Looking for P90 with clarity

Tim S

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Maybe the pickup is too hot? Try turning down the guitar volume and let the amp do the heavy lifting.

If you want a cheap replacement pickup, look for a G&B P-90. Those are the revered pickups found in the old PRS SE Soapbar guitars. I don’t know if they make a dog-ear, but you can always transplant the guts into your existing pickup cover.
 

Happy Enchilada

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Raise the screw poles, 1/8th in or more. Gives more clarity.

Measure and swap the pots n caps. You want higher kohms and lower uF for brighter and more clarity.

Last is swap the pickup, and if you are dilligent about the first two steps you won't need a new pickup. Otherwise you will flip through several pickups until you find one that matches the control parts better.

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^^^^ Sage advice!
I'd start by adjusting the poles - that may be all you need.
After that, I'd check the value of the pots (I use 250K with P90s).
Then experiment with caps (I like the .033 over the standard .047).
If that doesn't do it and you still want a new pickup, i've had good luck with Bootstrap P90s.
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Bootstrap will sell you a single pickup for $30 or so.
Linda Lou loves her neck P90, and it dropped into a humbucker rout just dandy.

Good Luck!
 

TeleUpNorth

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^^^^ Sage advice!
I'd start by adjusting the poles - that may be all you need.
After that, I'd check the value of the pots (I use 250K with P90s).
Then experiment with caps (I like the .033 over the standard .047).
If that doesn't do it and you still want a new pickup, i've had good luck with Bootstrap P90s.
View attachment 975982 View attachment 975983 View attachment 975984
Bootstrap will sell you a single pickup for $30 or so.
Linda Lou loves her neck P90, and it dropped into a humbucker rout just dandy.

Good Luck!
I have some Bootstraps in a tele and they are something special. My only worry is time frame (my own fault, hoping to have it ready as a backup for a gig first week of May). I’m planning to order his P90s for my SG to replace the anemic ceramic mini humbuckers.
 

Antigua Tele

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P-90's are pretty simple pickups, so the DC resistance will generally be a good indicator of inductance. A lot of people will probably scoff at these:



because it's a whole $16.49 for two P-90's, and I'd guess the magnets are ceramic, but the DC resistance figures (as well as the likely ceramic magnets) will all but guarantee more treble. You can probably swap the magnets out, but considering the fact that dog ear P-90's tend to sit flat on the body, you can really use the extra magnetic strength, and keep in mind P-90s were invented before ceramic magnets were widely available, it's one pickup where the ceramic is arguably an improvement.

Another thing people don't realize, is how awesome the chrome ones are:



Unlike a real chrome P-90 cover, these plastic ones look very convincing while causing no eddy currents, so if you have a dark sounding Epi Casino, these pickups will bring out a lot of clarity, and considering the Casino is one of the few slim full hollow bodies on the market, that's a real score, tone wise, and it loses nothing in terms of good dirt tone.


Lastly, a dog ear p-90 hack, put Fender style rubber tubing between the cover and the body, around the screws, to lift the treble side of the pickup, like so (but reverse):

pQt91dw.jpg
 
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TeleUpNorth

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So dig deeper. It’s a Gunstreet Wiring harness with treble bleed. Volume is 500k with 250k tone. Would changing that tone pot make a big change?
 

TeleUpNorth

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P-90's are pretty simple pickups, so the DC resistance will generally be a good indicator of inductance. A lot of people will probably scoff at these:



because it's a whole $16.49 for two P-90's, and I'd guess the magnets are ceramic, but the DC resistance figures (as well as the likely ceramic magnets) will all but guarantee more treble. You can probably swap the magnets out, but considering the fact that dog ear P-90's tend to sit flat on the body, you can really use the extra magnetic strength, and keep in mind P-90s were invented before ceramic magnets were widely available, it's one pickup where the ceramic is arguably an improvement.

