Pickups

P 90 alternatives

1

Hey there, I have a few guitars with P 90's. I love that sound, but I am wondering if folks with knowledge of alternatives that fit into that route could weigh in. A lot of pick up makers are designing pick ups that would fit. Ones I'm aware of are dynasonics, Gibson staple pick ups, some people make Charlie Christian style P 90's, and I think there are even humbuckers made for P 90 routes. At this point I am most intrigued by the staple and the dynasonics, but I 'm wondering if they are that much different from the P 90 sound. I'd love to hear any thoughts including specific brands. Thanks in advance!

2

Though I don't have a guitar with Dynasonic pickups, I've read overwhelming positive reviews, from countless GDP members, on the virtues of Dynasonic's (especially in a Gretsch guitar), and I have watched/listened to many video presentations using the Dynasonic pickups, and I really like the sound! There are obvious differences, others will undoubtedly chime in, who can give you a description of the differences between the two, not actually having a Dyna equipt guitar, I can't A/B them for you.

3

I have guitars with both vintage and modern P90s and Dynasonics, and one with a Seymour Duncan staple. I love the midrangey heft of P90s but have more recently fallen under the spell of Dynasonics. They have more clarity and both more top and bottom end that P90s as a general rule. Neck Dynas don't sound dull and muddy like some pickups and bridge Dynas really have a bite...almost tele like but with more meat. When I got some I realised they were MY pickup!

The staple pickup is really great too...similar to a Dynasonic but with more of a Gibson flavour. Again it's more top and bottomy and less prominent on the midrange...sort of more hi-fidelity...and again great in the neck position. I have no experience with them in the bridge or middle position however.

4

I'm not sure you can compare unless they are all in the same guitar. The dynasonics in my 6120DE sound nothing like a p90 Les Paul.

5

In my Cabronita Thinline, I have had Filtertrons, hot Filtertrons, T-Armonds, T-90s, and VERY hot/fat Filtertrons....

The T90, which is really a marriage of P90 and the scooped tone of a Filter or 'Armond, have good midrange, but more clarity than Gibson P90s. 250k Pots get a little closer to Gibsons. But they are never quite the same, there is always a little Gretsch character in them.

The T-Armond is really more like tele pickups on steroids. It's like a louder, fatter, tele pickup... not much like a P90.

And the Filters are of course all over the map. However, The Rio Grande BBQ'Trons, which I currently have in the guitar, have ALOT of mids... more than anything TVJ winds. They are closer to Gibson P90 in character than anything else mentioned. They are like a PAF and a Filtertron having a baby LOL.

6

A Gibson-style minihumbucker will drop into a P90 soapbar space using a standard adapter ring -- easy to find on eBay or from guitar parts suppliers. My partscaster T-type has a Wilkinson minihumbucker and adapter ring that fits nicely into the original soapbar P90 cutout in the pickguard.

7

A Dynasonic will be much clearer and brighter than a P-90. They really sound nothing alike at all.

8

You owe it to yourself to have a dynasonic guitar.

9

Are gold foils about the same size? There are at least a couple being made to fit, Lollar, Mojo.

10

my fave single coil p-90 ish pups are

the jazzmaster pickup..similar bobbin size as p-90 but uses real alnico magnets for pole pieces, not the screw slugs and bar magnets a p-90 uses

carvin-ap6- a real vintage take on the p-90 design...only a bit more roughly manufactured...ap6 were in early mosrites

franz pickup- guild used version of p-90...again slightly sloppier manufacture but good sounding pickups

gibson alnico v staple...gibson wanted a pickup to rival the dynasonic, so seth lover designed a different housed but similar interior pickup...the staple has moveable magnet polepieces and elevator system like the dynas

g&l mfd- later leo fender design for g&l guitars...sort of an in between of his earlier designed jazzmaster and jaguar pickups...

cheers

11

yes sir, I do believe you are correct. I'm debating how to make that happen. Either putting dynasonics in one of my currently P 90 loaded guitars, or do I buy a guitar built with Dynasonics already in it (Most likely Duo Jet or 6120). Not sure yet, but I did realize I have a coupe P 90 guitars. One is a 50's Guild Aristocrat that someone replaced the Frantz pick ups with Seymour Duncan P 90's. Sounds really cool, just wondering if that might be a good one to switch the pick ups out since pretty much all the hardware has been changed.

12

yes sir, I do believe you are correct. I'm debating how to make that happen. Either putting dynasonics in one of my currently P 90 loaded guitars, or do I buy a guitar built with Dynasonics already in it (Most likely Duo Jet or 6120). Not sure yet, but I did realize I have a coupe P 90 guitars. One is a 50's Guild Aristocrat that someone replaced the Frantz pick ups with Seymour Duncan P 90's. Sounds really cool, just wondering if that might be a good one to switch the pick ups out since pretty much all the hardware has been changed.

– langtryville

That sounds like a cool candidate for some Dynas!

14

Dynas fit in P-90 routs?

– macphisto

They make dynasonics that are P 90 sized. A classic dynasonic would not fit that route I'm pretty sure.

15

Not a can of worms, but an onion or a Russian nesting doll. Modern Dynas, old ones, Duncans, T-Armonds, staples... many thousands of words could be written on the subject, and even if they were penned by patient, prolix, and research-oriented Proteus, they would probably prove inadequate to the task.

That said, TV Jones T-Armonds in "soapbar mount" fit the P-90 footprint while fully embracing the difference between P-90s and vintage Dynasonics, even to the point of exaggerating it. I suggest you begin your exploratory journey there. I find them very satisfactory; if they stray too far from-90 territory for your tastes, try the Duncan Dynas.

16

I think there is a very slight difference between a P90 soapbar rout and the DeArmond footprint with the DeArmond being slightly larger. At least putting a DeArmond 2000 into a 5135 rout was touchy while a soapbar fit right in like it belonged there. Some got the DeArmond in without modification while others filed a touch off the DeArmond shell or routed just a bit from the body. Wouldn't take much. I think someone has schematics of one overlaying the other.

17

While I have played a few Dearmond and T-armond equipped guitars and been wowed by some of the sounds I have found that they are not the pickup for me. A Gretsch Dyna in a Round-up sounded incredible in the neck position - pure Duane and just a sublime sound. But I don't use that sound very often.

A few years back I built a parts-Tele routed for P90s. I thought a P90 Tele would be cool and it was. But when I put TV Jones P90-sized Filter'tron classics in it the guitar sprang into life - It LOVED those pickups. Clean or dirty it sounded incredible. Twang, bite, fat sounding dirt - it was all there. So they would be my recommendation.

18

These are all great ideas. Now I need to do some research, thanks!

19

P90's DeArmond/Dynasonics, and Gibson Staples are the best sounding pickups, although I don't know anything about the various Staple reissues. IMNSHO, the best Les Paul tone is a Jet with Dynasonics, the best Tele tone is a Jet with Dynasonics, and the twangiest Gretsch tone is a Jet with Dynasonics.

21

P90's DeArmond/Dynasonics, and Gibson Staples are the best sounding pickups, although I don't know anything about the various Staple reissues. IMNSHO, the best Les Paul tone is a Jet with Dynasonics, the best Tele tone is a Jet with Dynasonics, and the twangiest Gretsch tone is a Jet with Dynasonics.

– Billy Zoom

Trying to read between the lines, would you suggest a jet with dynasonics?

24

Billy knows what he likes!


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