1. Win a Broadcaster or one of 3 Teles! The annual Supporting Member Giveaway is on. To enter Click Here. To see all the prizes and full details Click Here. To view the thread about the giveaway Click Here.

Matching output of P90 pickup with a telecaster bridge pickup?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by Ragged Tweed, Dec 26, 2015.

  1. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    56
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    I’m starting my first telecaster build and trying to learn as much as I can by researching the hell out of everything. I need some advice on balancing the bridge and neck pickup.

    My goal is to make a really versatile guitar that will work well with my Mission 5e3 amp. I’ve already purchased a one-piece solid mahogany body with a P90 route for the neck pick up. I tend to play rhythm guitar so the P90 in the neck was important to me.

    Based on what I’ve picked up by reading forum posts I’m leaning towards the colored combinations in the chart attached.

    I want the output to be about equal so that I don’t get big volume drops when I switch between pickups.

    Is there a formula for figuring out the output, especially when mixing alnico 2 magnets with alnico 5 magnets? When I made this chart, I realized I could always use a P90 that was designed as a bridge as my my neck pickup. I’m open to any ideas…
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Dec 26, 2015
  2. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,062
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    I don't know of a formula, or chart, or guideline to go by, but ime about a 15% under wound P90 normally works pretty good in a Tele neck. I think Fralin offers a nice matching neck/bridge set....
     
  3. tweedman2001

    tweedman2001 Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,338
    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2014
    Location:
    Was North of There, Now Way Way South of There
    I don't know of any formula but this is what I did. YMMV

    I used a broadcaster ~10k A5 bridge and a ~7.5K A2 P90 soapbar for a good balanced mix. Either an A5 or A2 will work in the P-90. The A2 has a great dusty, vintage tone...and will break up a tube amp nicely. The A5 will give break up in a tube amp but with a bit more clarity.

    Replace the pots with 500K to keep the P90 happy. And to keep the bridge pickup from now sounding 'anemic', wire a 470K resistor to the terminal of the pickup selector switch where your bridge pickup is wired with the other side (tail) of the resistor to ground. This will make the bridge pickup continue to electronically 'see' a 250K (or close enough to it) pot.

    I love this combination. Nothing sweeter in the morning than the growl of a P90. :D
     
  4. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    56
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks guys. Thanks for the advice about the pots and using a resistor on the bridge pickup.
     
  5. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,881
    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2006
    Location:
    Gilbert, AZ (PHX)
    Put a P-90 in the bridge too...
     
    AngelDeville likes this.
  6. surfoverb

    surfoverb Doctor of Teleocity

    Posts:
    12,390
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2007
    Location:
    Virginia
    I know what doesnt work

    I have a tele with an overwound lollar in the bridge
    and a GFS 50s Tele neck

    the volume difference was so great as to make it
    almost unusable.

    I would go underwound p90, and overwound tele
     
  7. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    3,062
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2012
    You can also use the 375k pots like the hot rod Tele uses. It works well for the P90 and the Tele bridge pickup.
     
  8. JD0x0

    JD0x0 Poster Extraordinaire

    Age:
    30
    Posts:
    5,919
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Location:
    New York
    A2,A3 magnets = Lower output
    A5,C5 magnets = higher output

    Ignore DCR resistance. The pickups could be wound with different gauge wire, and are on different bobbins. Try to find a 'turn count' or inductance, if you can.


    How to balance?

    Lower powered P-90 (A2 or A3 mag with mild(er) coil wind)
    And/or
    Higher powered bridge tele single (A5 mags with 'hotter' wind)

    You could also pad the pickup(s) with resistor(s)
     
  9. dougstrum

    dougstrum Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,963
    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2015
    Location:
    blu ridge mtn cabin
    I've got a P90 neck/CS Texas special in a mahogany tele i built.
    Very versitile guitar~jazz all the way to country. I've tried P90
    neck in other teles; but have only like the combination in the
    mahogany one.
     
  10. dsutton24

    dsutton24 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Posts:
    10,203
    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2010
    Location:
    Illinois
    You are overcomplicating this.

    Firstly, ignore d.c. resistance when choosing pickups. It tells you nothing about the sound or volume of a pickup, and is even less meaningful when comparing two very different pickups. The only reason pickup manufactures publish them is that the buying public expects to see them. Sound clips, first hand experience, and descriptions of sound are better, bearing in mind that everyone hears things differently, and have different taste.

    Secondly, if volume drop is your important criterion, all you do is setup your weaker pickup the way you like it, and then crank the hotter pickup down until you get a good balance.

    My most recent project like this paired a Duncan Antiquity P90 in the neck position with a Texas Special in the bridge. I play mostly in the middle position, and the somewhat harsh sound of the bridge pickup combined with the mellow P90 works very well.
     
    mstrcstr likes this.
  11. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    56
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks for all the info and great ideas. Recently I saw that Don Mare offers an alnico 3 Broadcaster/Nocaster pickup called "0038." I know that GE Smith liked the old lap steel pickups b/c they had some "bark" to them.

    Based on the comments above it seems like that might play nicely with a Seymour Duncan Antiquity P90.

    Has anyone tried that combo?


