P90 on middle position

Discussion in 'Tone Zone' started by DrBGood, Jun 17, 2017.

  1. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Some of you heard my rant about the middle position being sweet on a P90 equipped guitar.

    Here's a good illustration of what I mean. It has that semi-hollow guitar tone.

     
  2. Gillean

    Gillean Well-Known Member

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    I saw this video this morning! awesome beautiful stuff.

    Btw, I'm waiting on your review of your new humbuckers!
     
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  3. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    They're free, so I'm not bugging the builder. Last time we spoke, he said he was a couple of weeks back logged, that was 3 months ago. No hurry ...
     
  4. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Really enjoyed the video. I'm not familiar with John Molo or Katie Skene, but I'm sure it's safe to say that both are very well accomplished mucisians. Love Katie's voice and style. Reminds me a lot of Susan Tedeschi.

    P90...: You got a good ear on describing that sound, Doc. The guitar, constructed as all mahogany (58 LP Special), probably has a lot to do with that sound in combination with the P90s. Very sweet and warm, yet very detailed.
     
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  5. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    I gotta agree with that!

    As much as anything, the sound she's getting is because she's using her fingers instead of a flat pick.

    But the sound is the result of the whole package, i.e. the mahogany guitar, the P90s mid position, and Katie's finger picking.
     
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  6. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    While we are on the subject I noticed something about my '65 Special that maybe you all could help with.

    When I go to the middle position if I have both volumes all the way up I notice a significant drop in volume. If I roll either one back just slightly to say 9.5 it gets louder again. Is my stuff broken? Anyone else notice this before?
     
  7. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Your guitar is dead, send it to me form proper burial.

    But you're not the first to say that. I haven't noticed that on mine. I'll look into it.
     
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  8. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    This is normal. The pickups are in parallel in the middle position, which means each pickup becomes part of the load that the other pickup "sees." There's also some phase cancellation that occurs, but that's another story. When you roll one volume or the other back your adding isolation between the two pickups. One of the reasons I like to play with both my volumes set on about 7. It also gives me the option of raising one pickup or the other in that mid position to create a different tone pallet.

    IMO the guitar's volume and tone controls are one of our greatest underutilized tools as guitarist. There's no reason to keep guitar volume and tone on 10 all the time; roll them back and add volume and treble at the amp (or in the pedal board.) This gives room to adjust sound at the guitar.
     
    Last edited: Jun 27, 2017
  9. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    But if that 65 Special is truly deceased send it to me, I have better guitar funerals, and already have a fully funded perpetual grounds maintenance fund so your loved one's final resting place will always be cared for.
     
  10. drown

    drown Well-Known Member

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    Great video. I liked the quality of the sound and image, was nice to see her playing up close. So much to learn. Wish we could of heard more from her in the intro though.
     
  11. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the great replies team - that's what keeps me coming back!
    It makes sense in a way - I just don't notice it as much with my humbucker machine.

    Also DC what you wrote about the volume and tone controls is so true. I was thinking of starting a whole new thread about it.
    Last year people were posting questions about their SGs saying they wanted to change this and that and I asked what is your volume set at? They pretty much all looked at me sideways - like why would that matter?
     
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  12. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    Can't send you the axe brother it was an anniversary gift from my wife. I do have a P-90 from the 1940's though I could be talked out of....
     
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  13. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    If I recall correctly Freddy King (and maybe a lot of other blues players way back when) would dime everything on the amp and control all tone and volume from the guitar.

    Yeah, its even worse with a Strat if you can get all three pickups turned on at the same time.
     
  14. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    So last year I got to take lessons from one of Danny Gattons bandmates/disciples. He also dimed everything on his amp always - everything was controlled with the volume and tone knobs. He used a 1970 Princeton Reverb that was bone stock and nothing had been changed out on ever. He only played teles. He though switching pickups in a guitar was a waste of time (even though Gatton loved those Joe Bardens - got a story about that too). He also mocked me for playing with 10s and using an SG (Why you work so hard man?)

    The lessons were a trip we never really studied anything in particular we would just jam and then we would talk about it.

    Holy smokes that man can play.
     
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  15. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    Oh yeah and he used to bring his '58 tel over and let me use it - Gatton played it a bunch and even did the last set up on it.

    BTW he though his '92 tele was every bit as good and generally used that. Go figure.
     
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  16. syscokid

    syscokid Well-Known Member

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    Cool story... :yesway:

    Princeton Reverbs, or many 15 watt to 20 watt amps are killer for small club performances, for that very reason.
     
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  17. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    So, we know he was playing a tele, but, pray tell, what gauge strings was he playing?

    I think Freddy King played a Super Reverb for the most part. So with a bit more potential for volume than the Princeton. The only time I ever saw him was in a 10,000 to 15,000 seat venue with full sound reinforcement, and he was loud and very, very good.
     
  18. Kep

    Kep Well-Known Member

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    Both he and Gatton used 9s. The lessons were expensive but worth every penny. One day dude played an entire solo with one note and his volume knob. It was sublime.

    The other thing is this: he said that 90 % of bar players use way way too much reverb. He said if you go over 2 on the verb you are fivking up. He got paid a bunch to do session work (listen to some Garth Brooks records if you want to hear his leads) - one time was 40K for about 2 hours work. But anyway he said in Nashville session work no one uses reverb - its thought of as a rookie move or something.
     
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  19. jvin248

    jvin248 Active Member

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    .
    "P90 On Middle Position"
    I saw that as you were putting a P90 IN the middle! That would be cool! ... Oh, I see it's the switch (that's still a good spot). I have been contemplating a build with a middle P90 and other pickups at the neck and bridge.

    Those knobs .... "the forgotten pedals"

    Some SG content at 1:30min:

    A guy with only half the knobs on his guitar!


    .
     
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  20. DCCable

    DCCable Active Member

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    I would believe that in a second. Producers want the cleanest sounds coming into the board, leaving any sonic enhancements for post track work. Plus reverb, and for that matter a lot of pedals, tend to hide what the musician is really playing.
     

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