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Old 11-11-2012, 01:30 AM   #1
SteveHOC
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Guitarist on a budget craves P90's. Help, please.

Alright, so I'm having a bit of a dilemma. I have somehow traded/sold all of my guitars with P-90's, and am craving some of that tone again. I've come up with a few possible options and would love to hear advice from anyone on what seems to be the most logical choice.

Option 1:
I have a PRS SE Custom semi-hollow that I think would sound pretty fantastic with P-90's. I had a semi-hollow Telecaster with P-90's that was biting in the bridge, and quite warm in the neck, and I loved it. I was able to up-trade that guitar, so I took the opportunity to do so, and might now be ready to do some fun stuff with the PRS, since I plan on keeping it. The Humbuckers sound decent, but I think the P-90's might give it a different tone (and PRS did put out the SE semi-hollows with P-90's for a while, so there must be something to that).

Option 2:
I have a MIJ Fender Jaguar Special HH that I might be willing to part with. I got it for a great price and could probably turn it around for a profit - the thing is, I kind of dig it. I bought it as a backup guitar, but I find myself fiddling around with it more and more every day. The rhythm selector is a bit muddy, but I can deal with it. If I did sell it, I'd probably look to acquire a Gibson Les Paul DC Special. I found one at my local GC, used, for $650 (and it's a worn TV Yellow, which I think is awesome). The pickup selector on the Les Paul had some nasty crackling between the middle and neck position, but that's an easy enough fix should I decide to get it. The other guitar I was looking at was a Fender Jazzmaster, probably a MIM.

Option 3:
I keep hearing good things about the VM Squier Jazzmasters (or the J. Mascis version, which also looks pretty awesome). I would have to wait until they pop up in the used market (and would probably go for the Olympic White color or Sonic Blue if possible), but I have yet to play one, as none of the local shops carry them.

I'm playing through a Bugera V55 and tend to play more post-rock, indie, and shoegaze. I'm really only looking to spend around $250 if I'm not selling the Jaguar, and more like $700 if I do. I've already got the pickups picked out for the SE if I go that route, but I've never wired in P-90's in place of Humbuckers, so I'd have to get some schematics on that (easy enough to find on Google I'm sure). I guess this isn't really a "what guitar" thread, but in case anyone asks, I live in Dallas, TX, and have perused my local CL and the used inventories of the local shops.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by SteveHOC : 11-11-2012 at 01:33 AM.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:18 AM   #2
dannyalcatraz
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Howdy, neighbor! (I'm in Coppell.)

Personally, I'd leave the PRS alone and put a HB-sized P-90 in the neck of the Jaguar!

I'm doing that with a Dean EVO I've owned for a few years that had been supplanted by better guitars.* I was inspired to do so by the Reverend Double Agent, the Blacktop Fender Jazzmaster, and certain pricey offerings from Nik Huber and Duesenberg guitars.

That way, you spend the least amount of money AND you get to keep a guitar you really like AND you get to access the P-90 sound again.

Bareknuckle isn't the only option, either. Lollar and other makers have HB-sized P-90s. And Seymour Duncan has the P-Rails, which can act like a HB, P-90, and a single coil.







* technically, I'm swapping both stock HBs- the bridge with a Bareknuckle Rebel Yell HB, the neck with a Bareknuckle Stockholm P-90.
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Old 11-11-2012, 10:48 AM   #3
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Hey, neighbor! That may not be a bad idea, do you think that might clean up the rhythm channel on the Jag as well? I suppose it couldn't hurt, I think the Lollar is what I would go with, the Bareknuckle could be fun as well!
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Old 11-11-2012, 11:20 AM   #4
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Come to think of it, I really don't care for the bridge pickup on the Jag either. Would it be simple enough just to drop two P-90's in there? I would consider a better humbucker for the bridge as well, as two P-90's will possibly thin out the sound even more.
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Old 11-11-2012, 12:29 PM   #5
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1. I'm guessing you'd be looking at humbucker sized p90s for this? I only have experience with the GFS mean 90, which is a pretty decent pickup, but I found it just doesnt have the bark of real P90s. Other companies might make better emulations of P90s, but I can't comment on them.

2. A friend of mine has a Gibson Les Paul DC Special and it's a beast. Really nice to play. I would go with this option personally.

3. Jazzmaster pickups are not P90s, but some companies do make Jazzmaster-sized P90s.

Wiring a p90 in place of a humbucker is easy, no worries there at all.
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Old 11-11-2012, 01:16 PM   #6
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The Lollar & BK HB-sized P-90s around anything but thin, IMHO, and since they ARE HB-sized, I can't see there being a problem doing a simple swap.

