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P-90 Quest: The Buzz ?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by chemobrain, Oct 28, 2018.

  1. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    I have read all over the web in different forums some people are looking for Authentic P-90 Pickups
    (what ever authentic means ,I assume that it means a 52' pickup or a 57' pickup or a 61'pickup?:confused:
    i don't know what real P-90's sound like in that I've never played an old Les Paul special or Jr. or double cut. I do have a very nice older Tokia L.P. Jr. double cut with the stock P-90's on it , it has a very distinct charm . Prior to acquiring the Tokia I wanted a P-90 pickup for my mahogany Lap Steel.
    So I bought a Dimarzio DLX Plus bridge pick up I do like he way it can get a real sweet grind out of the Faux amp models Bassman, Deluxe, , Twin, JCM 800 Vox AC 30, each amp puts it's own brand on the sound.
    It's different than a humbucking pick up with a clearer articulated tone, it grinds and has a clarity while doing so . The Clean sound are very clear without and spikes or harshness
     
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  2. fatcat

    fatcat Friend of Leo's

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    I'm actually enjoying my first flavor of P90 with the p94 i put in the neck position of my epi 339. Its great!

    Makes me want more. Been thinking about P90s too
     
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  3. Jupiter

    Jupiter Telefied Ad Free Member

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    If you have a very nice older Tokai LPJrDC, there's a pretty good chance you do know what real P-90's sound like, or close enough.

    In my world, an "authentic" P-90 just means it was constructed the way they used to be, from the correct materials, which is NOT guaranteed from looking at the outside, but it's also not a secret formula.
    p90.jpg
     
  4. Danjabellza

    Danjabellza Friend of Leo's

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    P90’s are my favorite pickups. Hands down. They can do ANYTHING! Metal, jazz, classic rock, country, pop, everything!! The only downside is that they do hum in certain settings... oh well. Oh! And If I recall correctly; the P.A.F. Pickup was originally attempting to capture the sound of a P90 without the hum.
     
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  5. John How

    John How Tele-Meister

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    I really like the Lollar P-90’s in my diy lp special...fat but less fat than a humbucker and more bite...no noise, hum, no negative to my ears...
     
  6. Dacious

    Dacious Poster Extraordinaire

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  7. Golem

    Golem Tele-Holic

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    They vary more than most pickups. I really like Staple P90s or Kinman Fatmaster P90s.
     
  8. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Tele-Afflicted

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    It seems like people always complain about noise from P90s. They make it sound as if a P90 does nothing but ooze 60-cycle sound out of every pore.

    I’ve played P90s primarily for almost 20 years. For me they’re the Goldilocks of pickups. They have more oomph and grind than a typical Fender SC, but they have a distinct sparkle and edge that most HBs are lacking.

    I don’t think P90s make too much noise, even at the higher levels of gain I typically play with (think wound up JCM800 or 900). I turn down the guitar volume or step on my tuner between songs and it takes care of any extra noise. I’ve never had anyone from the audience come up to me after a set and tell me my guitar is noisy.

    For me P90s just get the job done. And the noise is anything but bothersome.
     
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  9. zombiwoof

    zombiwoof Tele-Afflicted

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    The noise happens in venues where there are a bunch of neon beer signs, light dimmers and such. I once played in the bar area of the Ice House in Pasadena, all I had was a borrowed '68 LP GT, it buzzed so bad that I had to quickly turn the volume off at the end of songs or the whole place was barraged with a horrible buzzy noise. It was a nightmare gig. If you don't gig out in places with weird fixtures and don't have light dimmers where you play it, you won't experience the terrible buzzing of P90's. I had light dimmers in the house I lived in with my parents in Phoenix, you could turn the dimmers up and down and the noise would change frequency and amount at different dimmer settings. It actually buzzed less with the light dimmers turned all the way up, when dimming any amount the buzz increased as the light decreased. That's why P90's have that reputation for buzzing, it is situational and may not be apparent in optimum conditions (no neon, no dimmers, etc.).
    Al
     
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  10. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Tele-Afflicted

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    I gig in punk rock clubs. I’m sure there’s plenty of noise in those circuits. As a primarily punk player, I use my bridge pickup 99% of the time. I can roll the neck volume completely off and use my selector to switch the noise off between songs. Plus, on a small crowded stage, I’m never too far from my tuner pedal. It only takes a fraction of a second to step on the tuner and silence the pickups between songs.

