P90 in the Bridge position?

Discussion in 'Telecaster Discussion Forum' started by raysachs, Jul 11, 2019.

  1. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    My wife and I went to see the Tedeschi-Trucks Band last night (AMAZING show!) and a band called Blackberry Smoke opened for them. I'd never heard of them, which isn't surprising since I've really lost touch in recent years. Their main singer/guitarist is a guy named Charlie Starr, who I really dug. He came out for the TTB encore and played Statesboro Blues with them and he was great, both vocally and getting into a three way lead duel with both Derek and Susan.

    But I was surprised to see he spent lots of the night playing a tele with what looked like a standard lipstick neck pickup of some sort and what sure looked (on the tv screen - we were pretty far back) like a P90 in the bridge. His other electric was a Les Paul Jr with only a P90 in the bridge position. So I get that he likes P90 bridge sounds. And he seemed to have the same sound going most of the night with the tele which I gotta figure was the P90 in the bridge by itself. I'm not sure he even had a pickup in the neck - he might have just had the lipstick cover in place so the guitar wouldn't look funny.

    So obviously this guy like the P90 bridge sound, but I'd never seen a tele modded with a P90 in the bridge position (he also needed a non-standard bridge to accommodate it). Or a humbucker for that matter. People are putting all manner of things in the neck position and building all manner of double humbucker or double P90 teles, but this was the first I'd ever seen something like this. The tele's "normal" bridge pup is such a staple of the tele sound it just seems an odd way to change it. I've been playing the bridge P90 in my Epiphone more and more by itself lately, so I get the appeal I guess.

    Has anyone ever seen or used a tele set up like this? Doesn't seem like a crazy idea, just something I'd never seen or thought about before.

    The guy can play. Susan Tedeschi can play. But, damn, Derek Trucks can WAIL. They had five extraordinary vocalists in that band (Susan Tedeschi has become a much stronger singer since I last saw her and she was really damn good then) and the combination of Soul, R&B, Blues, Southern Rock, and miscellaneous other stuff was really a tour de force. They even tossed in an Elton John cover and did a spot on version of Santana's Soul Sacrifice as a good place to stick a drum solo. Damn, with Derek's SG sounding amazingly Carlos-like, you coulda thought you were hearing Santana at Woodstock.

    -Ray
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2019
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  2. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    This one?

    [​IMG]

    - D
     
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  3. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    Yup, sure looks like it. I couldn't see it this well on the TV screens and I was nowhere near close enough to tell just looking. I guess that's not a standard tele neck pup, although you can probably see how I'd have thought so from the TV. Bridge sure looks like a P90 but hard to tell if all the pole pieces are there. Definitely a non-standard bridge. The black one over it's left shoulder looks like the Les Paul Jr he was playing. Never saw him grab that double cutaway, whatever it may be.

    -Ray
     
  4. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    This was my main guitar for years, a backup now.
    Wilkinson half bridge, 3 P90's, 5 way sw and a push pull sw on the tone pot. Also has a varitone. Pine body and Allparts TMO-fat neck.

    img00367a.jpg
     
  5. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I'd play the hell out of this one.

    [​IMG]

    - D
     
  6. StrangerNY

    StrangerNY Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    The neck pickup looks like a Dano lipstick pickup. Pretty sure the bridge is a P-90.

    - D
     
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  7. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    @raysachs A number of years back (and maybe still now) when the La Cabronita Tele craze was still going strong, there were many of them made Squire 1-pickup style with just a P-90 in the bridge position.

    Fender makes a number of models now with PAF or WRH in the bridge position, so it would be trivial to swap in a P-90 on those models.
     
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  8. joebloggs13

    joebloggs13 Tele-Holic

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    Friedman makes some nice P90 Teles.
     
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  9. 985plowboy

    985plowboy Tele-Afflicted

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    Congratulations on discovering Blackberry Smoke.

    There are a couple YouTube videos where Charlie Starr does a rig rundown and describes both those guitars.
     
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  10. dilbone

    dilbone Tele-Afflicted

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    These are my 2011(left) and 2012(right) TDPRI build challenge guitars. In 2011 I had a hankerin' for a Les Paul Jr. style tele and the next year I figured I'd Gretschify a tele build. Both have wraparound bridges and both have angled neck pockets to account for the increase in bridge height. The Gretsch-ele is my go to guitar even still. I love that guitar.[​IMG]

    Sent from my SM-G960U using Tapatalk
     
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  11. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

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    .

    P90s in the bridge are awesome! I often have trouble deciding if I like a Tele bridge or a P90 bridge more. One is the chicken and the other is the egg back in the days of who was copying who in the 50s so their tones can often be very similar, especially if the Tele has a steel baseplate to up the output.

