Pickups

P90S (Alnico Slug) in neck with Classic + in bridge?

1

I have a late 40's Gibson ES-125 that had a bridge pickup put into it over time. Since I've owned it, I've change out the bridge pickup several times: T-Armond, Rickenbacker Hi Gain, TVJ Setzer, Lollar P90 and, currently, Duncan Antiquity P90.

The original P90 in the neck was one of the first P90's-- completely different construction than what would appear in the early 50's. The early P90 used alnico slug magnets and sounds a little more "fendery' b/c of the construction. A few years back, Gibson reissued this pickup as the P90S (s standing for slug).

The body is also an early one, having mahogany b/s and top, which makes it warmer/darker that the maple ES-125's that would appear later.

I like playing in the middle position so the P90 overwhelming what ever is in the bridge is something of an issue for me. So far, the P90's in the bridge have the best balance-- not a surprise, I suppose. The thing is, I'm not a big fan of the P90 bridge sound-- much prefer filtertrons.

I liked the Setzer in the bridge but found that the middle position was just a little too weighted toward the neck. So, I'm looking at the Classic + which has more power.

I don't know about my pickup, but the reissue P90S measures out at 7.7K resistance and 4.05h inductance. The Classic + comes in at 7.8k and 2.83H.

Will the P90 overwhelm the Classic +?

Thanks!

2

we're going to need someone with expertise in both to answer the question. as many of us have seen, sometimes resistance/inductance isn't a reliable indicator of what the balance will be like, cf. how astonishingly loud OG gold-foils can be when paired with a pickup with higher resistance than their 4.5 ohm-ish values.

3

I wouldn’t expect the C+ to be notably louder than the Classic. It’s not really plussy in volume, it’s more that it just fills in some midrange. Remember that a bridge C+ is often paired with a neck Classic, and they balance well.

4

thanks guys. The big difference is with inductance (4.05h v 2.83H), while the resistance is comparable. I'm really not a science guy...

5

If the original pickup is such a beast, move it to the bridge position and put a lower output pickup in the neck slot?

6

I love Power'Trons as a bridge pickup. I think they would pair well with a P90S in the neck, especially because a Power'Tron has a bit of the PAF tone mixed with its Filtertron construction and sound.

7

Hmmm... hadn't thought of the powertron.

Bridge: DCR - 7.8k / Inductance - 4.75H

I usually only play clean-- will listen to YouTube clips for their clean tone

8

Went with a powertron in the bridge for this... with a custom black cover to match the P-90. Great match! The powertron is not overwhelmed by the P-90 in the middle position, and has a definitely filtertron tone.

This guitar, b/c of the mahogany top, short scale and hollow body, can sound a little dark. The powertron keeps that from happening.

Couldn't be happier-- thanks for the idea!

9

I'm glad you like your guitar, and I'm all for making a guitar work for YOU...

...but it breaks my heart a little to see a 40's ES-125 modded like that. And I'm not even a "vintage guy". I actually like it, and think if Gibson put out something like that it would probably sell a fair bit, but to a 1940's ... ouch...

10

Wow you did it! I'm really happy to hear that they balance well. I bet this sounds amazing. I want to try this configuration now.

11

I'm glad you like your guitar, and I'm all for making a guitar work for YOU...

...but it breaks my heart a little to see a 40's ES-125 modded like that. And I'm not even a "vintage guy". I actually like it, and think if Gibson put out something like that it would probably sell a fair bit, but to a 1940's ... ouch...

– ruger9

I hear you on that. When I bought it (over 20 years ago) was already modded. The only thing original on the guitar was the P90, the tailpiece (I put the Bigsby on but the old tp can be reinstalled) and, surprisingly, the knobs (worth a couple of hundred at least). They even did a pearloid Gibson inlay over the original silk screen logo.

In those days, you couldn't give ES-125's away. Someone used it to practice some luthery, I guess.

12

I hear you on that. When I bought it (over 20 years ago) was already modded. The only thing original on the guitar was the P90, the tailpiece (I put the Bigsby on but the old tp can be reinstalled) and, surprisingly, the knobs (worth a couple of hundred at least). They even did a pearloid Gibson inlay over the original silk screen logo.

In those days, you couldn't give ES-125's away. Someone used it to practice some luthery, I guess.

– gretschbigsby

It's a unique bird, I'll give it that... never seen one like it.

13

It has a great round, full neck. Not quite a baseball bat, but very nice. My contribution (in addition to replacing the added P90 bridge pickup) was medium jumbo frets. The tuners were replaced over the years, the pickguard is non original, pretty serious back crack (repaired)... The older I get, the more I appreciate a history of battle scars!

14

From my perspective you made a good guitar even better. Your mods are improvements. This would be a great guitar to record with.


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