    I’m my experience, the noise is a non-issue; there are plenty of sufficient workarounds. Obviously others don’t seem to be able to deal with it. My recommendation is if you like the sound, see if you can figure out something that will work for you to compensate.
     
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  11. brookdalebill

    brookdalebill Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    The buzz, you have to learn to live with it.
     
  12. nojazzhere

    nojazzhere Doctor of Teleocity

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    My personal point of reference is my 1960 Les Paul Jr doublecut, which I bought in 1969. While it's not a good "gigging" guitar, due to tuning stability, it's still a monster "tone" machine. When I bought my 2009 PRS SE One (basically Paul's take on a Jr with a P-90) I was impressed with the sound compared to my original Jr. I did add a neck p/up and a tone control to the PRS, but it still does the LP Jr "thing" very well.
     
  13. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    P90s are great, the P90s squashed into a humbucker case are almost as good. Some old 60s/70s MIJs with humbucker-looking pickups are actually single bobbins inside that do a good P90 sound. I had one of those guitars I almost kept from a guy I was selling it to (who wanted it because it was the guitar he learned on as a kid) after I did a complete setup on it and A/B'd it against a guitar a thousand dollar price points away from it -- man was that guitar great sounding. The guy sent me a note the next day after he could test it on his full rig at volume and he couldn't believe the tone out of it either.

    Buy a couple versions (different construction methods, scan the pictures, because there are no brand marks) of the ebay P90s that are priced around $15/pair. Some of them are fantastic. The others are ok but workable. There are only a couple of factories making them but dozens of sellers that buy a carton batch and resell.

    .
     
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  14. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Afflicted

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    The Yibuy P90's are an example. But they are voiced more like a Strat pickup, around 3kHz loaded.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2018
  15. chemobrain

    chemobrain Friend of Leo's

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    great tip, I'm alright now but I will fill it away.thanks.
     
  16. hdvades

    hdvades Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    I like the SD Antiquity P90 Dog Ear bridge p/u in a single p/u guitar I have. Single coil p/u and a tube amp is a good sound.
     
  17. old wrench

    old wrench Tele-Afflicted

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    I agree 100% :)!!!

    I had a PRS Korina SE One, and that P-90 pickup was excellent. In fact, the whole guitar was excellent. I periodically kick myself in the hind end for trading it off!
    Very versatile pickup; Mississippi Queen? - no problem :)!


    Best Regards,
    Geo.
     
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  18. Nickadermis

    Nickadermis Friend of Leo's

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    Did you use a Gibson P94? This could save me some effort in trying to replace my 339 with something Jazzier.
     
  19. tfarny

    tfarny Friend of Leo's

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    I'm another P90 lover and I agree it takes everything I love about the humbucker and adds the right amount SC sparkle to it. Well, some of them do. I think that the "modern" overwound approach is a real loser for P90s as they can turn to complete mud if wound too hot.
    They do hum a bit more than a strat or tele pickup, but if you take care shielding the cavity and use braided shield wire it can cut it down quite a bit. My white tele has a P90 (Lollar 50s) in the neck and I recently re-wired it to get better shielding / less hum and a couple other objectives, and the thorough shielding job brought the hum down to a very manageable level.
     
  20. Zepfan

    Zepfan Doctor of Teleocity Gold Supporter

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    A lot of people will adjust the pickups as close to the strings as possible and turn the volume and tone on 10, then wonder why it has so much noise.

    A lot of single coil noise gets worse under those conditions and then pair that with those lighting and electrical conditions around you and it gets a lot worse.
     
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