Good replacement P90s for SG Classic?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by An Abiding Dude, Jun 8, 2021 at 7:40 PM.

  1. An Abiding Dude

    An Abiding Dude New Member

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    I have an 2006 SG Classic that I love and was thinking about upgrading the pickups to a set of Seymour Duncans. Visiting their website they have "vintage," "antiquity," and "hot" among others. Or maybe someone has a line on a great product from another company? I generally play 60/70s era rock music.

    Any advice?
     
    Last edited: Jun 8, 2021 at 7:59 PM
  2. flatrockmobile

    flatrockmobile Well-Known Member

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    What are the Gibsons not giving you that you desire?
    A set of 500k volume pots can liven them up over the stock 300k pots, if that's what it has.
     
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  3. No Talent

    No Talent New Member

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    I agree with what flatrock says above. If you are primarily playing 60's and 70's music I find the stock Gibson P90's can cover from jazz to classic rock very well when paired with the right pots and wiring harness.

    I've have owned the following Gibsons with stock p90's and never found them lacking short of harder rock and/or metal.
    2006 SG Classic
    2011 Gibson Les Paul Tribute 60's Goldtop with P90's

    I currently own a 2020 Gibson SG Junior which I think (but could be wrong) has the 500k tone and volume pots.
     
  4. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    But you have No Talent ... :rofl:

    I agree with both of you. A low wound P90 is the most versatile pickup. Get a hot one, you can't tame it.
     
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  5. An Abiding Dude

    An Abiding Dude New Member

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    I opened the back cavity and it is impossible to tell how the pots are rated. They have a big Gibson logo engraved on them and some finely printed numbers on the side, but nothing that overtly indicates 300 or 500K. There is no real sense of dissatisfaction with the pickups per se, I just was curious if there was any opinion and the small consensus here seems to be pretty happy with the stock P90s which is good enough for me. I guess it is just restlessness, wondering if there is room for "improving" the tone of the guitar or not. Probably if I did replace them I wouldn't be able to differentiate the sound from one to another anyway. Thanks for the responses.
     
  6. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    What works for me is a regular P-90 at the neck for cleans and a hum cancelling P-90 at the bridge for hi gain use.

    I’ve had Gibson, Lollar, Fralin and Kinman P-90’s and they all sound great to my ears.

    My SG Classics have the stock P-90 at the neck and a Kinman Nasty 90 Heavy at the bridge.

    Have an LP Junior DC with a Fralin Hum Cancelling P-90.

    Just received a custom built SG with a regular Fralin P-90 at the neck and Fralin Hum Cancelling P-90 at the bridge.
     
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2021 at 7:21 AM
  7. Dangerhouse77

    Dangerhouse77 Member

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    Like others said, 500k pots. I have a 2019 SG Jr that I put a Wolfetone Meaner P90 in. Does everything from clean to AC/DC to old punk which is what I mostly play.
     
  8. papagayo

    papagayo Well-Known Member

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  9. Huntroll

    Huntroll Active Member

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    Since the strings vibration is greater towards the center of the strings length, the neck pickup doesn't need to be as hot as the bridge pickup is to be balanced when they're combined.
    If they're both really great pickups but seriously unequal in level, you can use a 300k volume pot on the hot one and a 500k on the weaker one.
    In effect loading the hotter one with an extra 200k ohms of resistance to ground all the time.
    Then there's each pickups magnetic polarity to consider.
    If they're different magnetically, it might end up sounding like that hollow strat sound when they're combined. You might want that.
    You might have two killer pickups that in no way combine well.
    You could just wire it so there's no "both" mode.
    Just one or the other, totally radical !

    btw, typically VOLUME pots are "audio taper", (AT) and TONE pots are linear, (LIN) taper.

    I would get a variety and mess around with them until you hit that magic combo !
     
  10. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Makes complete sense.

    Never understood why they use the same P-90 and same pots in both positions on the mass produced guitars other than to keep production cost and assembly errors to a minimum.
     
  11. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    All good info, but you forgot the easiest, fastest, cheapest and most efficient way to make those P90 sound good and be balanced. Using a screwdriver to adjust their height. To me a neck P90 almost always gets buried in the body, that is where its magic lies.

    P90 height - 7mm X 4mm.jpg
     
  12. Si Moorehead

    Si Moorehead New Member

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    I am with most of the others here in that the stock gibson p90 is the one for what you describe. The only other p90 I have (lp special) is the Wolfetone, Meaner 90. It is a little hotter than the stock gibson, but is still in that same family as far as tone abd feel. It handles overdrive really really well, and works great with stock neck.
    I went down the noiseless rabbit hole, and if noiseless is must then the mojotone is as close as I have found to a gibson p90 without hum.
     
  13. flatrockmobile

    flatrockmobile Well-Known Member

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    Another thing to think about
    Most, if not all, rock from the late 60s/early 70s that used P90s was done with stock guitars and stock pickups. There were no other brands available, no internet, very little wiring and mod information, possibly only a handful of custom pickup winders that only a select few knew about.
    Gibson would put whatever magnets were available in their pickups, sometimes a mix. Some had A2s, some A5s. Some, not all, guitars Gibson made had an almost magical sound and nobody knew or cared exactly what mags or wind the pickups had, or what pots were used. They were just better.
    Also, this was an era that had no master volume amps (usually 50-100 watts) and the only pedals were basically fuzz and wah.
    To get distortion, we would crank the amps and control everything with the volume on the guitar. If you found a guitar that could drive an amp hard at lower volume, you had the pickups made from the magic magnetic dust that everyone is trying to find or replicate.
     
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  14. flatrockmobile

    flatrockmobile Well-Known Member

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    I just thought about something.
    Most of us who played during the late 60s/early 70s are now in our late 60s/early 70s!
     
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