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P-90 in a Stratocaster - Any Good ?
Old 17th May 2020
  #1
Gear Maniac
 

P-90 in a Stratocaster - Any Good ?

Hi all,

Has anyone tried a P-90 as a bridge pup in a Strat ?

I'm assuming the body/pickguard setup would make a difference and may take away some typical P-90 magic - but how much ?

Note - I would use it as a single pickup guitar.

Thanks.
Old 18th May 2020
  #2
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvdd View Post
Hi all,

Has anyone tried a P-90 as a bridge pup in a Strat ?

I'm assuming the body/pickguard setup would make a difference and may take away some typical P-90 magic - but how much ?

Note - I would use it as a single pickup guitar.

Thanks.
They are excellent in my telecasters.
Attached Thumbnails
P-90 in a Stratocaster - Any Good ?-20190830_154339.jpg   P-90 in a Stratocaster - Any Good ?-20190830_154336.jpg   P-90 in a Stratocaster - Any Good ?-20190830_154302.jpg  
Old 20th May 2020
  #3
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kingofspain's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by bvdd View Post
Hi all,

Has anyone tried a P-90 as a bridge pup in a Strat ?
I love a P90, but I've never tried one in a Strat. They sound great in most things, in my experience, but I think they only sound 'right' in a planky all mahogany guitar (neck and body) like an SG or Junior.
That's purely subjective though, and might just be because my first P90 guitar was an LP Special. Since then, I've tried them with walnut bodies, chambered European ash (much denser than 'swamp' ash, hence the need for chambering) and mahogany body with maple neck. They're all good combos, to my ears. They can sound a little sharp in the bridge position - my intuition is that a Strat may exacerbate this. It might be a good idea to pick a P90 from the mellower end of the spectrum.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bvdd View Post
I'm assuming the body/pickguard setup would make a difference and may take away some typical P-90 magic - but how much ?

Thanks.
Perhaps not as much as you think. Once the pickup cavity and scratchplate are routed to for a P90, the logical way to mount it would be using a soapbar rather than a dog ear mount. That way you'll be screwing them directly into the wood, rather han mounting to a sheet of plastic, although how much difference that actually makes is a matter of some debate...
Old 20th May 2020
  #4
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofspain View Post
... but I think they only sound 'right' in a planky all mahogany guitar (neck and body) like an SG or Junior.
That's purely subjective though, and might just be because my first P90 guitar was an LP Special. Since then, I've tried them with walnut bodies, chambered European ash (much denser than 'swamp' ash, hence the need for chambering) and mahogany body with maple neck. ...

I get a great sound with Korina and roasted maple.... It has a Tune-o-matic and a stop bar.



-tINY

Old 20th May 2020
  #5
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Pindrive's Avatar
A good P-90 should sound good in just about anything. A stale P-90, might be a lot less thrilling.
Old 24th May 2020
  #6
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofspain View Post
I think they only sound 'right' in a planky all mahogany guitar (neck and body) like an SG or Junior.
That's purely subjective though, and might just be because my first P90 guitar was an LP Special. Since then, I've tried them with walnut bodies, chambered European ash (much denser than 'swamp' ash, hence the need for chambering) and mahogany body with maple neck. They're all good combos, to my ears. They can sound a little sharp in the bridge position - my intuition is that a Strat may exacerbate this. It might be a good idea to pick a P90 from the mellower end of the spectrum.
Well, as my old keyboard player used to say "That's what you get for thinking....". I guess you've never heard a Gibson ES-330/(Kalamazoo) Epiphone Casino, or any of a zillion Gibson Jazz guitars with P-90s. I had a friend in Oklahoma who had an utterly amazing 1949 pre-Switchmaster ES-5, with 3 dogears, 6 knobs, and no switch. Utterly incredible guitar. Maple back and sides, hand carved spruce top.

I'm also a big fan of the original LP goldtops with the soapbars.

