#1
As someone who is looking to buy a new guitar, what is better; a Humbucker or a P90? I play Classic to hard rock, not really metal. Also, are there humbuckers that can fit in a -90 slot, and sound good, if need be?
#2
i love p90s for cleans, and humbuckers for gain. not a big fan of noisy pickups, and thats what a p90 with gain can be. if you get a guitar with 2 p90s i'd replace the bridge with a dimarzio super distortion p90. it can still produce decent cleans, but won't hum to all hell with distortion like a normal p90. and if you wanted to could coil split it to still give you a good old bridge p90 single coil sound

EDIT: here's the dimarzio super distortion p90. it's basically a p90-humbucker love child.

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Last edited by LifeIsABullet16 at Aug 30, 2009,
#3
Quote by LifeIsABullet16
i love p90s for cleans, and humbuckers for gain. not a big fan of noisy pickups, and thats what a p90 with gain can be. if you get a guitar with 2 p90s i'd replace the bridge with a dimarzio super distortion p90. it can still produce decent cleans, but won't hum to all hell with distortion like a normal p90. and if you wanted to could coil split it to still give you a good old bridge p90 single coil sound

this man is someone i would listen to. he knows his stuff. especially here
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#4
Neither is really better. It depends what you play. If you go for more glassy cleans, a P90 is for you. If you play more hard rock with distortion, go for humbuckers. It's all down to personal preference.
#5
Quote by randomhero93
this man is someone i would listen to. he knows his stuff. especially here


thank you, random hero.

but really, it's all personal preference. i love p90s, but i like my heavy gains too check both out and see what you like best.
Warmoth Telecaster Deluxe. Warmoth Strat. Seagull Artist Portrait Acoustic.

"Well good God damn and other such phrases, I haven't heard a beat like this in ages!"
-Dan Le Sac Vs The Scroobius Pip
#6
P-90:
+Better note definition and general clarity.
+Typically better sustain.
Usually brighter tone with more treble response and less bass.
-Can have a lot of excess noise and susceptible to 60 cycle hum, even more so than Strat style singlecoil pickups.

Humbucker:
+Humless and rarely susceptible to background noise.
+Many more aftermarket humbuckers available, so more choice to tweak your tone.
+Most humbuckers can be split to give a tone similar to that of a P-90.
Usually thicker tone with more bass. Many humbuckers also have either very high or very low mid response.
-Note clarity is lost.
-Though higher output humbuckers can be desirable to naturally drive a valve amp harder, high output pickups like that normally have a negative effect on sustain and can severely limit your tone options if used incorrectly.



There's no right or wrong answer to which you should use; it depends entirely on the sort of tone you're after, your playing style and also what the rest of your gear is like. As a general rule of thumb though, most people prefer to not use P-90s for anything heavier than classic late-60's up to mid-70's rock, as they are so susceptible to background noise when higher gain is used.



As far as replacements go, DiMarzio and Swineshead make some true humbuckers in P-90 sizes, and Seymour Duncan and Gibson both make 'stacked' P-90s which are humbuckers configured to keep a little more of the P-90's normal tone. Stacked P-90s are becoming hugely popular as they can fit in well with nearly any playing style and genre of music.
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#8
I don't think either one is better for anything, they're just different altogether.

A set of good P-90s sound great clean and overdriven, and so does a good set of humbuckers, but they're still going to sound different.

If I really had to say which I would prefer, I just like the humbucker sound a little more in certain situations, which isn't to say P-90s are lacking in anyway, it's just down to preference.