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P-90 in a humbucker sized mount


 
8/30/2002 11:51 AM
MKB
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P-90 in a humbucker sized mount
Great new forum! Hopefully you guys can answer a question that has been puzzling me for awhile.  
 
How are those P-90 pups in a humbucker sized mount constructed? As I understand the P-90, the width versus thickness of the coil (wider than thicker) determines a lot of the tone. It would be very hard to wind one to fit in a humbucker rout and keep the same coil proportions, unless much thinner wire was used. Plus there would be a lot of unused space under the humbucker size cover.  
 
Can anyone shed a little light on this? Approximate bobbin dimensions? Magnet sizes? Wire size? General construction details? Thanks!
 
8/30/2002 1:36 PM
Tony@Mastertone
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Wolfe check this one out...
MKB  
 
Your right in that the dimensions of the P90 are what give it its charactaristic tone... so how do they get a P90 tone into a humbucker sized pickup... In my opinion they don't...and I can't see how they could. There was a recent post about the Gibson P94 which is a humbucker sized pu replicating a P90 tone. Wolfe Macleod who posts here regularly is the man to talk to on this subject...keep an eye out for him.  
 
This is something I found on the net...  
 
IF YOU ARE LOOKING FOR THAT OLD '50s P90 TONE, THESE PICKUPS DO *NOT* DELIVER. I'VE PLAYED SEVERAL EARLY '50s GOLDTOPS, AND OWNED A 1959 LES PAUL SPECIAL AND I CAN TELL YOU: THEIR PICKUPS WERE WARM, RICH AND SMOOTH. THE ONLY THING THAT THE P-94'S HAVE IN COMMON IS THEIR SINGLECOIL-NESS. IF YOU WANT A P90 TONE, BUY THE REAL THING, STAY AWAY FROM THESE PHONIES!  
 
Cheers  
 
Tony  
Mastertone Pickups
 
8/30/2002 2:17 PM
Daniel R. Haney
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Real men make their own P-90's
Heh.  
 
Tony wrote:
quote:
"IF YOU WANT A P90 TONE, BUY THE REAL THING, STAY AWAY FROM THESE PHONIES!"
 
Jason Lollar has a P-90 blueprint at "http://www.lollarguitars.com/images_bobbins/p90_bobbin.jpg"  
 
Are P-90 bobbins commercially available?  
 
-drh  
--
 
8/30/2002 2:45 PM
Andy
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Re: P-90 in a humbucker sized mount
All,  
 
This is a favourite hate of mine and Wolfe.  
 
Large pickup makers producing pickups that purport to be humbucker sized P90s.  
 
They most certainly are not!  
 
They are actually a single humbucker bobbin overwound with 43 or 44 gauge wire mounted centrally on a bucker baseplate. The only concession to real P90s is that the poles are sandwiched between two magnets.  
 
Cause the bobbin is nothing like the short/wide P90 style they can't possibly sound like a P90.  
 
They are gross, choked and lifeless.  
 
And what's worse is that many of 'em charge a premium for this type of pickup!!  
 
Don't be tempted.  
 
Andy
 
8/30/2002 3:23 PM
Ian Anderson
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I've got a Rio Grande Fat Bastard (hot P90 in a humbucker sized package) in my Les Paul and think that it does the hot P90 thing pretty well - *I* certainly dig the tone (but not the hum)  
 
... Ian :)
 
8/30/2002 4:03 PM
MKB
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Thanks for the replies!!
Wow, this is great! Thanks for all the knowlegeable replies, you have confirmed what I suspected all along, unless you can wind magnet wire in the fourth dimension.  
 
I have wound a standard P-90 on a homemade bobbin (bakelite and maple), 8k turns of #40 (only wire size I have other than #44), two magnets out of trashed Gibson humbuckers. It sounded very nice and I was pleased, but will use 10k turns of #42 next time.
 
8/30/2002 8:49 PM
WolfeMacleod
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Re: P-90 in a humbucker sized mount....the real deal
Nice question!  
I was winding my P-90's "blind" for a few years, since I didn't have a P-90 equpiied guitar to test them in. Everyone said they sounded fantastic, so I had to find out for myself.  
Then one fine day,after a few minutes of looking at a P-90 bobbin, and looking at a humbucker route, and positioning the bobbin....I figured out a way to do it.  
This method allows for a REAL FULL SIZED P-90 to be placed into an unmodified humbucker route, as on a typical Les Paul, SG, etc. It might not fit some of the smaller humbucker routes (where the route is so small the 'bucker barely fits in it) but for the majority, it works.  
Since it uses actual P-90 guts, it'll sound like a P-90. because thats what it is.  
 
The Gibson P-94 uses a bobbin that's the same size and shape as the "tabletop" on a humbucker frame...it takes up the whole inside of a cover. It's taller than a normal P-90 bobbin...almost as tall as a Telecaseter Bridge Pickup. It uses the dual magnet arrangement, like a P-90. That's the only resemblance.  
In general, I thought the P-94 was constructed fairly cheaply. When I stripped the coil, the bobbon BROKE. The top popped right off. of this 3-piece mostrosity.  
 
Wolfe
 
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