Another thing people don't realize, is how awesome the chrome ones are:



Unlike a real chrome P-90 cover, these plastic ones look very convincing while causing no eddy currents, so if you have a dark sounding Epi Casino, these pickups will bring out a lot of clarity, and considering the Casino is one of the few slim full hollow bodies on the market, that's a real score, tone wise, and it loses nothing in terms of good dirt tone.


Lastly, a dog ear p-90 hack, put Fender style rubber tubing between the cover and the body, around the screws, to lift the treble side of the pickup, like so (but reverse):

pQt91dw.jpg

So much good information. Thanks for all your time in providing.

I got lucky and the seller did provide a set of shims, but it only seems to make it less defined when I raise it up?

As much as I know things like this make me feel like there’s always so much to learn.
 

Antigua Tele

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So much good information. Thanks for all your time in providing.

I got lucky and the seller did provide a set of shims, but it only seems to make it less defined when I raise it up?

As much as I know things like this make me feel like there’s always so much to learn.
The nice thing about the rubber tubing hack is that you can raise the treble side and keep the bass side low.
 

11 Gauge

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My guess is that is the biggest issue. I should truly own a meter for all the mods I do at home. Any recommendations on a cheap vintage style dogear? Or will there be a noticeable difference stepping up to the boutique?
So did you ever get a multimeter and measure the pickup you have now? If so, what did it measure?
 

TomBrokaw

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Give 'em the beans!
Fwiw, I replaced the magnets in my Epi LP Special II and was/am happy. Stock were ceramic, and I put an A2 and an A5 in each pickup. I think it was $8 or $12 plus shipping, and pretty easy to do. Although I might have done it wrong wrt the wax, but they're not microphonic.
 

TeleUpNorth

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So for the heck of it I ordered the Guitar Madness A2 set for $34 shipped. Figured if they don’t help I’ll troubleshoot more after. I’ve had really good luck with their ‘57 humbuckers in a Firebird Zero.

If I’m thinking correct, I could try either the neck or bridge to see if one sounds better than the other? Or will they be different other than output (they advertise 8k neck and 9k bridge)?
 

Willie Johnson

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Raise the screw poles, 1/8th in or more. Gives more clarity.

Measure and swap the pots n caps. You want higher kohms and lower uF for brighter and more clarity.

Last is swap the pickup, and if you are dilligent about the first two steps you won't need a new pickup. Otherwise you will flip through several pickups until you find one that matches the control parts better.

.
Fwiw, I did 1 Meg volume for my bridge-only GFS Dream 90 (hb-sized P90, so not the genuine article) in a Squier Bullet Tele, and I love it. Not shrill at all.
 

kiwi blue

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If the Guitar Madness pickups don't give you what you are after, try an alnico pole magnet P90 rather than the standard P90 with bar magnets. They should give you a clearer, more focused and articulate sound.
 

Zenyatta

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T90s are good, but not unusually bright for P90. They use Alnico IV magnets. For a bright, articulate P90 sound look for low wind with Alnico V.
 

brookdalebill

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Though these are not P90s, they are P90 size.
I prefer them greatly to P90s, for their clarity.
The are Seymour Duncan Custom Shop Alnico V “staple” pickups.
They sound like clear, warm Strat pickups.
While they are true single coils, they are considerably quieter than P90s.
They don’t sound anything like P90s, IMO.
They are not harsh and “bratty”, like P90s
They ain’t cheap, but they’re worth it, IMO.
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rze99

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I've got a Lindy Fralin "special 50s wind" in a Les Paul Junior. A lower wind, it is a touch less aggressive than a Gibson and does that lovely silvery clean with the volume rolled off. Came installed in a pre-owned Jr.
 

old wrench

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I think most current P-90s are just wound too "hot" - mainly for the large group of folks that are looking for that "chain-saw grind" tone.

A true vintage wind or low-wind P-90 has some nice chime and sparkle.

I've got a Fralin - 10% under-wound P-90 that has good note definition and at least a hint of that sparkle and chime even though it's in the neck position on a Tele - 500k pots and .022 cap helps, as does a lower pickup height setting

A decent P-90 also responds well to your guitars volume control - roll the volume down a bit and they clean up

.
 




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