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Gibson P-90's vs everyone else.

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Tele-Monster, Aug 15, 2016.

  1. Tele-Monster

    Tele-Monster Friend of Leo's

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    I know this has been done into the ground, but I recently acquired a Gibson SG Special that is slowly becoming a main guitar for live use. I guess my question is this: Pickers that have swapped Gibson P-90's with other boutique brands, was it a great improvement, or were you not as impressed as you'd hoped?

    I really don't have much of a gripe against the Gibson's, I just wish they were a bit brighter. I'm leaning towards Lollar, because I have a set in my Nash Tele and my '62 RI Strat and I LOVE both sets.

    I've considered upgrading the wiring as well, so I'd be interested in hearing experiences concerning that as well.

    Thanks,
    Monster
     
  2. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    I like the Gibson p90. Also like the Lindy Fralins. You try one Meg pots if you want brighter
     
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  3. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've tried and heard a bunch from all the usual suspects. Gibsons and Duncan antiquities are my favorite. The Gibsons grunt more while the antiquities are more airy and complex. The antiquities have a little more clarity so they might seem slightly brighter, but the Gibsons have that classic thick grunt and girth you expect from a p90.
     
  4. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    This comparison was very enlightening for me. I put a set of Sanford Magnetics in my build, and I'm usually a Lollar guy (Canadian dollar was a major consideration). Listen and learn!

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=q3_U_gRCuL8
     
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  5. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I love the SM's in that video too.

    Can't compare to Gibson, but I replaced the P90's in my MP Thinline with Fralins (-10% neck) and they were a definite improvement. Lots of midrange as expected, but nicely balanced. They really want to be dirty with my amp setup and can deliver some scorching sounds. That was a bit of a surprise since I was concerned they'd be kind of weak. Very much the opposite. I wouldn't want anything hotter for sure. They really drive my amp.
     
  6. ac15

    ac15 Poster Extraordinaire Ad Free Member

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    I have tried just about every major P-90 brand out there, including all of the highly touted boutique brands.

    Honestly, I liked most of them for different reasons. They are all just different flavors of "good."

    That includes the Gibson P-90s. They are also very good.

    For some reason I chased my tail for years trying all of those p-90's, for only incremental changes. I was just curious to see what they all sounded like. I never went that crazy with other pickups, but with p-90's I just kept swapping. Not sure why.

    You'll probably be happier keeping the Gibsons and just playing your guitar.
     
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  7. soulman969

    soulman969 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    This was good and informative.


    I listened to a comparison of various P90s a few years ago and I thought the results were similar. Gibson's have a certain flavor all their own. To me they were a bit less transparent when clean and grittier when dirty.

    Personally I found I like Fralin's the best followed by SD Antiquities and Lollars.
     
  8. TeleFunk Man

    TeleFunk Man Tele-Afflicted

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    Unless you absolutely hate them, keep the Gibson P-90s. Personally, the only time I'd swap for something like Lollars is if I didn't already have Gibson P-90s.

    IMG_4713.jpg
     
  9. rze99

    rze99 Poster Extraordinaire

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    Keep your Gibsons and play your guitar. Great advice.
     
  10. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    If you want brighter then basically you are looking at a lower wind, irrespective of who makes them.
     
  11. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    I think it will depend on the other parts of the amplification chain, and what kind of sound you want. For example, the much-maligned P100s in my 95 LP Special are my favourite pickups through my very bright H&K amp.
     
  12. grim83

    grim83 Tele-Holic

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    Check the pot values I believe they were using an oddball combination on the juniors/specials a few years ago. Also the pots could just be on the low side of the tolerance for 500s or you could try a different cap. P90s are odd pickups it's kind of hard to find a bad one even the cheapies tend to be pretty good.
     
  13. Tony Done

    Tony Done Friend of Leo's

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    That is also my impression.
     
  14. Fearnot

    Fearnot Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have an LP Jr. with a 70s P90 in it that is just great, needless to say. I also have an SX Callisto (an LP Special knockoff) that has two cheap ceramic P90s, that - surprise - sound pretty darned good too.

    It's a simple, bulletproof design that's hard to mess up.
     
  15. Tele-Monster

    Tele-Monster Friend of Leo's

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    I'm playing mostly modern country (so rock), thru an AC30. I swapped p90s a few years ago, in another guitar, and didn't notice much of a difference. I'll take a look at the pots when I get home.

    Truth be told, I'll probably just keep the pickups. I'm hearing a lot of "90's are 90's are 90's". Gibson 90's seem to be fairly highly regarded.
     
  16. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    Love my gibson P90s and antiquities P90
     
  17. mitchfinck

    mitchfinck Tele-Holic

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    BIG fan of Sanford Magnetics. Their amps sound incredible too!
     
  18. NashvilleDeluxe

    NashvilleDeluxe Tele-Afflicted

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    It should be said that the pickups I swapped out were FAR from being traditional P-90's. Stacked ceramic, coil-splittable hum "cancelling" units. I'm sure there's a market for those, but not in a guitar going for the '56 Goldtop vibe.
     
  19. misterdontmove

    misterdontmove Tele-Meister

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    I tried a set of Fralins (stock bridge/-15 underwound neck) in my LP D/C Special. I found them to be great sounding pickups. A bit more polite and detailed than the Gibsons. I ended up splitting the difference and using the stock Fralin in the neck position and the original Gibson in the bridge.
     
  20. Fiesta Red

    Fiesta Red Poster Extraordinaire

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    I've owned several different guitars with P-90's and variations of P90's, and my favorite individual pickup is the cheap ($20 on eBay) Mighty Mite pickup that's in the neck position of my #1 Telecaster. :eek:

    It sounds amazing!
     
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