Anyone try a P-90 in the 594 neck position???

Discussion in 'Electric Instruments' started by RaySachs, May 15, 2018.

  1. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    Just thinking out loud here. Have a 594 - really love it. Have a strat - really love it. But recently discovered the joys of the P90. May end up with a third cheap-ish electric just with P90s. Tried a soapbar II and liked it but having a third electric was too confusing when it came time to pick one up. Seemed like a binary choice works better for my addled brain. Currently trying out an Ibanez hollow-body with dogear P90s and like it a lot, but having the same issues I had with the soapbar II. Don't really think I want three electrics.

    But then the Chris Robertson caught my eye. And I'm not gonna get rid of either the 594 or strat to add a hybrid like that. But then it occurred to me to maybe try something similar with the 594. Both Seymour Duncan and Vintage Vibe make P90s that drop into a humbucker rout - I'm sure there are others. Both are reviewed really positively. Vintage Vibe seems to have a magnet combination with a really vintage feel, which would be my preference.

    Anyone ever tried this? Would I need to swap any other hardware - pots or anything? I know the push/pull on the tone knob wouldn't do anything, but would it hurt anything to leave it there for a possible future re-conversion back to the humbucker? I don't know that much about pickups, output levels and whatnot, and don't know how a P90 would work with the rear humbucker in the middle position.

    Just curious about giving this a try. Might be a way to feed my P90 jones without screwing up my personal chemistry by adding a whole other guitar into the mix...

    -Ray
     
  2. ViperDoc

    ViperDoc New Member

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    Lollar and, I believe Fralin, both make humbucker-sized P90s. Just swap in the HBP90 and see what you think, no mods required. The only thing that won't have any function is your tone tap.
     
  3. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    Cool - thanks! No worries about volume imbalances between the two pickups keeping the standard pots?
     
  4. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I had a set of Kinman Noiselss HB sized P-90s in a SC 594 for about a year. It was a blast. Raunchy as all get out.
     
  5. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    Cool, good to know. I don't want to go through the hassle or make the commitment of trying to sell my 594 and then buy an all-soapbar version, but the idea of being able to run one P90 or maybe convert the guitar knowing I can convert it back later has some appeal. It's at least something to consider against owning a third guitar just for the P90s.

    -Ray
     
  6. bodia

    bodia Authorities said.....best leave it.....unsolved

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    I left everything alone in cavity. When I decided to try something different, my guy put in 57/08s and I'm back to splits. Nothing wrong with the P-90, just time to try something different.
     
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  7. eclecticsynergy

    eclecticsynergy PRS user since '87

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    I love P90 neck tone, though I never put one in any of my PRSs. For a humbucker-sized P90, the Harmonic Design Z90 is super. But it isn't available with a metal cover if that matters to you.

    You might also consider a Starla neck pickup- sweet neck tone, and you'd still have coil split capability. Not quite as in-your-face as a P90, still more singlecoily than regular humbuckers.

    VintageVibe sells a humbucker made from two Strat-sized P90 coils. It's a beast in series, sounds huge in parallel, and the split tone is pure P90. Again, no option for a standard cover but they look wicked. Available wound in two different gauges of wire, with either A5 or ceramic mags. I have a number of Pete Biltoft's pickups. He rocks.

    http://vintagevibeguitars.com/windows/hum_hspWin.html
     
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  8. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    Bare Knuckles - Mississippi Queen
     
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  9. django49

    django49 New Member

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    Having had that pickup combination in a couple guitars, not least a Huber Krautster II, I can vouch for it being a great setup. If you have a fairly hot HB pickup in the bridge, splitting it can get you into a really nice "Tele" range for added versatility.
     
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  10. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    Since I’ve got a 594 Soapbar, that obviously has a P-90 in the neck position (as well as in the bridge position), I can vouch for the fact that it’d be an excellent combination, provided you have a good P-90 to install.

    Personally, I’d miss the humbucker neck pickup, which is one reason why I sport two 594s, one with Soapbars, one with humbuckers.

    If you can find one of the 594 Soapbars on the market, it might be a good idea to snap it up.
     
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  11. elvis

    elvis Hamfisted String Banger

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    You might try a Duncan P-rail
     
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  12. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    Thanks for the recommendation on the Harmonic Design Z90 - wasn't familiar with that one. I'll check it out.

    Vintage Vibe also has a P-90 that drops into a humbucker slot, which comes with two sets of magnets you get to pick. Ranging from very low output vintage to very hot modern. I think they offer four sets, of which you can pick any two. I'm more interested in vintage - I don't have enough P90 experience to KNOW that's what I like, but it's what I like in every single coil or humbucker guitar I've played, so I suspect I would in P90s too. It would for sure be at least ONE of the two options I'd go for.

    hum90puWin.html

    -Ray
     
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  13. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    I'm not in a position to own two 594s - if I was gonna get a Soapbar version I'd have to sell my current humbucker guitar first, and I'm not nearly sure or committed enough to do that. A big part of this thought process is to avoid having a third electric guitar. Retrofitting the 594 but knowing I could switch it back (or just trying a P-90 in the neck position) is a much more appealing option to me than going all in with a soapbox model. If I can get past that mental block and learn to let a third electric be another option instead of a distraction, there are a number of lower priced P90 based instruments I'd happily go with.

    I've played a PRS Soapbar II and liked it a lot. I'm currently checking out an Ibanez hollow body with P-90s - it's basically a Casino copy that they made for a couple of years not long ago but evidently didn't sell many of. I picked up a used one from Guitar Center that's in great shape and, like most Ibanez Artcore and Artstar models I've played, punches overwhelmingly above it's weight in fit and finish, playability, and sound. From a few days of playing it I'd say it plays notably better than the Soapbar II I tried and sounds equally good, but different - the hollow body gives it a real different character, in addition to whatever the specific pickups impart to the sound. I'm also gonna check out a Modern Player thinline tele, which is a P-90 based guitar. If I decide to go with a third guitar, ti'll probably be one of those.

    -Ray
     
    #13 RaySachs, May 16, 2018
    Last edited: May 16, 2018
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  14. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    I've looked at those and I find the IDEA of them really intriguing. But I've read a lot of reviews of them and while most folks think the P-90 portion of that pickup is pretty good (and the humbucker in parallel - an option I've never really gotten much use from on other guitars), the humbucker in series configuration is evidently REALLY hot and the single coil blade isn't much by itself. So I'd be getting that 95% to just use as a P-90, in which case I should probably just get the best suited drop-in P-90 instead of a multi-purpose pickup that I'd likely not use the other options with. