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P-90's: Talk about your favorite non-Gibson experiences

pilotlight

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Oct 8, 2003
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513
I recently happened into a lovely Pelham Blue R6 that is a joy to play... I've owned plenty of Les Pauls, but never of the P-90 variety.. It just sings with my '68 Super Reverb, and have no immediate plans to change out any parts. That said, I have found in my experiences with humbuckers that if the "guitar is right", you can can add some icing to the cake with the right set. From what I have found with P-90's, there seems to be subtle differences in sets..

What have you found out there that has brought that "icing" to your P-90 equipped guitar?
 
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Vics53

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Jan 21, 2021
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59
I'd like to know this myself about Gibson P90's or others.

I played a Telecaster with DiMarzio pickups for a long time. Have the Area T neck and Area T Hot bridge. I love what I call the "snark" of the lower strings and how chords sound with a clean or overdriven tone. But lead work always sounded rather thin to me. Bought a 2019 Epiphone SG Pro and while I love thicker high end I miss that low end snark. By a thicker higher end I mean just enough to give it some muscle. Stronger than the Tele.

Been checking out a lot of video's of newer Gibson's with P90's and offhand they sound like a Tele on steroids. They seem to have that low end snark and a higher end that's thicker than my Tele. Yes? No?
 

pilotlight

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Oct 8, 2003
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513
The tones here (albeit with a proper vintage LP) are just magic!!
YouTube video titled: "John Nemeth And The Bo-Keys Said Too Much Live 2013 BMAs" The 3:30 mark... Just sick.
 

Vics53

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Jan 21, 2021
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59
Just checked it out. What a great performance from a great band. Yes, loved that tone!
 

mdubya

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Mar 31, 2010
Messages
868
I think the stock Gibson P-90s take some beating, tone wise. I have heard it argued that the specs are not "vintage correct" but the tones are great.

Depending on what year R6, yours may have the standard, off the shelf Gibson P-90 (A5), or any variety of A2 or A3 magnet, standard wind or underwound version.

Of my four P-90 Gibsons, the only thing I would consider changing the original pickups for is 50s, 60s, or 70s vintage Gibsons.

Three guitars have the standard A5 pickups and one has underwound A2 spec. No desire to change any of them. I did rout my 3 pickup Non Reverse Firebird a little bit, for pickup height adjustability (huge improvement to my playing pleasure). Historic Reissue P-90 Les Pauls can suffer from the same limited pickup height adjustment issues. The USA models do not.

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I am one Goldtop and an ES 125 or 225 TDC away from complete P-90 satisfaction.
 
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Nick-O

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Aug 12, 2015
Messages
200
Had some great Fralin Hum canceling P90s for several years. I had no choice at the time and had to get hum cancelling for our regular gig, and thought I compromised but they were great, no regrets other than selling that guitar for some stoopid reason.
My favorite are Tyson Tone though. They remain in place.
I have also had Charlie Christian style P90s from Pete Biltof at Vintage Vibe which were very good.
 

pilotlight

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Joined
Oct 8, 2003
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My R6 is I believe a 2020. I'm loving the clean tones, but where I'm focusing in is the overdriven tonal range. As with the YouTube video I mentioned, great P-90's tend to have that honk and clarity. The bridge isn't too bitey, but rather full bodied.. Neck has harmonic richness, clarity and enough cut to punch through a band mix. From listening to many videos, the separation of pickups seems to be most evident when amps are cooking and overdriven tones come forward. I really appreciate all the input so far!

mdubya - very nice p-90 family you've assembled there!
 

Dilver

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Feb 17, 2016
Messages
93
I’m pretty much in love with what a Wolfetone Meaner 90 does to a Les Paul Junior. I use a 250k tone pot and the the vocal tone I get with the tone on the guitar at about 6 is so thick I want to eat it with a spoon.
 

corpse

Well-known member
Joined
Jun 9, 2007
Messages
4,219
Kid Anderson's LP looks like a 68 or 69 and (funny) I recognize the wood sound from my 69 HB conversion. I can hear the wood. Wow- I thought I was damaging my ears all those years...
I have the Tyson's in a Banker as well and they are really something- big range and combining two is very cool indeed. "Chewy" is the term I use for the tone.

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Joined
Dec 20, 2016
Messages
213
I found the stock P90's in my 61 SG Special to be pretty boring, and unbalanced. I replaced them with Jim Wagner G90 pickups, which was a huge improvement.

You can hear them in this YT video by Pete Thorn around the 1:45 mark.

 

pilotlight

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Joined
Oct 8, 2003
Messages
513
I found the stock P90's in my 61 SG Special to be pretty boring, and unbalanced. I replaced them with Jim Wagner G90 pickups, which was a huge improvement.

You can hear them in this YT video by Pete Thorn around the 1:45 mark.

I've had some of Jim's humbuckers over the years. Loved them! Thanks.
 

pilotlight

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Joined
Oct 8, 2003
Messages
513
I think I am actually going to shoot them out.. Mic up my drip edge super reverb, leave settings and record before and after. I really want an authentic comparison so the winning set can be clearly determined. I will upload results and share here for everyone.
 

JeffBlue

Active member
Joined
Sep 16, 2012
Messages
298
These are my experiences with Seymour Duncan P90s
IMG_0074.jpg IMG_0078.jpg IMG_0151.jpg IMG_0153.jpg IMG_0200.jpg
There are of course more.
 

pilotlight

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Joined
Oct 8, 2003
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513
UPDATE:

The custom shop Gibson P-90's really started to dial in before I swapped in the Tyson Tones. Unfortunately, the recorded samples I created for the Gibson I unknowingly deleted. Found this out last night as I just after I had mounted the Tyson Tone '57 p90's. The delay was that the pickup covers on the '57 TT's didn't fit properly. Robert made this right after sending several cover sets to try, but it took a while.

Initial impressions: Both the Gibson and Tyson Tone are harmonically rich & balanced. To my ear, the Tyson Tone '57 neck pickup is voiced with a little more middle to upper-mids focus. Kinda like gently notching up a parametric EQ bump up.. I seemingly always start with neck pickups because if I can't find happiness (clarity, enough cut, but buttery and sweet) on a neck pickup lead, the show ends there. My #1 gig guitar is a great tele (fender custom shop body w/ an aftermarket neck that fit my needs) and the neck pickup on that guitar sings so sweetly. The Tyson Tone neck pickup interestingly sounded much closer to "that" sound, but with just enough LP low-end rounding out the bottom. Again, the clarity was pronounced.

Bridge Pickups: The Gibson bridge was a bit more aggressive on the upper EQ spectrum. That said, minor tone knob adjustments could locate a sweet spot that rounded off the edge. The Tyson Tone's bridge focus was a bit lower on the EQ spectrum. IE, less tone knob roll-off needed to dial in. Both clean and dirty, the '57's were pure Rock and Roll from the get-go.


The reality is that both are excellent. There is no homogenous solve to any given guitar model. Voicing is everything - as such, I am certain other guitars might benefit more from where the Gibson go sonically. I will post audio snippets of the Tyson Tones shortly.
 
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