P90's and PAF's interchangeable?

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by tatittle, Dec 14, 2010.

  1. tatittle

    tatittle Tele-Meister

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    Hey,

    I am wondering how difficult it is to switch PAF's to P90's in Gibson SG's and Les Paul Studio guitars? Are the holes considerably different in size--do they prevent the dropping in of the different shape pick-up.

    Related--does anyone know if the new SG Classics actually have the regular size p'up cavity--the excess being merely covered by the pick guard? This would allow easy switch to PAF's if true. Someone suggested it might be.

    Thanks!
     
  2. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    P90 is larger. I don't know if HB equipped guitars have a big enough cavity, they may need routing. I would guess that HBs would fit in an SG routed for P90s, but you'd need a new pickguard.
     
  3. JCollins

    JCollins Tele-Holic

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    The pickup cavities are not the same, for P90s and humbuckers. One is not a drop-in replacement for the other. If the guitar has humbuckers, and you want to put P90s in it, you can choose from a variety of humbucker-sized P90 pickups (Gibson P94 and Seymour Duncan Phat Cats, to name two). If you have P90s, and want humbuckers, you can install mini-humbuckers in the same cavity.
     
  4. stantheman

    stantheman Doctor of Teleocity

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    It's conceivable that one could drop the much maligned P-100 into a P-90 cavity rather effortlessly.
    Question: Was The P-100 really that bad?
     
  5. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    Actually...a P90 is smaller than a humbucker.
    It's the same size as a mini humbucker, like in a Firebird or LP Deluxe
     
  6. Blazer

    Blazer Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I can't speak for anybody but the one I had in my LP Junior sounded really good.

    But one can always look towards Dimarzio for a humbucker in P90 casing.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Sorry but that's not accurate at all. A P90 is much longer than a humbucker but it is slightly narrower. A humbucker route will be too small for a P90.

    Here's an overlay that shows the difference. The red lines represent the humbucker cover and it's mounting ring and the white line is a dogear P90. A soapbar will have the same dimensions as shown but without the 'ears'.


    [​IMG]




    Likewise a mini-humbucker is even smaller still than a P90. This is why GFS makes a conversion kit to put a mini in a P90 slot. Here's a photo of a mini sitting in a soapbar size adaptor ring.
     

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  8. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I was referring to a soap bar P90 which fits exactly into a mini humbucker slot.
    I've done it several times in both directions.
    Any adaptors would be purely mounting hardware under the pickups.
    The picture of the mini 'bucker shown is not an P90 adaptor ring, but a bone stock mini humbucker set-up.
    You are correct, though, about the dog-ear P90 and humbucker having very different dimensions.
    It hadn't occurred to me that, with all the options available nowadays, that someone would try to put a dog-ear P90 where there was once a humbucker.
     
  9. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    What you are calling 'bone stock' was of course Gibson's method of taking old soapbar p90 covers and routing them out to mount minis in. It was right from the start an adaptor. Yes of course a mini will fit in a P90 slot because it is so much smaller. But what you stated was that the mini was the same size as a P90 and it isn't. It's much smaller and that's why it uses a soapbar cover to fit in what was originally a p90 route on the old LP Deluxes. Orginally they were routed for P90's and when they switched to the mini humbuckers they simply used the P90 covers to mount them in. So when you say you've put P90's into mini humbucker slots you've actually (historically speaking) been putting P90's into P90 slots.

    Once it's mounted in a P90 soapbar cover (like Gibson did/does and like GFS sells) then it works just fine. But the pickup itself is much smaller than a P90. That's all I was trying to be clear about. And using the routed soapbar covers is only one way of mounting a mini. You can buy mini humbucker mounting rings that look just like smaller versions of a regular humbucker and in that case you don't need a route nearly as big as a P90 route.



    Also it's of no matter whether we're talking dogear or soapbar, the P90 is still significantly longer than a humbucker. The cover is different of course but the actual size of the pickup and the route is the same for both dogear and soapbar and in both cases is larger than a humbucker.
     
    Last edited: Dec 14, 2010
  10. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

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    Visit the Lollar website, look under 'resources' and there is an excellent 7-part video of Jason Lollar fitting a P90 into a humbucker SG. He covers all the issues, including body routing and the way to screw the P90s down without the screws going through the back of the guitar!
     
  11. Stratified

    Stratified Tele-Meister

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    Another option is the non-standard Bill Lawrence humbucker. Its slightly narrower than a standard humbucker so it will fit the P90 route, and (I'm told) the mounting ring will cover the longer P90 route. There is the matter of the holes that will be drilled for the BL mounting ring, should you ever want to go back to a P90. On the plus side, BL makes several different pickup models, with a wide choice of inductance ratings to choose from in that non-standard size.
     
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