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Underwound P90 = Antiquity P90???

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by dogfootblues, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. dogfootblues

    dogfootblues Tele-Afflicted

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    Searching now for a 5% underwound P90. So does this make this pickup a vintage wound model? Is this what the first P90 were wound like?
     
  2. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    I read that Gibson tried to get the P90 wound to 8k Ohm. When Seth Lover was working on the humbucker for Gibson, he tried to hit 8k Ohms as well, or 4k per coil. The wire gauge was 38, IIRC.
     
  3. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Tele-Afflicted

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    I think it's more like 42 AWG on most P90's, but that's the measurement of the full diameter including shielding. The wire diameter itself can vary. 38AWG is sometimes used on CC pickups. A 5% wind variance really isn't noticeable...and pales in comparison to the affect the resistance and capacitance load has on the sound.

    P90's are normally in the 7-8H inductance range. With 500k pots, ~100pF internal C and a typical ~400pF C guitar cable, the resonant peak will be in the 2-2.5kHz range. That gives it edge without being harsh. It's nothing magical. A ~2kHz peak works great for all kinds of things. An AlNiCo V magnet should generally be the most efficient. The lower power AlNiCo types decrease fundamental note strength and sensitivity to smaller vibrations. It's really the same affect you'd get raising the pole pieces and lowering the pickup height. AlNiCo V is just more versatile. A Ceramic 8 bar will likely saturate the core material, lowering inductance and possibly creating strong magnetic eddy currents which reduce the highs. That's what the tone knob is for, init? People might mistake it for more bass, but it's really just less efficient. If you get the resonant peak at ~2-2.2kHz, you probably won't feel the need to lower the tone knob in general, but it will sweeten and fatten a bit from 10-5 as the peak height & frequency move down a bit -- very simple and useful tones.

    I have a bog standard GFS AlNiCo V P90 in the neck of my XV-585 with 500k pots. I use a very low ~160pF C cable. I wired a 330pF cap over the toggle switch lug and it sounds just gorgeous. I adjusted the pole screws and pickup height to where the low E string sounds "woody" and the high E sounds fat. I set the other pole screws for balance with the G and B poles well below the cover because of the pickup screw between them -- probably wouldn't need to if the pickup height screws were solid Nickel.
     
  4. Tatercaster

    Tatercaster Friend of Leo's

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    The book I read was about vintage Gibson guitars, so the 38 AWG may have been what was used in the 50's? The 38 ga. wire would mean less wire would fit on the bobbin and less resistance for a certain number of wraps. I also seem to recall a figure of 8,000 wraps around the bobbin.
     
  5. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Tele-Afflicted

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    That's a definite possibility, but there is nothing advantageous about thicker wire. It just means more of the coil is further from the magnetized portion of the string. I think 42-43 are mainstays because thinner wire broke too easily when hand wound, or on clumsy early auto-winders. Modern CNC winders can handle thinner wire. Cracked or stretched insulation is still a concern. PE wire cracks can be patched with proper post wind heat treatment at 125C, but poly wire stretches -- mainly increasing internal capacitance. It's not so much a concern with P90's when the goal is to have a relatively low resonance at 2-2.2kHz anyway, but strong eddy-currents can cause significant losses in any pickup.

    To add to my first post: you can use a 4-5nF cap on the tone knob for a horn-like quality peak at ~600-800Hz with the knob down near 0. BYOC sells caps of many values pretty cheap.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2014
  6. GCKelloch

    GCKelloch Tele-Afflicted

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    Disregard what was previously here (my LCR meter is inadequate for the task).
     
    Last edited: Oct 20, 2015
  7. uriah1

    uriah1 Telefied Gold Supporter

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    I think my old gibby p90 around the same..from mid 70's

    Antiquities
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  8. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    Antiquity p90's are my favorite p90 and I've tried a few, young and old.
     
  9. nic'o'caster

    nic'o'caster Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    I bought a 5% underwound neck P90 from Lollar for a hollow body guitar upgrade (Airline Tuxedo from Eastwood) and it's almost too clear, but I like it for rhythm stuff : It takes the low mids out. It does not sound vintage at all, more hollow and clear than a classic P90, completely different compared to a Gibson P90 !
     
  10. Jason Lollar

    Jason Lollar Tele-Meister

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    I found alot of vintage P-90s from the 40s and 50s to have lower resistance than late 50's and 60's particularly on archtops. They dont have the thick mids and do sound cleaner. The 50's winds i make where Sean Costello had me copy his 53 goldtop pickups for him were about 7K and not mid heavy so vintage tone depends on what original P-90 you have.
     
  11. Laservampire

    Laservampire Tele-Meister

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    The Antiquity P-90s are very close to the underwound custom shop ones that Gibson is putting in their Memphis models, like the ES-330.

    I'm very tempted to buy my friend's SG classic so I have something to put my Lollar soapbars into again!
     
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