(I could be wrong, of course.)

The Lollar & BK were my front runners of all the HB-sized P-90s I found. I settled on BK's Stockholm because it was the the most aggressive option of all the Lollar & BK options. BK's Missisippi Queen and the Lollar were its opposite- extremely clear and sweet in the clean position, but not as aggressive as the Stockholm when distorted.

I also found the Tesla OPUS-2 to be a pretty good option.
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:32 PM   #7
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Thanks for the advice, guys! I think the idea so far is to mod the Jag, or get rid of it for the Les Paul. No takers on the PRS, eh? I really don't like the Jag's pickups at all right now, so it'll likely go under the knife. Danny, do you have any experience with GFS pickups?
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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Bacon - I will be looking a HB sized 90's, and like the idea of the GFS, especially for the price. Do you know anything about their humbuckers, should I do a HB/90 setup?
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Old 11-11-2012, 04:56 PM   #9
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I just know that if Guitar Center is selling that Les Paul for $650, it probably has more wrong with it than I initially saw.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:26 PM   #10
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I don't know jack about GFS pickups- sorry.

The reason I wouldn't go tweaking the PRS is that, to my mind- and I could be very wrong indeed- it would probably suffer from the swap out.
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Old 11-11-2012, 05:51 PM   #11
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No worries, I like the BK or Lollar idea, I just wasn't sure how GFS were received.

Do you think it might thin the tone, being semi-hollow? I had considered this as well, and really, the humbuckers in the PRS are much nicer sounding than the Jag. Go figure.

The Jag is a great guitar, I'm just disappointed in how lifeless these pickups are.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:02 PM   #12
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I can't really answer that- I have a semihollow myself, but its equipped with 2 coil splitting Golden Age HBs. I will say that its tone while splitting is pretty satisfying, though.
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Old 11-11-2012, 06:15 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHOC
Bacon - I will be looking a HB sized 90's, and like the idea of the GFS, especially for the price. Do you know anything about their humbuckers, should I do a HB/90 setup?


I havn't tried any of their humbuckers but they seem to be generally well received. Like I said, the mean 90 is nice, but it doesn't quite sound like a p90 (in the neck position at least), so it may not be what you're looking for. A bridge humbucker with a neck P90 is a fairly common combination and is more versatile IMO.


Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHOC
I just know that if Guitar Center is selling that Les Paul for $650, it probably has more wrong with it than I initially saw.


Not necessarily, I think my friend got his for about that price and it's great. You won't know for sure until you try it out though.
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Old 11-11-2012, 08:52 PM   #14
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I figure as long as they're ballpark in tone I could be happy with it. I just want to get the mud out of that neck pickup and put something aggressive, and passive, into the bridge.

I did play the Les Paul, and liked it, but with the amount of wear on it I couldn't see paying over $500 for it.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:08 PM   #15
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I also have another semi-hollow with cool split, and I like the tone on that, so maybe it would be redundant to throw p-90's into the PRS. That said, I have yet another semi-hollow with humbuckers and no coil split, so maybe redundancy is just my thing.
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:12 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteveHOC
I also have another semi-hollow with cool split, and I like the tone on that, so maybe it would be redundant to throw p-90's into the PRS. That said, I have yet another semi-hollow with humbuckers and no coil split, so maybe redundancy is just my thing.

What is the other semihollow?

Maybe you could get some Railhammers for it. Or go retro with some TV Jones pickups?
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Old 11-11-2012, 09:37 PM   #17
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The coil split semi-hollow is the Epiphone 339, and the non-split is an Ibanez AM 93. The Epi has the pro-buckers in it, so they're hot and a little tinny when split. Beautiful cleans on the split, but too thin for much overdrive.
I looked at Dream 180's for it to keep the split action, but I'm waiting to get the Jag sorted, as I have a home-built Les Paul in need of pickup swap, though I bought those already.

Last edited by SteveHOC : 11-11-2012 at 09:39 PM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 03:19 AM   #18
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Not saying you should do this, but semihollows like that could utterly kill with some TV Jones pickups! This page will show you which would fit: http://tvjones.com/pickups/find/find-your-fit/
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Old 11-12-2012, 08:49 AM   #19
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...I have heard good things about those so much to do! Shoot, that puts me at four guitars needing upgrades.
Oh, I also saw an Eastwood P90 Special for around $200. Worth it?

Last edited by SteveHOC : 11-12-2012 at 09:02 AM.
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Old 11-12-2012, 01:09 PM   #20
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I get kind of antsy when I see used guitars priced significantly under $400. I just can't bring myself to pull the trigger unless I see something that discounted in person.
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