Hum-cancelling P90 options

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by plankton, Sep 12, 2019 at 5:54 AM.

  1. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    These have been mentioned in few threads recently, but I wanted to start a new thread to get some recommendations.

    My Tokai Love Rock Special is a great guitar, but sometimes the 60-cycle hum is too much. So I want to get some hum-cancelling pickups for it.

    Most importantly I want to keep the proper P90 sound as much as possible. The Kinman and Fralin models are a bit out of my price range after the exchange rate.

    The two models that I'm mostly looking at are the Kent Armstrong Stealth 90 and the Mojotone 56 Quiet Coil. The Mojotones get heaps of good reviews but would be at the top of my price range. The Armstrongs seem decent and are more affordable.

    Does anyone have experience with either? Are there any other contenders out there I should be considering?
     
  2. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    60 cycle hum on single coil pickups is only an issue for me when using them with hi gain. It is difficult for my ears to distinguish between pickups of the same type when used with hi gain. They all sound the same to me when the gain on a modern amp is set to around 7.

    The sole reason that I use hum-cancelling P-90’s is to eliminate 60 cycle hum during hi gain use when there are brief moments of silence between notes. Expecting them to sound like vintage P-90’s at hi gain is irrelevant when pickups of the same type sound the same to my ears during hi gain use.

    Expecting a hum-cancelling P-90 to sound like a vintage P-90 for cleans is like expecting a humbucker to sound like a single coil when used for cleans.

    I went into hum-cancelling P-90’s without the intent of wanting it to sound like a vintage P-90 and enjoy its sound based on its own merit. I am not a purist or tone chaser looking to emulate someone else’s sound. I just plug in, dial in a sound that I like and focus on playing.
     
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2019 at 8:20 PM
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  3. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I don't often play using high gain or clean tones, but somewhere in between.

    I like the sound of the pickups I have now, I just want to lose the hum, so I'd rather not have a pickup that sounds too much like a humbucker, I have other guitars for that.

    I don't expect a hum-cancelling P90 to sound exactly like a "vintage" one, and I'm not trying to chase anyone's tone.

    I was looking for feedback on some of my options.
     
  4. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I wouldn't think you could go wrong with trying any of the P-90's that you mentioned as long as they eliminate the hum completely. There's so many variables in the final sound production that to me pickups are just one piece of the entire puzzle. When you hear demos of pickups online, they are always going to sound different when played through your own guitar and rig. I try to keep in mind how the guitar is going to sound in the overall mix and not so much how it sounds by itself.

    I have always thought that P-90's were a grey area because they are in between an F-style single coil and Humbucker and that's why I think I like P-90's (both Traditional P-90's and Hum-Cancelling P-90's) so much because of their versatility. There's no right or wrong. If it sounds good to your ears, then that's all that matters IMO.
     
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  5. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I can't argue with any of that. Online demos aren't very helpful, and you can't just go into a shop and try some out.

    I'll hold out for more first hand experience, but eventually I'll just have get some, pop them in and see how they sound. Might try to get away with the cheaper option first.

    On a related note, I used the editor software on my Nextone to engage the onboard noise suppressor. It's actually working quite well. I've been unfairly biased against it for some reason.
     
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  6. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    I like this explanation. It was never really clear if you were satisfied or not or even did care for the cleans on the double coil P90 you use. Thanks.

    plankton, did you shield the cavities. Some swear it solves that hum problem.

    But in the end, a double coil is a double coil. Be it vertical or horizontal, call it what you want, it is a hum-bucker pickup. Not much P90 flavor there. Gibson came up with their version that was called a P100. It wasn't liked, because of all the reasons we know, it wasn't a P90. You might look for one of those in the used dept. Some for under $100 on Reverb, dunno about shipping to Australia though.
     
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  7. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    They've been coated with shielding paint. The hum hadn't been a problem at home, but now I'm playing in different places and sometimes it gets pretty bad.
     
  8. guitarweasel

    guitarweasel Well-Known Member

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  9. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    Another option would be the one Gibson used on the Blueshawk. A dummy coil wired in the circuit without a magnet. A stacked P100 type of thing could be used if you aren't afraid to experiment with the pickup. Another possible option could be buying a cheapie made in China p90 dogear, yanking it from the housing, removing the magnet, and hiding it in your control cavity if there is room.
    https://www.flickr.com/photos/66973172@N03/7949677222
     
    Last edited: Sep 15, 2019 at 10:57 PM
  10. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    I've read some mixed reviews on those things. Not sure if it's for me, but thanks for the reply.

    That might be a possible solution, thanks for the idea!

    For now the noise suppressor on the Nextone is solving my problems and isn't messing with my tone or killing my sustain in any way that affects how I play.
     
  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    So ... you have problems when you play other amps ?
     
  12. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    The hum isn't so much of an issue at home, and the Nextone is currently the only amp I'm using other places.
     
  13. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    So why the concern over P90 hum ?
     
  14. plankton

    plankton Well-Known Member

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    When I started playing in other places, including our rehearsal space, the hum got considerably worse. I wasn't using the noise suppressor on the Nextone, I'd kind of forgotten about it. So at least with that amp it's less of a problem now, but in the future I might want a different solution.
     
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