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Unleash Your Guitar’s Potential with P-90 Pickups: Everything You Need to Know

Introduction to P90 Pickups

If you’re a guitar enthusiast or a musician, you might have heard of P90 pickups. P90 pickups, also known as “soapbar pickups,” are an essential component of many guitar models.

They are known for their rich and warm tone, which is a hybrid of single-coil and humbucker sounds. In this article, we’ll discuss the nature of P90 pickups, compare them to Gibson ES-335 and Stratocaster sounds, and provide a review of some of the best P90 pickups available on the market.

Hybrid Nature of P90 Pickups

P90 pickups are a hybrid of single-coil and humbucker sounds. Single-coil pickups have a bright and clear sound, but they are prone to noise interference.

On the other hand, humbucker pickups have a thick and warm sound, but they can muffle some of the guitar’s natural tone. P90 pickups are a perfect middle ground between these two sounds.

The P90 pickup’s coil is wider than a traditional single-coil pickup, allowing it to capture more sound vibrations. This results in an emphasis on mid-range frequencies that produce a warm and rich sound output.

P90 pickups also have a unique design that includes a combination of magnets that contributes to their distinctive tonal characteristics.

Comparison to Gibson ES-335 and Strat Sound

P90 pickups have a unique tone that is different from other guitar models like the Gibson ES-335 or Stratocaster. The Gibson ES-335, for example, has a bright and clear sound that is attributed to its semi-hollow construction.

A P90 pickup can provide a warmer sound compared to the ES-335, which can be especially useful in blues and jazz genres. On the other hand, the Stratocaster has a twangy and bright sound attributed to its single-coil pickups.

A stratocaster’s clean sound is exceptional, but the P90 pickup’s mid-range frequencies tend to add more warmth to the sound, making it more suitable for rock and punk genres. Product Round-up & Reviews

Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P-90

Seymour Duncan’s Phat Cat P-90 is a well-known aftermarket pickup that is a favorite among guitarists who want to upgrade their guitar’s stock pickups. The pickup is designed with an Alnico magnet that captures more sound vibrations, providing a brighter and clearer sound.

The Phat Cat’s unique design means that it can fit in most humbucker-sized pickups, which makes it an excellent choice if you want to upgrade your humbucker-equipped guitar.

The Fret Wire P90s

The Fret Wire’s Stealth 90 P90s are known for their double-coil design that enhances the P90 pickup’s tonal qualities. The pickup’s design eliminates the single-coil’s noise interference, leaving only the P90’s warm and rich sound.

It also has an adjustable pole piece that allows you to tweak the pickup’s sound output according to your preference.

DiMarzio Bluesbucker

DiMarzio’s Bluesbucker is a unique pickup that combines a P90 pickup’s rich sound with a humbucker’s power. The Bluesbucker comes with dual coils that produce a full and clear sound output.

The pickup’s design also includes a coil-split feature that allows you to switch between the humbucker and P90 sounds, providing you with versatility.

Seymour Duncan Antiquity

If you’re looking for a vintage sound, then Seymour Duncan’s Antiquity P90 might be a perfect choice for you. The pickup is designed with specially aged Alnico magnets to produce a vintage sound output that mimics the original P90 pickups of the 1950s.

It’s an excellent choice if you’re looking to upgrade a vintage guitar or want to add a vintage touch to a modern guitar.

Gibson P90 Pickups

Gibson’s P90 pickups are known for their thick and warm sound output that can be attributed to their unique bobbin design. The bobbin design allows them to capture more sound vibrations, resulting in a fuller and warmer sound.

Gibson’s P90 pickups also come in humbucker-sized designs, making them easy to install in most guitars.

Fender Pure Vintage 65 Jazzmaster Pickups

Fender’s Pure Vintage 65 Jazzmaster Pickups are an excellent choice if you’re looking for a P90 pickup sound that is bright and twangy. The pickups’ unique design includes Alnico magnets that produce a clear and articulate sound that is attributed to the Jazzmaster sound.

They are an excellent choice if you want to upgrade your Jazzmaster guitar.

Conclusion

In conclusion, P90 pickups are a hybrid between single-coil and humbucker pickups. They have a unique sound that is different from other guitar models like the ES-335 or Stratocaster.

