P-90s for Jazz?

johmica

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So, I had a NGD a few weeks ago:

IMG_20220330_170950013.jpg


I can't leave well enough alone, and I love trying out new pick-up brands and models. I've already got a couple of modded jazz boxes: an Epiphone Emperor with a Lollar humbucker-sized P-90 in the neck position and a humbucker-sized P-90 in the bridge; an Eastman 503CE with a Fralin Pure PAF in the neck; and an Epiphone De Luxe with a Lollar Johnny Smith in the neck.

I'm wanting to try something new for this Ibanez, but I want to be able to get traditional jazz tones out of it. Fralin Pure PAFs would make the most sense, but, like I said, I like to try out new things. I've seen a few old school jazz boxes with P-90s in them, but I think that it's fair to say that they're not ubiquitous.

Any of you jazz tinkerers out there prefer a P-90? Any of you particularly dislike that choice? Why?
 

JL_LI

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Jazz is about how you play much more than about how you sound. I'd leave your new Ibanez alone, at least for the time being. Before there were humbuckers, all pickups were single coil pickups of one sort or another and jazz guitarists used them. The availability of Humbuckers made it possible to move guitar from the rhythm section to a new life as a solo instrument in a stage orchestra. There is nothing magically jazzy about P-90's, humbuckers, or any other pickup. My two favorite jazz tones on my guitars are, first, the combined FilterTrons on my Gretsch Anniversary with the mud switch out and the individual neck volume rolled down three minutes and the bridge volume rolled down 6 minutes, and second, the N4 Noiseless pickups in my Telecaster in series with the tone and volume both rolled down about 12 minutes. Just find the guitars and tones that work for you. Don't think about changing perfectly good pickups for other perfectly good pickups on a perfectly good guitar until you run out of more sensible options.
 
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kuch

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I get what I think of as jazz guitar tones out of my gibby es-330 with the stock mhs p-90 hum cancelling neck pickup through my SF vibro champ.

Grant Green and other jazz players used 330's back in the day
 

kiwi blue

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P90s are not a drop in choice on a humbucker equipped guitar. P90s are longer than a humbucker and not as wide, so they don't fit into humbucker routes without modification. And being a hollowbody, you need the dogear version of a P90. There are ways of making a dogear P90 cover the humbucker hole but you would probably have to modify or remove that pickguard and you'd have to check the geometry of the neck angle and bridge to make sure the P90 dogear cover will fit under the strings. It's a lot easier to just use a HB size P90 like you have in the Emperor.

They often don't sound quite the same as a true p90 due to the geometry of the pickup limiting how many turns of 42 AWG wire can go on, but there are ways of getting a similar flavour. I have one of those Lollars, but in the bridge position. Never heard it in the neck position. It's pretty close to a real p90. Close enough to give you a good enough idea of how a P90 sounds for jazz. Basically if you like the Lollar you'll almost certainly like a normal P90. A true P90 may have a touch more mids going on.
 

mad dog

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I do prefer P90s on archtops. And vintage Franz pickups on older Guilds; these look like P90s but sound and feel a bit different.
 

kuch

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So, I had a NGD a few weeks ago:

View attachment 974364

I can't leave well enough alone, and I love trying out new pick-up brands and models. I've already got a couple of modded jazz boxes: an Epiphone Emperor with a Lollar humbucker-sized P-90 in the neck position and a humbucker-sized P-90 in the bridge; an Eastman 503CE with a Fralin Pure PAF in the neck; and an Epiphone De Luxe with a Lollar Johnny Smith in the neck.

I'm wanting to try something new for this Ibanez, but I want to be able to get traditional jazz tones out of it. Fralin Pure PAFs would make the most sense, but, like I said, I like to try out new things. I've seen a few old school jazz boxes with P-90s in them, but I think that it's fair to say that they're not ubiquitous.

Any of you jazz tinkerers out there prefer a P-90? Any of you particularly dislike that choice? Why?

Gibson ES-330, stock....

es 330.jpg
 

Maguchi

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So, I had a NGD a few weeks ago:

View attachment 974364

I can't leave well enough alone, and I love trying out new pick-up brands and models. I've already got a couple of modded jazz boxes: an Epiphone Emperor with a Lollar humbucker-sized P-90 in the neck position and a humbucker-sized P-90 in the bridge; an Eastman 503CE with a Fralin Pure PAF in the neck; and an Epiphone De Luxe with a Lollar Johnny Smith in the neck.

I'm wanting to try something new for this Ibanez, but I want to be able to get traditional jazz tones out of it. Fralin Pure PAFs would make the most sense, but, like I said, I like to try out new things. I've seen a few old school jazz boxes with P-90s in them, but I think that it's fair to say that they're not ubiquitous.

Any of you jazz tinkerers out there prefer a P-90? Any of you particularly dislike that choice? Why?
Well P-90s were used a lot in jazz recordings and live performances from 1946 to 1956 until Gibson came out with their humbucker in 1957. So I suppose P-90s are a traditional jazz pickup. I've used them for jazz sounds and they work well.


GbsnES135.jpg
 
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teleforumnoob

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I had an Epiphone Broadway for a while that I put some HB sized P90s in by Rose pickups. They sounded like P90s to me, or at least very close. I also used to own a 51' ES125 with a single Gibson P90 in the neck to compare it to. I think Rose has gone outta business, but Im sure Lollar can pull it off as well.
With some Tomastick Jazz Swing Flats on it that Broadway was certainly an authentic sounding jazz box. Not to say the original Epi buckers didn't do the trick just fine. But I liked the bluesy mid focused growl of the P90s for jump blues as well. Sold that guitar over lockdown, paring down only because I was running out of room.
I get my rare Jazz on nowadays with a White Falcon, TVJ Classic in the neck, and the mud switch engaged.
Or with an SG Standard, neck HB, tone rolled down. Heck its pretty easy to get a Jazz sound on any guitar with a neck pickup and a tone control. Flatwounds for even more authenticity.
 

ChicknPickn

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It's all personal preference, of course. All of this stuff is. Given a choice of Fender-style single-coil, P90, or 'bucker, the bucker would be my last choice. Not saying I think the HBs sound bad; I just think the others have more personality.
 
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nickmsmith

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Like someone else said, jazz is about the notes more than the guitar tone. Neck humbuckers are the stereotypical jazz sound though, but any pickup at all will work.

You can always roll the tone down on a p90 and get a sound close enough to a humbucker to fool just about anyone.
 

Stratocast

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So, I had a NGD a few weeks ago:

View attachment 974364

I can't leave well enough alone, and I love trying out new pick-up brands and models. I've already got a couple of modded jazz boxes: an Epiphone Emperor with a Lollar humbucker-sized P-90 in the neck position and a humbucker-sized P-90 in the bridge; an Eastman 503CE with a Fralin Pure PAF in the neck; and an Epiphone De Luxe with a Lollar Johnny Smith in the neck.

I'm wanting to try something new for this Ibanez, but I want to be able to get traditional jazz tones out of it. Fralin Pure PAFs would make the most sense, but, like I said, I like to try out new things. I've seen a few old school jazz boxes with P-90s in them, but I think that it's fair to say that they're not ubiquitous.

Any of you jazz tinkerers out there prefer a P-90? Any of you particularly dislike that choice? Why?
Are those guitars difficult to find for left handers. ?
 




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