What bridge pickup to go with a P90 in the neck?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by EvilMorty, Sep 15, 2019.

  1. EvilMorty

    EvilMorty TDPRI Member

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    So I have this beloved FSR classic 50' telecaster (that one) and I find the bridge pickup to be somewhat underpowered compared to the P90 in the neck position.
    I love that middle position on this guitar but would probably like it even more if I could hear a bit more twang in the mix. I already lowered the neck pickup, adjusted the bridge pickup as much as I could but am still not quite satisfied.
    From what I read, the stock bridge pickup is an american vintage 58' model. I can't find however how it compares to other types of pickups. I'm thinking of replacing it with a Texas Special for instance (which is supposed to be on the hotter side).
    Do any of you guys know how the vintage 58' compares to other models offered by Fender?
    Would I benefit from swapping with another pickup?
    Any idea why Fender didn't try to put a pickup that balances more with the neck pickup in this guitar? There might be a good reason I'm not thinking about...

    thanks!
     
  2. El Tele Lobo

    El Tele Lobo Friend of Leo's

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    Do you want more brightness and clarity or more thickness and midrange?

    If the former, try something like a PV 64, Cavalier Bakersfield Lion or OC Duff Buckaroo.

    If the latter, Texas Special or Cavalier Fat, Huge or Humongous Lion might work for you.
     
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  3. EvilMorty

    EvilMorty TDPRI Member

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    Well I basically want just more of the same when it comes to the bridge pickup. The objective is to balance the P90 better. I'm thinking the current one is bright enough though so I would lean the second group you're suggesting. Thanks.
     
  4. kbold

    kbold Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

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    Another P90
     
  5. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    The Cavalier Fat Lion will still give you some twang. A little more Jim Messina/Vince Gill vibe.

    Should keep up a little better than the '58.

    I have an AVRI '58 and love the bridge/standard neck combo.

    Talk to Rob, give him the specs on the P90. He should be able to give you a good fit.

    If you're set on Fender. You might be on the right track with a Custom Shop Texas Special.
     
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  6. JohnnyBloo13

    JohnnyBloo13 TDPRI Member

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    Zhangbucker Super Paul Bunyan works for me.
     
  7. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    How do you like the neck pickup on its own? I ask because your other option is to keep the bridge pickup and get a low wind p90, which of course will sound brighter.

    Which pickup do you use the most and what sounds do you like for each on its own? Mixing a p90 neck with a Tele bridge is always a compromise. Either you go for an overwound bridge or underwound neck or live with the imbalance.

    My no 1 is a Tele with Lollar standard p90 neck and Lollar Vintage T bridge. Great combination with slight imbalance. Easily corrected by tweaking the controls.
     
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  8. Zipper

    Zipper TDPRI Member

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    I was suggesting pickup heights, but see you have already tried.
     
  9. screamin eagle

    screamin eagle Poster Extraordinaire

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    Duncan quarter pound. Seriously.
     
  10. stepvan

    stepvan Tele-Meister Ad Free Member

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    the fender 64' pure drive bridge pickup may be a good option as well. fender makes quite a few options for tele and strat pickups and the new prices are really not to bad.
     
  11. EvilMorty

    EvilMorty TDPRI Member

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    Okay that's not a bad idea! I like the P90 but it's true that it's quite dark and could use more treble. My favourite position on this guitar is really the middle one, but I might use the neck position more if it was not as smooth (if that makes sense).
     
  12. kiwi blue

    kiwi blue Tele-Afflicted

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    Well you can roll off treble with the controls but you can't add it.

    I love the mid position on mine too.
     
  13. elelpe

    elelpe Tele-Afflicted

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    Flush the P-90 with pickguard and raise the pole pieces accordingly. It's the contrast between tiny sounding bridge pickup and thick sounding neck pickup that makes the middle sounds interesting. The closer you get them balanced, the less interesting the middle position is. Slight imbalance is ok. I love Tele pickup and P-90 set myself, best single coils in one guitar.
     
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  14. SPUDCASTER

    SPUDCASTER Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    What pots come in that model?
     
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  15. EvilMorty

    EvilMorty TDPRI Member

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    I'm almost certain they're both 250k pots if I remember from the last time I checked.
     
  16. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Holic

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    A Quarter Pound, a Jerry Donahue or a BG1400 would be my considerations here.
     
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  17. Mike Simpson

    Mike Simpson Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    IMG00367.jpg
    IMG_20110430_134458.jpg
     
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  18. EvilMorty

    EvilMorty TDPRI Member

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    Okay I kept reading on this and something that seems to make sense and would be an inexpensive test to do would be to swap the existing magnets in the P90 against weaker ones in order to lower the output closer to the bridge one. Alnico 2 or 3 might do the trick. This guy did the test. Problem is I have no idea what magnets are currently in it, couldn't find the info on what kind of magnet strength Fender put in there. What do you guys think?
     
  19. LGOberean

    LGOberean Doctor of Teleocity

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    I have a custom made tele with a P-90 in the neck and a vintage style Tele bridge pickup, made for me in 2008 according to my specs by Bob Logan.
    07-21-2019 - Logan Custom mahogany - 2.jpg

    The brand Bob calls Wilkinson, I think they're Wilkinson licensed by Mighty Mite. (I can't remember now where I got that impression.) Over in the Logan Custom owners club thread, another member, Wayne (username wpete) had the exact same pickups used in his. Wayne and I both discovered that the bridge pickup was, as you put it, "somewhat underpowered compared to the P90 in the neck position." Since I don't have a volt/ohm meter, Wayne shared his measurements of the pickups with me. He got 6.8K bridge and 8.3k for neck P-90. He wrote Bob about "the quiet bridge relative to neck P-90," and Bob recommended pickup height adjustments for the bridge pup. Wayne tried them, and said they worked "pretty good for me."

    But since you've tried pickup height adjustments and aren't quite satisfied, I would suggest a DiMarzio Twang King bridge pickup (DP173BK) as a replacement. It lives up to its "Twang" name, and it is hotter. I don't have that pickup in a configuration with a P-90 neck pickup, but I do have two other Logan Custom teles with a set of Twang Kings, so I'm quite familiar with its tone and output. And according to DiMarzio's webpage for the DP173BK, its resistance is measured at 8.07 Kohm. And it's a reasonably priced replacement pickup.
     
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