There are many aftermarket P90 pickups available on the market, each with unique tonal qualities. Whether you’re upgrading a vintage guitar or want to add a vintage touch to a modern guitar, there’s a P90 pickup out there that can make your guitar sound richer, warmer, and overall better.

What is a P-90? If you are familiar with guitar pickups, you’ve probably heard of P-90 pickups.

P-90 pickups, also known as soapbar pickups, are a type of single-coil pickup that has a unique sound compared to standard single coil and humbucker pickups. In this article, we’ll define what P-90 pickups are, compare them to other types of pickups, and explore their history and popularity among famous guitarists.

Definition of P-90 Pickup

A pickup is an electromagnetic device that captures the sound of a guitar’s strings and converts it into an electrical signal. A P-90 pickup is a single-coil pickup and has a wider coil than standard single-coil pickups.

The wider coil allows the P-90 to produce a richer, warmer, and more bass-driven tone. It is this unique sound that makes P-90 pickups a popular choice among musicians.

Comparison to Standard Single Coil and Humbucker Pickups

To compare the sound of a P-90, we must first understand the differences between single-coil and humbucker pickups. Single-coil pickups are known for producing a bright, clear, and twangy sound.

They are also highly susceptible to noise interference such as humming. In contrast, humbucker pickups are known for providing a thick, warm, and powerful tone.

However, this is often at the expense of losing some of the guitar’s natural tonal qualities. P-90 pickups have the tonal characteristics of both single-coil and humbucker pickups.

They provide a warm sound with a rich bass response but still maintain a bright and clear tone. As a result, P-90 pickups are an excellent choice for guitarists looking for a more versatile sound than single-coil or humbucker pickups provide.

Brief History and Popularity with Famous Guitarists

P-90 pickups were first introduced in the late 1940s by Gibson Electric Corporation. They initially became popular for use on Gibson’s Les Paul and SG models and have since remained a popular choice among guitarists for their unique sound.

Famous guitarists such as Carlos Santana, Johnny Thunders, and Pete Townshend have all used P-90 pickups on their guitars. This popularity has continued to the present day with modern guitarists such as Jack White, John Mayer, and Billy Gibbons regularly using P-90 equipped guitars.

P-90 Pickup Styles

P-90 pickups can come in various styles, including soapbar, dog ear, and humbucker casing.

Soap Bar

The soapbar P-90 gets its name from its rectangular shape, resembling that of a bar of soap. It is commonly used in Gibson guitars, including the Les Paul and SG models.

It can also be found in some Epiphone models and aftermarket pickups.

Dog Ear

The dog ear P-90 is named for its shape, which looks similar to a dog’s ear. It has protruding ears on either side of the pickup that allows it to be screwed directly into the guitar’s body or pickguard.

Humbucker Casing

Humbucker casing P-90 pickups have a similar shape to a humbucker pickup and can fit in a humbucker-sized cavity. This pickup style is commonly used in aftermarket pickups and can be a great way to upgrade the sound of a guitar without replacing the guitar’s entire pickup system.

Mounting Screws and Pickguard Attachment for

Soap Bar and

Dog Ear Types

To install soap bar and dog ear style P-90 pickups, the guitar body will need to have the screw holes to mount the two small tabs on the sides of the pickups. The dog ear style’s ears allow you to attach the pickup directly to the guitar’s pickguard, while the soap bar style requires routing into the body.

Modification Required for

Humbucker Casing Types

As humbucker casing P-90 pickups are larger than a traditional P-90, some guitar bodies may require modification. Adding this style of P-90 to a humbucker-equipped guitar often requires a switch as the wiring is different.

Comparing the Effects of Alnico and Ceramic-Based Magnets

P-90 pickups can come with two different magnet types, Alnico and ceramic-based. Alnico magnets are a mixture of aluminum, nickel, and cobalt.

They are known for producing a warm, vintage-style tone. Ceramic magnets, on the other hand, are known to provide a tighter and more focused sound.

They also provide stronger output and more resistance to feedback. When choosing between Alnico and ceramic-based magnets, it ultimately comes down to personal preference and the guitar’s design.

Some guitarists prefer the more vintage sound of Alnico magnets, while others prefer the added power and control provided by ceramic-based magnets.

Conclusion

In summary, P-90 pickups provide a unique hybrid sound that combines the warmth of a humbucker with the brightness of a single-coil. P-90 pickups come in different styles, including soap bar, dog ear, and humbucker casing.

