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Brendo56

Humbucker-sized p90 for jazz

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A question for those with pickup experience: I’m looking to clear up the clean tone on my Sheraton. I’m looking for something articulate and without the compressed top end that seems inescapable with humbuckers. Humbucker-sized P90’s seem like a good fit, but I’m not sure where to start. Any one have any advice on a good low-output HSP90? Thanks!

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Welcome to the insanity of the forum! 👍

Duncan Phat Cat or some inane name like that.

Also try the GFS Dream 90. (About 1/2 the price of the Duncan.)

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Hi Brendo and welcome to HCEG.    I have no experience with P90's but when I built a 335 clone for a jazz playing friend he asked me to put a set of Seymour Ducan Benedetto's in it.  When I heard how lush they sounded I chose the same pickup for my hollow body.

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Hey hey, happy to be here 🤙🏻

Ive looked at the phat cats, but they seem a bit hot - more suited for rawk than jazz cleans. 

Mill definitely check out the GFS. Some of these options are crazy expensive for single-coils. 

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@Freeman Keller

goddam, that thing looks nice 👍🏻 I’ll definitely check out the Duncan’s. I’ve never found a humbucker I’ve bonded with, but most of my experience comes from higher-output models that came in foreign guitars

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Have you tried lowering the height of your current pickups? That can really help open up the top end, depending on the pickups.

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Adjusting pickup height is one of my standard recommendations as well. Let us know how it goes.

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A minor thing to think about if you are going from humbuckers to single coils is that typically you'll use 500K pots for the 'buckers and 250K for the singles.   Not sure about P90's, I've only once installed one in a tele (and I used 250K).   I know its kind of a b*tch to change pots in your Sheraton, don't really know if its necessary.   

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When I wanted to clean up the tone on the neck pup of a 335 clone I took a different route, a coil tap.  

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Thanks for the advice, all! I’ll post updates on the pickup adjustment this weekend, when I have access to some better tools. 

@Freeman Keller, for the 335 build, do you know if you were using the B6, or the Benedetto PAF? I’m a diehard Strat fan, and I convinced myself that I just don’t like humbuckers. The Sheraton is my first semi-hollow though, and the more time I spend with it, the more appreciate how the buckers work in this context

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1 hour ago, Brendo56 said:

Thanks for the advice, all! I’ll post updates on the pickup adjustment this weekend, when I have access to some better tools. 

@Freeman Keller, for the 335 build, do you know if you were using the B6, or the Benedetto PAF? I’m a diehard Strat fan, and I convinced myself that I just don’t like humbuckers. The Sheraton is my first semi-hollow though, and the more time I spend with it, the more appreciate how the buckers work in this context

I would have to go back and look at my notes but I believe that both guitars got an A6 in the neck and Benedetto PAF in the bridge.   The B6 is designed to sound a little more like a hollow body archtop - as I recall it does not have the adjustable pole pieces.

 My friend plays almost exclusively on the neck and our logic was if he ever does go to the bridge he can get a little more bluesy tone with the PAF.    One interesting thing that I did with the 335 clone is install terminal strips in the pick up cavities to make it easy to experiment with pickup - that way I don't have to fish all the electronics out thru the f-holes to make a wiring change.

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You anticipated my next question… I’m more of a jazz-y player than straight ahead jazz, and I’d need a setup that’s compatible with a range of overdrives. A B6/PAF seems like it’d be a good fit

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Another idea other then a pickup replacement, would be adding a 1meg resistor to your volume pot. (across the in and out tabs on the pot.) What this does is drop the value of the pot from the modern 500K to a vintage Gibson value of 330K or thereabouts. For the neck pickup, this adds a bit a "mud", or darkening the pickup. I have a Samick made Sheraton II made in 98, and I always found the mud of the neck pickup to be part of it's charm.

 

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@badpenguin, thanks for the tip, I’ll definitely keep it in mind! I’m not sure if it’s the best thing for this instance - I’m mostly looking for more clarity for chords, and “mud” might not be what I’m looking for. Already good to know more about electronics, though!

@Freeman Keller, I actually made a typo, I actually meant to say an A6/PAF combo seems like a good fix

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On 9/17/2019 at 1:32 PM, badpenguin said:

Another idea other then a pickup replacement, would be adding a 1meg resistor to your volume pot. (across the in and out tabs on the pot.) . . .

Probably a good idea but a PITA on a hollowbody.

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