Pickups

P90 + Dynasonics: Which positions?

1

I'm upgrading the pickups on a humbucker Mustang. I'm wanting to add a humbucker-sized P90 and a humbucker-sized Dynasonic, but wasn't sure of the optimal positions.

Tone wise, I generally play very jangly and only occasionally want a bit more of a beefy tone. So, think Petty/Byrds on clean--beefy would only be U2/Killers-type humbucker sounds (e.g New Years Day). I'd probably also do some Stones rhythm. Neil Young is my ideal overdriven tone.

Should I do P90 in the neck / Dyna in the bridge, or Dyna in the neck / P90 in the bridge?

Thanks for any advice!

2

You'll have to try it both ways. Impossible to predict.

Personally, my first instinct would be for a Dyna at the neck (where it stays crisp and clean but still full and fat) and P90 at the bridge. But I tend to like a darker/thicker pickup at the bridge. I have no objection to Dynas at the bridge - or anywhere! - but a Dyna can get spiky and brittle there, I'd think especially on a small slab guitar like a Mustang, with no air anywhere to warm it up.

My fear would be that a neck P90 and a bridge Dyna might only really satisfy in the middle position, with too great a contrast between dark(ish) fat at the neck and bright(ish) twangclang at the bridge. The other way 'round - neck Dyna, bridge P90 - would, I think, sound more balanced over all.

3

For a brief while, Neil Young's Old Black had a P90 at the neck and a Dyna at the bridge, but that wasn't the tone he was after and ended up replacing the Dyna with a mini-hum. IIRC Billy Zoom has Dyna neck/P90 bridge combination on his Gent like Proteus describes.

4

For the sound you describe, I also think that P90 bridge and dynasonic neck would be best - IF you’re dead set on the combination. I would think about going double Dyna, though, because they can get mean in the bridge position if necessary.

5

I agree with P90 bridge/dyna neck. I also agree with nick 45 about going double dyna, especially if you get T-Armonds. I have them in my jet and the bridge T-Armond can handle as much gain as you can throw at it with no feedback, I made some rough recordings straight into my vox and I doubt you'd be able to tell it wasnt a P90

6

Thanks--that's all really helpful! FYI, as this is a budget project guitar, I'm generally looking at GFS knockoffs of these various pickups.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe the P90 (Mean 90) might be a little too fat for me, bridge or neck, and your point about the Dynasonic (Surf 90) potentially being brittle on the Mustang bridge (or even the neck) is well taken.

Would two Filtertrons (Retrotrons) potentially be a happy medium?

Generally, I don't like humbuckers, but, from my reading, it "seems" like a Filtertron might be a little less fat than a P90, but a little thicker than a Dynasonic. Is that accurate? Do you know anything about their Retrotron series? Would the Nashville or Memphis ones potentially be a middle ground on a small slab guitar like a Mustang?

It also sounds like Minihumbuckers could be a fit, but I don't see any cheap options that fit into humbucker slots without re-routing.

7

A p90 can never get too fat.

K

8

Thanks--that's all really helpful! FYI, as this is a budget project guitar, I'm generally looking at GFS knockoffs of these various pickups.

I'm starting to wonder if maybe the P90 (Mean 90) might be a little too fat for me, bridge or neck, and your point about the Dynasonic (Surf 90) potentially being brittle on the Mustang bridge (or even the neck) is well taken.

Would two Filtertrons (Retrotrons) potentially be a happy medium?

Generally, I don't like humbuckers, but, from my reading, it "seems" like a Filtertron might be a little less fat than a P90, but a little thicker than a Dynasonic. Is that accurate? Do you know anything about their Retrotron series? Would the Nashville or Memphis ones potentially be a middle ground on a small slab guitar like a Mustang?

It also sounds like Minihumbuckers could be a fit, but I don't see any cheap options that fit into humbucker slots without re-routing.

– slt8577

IMHO, GFS has not made a serious clone of the Dynasonic or Filtertron. The closest might be the Surf 90, but realize it's essentially a Strat coil under the cover with bigger diameter slugs. Very bright to me, so you might think brittle. They do make awesome P90s, I used a vintage dogear in a double cut Junior clone.

I haven't used a ceramic-magnet Retrotron Nashville because it has none of the unique attributes that a Filtertron does, and tests have shown it doesn't really have the sound, unless you wire the coils in parallel. Given your prefs though, I'd get the chrome-cased Dream 90 (not wound as hot) in the bridge, and the Surf 90 neck. If you're set on budget Filtertrons, I'd use actual HS Filtertrons or Frankentone clones in adapter rings.

