Jump to content


Daniel Sorbera

Recommended Posts

ok AS most of you know I am building a semi hollow guitar. I was wondering how yall think a P-90 would stack up compared to a humbucker. Which one do you think would work better in a hollowbody? and how do you mount the P-90? thers no mounting tabs for screws or anything.

Edited by Godin SD
Link to comment
Share on other sites

The P90s that I had in my SG were directly mounted to the body- the pickup actually screws straight into the body (on the front of a P90, there are 8 screws- 6 for the strings, and 2 to secure the pickup to the instrument).

P90s are noted for their great tone- however, they can be a noisy pickup- especially if you use a dirty tone, effects, etc. Added to a semi may amplify the problem- my aria was a semi (PAF equiped) and it was a very noisy guitar- feedback like no tomorrow. I think P90s would have added more noise.

I have heard mixed reviews about the humbucking P90s- most people seem to say that some of the majic is taken away.

However, I urge you to stay away from the Semour Duncan 'Hot' Soapbar. It is a horrible pickup. It is an overwound coil on a ceramic magnet. The result is a pickup that sounds scratchy on a clean channel, but not enough drive to make a great distorted tone.

It was the biggest waste of money I have ever spent.



PAFs are my favorite pickup- I would check out a humbucker with Alnico magnets (I preff alnico 2), with a DC resistance less than 7.

You could, of course, consider winding your own...

Edited by LukeR
Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok lets say noise is absalutly no issue(because I know how to shield so thers NO noise, I have a guitar with singles and a humbucker and now I cant tell any difference in noise when I switch beteween the two) And I would be getting the seymour duncan Vintage P-90 Soapbar. Also my hollow body has a block down the center that the pickup is screwed into so there should be no feedback.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Definitely go for the P90s...but then I'm partial to single coils, I like the bite they give

I replaced the (tame, jazzy ho hum) humbuckers in my Samick Royale with P90s from GFS (humbucker form factor and real nice design)...much better!

I have no noise issues with this guitar (it has a center block), and I did nothing special with shielding...but then I don't use pedals and I keep my amp reasonably low. No feedback problems at all.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes, sorry Drak, you are 100% right. My opinions were based on my rock, heavy rock, blues and jazz type playing. Both P90s and PAFs suit me well for my type of playing, but Godin, could you please give us an idea what stlyes you plan to play in?

Also, I dont mean to flame you or anything, but i do believe that noise may still be a prob with P90s- in my experience, they were alot noisier than the single coils in my strat, and that was after a lot of differnt shielding techniques, insulation, potting, shiedling tape... you name it, i tried it. The hot soapbar was the worse by far, but the other P90s were still VERY noisy.

Jason Lollar makes great P90 replacements- it may be worth checking his stuff out.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Hahaha, cool :D

I am afraid now its up to you... Both pickups have pluses and minuses. If you REALLY dont mind the noise, then I would go for the P90s. Have you checked out the Seymour Duncan sound samples?

They are great pickups, P90s- very underrated IMHO.

I would go for it if i were you!

Please tell us how you go,

Good luck with it all,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well, what kind of jazz and blues are you playing right now?

Both fields are quite wide, a few examples would help.

This is what I mean:

I think you're about 16 or 17?

Most of the blues OR jazz guys who used P-90's, I sort of doubt you've ever even listened to the majority of them, so I kinda doubt you really know what a P-90 sounds like in a blues or jazz setting (unless you've played one in a guitar store).

And in that case, I would recommend -against- you putting them in your guitar.

P-90's are usually an acquired taste, and I doubt you've been playing or listening to blues and/or jazz long enough to acquire the taste.

I'm not downing you, I'm trying to help you avoid putting something in your guitar you don't want. The way I see it, P-90's are probably sort of like a shopping cart item for you, you just see it as sort of an exotic option for your guitar.

Am I getting warm yet? :D

And as I've said a million times, keep your first guitar easy and straightforward, which would mean NOT using something like a P-90 in it.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

ok this might sound weird but I dont really listen to any jazz or blues huh.gif And I just kinda play my own stuff.

That's not weird at all, it's actually quite normal for someone your age.

And that's fine, but P-90's are neither mellow or smooth, usually they are quite the opposite, brash and raw. They can be sweet under the right circumstances tho.

And I'll second the Jason Lollar recommend. Jason is a top-notch guy, AND he started out as a custom guitar builder, and a -very- good one at that.

They can be tamed for jazz, but not the way you're thinking.

If you want some sort of jazzy thing, consider either a SD Jazz neck, or a mini-humbucker. Both of those are more what you're describing.

Personally, I would recommend a dual HB setup on the guitar and use the SD neck Jazz, so you can swap it out with other things and do some experimenting later on.

Routing for a P-90 is driving yourself into a corner. And a corner you may not like at all. :D

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Drak beats me again :D . I was talking about the earlyish Wes Montgomery jazz, and the George Thoroughgood (sp, sorry) at the blues/rock extremity.

It IS hard to give advise over the internet on things such as tone, but again, as Drak says, you are still fairly young, and the P90 is an acquired taste (like a single malt whiskey as apposed to house wine).

The PAF (or similar alnico equipt humbucker) is a GREAT starting point for a great sound- P90s ARE great for what I THOUGHT you meant though.

Surprise, surprise, I second the what Drak said about P90s being raw sounding (but in a VERY good way) Again, I was thinking aboiut the bassy Wes mkontgomery sound (using the tone rolled down- Wes Montgomery used his thumb)- P90s are a very 'rock'n'roll' (in the original sense of the music) pickup- GREAT pickup, but one of the hardest to make versitile (not inversitile, just alot more work).

I should have added that apart from using all the shieling/grounding techniques known to man, I also have tried no less then 15 different caps on the tone to find the best tonal variation for me.

Sorry for the confusiuon though!


PS- Drak, can you guess my age?

Hope you both are are well- goodnight!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I love P-90s, but it's true that they're pretty raw! That's why I love'em. I suspect you've made the right choice with the Jazz and PAF, anyhow.

BUT-- when you DO decide to go with P-90s in a guitar, remember that you have another option-- P-100s or the "Virtual P-90" by... Duncan? Which are hum-cancelling. Some people claim there's a loss of bite, but it's a worthwhile trade-off in my opinion.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...