    From his website www.buckcannon.com:
    Bridge is available in 8k / 9k / 10k, or standard 11.5k!
    Available WITH or WITHOUT zinc-coated base plate. Originally, the lap steels did not have base plates, adding treble and top end (Nice!).

    10k: *TOP-SELLER!* "Keefer"; Loud with pushed mids. Still bright and cutting. Used for slightly brighter "K. Richards-like" Rock and Roll tone. Very popular!

    11.5 k: "0038"; Standard. Perfect balance. Best EQ.
     
  12. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,414
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    innsmouth, MA
    A quarter pounder bridge in a tele sounds a lot like the p90 bridge in my epi lp special. They'd probably pair well volume wise too.
     
  13. Shnook

    Shnook Tele-Meister

    Posts:
    481
    Joined:
    Apr 14, 2003
    Location:
    Roanoke, VA
    Look into the Budz P90 that's made to work with a 250k pot. I've got a Budz P90 in the neck and a Budz/Dano bridge on one of my Danocaster's. Sounds WAY better than the Lollar 50's Wind P90 I had in it previously. I'll be perfectly honest in saying that as much as I love P90's, in a Tele its not my favorite pickup. It sounds wonderful in the middle position, but too dark and wooly in the neck at times. But in my experience, the Budz P90 works very well.
     
  14. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,780
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    I have the standard Lollar P90 in the neck with a Vintage T in the bridge. The bridge is a little underpowered compared with the P90. A lower wind P90 would match better, but the one I have is the perfect P90 sound for my tastes, which lean towards 50s R&B and jump blues sounds rather than rock. I also wouldn't want a higher output bridge pickup as I don't want to lose the twang. The Special T matched better with the P90 but I like the Vintage T's tone better so went back to it and just live with the slight output mismatch.

    When matching a Tele bridge and P90 neck I think you have to decide which pickup is most important to you and has to sound "right", and which one you can compromise on. Unless of course you like a high output Tele bridge pickup, in which case they'll match up pretty easily.

    Just a thought, but maybe Mr Mare will wind you a P90 to match that bridge pickup? Can't hurt to ask.
     
  15. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

    Posts:
    1,780
    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2005
    Location:
    Wellington, New Zealand
    In fact looking at the specs (taking into account thinner 43AWG wire), the 0038 should match up with a standard vintage type P90 no problem. Just pick your P90 and ask Don which wind he recommends to match.
     
  16. Ragged Tweed

    Ragged Tweed TDPRI Member

    Posts:
    56
    Joined:
    Oct 11, 2015
    Location:
    New York
    Thanks!

    Thanks to everybody for your thoughtful responses. I learned so much. This is such a great forum; after years of reading posts I'm glad I finally joined.

    I ended up ordering a pair of pickups from Budz. He was great to talk to on the phone and I feel good knowing that he's aware of my project.

    I started a new thread in Tele Home Depot to document my progress. It will be slow going...

    http://www.tdpri.com/forum/tele-home-depot/608055-slowest-build-ever-aka-%93-boba-fett-versa-tele%94.html#post6759074
     
  17. cyclopean

    cyclopean Poster Extraordinaire

    Posts:
    5,414
    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2009
    Location:
    innsmouth, MA
    So soundclips?
     
  18. Whoa Tele

    Whoa Tele Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    2,383
    Joined:
    Mar 20, 2009
    Location:
    Smyrna Ga.
    Dave Budzinski (Budz Pickups) has a matched set like this. He is also great about answering any questions you might have. Good luck.
     
  19. dog fart

    dog fart Friend of Leo's

    Posts:
    4,895
    Joined:
    Dec 16, 2009
    Location:
    North Carolina

    I did the same thing electronically in a Tele I built 8-9 years ago. I used a P-90 and Tele bridge Fezz Parka wound for me. Worked like an arranged marriage made in heaven, if that makes any sense :confused:. If it doesn't make any sense, I'm the kind of guy who can't leave anything alone. I always think something can be made better. Except this one, I haven't done anything accept adjust the pickup height. It's a shame Fezz no longer winds, I would love a set for a Strat.
     
  20. UncleWaldo

    UncleWaldo NEW MEMBER!

    Age:
    58
    Posts:
    2
    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2016
    Location:
    Tucson, AZ
    So... I'm way late to the party but let me toss this out.

    Yeah, I do have a formula. Can't guarantee the validity of where it came from, nor can I offer any scientific reasoning behind it... But it works for me.

    I like building Lesters with P90/Tele pup configs and I do look at resistance ratings (like I said, this ain't science-based).

    First, I try to match resistance as close as possible. Not a big deal with a 6.5/8.0 set... Just avoid a 6.5/17 pairing (for example). Then I multiply the resistance by 40. So a 6.5 bridge and 8.0 neck would give me a 260/320 amount. It seems to be safe with a 10%+/- variance so... I'd use a 250k for tone and a 300k for volume... and it works for me.

    Caveat... Test your pots for a true ohm rating and try to use pots close to the desired rating. If you got a 375k pot testing out at around 340k, there's your volume pot.
     
IMPORTANT: Treat everyone here with respect, no matter how difficult!
No sex, drug, political, religion or hate discussion permitted here.