On the 'tube

I Love This Sort of Blues Playing and Tone

1

Now this sounds great to my ears both tone and playing.

Not me -

2

I believe those are Gibson P13 pickups - they replaced the Charlie Christian and were the predecessor of the P90. If it's of any help, here's what I know about them.

By 1940 Gibson had started fitting P13 pickups to its ES100, ES125 and ES150 guitars, as well as lap steels. Designed by Walt Fuller with alnico magnets, everything was housed under a compact rectangular metal cover with a height adjustment/mounting screw at each end.

Some even had adjustable exposed polepieces and there were three versions of this pickup. Two of them appear on the guitar in the clip. Early P13 pickups tend to ohm out at 6.5K or above, and Gibson later supplied P13s to Harmony and Silvertone.

Our very own Danman has P13s on his Hofner Club.

3

Shuggie, thank you for the info. I find the insight and info helpful.

4

A cousin of mine recently bought a mid-40s Gibson lap steel fitted with one of those pickups. It has a great sound, either clean or slightly overdriven.

5

Yes, those are amazing pick ups.
Like Shuggie said: I put one in my 1960 Hofner Club 40. The guitar is acoustically pretty bright and these pick ups have a warmth, depth and roughness that balance perfectly with that guitar. They're a bit wild and want to push an amp beautifully!

6

This is not by any means the first time that I've asked myself : "Why did they ever stop making them." Yeah, Gibson P90s have been my overall favourite pickup since I bought an ES330 50-plus years ago, but I'd love a thin line archtop with a P13.

8

I must have had a dozen or two of those H62's over the years. For a long time, they were quite inexpensive, so I would trade them and just get another later. Alas, no longer the case, but I did manage to hang onto one black one. Just the ticket for jump blues.

9

Thanks for posting. Love jump blues. Great tone and playing. I became a big jump blues fan when I got the first Paladins album back in the 80's.

10

P13's àre cool for "that" sound, plugged into an outboard reverb tank into a tweed amp, jump blues thing. And it's a pretty great trick, but they're still a little bit of a one trick pony IMO.

11

I like the clarity of these pups. I think they'd sound great for western swing too!

12

I like the tone but as WB said, I think a bit of a one trick pony. Since I love big band and swing, it has only been a matter of time until I start/started concentrating heavily on jump blues. Polecats' video is a great intro to jump blues soloing....especially for those who heavily play 12 bar major pentatonic soloing blues.

My project this weekend is to download some quality backing tracks.

13

Serious question: any other pickups that can pull that exact trick out of their bag of tricks? I'd be curious to learn from those who know...

14

Serious question: any other pickups that can pull that exact trick out of their bag of tricks? I'd be curious to learn from those who know...

– Lacking Talent

Stephens Designs did make a P13 copy but I don't see it on their list any more. His doesn't look like it but under the hood it should be similar but like I say I don't think it's made any longer.

Would a Gibson Alnico V Staple magnet pickup do that sound? Seymour Duncan make the Staple.

15

From what I recall, vintage P13s sell for pretty reasonable money, So, unless you are looking to convert a dog ear P90 guitar to run on P13s without any telltale signs, I can't see the point of buying a replica.

Here's one on Reverb

https://reverb.com/item/673...

And here one loaded into a 52 Synchromatic

https://reverb.com/item/758...

Here's one on Ebay. It's expensive but you could probably cover the purchase cost by selling the pots, jack and bumblebee cap to a Les Paul enthusiast.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/...

16

From what I recall, vintage P13s sell for pretty reasonable money, So, unless you are looking to convert a dog ear P90 guitar to run on P13s without any telltale signs, I can't see the point of buying a replica.

Here's one on Reverb

https://reverb.com/item/673...

And here one loaded into a 52 Synchromatic

https://reverb.com/item/758...

Here's one on Ebay. It's expensive but you could probably cover the purchase cost by selling the pots, jack and bumblebee cap to a Les Paul enthusiast.

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/...

– Shuggie

I think we have different opinions of reasonably priced pickups.

17

Would a Gibson Alnico V Staple magnet pickup do that sound?

No, not even close.

18

I think of Charlie Baty of Little Charlie and the Nightcats when I hear that tone. Did he record using a P13 or was it some other hairy P90-ish thing. That's the kind of "P90" sound I love. TVJones need to make a T-13 to go along with the T-90.

19

Lx, I think he recorded with an ES-5, but he's played a bunch of different guitars. A big part of the P13's lo-fi, dark-ish sound is the metal cover.

20

Interesting, first I've ever heard of P-13s (and THAT surprises me...)

FWIW, I've heard plenty of guys over the years get that sound w/o P13s. I can't give specific examples, but like NJdevil, I've been chasing that tone for years... I've seen/heard alot of guys get it over the years, and they weren't using P13s. Like most tones, alot of it is knowing how to work your gear (of course starting with SIMILAR gear always makes it easier), and of course your HANDS (but let's not start THAT debate again, lol)

Agree with WB: that metal cover is a big part of that tone... so here's a question:

Do the metal cover P90s (like the chrome ones on a Casino) sound more like the P13 than a regular P90?

21

Alex Schultz gets pretty damn close, considering he's using humbuckers in a solidbody:

22

Here is a good thread with detailed descriptions of the P13 construction. Quite a few differences from the P90 that might contribute to the tone.

http://music-electronics-fo...

23

LOL Charlie. Fair comment.

I should qualify my comment bu saying P13s are pretty reasonable when you consider what people pay for vintage P90s, PAFs and Fender pickups.

The ones I posted are a bit more expensive than some I have seen.

Then again, if that's the exact tone someone wants, is a guaranteed one stop solution for around £230 really excessive?

24

"Then again, if that's the exact tone someone wants, is a guaranteed one stop solution for around £230 really excessive?"

That depends on the wallet of the beholder, LOL

Want Charlie Christian tone?

Just $310! A bargain! LOL http://www.ccpickups.co.uk/...

25

Interesting, first I've ever heard of P-13s (and THAT surprises me...)

FWIW, I've heard plenty of guys over the years get that sound w/o P13s. I can't give specific examples, but like NJdevil, I've been chasing that tone for years... I've seen/heard alot of guys get it over the years, and they weren't using P13s. Like most tones, alot of it is knowing how to work your gear (of course starting with SIMILAR gear always makes it easier), and of course your HANDS (but let's not start THAT debate again, lol)

Agree with WB: that metal cover is a big part of that tone... so here's a question:

Do the metal cover P90s (like the chrome ones on a Casino) sound more like the P13 than a regular P90?

– ruger9

Depends on what you mean by "that tone" Ruger. The Schultz clip is two fat pickups out of phase, but it sounds nothing like a Harmony with P13 pickups.

And it's weird you're not familiar with those Harmony guitars and their pickups if you're a Jump Blues fan, because at a certain point THE standard Jump Blues rig was pretty much that guitar, a Fender tank, and a tweed Pro or similar amp. Watson started using that (an espanada) when he was in The Mighty Flyers, and a bunch of other guys played the exact same rig, Holmstrom at one point, Teddy Morgan, Ramos too, etc.....

Also - you've been chasing that tone for years - kind of surprising, as it really isn't the hardest tone to get. Fat guitar, fat pickups, outboard tank, medium size tweed amp turned up halfway, and you're pretty much there. Not the hardest tone to get at all.


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