Best P-90 for a "vintage" RI SG Junior ?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Junior91, Jan 22, 2019.

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  1. Junior91

    Junior91 New Member

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    Hello all, brand new to the forum but far from new to the world of guitars and Gibsons. I just acquired a 1991 Gibson SG Junior which is a guitar I've been trying to hunt down for some time. Now, I realize the tone purists will scoff at this iteration of the Junior since it has a full factory Tune-o-matic and ABR-1 stoptail as well as Grover mini rotos. I know some tone loss is inevitable but I can compensate with aftermarket bridge upgrades to a degree.

    The big issue with the guitar is the factory P-100 which I know needs to go and die somewhere quietly. What I'd like to know is what P-90 should I hunt down and even which pots do I (should I?) use. I'm more than familiar with OX4's (have them in a Les Paul), I've seen good things about the Wolfetone Meaner, Throbak etc. My goal is to get that famous warm, midrange growl from this nearly 30 year old plank. A lot of the video demos seem to portray the boutique P90s as clearer and more bell like almost like a Fender single. I'm fine with tracking down a new Gibson P90 as the easy solution. Would buying a true vintage 50's or 60's P90 make THAT much of a difference? Would Central Labs pots make THAT much of a difference?

    And again....I realize I'm suggesting blasphemy putting vintage parts into an inaccurate SG Junior reissue and no...I'm not interested in selling the '91 and just buying a true vintage 60's Junior for $2k-$3k. Just looking for the best off all worlds and I know Duncans (including Antiquities) are NOT the answer as many posters have commented online that Duncans didn't upgrade the stock Gibby P90s.

    Thanks in advance !
     
  2. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    I highly recommend the dogear P90s from TysonTone. I recently sold my Les Paul Jr in which I had put a TysonTone 60-Wraptail. I pulled out the TysonTone and put the stock pup back in before selling it. 60-Wraptail stays with me, and I'll be saving it for future use. They are not extremely expensive either.

    That being said, I absolutely LOVE the sound of my 1965 SG Jr. The stock pickup in that one is going nowhere! A vintage dogear P90 will set you back a fair amount of cash, but it might be worth considering.
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  3. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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  4. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    I have a set of Throbak p90 Special-SB in my '95 Les Paul Special DC. I couldn't be happier with them. I also changed the pots to 500k. The guitar growls.
     
  5. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    +1 for Tyson Tone. I have Wraptail P90s in a Special and they rock.
     
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  6. gball

    gball Well-Known Member

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    Use what makes you happy. I'm probably one of the few that really likes P-100's - they crush P-90's when your dealin' lots of gain.
     
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  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I have no experience with P-100's, but would probably enjoy them because of the zero-hum feature. There's all kinds of flavors of regular P-90's and zero-hum P-90's available and I think both versions are useful with the right application.

    My SG Classics are configured with stock P-90's at the neck position for cleans and Kinman zero-hum P-90's at the bridge position for high gain and I could not be any happier. I like to hear the silence between the notes without the use of a noise gate.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2019
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  8. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

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    I have experience with the Wolftone Meaner and the Bare Knuckle Stickholm P90, they're both on the hotter side of P90s. Both great, first one is bigger and rounder, more lows but looser. Might be TOO thick sometimes. The BKP isn't as big sounding, but the tighter low-end and extended top-end makes it sound clearer and (dare I say) twangier even though it's hot as hell. Might just be the difference between Alnico II (Meaner) and Alnico V (BKP), honestly. They both clean beautifully, maybe the Wolftone a bit better.

    If the P100 is anything like the pickup they put on the Bilie Joe Armostrong Junior (same idea, stacked Gibson P90 for hum canceling), I'm sure I won't care for it. Darker than a regular humbucker and very noisy, ironically.
     
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  9. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    A P100, a stacked P90, a noiseless P90, all have basically the same configuration, meaning two bobbins one on top of the other, which makes it a vertical humbucker. Some might sound P90ish, some not, depending on tons of factors.

    Your mileage may vary ...

    upside down P90 on top, P100 below
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 23, 2019
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  11. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, the Bilie Joe pickup (I think they called it P90H?) looks exactly like those P100s. Terrible pickup, IMO
     
  12. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I don't get why someone would want a P90 pickup to play metal. The distortion used will surely annihilhate any tonal characteristic a P90 provides. Get a hot humbucker or an active pickup, that's what they are made for.
     
  13. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    Somebody should have told Tony Iommi back in 1970!:D
     
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  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    :cool: I don't remember Sabbath music being labeled as metal at the time it came out. We associate it to metal in retrospect, because of its attitude, its novelty as an aggressive and doomed lyrics approach. I don't consider it as metal. But that's me ...

    I had the low bassy tuneless thump thump ground shaking of today's metal in mind.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  15. Gahr

    Gahr Well-Known Member

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    Interestingly Iommi was originally playing a Stratocaster. But it had a pickup malfunction during the recording of their first album, and he switched to his backup guitar, the Gibson SG Special. As we know, he never switched back... I think the song "Wicked World" from their debut album was played on the Stratocaster.

     
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  16. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Very good point, Gahr, he he!

    Well, where exactly is that cavewall where those rules are carved in stone?:cool:

    And "todays metal..?"
    Hehe, wake up and smell the Sweet Leaf, man, todays metal-scene are more varied than ever... Ever heard of sludge-, doom- or stoner-metal..?:cool:

    And, no, noone was in fact labelled heavy metal at that time. That label became known like ten years after Sabbaths debut.:cool:

    Edit: the later years LOADS of metal guitarist has turned to more low/medium output pu's.:cool: You have no idea of how common it is in 2019 for metal guitarists to have anything BUT ceramic or - god forbid - active pu's.:cool:
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  17. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Yup, thank heavens and hells for that crap Strat pickup!:D
     
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  18. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    OK, I guess I know nothing about contemporary metal.

    Do you think you can differenciate pickups from one doom/sludge metal tune to the next ? Sludge ... self explainatory ;)
     
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  19. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Well, now you know a wee bit more. ;) Point was P90s are just excellent for rough sounding stuff, no matter genre.:naughty:
     
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  20. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Stock P-90's are useless to me for playing Metal with high gain because of the hum and I don't like noise gates.

    I use zero-hum P-90's on my SG Classics to play all kinds of Metal without any issues. I also have SG Specials with humbuckers. With high gain they both sound similar. The zero-hum P-90's sound more articulate to my ears compared to humbuckers.
     
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