9

Before you buy GFS pickups check out Rose Pickups. They are made in the USA, are high quality and very reasonably priced. They have a humbucker sized Jazzmaster style pickup called a Mozart. I corresponded with Ken and he was able to give me a hybrid Mozart with specs like a P90 but with Alnico slug magnets like a Jazzmaster pickup at no additional charge. I love them.

10

Agreed with BorderRadio on the not-particularly-Gretschyness of GFS pups. I like GFS pups, but as BR says, neither the Surf 90 nor the RetroTrons really get there.

The Surf 90 is a great pickup, but it hits my ear as a very bright P90, not a Dynasonic. I have experience with both Nashville and Liverpool RetroTrons, and while I've left a pair of Nashville Hot on an Ibanez AFS75 I put together 13 years ago, it's not a gigging or recording guitar (I just use it as a hotel-room guitar when I'm traveling).

The Liverpools are in my solidbody Godin LGXt/SA (maple top over mahogany body) - and they've never really satisfied, rather bland and unresponsive. I'm swapping them out for a pair of TV Jones.

I suspect you'd have a similar experience in your guitar. Your guitar is likely alder (if it's vintage) or mystery wood (I can't find where Fender identifies the wood in the reissues) - in any case, an even thinner solidbody than the Godin, and unlikely to bring the pickups alive.

Since you're trying to do this on a budget, I agree with the Surf90 at the neck. I have no experience with the Dream 90 as BorderRadio suggests. Could be fine. But you could also look for a "weakish" P90 for the bridge - NOT something overwound to be extra fat.

Buddy is showing you a solidbody with similar body thickness and mass to a Mustang, with a pair of the Rose hybrid Mozarts. I don't know those pickups, but the spec sounds like it might get where you want to be. You didn't mention coming from a Jazzmaster point of view - but a JM certainly resides at the intersection of Jangle and Beef (especially with a judicious string choice).

11

I asked about Dream 90s years ago and GFS told me they are Strat pickups in a humbucker size.

12

I asked about Dream 90s years ago and GFS told me they are Strat pickups in a humbucker size.

In the bridge position of a Mustang, that could be rather plinky.

13

I’ve got a brand spankin’ new (5y/o) GFS Surf 90 that you can have!

I purchased it for one of my old Strats that was never installed...

If you want it, you have to promise to install it and provide a thorough review!

Deal?

14

Surprised no one has mentioned the most famous P90-Dyna guitar of all time has the dyna in the bridge position and the P90 in the neck. Sounded pretty good, too.

15

Surprised no one has mentioned the most famous P90-Dyna guitar of all time has the dyna in the bridge position and the P90 in the neck. Sounded pretty good, too.

– spike

Eddie Cochran seemed to have been going for a warm, jazz tone in his neck position which is why he put the P90 in the neck.

16

Thanks everyone so much for all the help--I'm going to give this more thought and really go through each suggestion thoughtfully before deciding. Thanks again!

17

Surprised no one has mentioned the most famous P90-Dyna guitar of all time has the dyna in the bridge position and the P90 in the neck. Sounded pretty good, too.

– spike

That is my favourite combo but I don’t think that’s what the OP is after.

19

This is correct:

– Billy Zoom

Not putting the melita on this guitar?

20

I did the Surf 90 bridge & Dream 90 (P90) neck in a Guild Starfire III. Had it that way for a number of years until I was able to afford a few Gretsches. I've put the original humbuckers back in the Guild & would be happy to sell you my GFS pups. pm me if you're interested. I live in Cherry Hill, NJ.

21

There's a gold Melita in the case with a base that's drilled to drop right in. The tone is much better with it, but when I play distorted with X, the added sustain and volume from the Melita is too much. I can't keep all the strings from sustaining all the time. I'm looking for a way to dampen it down a little without losing the Melita tone. The bar bridge gives me kind of a muted sound that's mostly midrange, which works for X songs. The Melita is deeper, brighter, louder, and much more lively....too lively for X. I put the Melita on when I play in the studio though, where I can control the sound, and it's all about tone.

22

This is correct:

– Billy Zoom

I love the stock Supertron-Classic Plus pickups in my 6122-1959, but Billy’s combo and DB62’s with T’Armonds are enough to make one think about a second guitar. As to the OP, I’d probably go for the Dyna neck.


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