Soap bar and dog ear-style pickups require body modification, while humbucker casing P-90 pickups may fit without additional routing. The choice of magnet type is a personal preference between the more vintage-like tone of Alnico magnets and the tighter and more focused sound of ceramic-based magnets.

Overall, P-90 pickups remain a popular choice among musicians for their unique sound and versatility. Which Should You Buy?

If you’re in the market for a new pickup or looking to upgrade your guitar’s existing pickups, P-90 pickups are an excellent option. They provide a unique sound that can add warmth and richness to your guitar’s tone.

However, with so many options available, it can be challenging to decide which P-90 pickups to buy. In this article, we’ll provide recommendations for budget-priced P-90 pickups, P-90 pickups for vintage Gibson vibes, and our top pick recommendation for

Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P-90s.

Recommendation for The Fret Wire Budget-Priced P-90s

The Fret Wire’s Stealth 90 P90s are an excellent budget-friendly option for new or experienced guitarists looking for a P-90 pickup upgrade. These pickups have a double-coil design that enhances the unique tonal properties of the P-90.

The pickup’s design eliminates the single-coil’s noise interference, leaving only the P-90’s warm and rich sound.

The Fret Wire’s Stealth 90 P90s are an excellent option for those on a budget, yet still looking for a dramatic improvement over their guitars standard stock pickups.

With prices starting at under $50, these pickups provide a high level of value for the price.

Recommendation for Lindy Fralin P90s for Vintage Gibson Vibes

If you’re looking for P-90 pickups that fit the vintage sound of a Gibson guitar, Lindy Fralin is a premium choice for those wanting the best sound quality for their pickups. Lindy Fralin has been producing P-90 pickups for more than 30 years, and their experience shines through each of their products.

Their P-90 pickups are loved by guitarists worldwide and they are handcrafted to reproduce a range of vintage sounds but still maintain a modern quality. Lindy Fralin’s P-90 pickups come in three different styles to offer versatility for the guitar owner.

The stock pickups may also come in a mix-matched style, which will allow the user to perform classic rocketing rock or capture the sound of the delta blues. Although the price point is higher than other brands, quality and durability are guaranteed when choosing Lindy Fralin.

Top Pick Recommendation for Seymour Duncan’s Phat Cat P-90s

Seymour Duncans Phat Cat P-90s is one of the most popular after-market pickups in the market today. They have been a favorite of many guitarists as they offer a unique sound that can blend the warmth of a humbucker with the brightness of a single-coil pickups.

The Phat Cat P-90 fits into most humbucker-sized pickup cavities, making it an easy pickup to install. The Alnico II magnets produce an output that is much brighter than the standard P-90, making it a great fit for guitarists in search of a sound that’s a mix between single-coil and humbucker pickups.

They also have an output that is much more powerful than stock pickups, making it a suitable choice for those wanting to engage in heavier-style music genres. With moderate pricing found in the market ranging from $80-$100 per pickup, the

Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P-90s could be a great upgrade to have for both newer or older guitar models.

Conclusion

In conclusion, P-90 pickups are an excellent option to upgrade the sound of your guitar. If you’re looking for budget-priced pickups, The Fret Wire’s Stealth 90 P90s are a great choice.

For those looking for vintage vibes, Lindy Fralin’s P-90 pickups are an excellent premium option. Our top pick recommendation is Seymour Duncan’s Phat Cat P-90s for their unique sound and ability to fit most humbucker-sized pickup cavities.

Ultimately, the choice of which P-90 pickups to purchase depends on the guitar player’s style and preference, but these recommendations can serve as a starting point in making the right decision. In conclusion, P-90 pickups are an excellent choice for guitar enthusiasts looking to upgrade their guitar’s sound quality.

They provide a unique sound that is a combination of single-coil and humbucker pickups. P-90 pickups come in different styles, including soap bar, dog ear, and humbucker casing, each with advantages and disadvantages.

Our top pick recommendations include The Fret Wire Stealth 90 P90s for budget-friendly options and

Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P-90s for their unique blend of single-coil and humbucker sounds. Ultimately, the choice of which P-90 pickups to purchase depends on the guitar player’s style and preference, but these recommendations can provide a good starting point in making the right decision and find the perfect P-90 pickup to meet their needs.

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