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Old 11-29-2012, 01:23 PM   #1
Paddynbob
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Adding a Third P90 Pickup To Gibson Les Paul

(already posted this, but due to bugs have had to repost)

Hey peeps I have a Gibson Les Paul 60's Tribute (white, not really relevant) with p90 pickups. I've been procrastinating (great word) for months and months now about whether i should change the pickups.

See, I'm an awkward guy who has an awkward taste in music, and as such, I can't find a set of pickups that would satisfy me. I play a lot of garagey blues and such, and i also like really sweet sounding clean gibson-y music, but i also play really heavy metal with my band. So far I've been using Invader hum buckers in my Epi for my metal stuff, which sounds good, and I'll continue to use it, but I'd like to have the choice of metal in my Gibbo.

The bridge of my Gibson does the garage blues sound (e.g. white stripes)
The neck does sweet clean lines
So what do I do for the metal sound?

I kind of figured I only really have the option of adding a third pickup. I know its a 60s style guitar, and some purists would be horrified, but I didn't buy it for the 60s aspect, just the sound and feel.

I reckon, keep the neck pickup in, put maybe a Bare Knuckle Pig 90 (or EMG if I'm feeling adventurous, although I've never had much to do with actives) and either move the bridge gibson to the middle or add maybe a medium/high output pup like a SD or BK Supermassive to the new middle.

Is there any issues I should be aware of when making this change?
How much would it cost?
Would my local music shop be ok to do it? (Kennys Music, Dundee, Scotland)
What do you think of this line up?
Would you make this change? If not why not?

Cheers as always, you can here my sound i like in the link in my signature
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Old 11-29-2012, 01:47 PM   #2
Roc8995
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I think what you want is a Duncan P-Rails setup. That's a real hot pickup that lets you split to a P-90. Should be perfect for metal. You'd still have to route for the size difference, but that's way better and far less stupid than routing another pickup cavity.



In case I wasn't clear enough, it's totally stupid to route another pickup cavity. They make humbucker and 3-pickup Les Pauls that will do everything you want. For the cost, especially with buying three new pickups, you could just sell your guitar and get one with a pickup configuration that suits you properly. Actually, trading your P-90 for a 2-humbucker Tribute and then installing P-Rails would be smarter and cheaper than having someone route yours.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:07 PM   #3
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Dimarzio makes the super distortion in a P-90 soapbar housing. You can coil tap it and then you'll have the metal and lower output mode. It will fit in your current pickup rout also with no mods needed.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:14 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
I think what you want is a Duncan P-Rails setup. That's a real hot pickup that lets you split to a P-90. Should be perfect for metal. You'd still have to route for the size difference, but that's way better and far less stupid than routing another pickup cavity.



In case I wasn't clear enough, it's totally stupid to route another pickup cavity. They make humbucker and 3-pickup Les Pauls that will do everything you want. For the cost, especially with buying three new pickups, you could just sell your guitar and get one with a pickup configuration that suits you properly. Actually, trading your P-90 for a 2-humbucker Tribute and then installing P-Rails would be smarter and cheaper than having someone route yours.


Realistically I'm only going to get 400 for my les paul... At a push. Would the p-rails do super saturated metal? I was going to put something more specialist in like an EMG or really high output passive in... As for getting a two bucker les paul, I have that in my epi... It's more the p90 aspect I want to keep.

What kind of problems could the alternation bring? I have one of the best techs in Scotland in my area, if that's the issue, I dont know if it is
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:16 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
I think what you want is a Duncan P-Rails setup. That's a real hot pickup that lets you split to a P-90. Should be perfect for metal. You'd still have to route for the size difference, but that's way better and far less stupid than routing another pickup cavity.



In case I wasn't clear enough, it's totally stupid to route another pickup cavity. They make humbucker and 3-pickup Les Pauls that will do everything you want. For the cost, especially with buying three new pickups, you could just sell your guitar and get one with a pickup configuration that suits you properly. Actually, trading your P-90 for a 2-humbucker Tribute and then installing P-Rails would be smarter and cheaper than having someone route yours.