As to putting a P-90 in a Strat, I dunno. I generally don't much care for Strats that don't have Strat pickups.
Old 24th May 2020
  #7
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kingofspain's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by John Eppstein View Post
Well, as my old keyboard player used to say "That's what you get for thinking....".
According to The Moody Blues, 'thinking is the best way to travel'. But you're right, it's never done me any favours...

You'll have noticed my tongue planted firmly in my cheek for that comment.

I've heard - and played - plenty of hollow bodied P90 guitars over the years - arguably even more 'right' sounding than an all mahogany solid body. Perhaps the finest guitar I've ever played was a '63 ES-330 which came through my workshop for a re-fret a few years ago. That guitar made the modern equivalents look - and sound - more than a little pasty by comparison. It even had me wondering if there mightn't be some truth in the 'vintage is best' argument, although I've played enough vintage dogs to know it's not always the case.
Never had the pleasure of playing a vintage ES-5 (or even a reissue, should one exist), another to add to the 'to play' list.

From memory, I think you and I have a planky mahogany P90 guitar in common. The guitar I referred to in my earlier post was my early 2000's LP Special (rather drably marketed as the 'faded doublecut'), in TV yellow. Am I right in thinking you own(ed) the same guitar? I sold mine to help fund my honeymoon and have (quietly, especially in the presence of the missus) regretted it ever since. It had the whippest of necks, but sounded great during the brief periods where it stayed in tune. So much so that I used it as my main guitar in the band I was in at the time, when I had plenty of stabler options to hand.

I miss that guitar.

Old 24th May 2020
  #8
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingofspain View Post
According to The Moody Blues, 'thinking is the best way to travel'. But you're right, it's never done me any favours...

You'll have noticed my tongue planted firmly in my cheek for that comment.

I've heard - and played - plenty of hollow bodied P90 guitars over the years - arguably even more 'right' sounding than an all mahogany solid body. Perhaps the finest guitar I've ever played was a '63 ES-330 which came through my workshop for a re-fret a few years ago. That guitar made the modern equivalents look - and sound - more than a little pasty by comparison. It even had me wondering if there mightn't be some truth in the 'vintage is best' argument, although I've played enough vintage dogs to know it's not always the case.
Never had the pleasure of playing a vintage ES-5 (or even a reissue, should one exist), another to add to the 'to play' list.

From memory, I think you and I have a planky mahogany P90 guitar in common. The guitar I referred to in my earlier post was my early 2000's LP Special (rather drably marketed as the 'faded doublecut'), in TV yellow. Am I right in thinking you own(ed) the same guitar? I sold mine to help fund my honeymoon and have (quietly, especially in the presence of the missus) regretted it ever since. It had the whippest of necks, but sounded great during the brief periods where it stayed in tune. So much so that I used it as my main guitar in the band I was in at the time, when I had plenty of stabler options to hand.

I miss that guitar.


I though that bulge in your cheek was bubblegum!

And yeah, I have one of those early 2000s LP Specials.
Old 25th May 2020
  #9
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
I like P 90s on Les Paul Juniorโ€˜s and SGโ€™s. I mean I like them generally but they seem to work good on those guitars particularly.

KOTS
I have all of these (vintage '59 and CS juniors, '60 and CS specials, firebird with 3xP90, several LPs and Bachus and Edwards LPs (i like my P90s)), but they work great on ash tele's and a mahogany tele (if we are talking solid bodies). No reason it wouldn't work the same on a strat, especially a hard-tail.
Old 25th May 2020
  #10
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Yuri Kogan's Avatar
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by kingoftheslutz View Post
Yeah, I forgot about Firebirds. Those are obviously good with p-90s. I had one for a while. Still not as good as LP juniors or SGs, imo.

p-90s on a Tele makes sense maybe, although Fenders do have their own archetypical single coil thing going, and the scale is different. I don't really see p-90s for a Strat. Even the visual seems odd. But I dunno, I guess I could be cool.


Best,

KOTS
The Firebird is the second most popular P90 guitar in the studio. Much more then the LPs. Only outdone by the teles and a custom built here
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