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  • Hi-Gain P90 Pickups

    I am looking at buying a Thorn and all the ones I have come across have P90s in them.......I am a humbucker guy and primarily like a heavier/crunchier sound
    Any P90s available that can do that? I would prefer them to be relatively quiet and not prone to hum
    I am new at the P90 game, so.....any help is MUCH appreciated
    Thanks
    Ron
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  • #2
    DiMarzio makes a pretty decent p90-sized humbucker.

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    • #3
      I would go with some vintage wound P90s, maybe some hum canceling Lindy Fralins. P90s do crunch just fine. But let your amp control the gain. Overwould P90s don't sound like P90s

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      • #4
        You don't need overwound P90's for that sound. Regular ones do just fine!

        However, you need to accept that P90's are single coils and have a lot of hum. You can shield your guitar which will reduce this. Also a noise gate will help a lot. I have an ISP Decimator pedal which takes care of the noise completely and doesn't diminish the sound.

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        • #5
          You don't need overwound P90's for that sound. Regular ones do just fine!

          However, you need to accept that P90's are single coils and have a lot of hum.


          I disagree 100% with this. If you actually play a nice old Gibson with P-90s you'll find that the output is pretty low. The old ones will give you a really, really good clean sound - but once you turn your amp up they give a nice overdriven sound.

          Also, if you ever play one of these there is a little hum, but it's not out of control.

          I know have a guitar with Duncan P-90s in it and it's LOUD - louder then a standard PAF. Maybe this is what you're looking for. The guitar sounds nice turned up, but doesn't have a great clean sound

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          • #6
            Dimarzio Super distortion P90. Or an EMG P90.

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            • #7
              Lace P-90 replacement, noiseless as hell

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              • #8
                p90s technically are a single coil type pickup, but make no mistake, they sound so much thicker than typical single coil pickups. they crunch so much better. any p90 should be just fine for crunch.

                if you can't put up with some noise, though, you're not going to have the p90 sound. any real p90 will be a single coil and have some noise. "noise cancelling p90" means stacked coil p90 which means not really going to sound like a p90. you can choose superior tone or silent operation, unfortunately I don't know that there's a way to truly have both.
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                • #9
                  I disagree 100% with this. If you actually play a nice old Gibson with P-90s you'll find that the output is pretty low. The old ones will give you a really, really good clean sound - but once you turn your amp up they give a nice overdriven sound.

                  Also, if you ever play one of these there is a little hum, but it's not out of control.

                  I know have a guitar with Duncan P-90s in it and it's LOUD - louder then a standard PAF. Maybe this is what you're looking for. The guitar sounds nice turned up, but doesn't have a great clean sound


                  I don't understand... you just disagreed with my post and then agreed with it.

                  twotimingpete is right, noise cancelling P90s aren't P90s. I haven't heard one that sounds the same as a regular P90 yet.

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                  • #10
                    Dimarzio Super distortion P90. Or an EMG P90.


                    The EMG active P90 is an 81 in a P90 shaped casing and the passive P90 from EMG is a H4 humbucker in a P90 shaped casing.

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                    • #11
                      Seriously, get the Lace P-900/905, thats the solution for all of your problems

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                      • #12
                        I am looking at buying a Thorn and all the ones I have come across have P90s in them.......I am a humbucker guy and primarily like a heavier/crunchier sound
                        Any P90s available that can do that? I would prefer them to be relatively quiet and not prone to hum
                        I am new at the P90 game, so.....any help is MUCH appreciated
                        Thanks
                        Ron


                        Heavier, crunchy tone, eh? Well, Check out Leslie West on the old Mountain recordings on youtube (Never In My Life, Mississippi Queen, etc.) That's all done with a LP Junior--a slab of mahogany, with a neck and one P-90 attached.

                        If that doesn't meet your definition of heavy/crunchy sound, then maybe check out the early Black Sabbath recordings. Tony Iommi played an SG with a pair of P-90s, and it's ridiculously heavy.

                        Jake E. Lee used an SG Junior a fair bit back when he was Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist (in the 80s), again, a slab of mahogany with a neck and one P-90 attached. Plenty of high-gain heavy metal goodness there....
                        Carroll

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                        • #13
                          Heavier, crunchy tone, eh? Well, Check out Leslie West on the old Mountain recordings on youtube (Never In My Life, Mississippi Queen, etc.) That's all done with a LP Junior--a slab of mahogany, with a neck and one P-90 attached.

                          If that doesn't meet your definition of heavy/crunchy sound, then maybe check out the early Black Sabbath recordings. Tony Iommi played an SG with a pair of P-90s, and it's ridiculously heavy.

                          Jake E. Lee used an SG Junior a fair bit back when he was Ozzy Osbourne's guitarist (in the 80s), again, a slab of mahogany with a neck and one P-90 attached. Plenty of high-gain heavy metal goodness there....


                          Mississippi Queen's tone has a hell of a lot more to do with what comes down the signal path (particularly a Sunn amp) than the P-90 itself. It's probably the most common, yet most misleading example of P-90 tone.

                          But a P-90 has lots of midrange, which does help give a big fat tone and, IMHO, one's pickup should be versatile and not super hot because one can provide a lot more control and overdrive at the amp. What the P-90 doesn't provide is the big, creamy (muddy, IMHO) phase-y midrange that is inherent in every HB, the P-90 will always sound tighter and clearer and more focused.

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                          • #14
                            I am looking at buying a Thorn and all the ones I have come across have P90s in them...

                            Go for it! P90's are a ton of fun and rock out big time. If noise turns out to be an issue for you, there are good drop in humbucking options you can fall back on.
                            My Name is Tom Pettingill ... I build Hand Crafted Custom Lap Steel Guitars
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                            • #15
                              I am looking at buying a Thorn and all the ones I have come across have P90s in them... I am new at the P90 game, so.....any help is MUCH appreciated


                              Why don't you wait until you have the guitar for a while before worrying about swapping out the pups? P90s are great for heavier sounds, you might just like them. Otherwise, as mentioned above, Dimarzio makes several different flavours of P90 sized humbuckers (the Super Distortion might be right up your alley)
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