And It would only be one or two new pickups, just a bridge and maybe a new middle, but i might just move the current bridge up to the middle position, cause if there's one problem with the bridge its quite trebley, so moving it up might make it sound perfect.
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:17 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Dimarzio makes the super distortion in a P-90 soapbar housing. You can coil tap it and then you'll have the metal and lower output mode. It will fit in your current pickup rout also with no mods needed.


As far as I understand, is that pickup not just a small humbucker?
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Old 11-29-2012, 02:52 PM   #7
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The issue is mostly cost. Routing a finished guitar without damaging the finish is tricky work and it's not going to be cheap. Add another pickup or two and installation on top of that and you're spending more than you'd lose selling and buying the Humbucker model. You could always call the guy for a quote but I suspect he'd tell you the same thing - it's not worth the cost to alter your guitar when they already make one that has what you want.

I didn't know they made a Super Distortion in a P-90 size. That's exactly what you need. You can keep the P-90 in the neck and get more crunch out of the bridge.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:04 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roc8995
The issue is mostly cost. Routing a finished guitar without damaging the finish is tricky work and it's not going to be cheap. Add another pickup or two and installation on top of that and you're spending more than you'd lose selling and buying the Humbucker model. You could always call the guy for a quote but I suspect he'd tell you the same thing - it's not worth the cost to alter your guitar when they already make one that has what you want.

I didn't know they made a Super Distortion in a P-90 size. That's exactly what you need. You can keep the P-90 in the neck and get more crunch out of the bridge.


I think the p90 dimarzio is just a different shaped hum bucker though, and i really like the p90 sound... how much do you think it would cost? roughly?
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:42 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddynbob
I think the p90 dimarzio is just a different shaped hum bucker though, and i really like the p90 sound... how much do you think it would cost? roughly?

Yes it is a HB in a P-90 case.

I can under stand if you wanna keep the P-90 sound, but unless you get a custom wound P-90 I doubt you'll find a pickup besides the Dimarzio that will get you a really good metal tone.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:45 PM   #10
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I just looked at Dimarzios site and they also have the DLX soap bar HB that they claim keeps alot of the P-90 characterisics but is high output. They also make the Tone Zone in P-90 form.
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:50 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
Yes it is a HB in a P-90 case.

I can under stand if you wanna keep the P-90 sound, but unless you get a custom wound P-90 I doubt you'll find a pickup besides the Dimarzio that will get you a really good metal tone.


Any experience with the Bare Knuckle Pig 90? Been thinking about that. But then id lose the nice classic sounding crunch of my Gibson one
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:53 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
I just looked at Dimarzios site and they also have the DLX soap bar HB that they claim keeps alot of the P-90 characterisics but is high output. They also make the Tone Zone in P-90 form.


just had a look, the DLX P90 looks like it might be my sort of thing... i like scooped mids for metal playing, not really for other things though.

Trouble is, i can't find any videos of pig 90 or DLX online
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Old 11-29-2012, 03:59 PM   #13
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I have only used the BK nailbomb, good pickup IMO way over priced. If they were in the ball park price of Dimarzio/Duncan then I'd say get them.
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Old 11-29-2012, 04:05 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Robbgnarly
I have only used the BK nailbomb, good pickup IMO way over priced. If they were in the ball park price of Dimarzio/Duncan then I'd say get them.


I think the p90s are a bit more reasonably priced though? About 65 ish
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:46 AM   #15
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Any figures for price?
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Old 11-30-2012, 05:34 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Paddynbob
there's one problem with the bridge its quite trebley, so moving it up might make it sound perfect.


have you ever thought to roll the tone pot back a bit??
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Old 12-01-2012, 08:00 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sytharnia1560
have you ever thought to roll the tone pot back a bit??


I do, obviously, but that doesn't solve the metal pup issue. And if it's in the middle, that's two birds with one stone
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Old 12-26-2012, 11:13 PM   #18
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Good to see some love for Garage
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Old 12-30-2012, 08:45 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by werty24
Good to see some love for Garage


Mmm, gotta love it. Always on the lookout for great garage bands, theyre so rarely advertised
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