Stealth P90?

Discussion in 'Tele-Technical' started by Daddy Dom, Jan 24, 2020.

  1. Daddy Dom

    Daddy Dom TDPRI Member

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    First post from a long-time reader, so hello to the TDPRI brains-trust.

    I love the clean look of the Esquire and I also love P90s. I have long dreamed of building myself an Esquire but just started to wonder, is there enough space beneath the pickguard to fit a neck P90? I know the routing would go deep but surely no deeper than a humbucker.

    And if there was enough space, would it be close enough to the strings to work well? You might say, go ahead and try, but somebody might have already tried.
    Thanks, DD
     
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  2. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 Tele-Meister

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    I've done that with both a P90 and a SD Hot neck with no cover. The guitar that has the SD is wired so that you add the neck to the bridge in one position so I've never heard the neck alone in that guitar but it sounds great with both pickups. It has a really powerful stacked humbucker in the bridge (BG1400) and is set up for D tuning slide.
    The guitar with the P90 I ended up changing to a pickguard that allowed me to raise the pickup it was just too muddy for my tastes below the guard. I may try it again with a different P90 one day, lower wind and unshielded. I also routed the neck pocket about 3/32" to bring the strings closer to the guard on both guitars.
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  3. hopdybob

    hopdybob Tele-Afflicted

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    you could ask a pickup winder to make you a bit stronger P90 without cover to balance the more distance between the pickup and strings?
     
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  4. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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    This has come up in the past here--you might be able to find some of the old threads if you search. I think I remember the consensus was it doesn't work very well. If you get a "strong" pickup with a lot of winds and high output it's very muddy, and if you don't overwind it's very thin and you lose the effect of a neck pickup.

    If I wanted to try this I'd use large neodymium magnets and maybe build a conventional tele pickup, where the pole piece are themselves the magnets.

    I'm not an expert on this and someone else will likely come along who knows more. But in general, the force or strength of the magnetic field decreases with distance, so in a stealth" pickup you want to get the magnets as close to the strings as possible. the design of a P90 put the magnets on the bottom of the pickup , and the magnetic flux is carried up the adjustable pole piece screws. In the traditional fender design, the pole pieces are the magnets. So I'm thinking if you used very strong neodymium magnets as the pole pieces, you'd have your magnetic field as close as possible to the strings.

    There are alnico pole piece p90s available--lollar makes one. I have a feeling the best results would come if you replaced alnico with neodymium
     
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2020
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  5. maxvintage

    maxvintage Friend of Leo's

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  6. bullfrogblues

    bullfrogblues Friend of Leo's

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    I posted this pic some time back. Not totally stealth, but kind of cool.
    Stealth P90 Bonamassa Tele.JPG
     
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  7. Vibrolux59

    Vibrolux59 Tele-Meister

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    Funny, I bought one of the Lollar alnico pole P90s to try in mine but once I removed the pickguard and adjusted the VV P90 to its sweet spot I just put a cover on it and used a pickguard with a hole. I have to say too, while not stealth, a cream cover in a parchment pickguard is a pretty clean look. I opted for function over aesthetics. So the Lollar is still unused but will find a home. They are basically a Jazzmaster pickup on a P90 base plate according to Jason.
     
  8. Daddy Dom

    Daddy Dom TDPRI Member

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    Thank you!
    Well that's not a 'no', I guess :) I really, really like that picture above with only the polepieces showing, that is very cool.
     
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  9. tvvoodoo

    tvvoodoo Tele-Afflicted

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    Works under the cowhide for me
    [​IMG]
     
  10. regularslinky

    regularslinky Tele-Afflicted

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    I recently turned my Rick Kelly T type (my avatar) into a stealth Esquire. I have a Fralin Stock in the bridge and a Fralin Blues Special (no cover) in the neck.

    I had to lower the bridge pickup pretty far to get close to a balance. The pick guard is single-ply plastic from a MIM Esquire.

    It works for me. The neck pickup is bright - I think because the pickup is so far from the strings. I actually like it better than when the neck pickup was not covered. It is kind of Stratty, which I like. The output is just a bit less than the bridge pickup. I probably could put a hotter pickup in the neck to compensate, but it works well enough to me. And I think it looks cool.

    Based on my experience compared to what I've read online, I think the thin pickguard is key. I can't see why it wouldn't work with a P-90.
     
  11. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    Who will you be hiding the P90 from?..... I don't get the stealth thing?....

    audience probably won't care.....you probably don't look at your guitar when playing... ;)

    just stick it in at the right height and play...;)
     
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