    A P90 in the neck is a waste though, Strat or alnico pole style Jazzmaster in the neck is best for me.

    Here is a hot humbucker (16kohm) with both bobbins split out on a 4-way switch so it switches like a regular SS 4-way Tele: neck/parallel/bridge/humbucker. Screw poles are raised and the pickup lowered to give more separation and distinctive sounds for each bobbin.
    I can fake a Tele neck pickup with the switch in the neck position and a little tone knob turn. #2 Strat Quack. Tele Bridge Twang, And a hot LP humbucker for heavy metal.
    [​IMG]

    A PRS SE Soapbar model can get you in there...

    [​IMG]

    My first P90 guitar was I bought ebay P90s and put them in an old Strat-Like-Object and I was amazed at how good they sounded, how much range they gave. I really saw how humbuckers gave up a lot of tone to achieve that one problem solution.

    .
     
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  12. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I’ll have to check those videos out. I’m going on about his guitar at the show and my wife is rolling her eyes wondering WHAT the hell I’m talking about...
     
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  13. jrblue

    jrblue Tele-Afflicted

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    Yup, the bridge P90 is a well known, well-worn thing. Tele players copped the LP Junior setup, and it works. IMO, it's a one-trick-pony setup, but if you get the tone you want, like Charlie Starr does, that's not a deficiency.
     
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  14. JeffBlue

    JeffBlue Tele-Afflicted

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    I built a tele partscaster with a P90 in the neck and custom copper pickguard.
    IMG_0177.JPG
    I usually add a P90 in the middle position of my tele builds...........
    IMG_0200.jpg
    IMG_0202.JPG
    IMG_0448.jpg
    IMG_0449.jpg
    And this next one is a guitar that I gave to my son, sounds fantastic with a P90 in the neck position (Seymour Duncan Antiquities)
    IMG_0226.jpg
     
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  15. draggindakota

    draggindakota Tele-Meister

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    Love me some BBS. Great music!
     
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  16. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Both Trucks & Tedeschi and Blackberry Smoke are fantastic bands to see live! Derek Trucks slide playing is just damn fun to watch! Charlie Starr has some nice guitars. The LP Jr has exceptional growl, the 335 is sweet and love his Tele. He plays them well!
     
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  17. Obelisk

    Obelisk Tele-Afflicted

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    When I think of a P-90 in the bridge position I think of Johnny Thunders of the New York Dolls or Leslie West of Mountain. Mississippi Queen is a 56-57 Gibson LP Jr going through a Sunn PA amp.

    I have a Fender CS Tele Jr. I bought it precisely to have a set neck Tele with P-90 pickups. I had some other pickups in it for a bit, but went back to the Duncan high output P90 that came stock. The original was made for an Custom Shop amp tech who wanted a combo between a Tele and Les Paul Jr(Special) to hear how amps worked with that type of pickup. Duncan made this tech some hot ceramic P90 pickups. With its stock pickups this guitar just gets a great overdriven sound. The control plate comes reversed which makes the volume pot perfect for adjusting how you are hitting the front end of a tube amp or volume swells. Apparently customers thought the guitar was so cool that the Custom Shop issued a limited edition in 93-94(about 150 or so guitars). The guitar pictured is from the second production batch that were done during the late 90's. All mahogany body and neck with a Pau Ferro fingerboard. The body is also chambered.

    TeleJr_01.JPG
     
  18. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I should say that P90s in teles are not new to me. I've owned this one for well over a year and still have it in a gig bag in my closet, replaced by an ES339 with P90s. I'll probably sell this one when I get around to it. I love P90s, I like this tele with them. I just had never seen one modded the way Charlie Starr's was, with the P90 in the bridge position. I've seen LOTS of them with a P90 (or a humbucker) in the neck position.

    That wouldn't have even been worth a mention. To me, this was new though. Thanks for all of the other examples - I see it's not news except to me!

    [​IMG]untitled-2-7 by Ray, on Flickr
     
  19. raysachs

    raysachs Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    I thought Charlie sang and played well for the portion of Blackberry Smoke's set we caught (only 4-5 songs. But when he came out with Tedeschi and Trucks to play and sing on Statesboro Blues and Stranger in a Strange Land, I thought he was at another level. I could have easily seen him as a member of the Allman Bros. I guess a lot of it is how high the material lets you go. BBS has some nice songs and he performed them well, but playing that classic material he took it to another level.
     
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  20. MDent77

    MDent77 Tele-Afflicted

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    Yup. Classic material and sitting in with Tedeschi Trucks Band is a great formula for an exceptional live setting! A guitarist named Marcus King also sat in with Tedeschi and Trucks and really shined. Thankfully, there's no shortage of excellent guitarists out there (in all genre's). But well played bluesy rock stuff always grabs my ear!
     
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