp are you using and where do you set volume, bass and treble?
    I set my SFPR with a 12" CR at Vol 4, treble 7-8, bass 3-4, I play 3 P_90's, 250k pots, .047 cap, N & B are cheap import and the middle is a Gibson.
     
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