Pickups

Alnico Pole P90s

1

I just discovered this style of pickup today. Gibson put them in the 2015 Les Paul Special and the 2014 Melody Maker. Lollar and Fralin both produce one. They are P90 pickups but instead of a bar magnet underneath the screws they are alnico pole pieces similar to Fender style pickups. It sounds like the best of 2 worlds, clear Fender sounds mixed with Gibson warmth. Does anyone have these pickups in a guitar? I would love to hear more about them.

2

How are they different from a Dyna. They seem like non-adjustable staple pickups with round slugs instead of rectangular slugs. And staple pickups are basically a Gibson repackaging of a Dyna. So wouldn't these essentially be Dynas without height adjustment?

3

On paper it sounds like these are similar to Dynasonics in construction but when I heard them in these videos they don't sound like Dynasonics to me. They have more of a Fender spank on the top end but with a P90 body.

4

If it's a P90 bobbin and coil, it's a bigger footprint, wider coil than a DeArmond, and bigger wire. Probably a little more bass, low mids and grunt.

5

That sounds pretty cool. I am assuming Gibson no longer makes them?

6

Nothing really new and I enjoy the sound, TK Smith made me, at one time, what is basically a P90 w large alnico slugs as a repro of a vintage Stratosphere pickup, just in a bigsby style housing.

*stratosphere p-90 w slugs

Also, Tom Jones is doing this very thing but in a T-series

7

Hmmm....

How close are P90s and Bigsby pickups under the hood? I know that the huge aluminum hood makes a ton of difference. But is their coil and magnet design similar?

8

Pretty different. The magnets in a Bigsby pickup sit on top of the baseplate on either side of the coil, not under the coil as in a P90, the coil is pretty big and the coil wire is a good deal bigger than a P90.

10

From the clips they sound a lot like and closest to Jazzmaster pickups which I am a huge fan of but with the body of a P90 which makes sense I guess because that is what they are.

11

My impression of these pickups is that they are like an overwound Jazzmaster pickup rather than a Dyna. They first came out on the Nighthawk guitars (blues hawk?) in the 1990s

12

Entwistle AL90 pickups are fitted as standard to the Revelation 12 string which I bought recently- this Jazzmaster-style guitar has cream soapbars with Alnico slugs.

The six string model has regular P90 style units with pole screws.

They're available aftermarket at a price in the region of 20-25 Earth pounds which is no money at all for a viable experiment. With a bright, gutsy and immediate sound I have no plans to upgrade to a boutique alternative. They're impressive, without any qualifying talk of 'for the price'-

http://www.findinstruments....

A sound sample is here in a jangly, Byrdsy blah blah context-

https://soundcloud.com/thre...

Using the 12 string, compression is applied but hopefully you can hear the core sound poking through. There's a rhythm part with two pickups on and the lead lines are the treble pickup. Hope it's useful as a sonic reference.

One of these days I'm going to try the Stratosphere Boogie tuning just so I can get totally lost and confused. What a great sound, like a demented steel.

13

Entwistle AL90 pickups are fitted as standard to the Revelation 12 string which I bought recently- this Jazzmaster-style guitar has cream soapbars with Alnico slugs.

The six string model has regular P90 style units with pole screws.

They're available aftermarket at a price in the region of 20-25 Earth pounds which is no money at all for a viable experiment. With a bright, gutsy and immediate sound I have no plans to upgrade to a boutique alternative. They're impressive, without any qualifying talk of 'for the price'-

http://www.findinstruments....

A sound sample is here in a jangly, Byrdsy blah blah context-

https://soundcloud.com/thre...

Using the 12 string, compression is applied but hopefully you can hear the core sound poking through. There's a rhythm part with two pickups on and the lead lines are the treble pickup. Hope it's useful as a sonic reference.

One of these days I'm going to try the Stratosphere Boogie tuning just so I can get totally lost and confused. What a great sound, like a demented steel.

– ade

What an awesome find at a great price! Even though your sample is a 12 string I can hear what the pickups bring to the equation and it's good. Cool song too! I would love to try these Entwistle AL90 pickups one day.

Through Bear's Go Fund Me thread I got in contact with Ken from Rose Pickups and ordered a set of his Mozart pickups which are humbucker sized Jazzmaster pickups. I'm going to install them in one of our Freestyle prototype guitars. For me he said he would make them taller so they would be more like P90s but with Alnico slugs. What an awesome guy to custom tailor his pickups for no additional charge.

14

Very interesting... if "a Dyna with more mids" is what they sound like.... I would be in for putting these in my Cabronita Thinline (was planning on doing T90s, but I love pole magnets....) of course they would have to be Filter-sized... which leaves only 1 game in town: TV Jones...

15

So is a Magnatron basically two of these put together?

16

Don, the Magnatron is a taller bobbin Filtertron with slug magnets and thin wire on the treble position unit. I believe the P90 is a shorter bobbin, wound wider if that makes sense- the Filter has narrow bobbins so the pole rows are closer together than on a Gibson humbucker.

Quite honestly, I find it increasingly difficult to differentiate all these pickups by sound. All I can say with certainty is that the slug P90s feel more sudden and percussive than a P90, with less air and bloom. In that respect, definitely on the train that stops in Magnatron county.

17

My Revelation 12-string has been rather neglected of late — before every gig I kept thinking: "Another guitar to lug around, tune up, switch around in mid-set" etc. But Ade's excellent Soundcloud demo prompted me to take the REV12 to last Saturday's gig which, fortunately, was a '60s pop night. I found a use for the 12 in four songs (including Bus Stop) and it acquitted itself pretty well — although we did have to follow Mike Pender's Searchers, with Mike on his lovely Ric12. Once we knew that their band bus was out of earshot, disappearing down the road back to Liverpool, we dragged out a couple of their numbers. Good fun.

The Entwistle pickups are really rather good for what amounts to silly money. And the rotary tone switch that Revelation fits to both its six and 12-string J-type guitars is a real bonus.

18

Great on two counts there, Dave- getting the Twelve out to play is the best news of all and I'll bet Bus Stop was just dandy on it. The rotary switch is getting a lot of use on the Revelation 6, it's excellent in full down for translucent rhythm parts and when you just want to be out of the way; first notch to the side is great for Thumb rhythm and swing parts. Straight up for full blow, max growl. Most impressed with that feature, much better than the original rhythm circuit.

How excellent to do a show with Mike Pender. Those were the pioneer Twelve string parts, showing just what to do with the instrument. Hope it was a good show and a nice meeting for you. Playing a few Searchers tunes after his appearance? Why not!

19

Chris Hillman said that in the early days, the Byrds would play Searchers numbers like Every Time That You Walk In The Room. Would have preferred to have heard their take on that to Oh Susannah.

20

Chris Hillman said that in the early days, the Byrds would play Searchers numbers like Every Time That You Walk In The Room. Would have preferred to have heard their take on that to Oh Susannah.

– Don Birchett

Which might very well have been as far as they would have gone without the determination and vision of Jim Dickson-

https://www.theguardian.com...

21

I even tried to place it around my surf 90s (which bear a resemblance to a d'armond in the same way a fish resembles a can of beer) He seems to have more mids and my low and hi seem crisper, but then this is a streamed video to lo-fi speakers. Who could say, it's like matching paint over the internet.

22

Pretty different. The magnets in a Bigsby pickup sit on top of the baseplate on either side of the coil, not under the coil as in a P90, the coil is pretty big and the coil wire is a good deal bigger than a P90.

– WB

not a bigsby pickup though, only his CAR pickups are bigsby reproductions.


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