Best Sabbath sounding Humbucker sized P90s?

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by Atharanic, Mar 26, 2019.

  1. Atharanic

    Atharanic New Member

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    Oï!
    1st post on this forum.

    I just exchanged a Tele for my 1st SG (black 2008 special) and I'm an avid Sabbath fan and learned a sh*t load of Sabbath. It's got Seymour Duncan SH-4 at the bridge and a SH1H at the neck, but I don't care for 'em. I'm looking for a humbucker sized P90 that sounds like early Sabbath stuff (Sabbath Bloody Sabbath at the latest). My favorite Iommi sound is on Vol. 4. I'm just in AWE of his tone on that album.

    I really like the looks of the Fralin Raw Nickel humbucker sized P90, but was wondering if they sounded right for Sabbath?

    Any suggestion? Phat Cats? Mean 90? What do you recommand?

    *EDIT* Also, should I tinker with the PCB and pots to get as close ass I want?

    Thx
     
    Last edited: Mar 26, 2019
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  2. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I don't have much experience with HB size P90s, but I reckon any of them will get you close with the right amp. A better option might be the Gibson Iommi signature humbuckers which were designed to sound just like the Birch pickups in his early SGs.

    http://www.iommi.com/equipment/tony-iommi-signature-pick-up/

    Welcome to the forum. :dude:
     
    Last edited: Mar 27, 2019
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    .
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2019
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  4. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    Welcome to ETSG!

    Tony Iommi uses custom pickups made for him by John Diggins
    in England. There isn't any other pickup that can sound like that.

    Since you've just gotten yourself an SG, my recommendation is to
    play the hell out of that guitar, for a good long time, before you consider
    modifying it. The pickups you have in your guitar ought to be fine
    for much of what you intend to do.

    Trying to sound like a famous player is an exercise in futility.
    Those guys have a whole staff employed to manage their tone.
    You can't see them from in front of the stage, but they are there.
    You can't duplicate the sounds they make. They see to that.

    The best that any of us can do is to sound like ourselves.
    If you love Black Sabbath and have learned their songs, you
    can sound like a guitarist covering another group. Nothing
    wrong with that... the best cover is when an artist takes a song
    to a new dimension, and puts his/her own style on it.

    That moves the music along. The original versions are still there.
    But you can add to it by adding your own. The amp you own will
    make much more difference to your tone than the p'ups.

    So I would not recommend analyzing your pickups in relation to
    what you hear from Black Sabbath. There is so much more in
    play, the pickups are likely to be accurate, and the amp and effects
    are much more likely to affect the tone you are hearing.

    IMHO, just play, and work on your style and your delivery.
    Those things are under your own control, sounding like Tony Iommi
    without owning his equipment and paying his sound guys are not.
     
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  5. Atharanic

    Atharanic New Member

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    I don't have any guitars with P90s in it too. I wanna try them. I've got a butt load of guitars, experience and composition behind me so, that's not the issue. I really want a good vintage sounding P90 to play (amongst other things) some Sabbath with. Not a hot Humbucker. Got lots of those already.

    The signature Iommi pickups aren't in my budget bracket actually.
     
  6. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    If real P90 is what you want your best bet is to get a guitar with real P90s. ;)
     
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  7. Atharanic

    Atharanic New Member

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    Tryin' to work with what I got! That's the one I wanna put a P90 in. Not gonna put 'em in my 1981 Hagstrom Swede! ;)
     
  8. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Dimarzio Bluesbucker is a good alternative IMO. I installed one in bridge position on my bandmates LP Studio and the sound is very P90ish and I like it a lot. The Bluesbucker (pretty misleading name really) is actually ceramic and pretty hot, 10 kOhms, but does not sound very "metal", you get classic P90 tones really. Its got a sharp, fat sound. Not expencive either, around 75 Euro. Well worth checking out.

    The Phat Cats are good too after the little I have heard on Youtube and a couple of retailer sites.

    But like Colonel Mustard mentioned, Tony Iommy had custom built pu's from J Diggins...

    PCB.. I had problems with my PCB on my -18 Standard, so I took it out. I replaced the pots with four 500k CTS pots, did the 50s wiring style, and the sound did improve in my ears. I wanted more treble and got it.:)

    Vol.4 has a pretty dark guitarsound IMO, and I'm not not sure which amps were used, Laney mostly I guess. The amp is a crucial factor here..

    Yeah, and welcome, man.
     
    Last edited: May 5, 2019
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  9. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Welcome Atharanic,

    Unfortunatly, a humbucker in a P90 disguise will sound like a humbucker in a P90 disguise, not like a vintage P90. You can get a P90 Epiphone LP Sp1 for less than the price of a good set of P90, like under $100. If this is your first foray in the P90 world, that guitar will give you everything you want to experience, with no loss if you decide to get rid of it.

    Here just for feel is a track I made of Epiphone P90s going in a small Super Champ XD amp. I guess I could go pretty close to Iommi's tone if I looked for it.

     
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  10. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    So you tried them all or..? I'm sure I easily could have fooled you with a fakeP90-humbucker, given the right axe and amp.

    C'mon, Atharanic is an experienced player with plenty of geetars. I'm pretty sure he dont want an Epi LP when he has just got his first Gibson SG. (Who would ..?)

    And, DrBGoode, Tony Iommy didnt use P90s..
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
  11. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    So an experienced player with plenty of guitars has no use for an inexpensive guitar? That seems like an overly generalized and silly statement to make.

    And by all accounts the SG Iommi used to record the first album was a stock right-handed Special with P90s. After he traded it for the Monkey guitar it got modifications to the pickups, and they were still P90ish.
     
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  12. Ray

    Ray Well-Known Member

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    Oh, Lord, have mercy...Thats not what I said, @plankton. And "overly generalized and silly statement"? Really? Why the f**k should he spend money on a Epi LP when hes just got a new Gibson SG? An SG he seem to very proud and fond of? A Sabbathfan getting his first SG IS a big thing. Just suggesting buying another axe when the guy has just got his first SG comes across as an insult IMO.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  13. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    :rofl:One of the most useful functions on this forum also happens be one I thankfully don't have to use much. It's called the "ignore list".
     
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  14. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    What have you got up your ass ? I don't need your condescendence.

    I simply suggested that by buying a cheap guitar with good P90s in it, he would be able to experience what is a P90 without modifying his precious (right ...) Gibson and then sell the POS back if he thinks it's a tone he'd like in his SG. If he then does like the sound, I would suggest he buys a SG with P90s in it to start with.

    Neither do I use it often, but getting insulted by such a jerk as Ray because I don't live up to his standards, gets him on that list. Bye bye Ray and don't bother answering this, I won't see your blabberings.
     
    Last edited: May 6, 2019
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  15. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Double post
     
  16. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I tried to attribute it to his lack of English comprehension, but I was obviously too forbearing.
     
  17. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I am a blues player. I like very edgy blues leads and thick rhythm tone. I installed a pair of GFS Dream 90s in a mahogany guitar and found them quite good for rowdy play. I cannot make a comparison to Mojotones , but I thought they were very similar to Gibson P-94s.
     

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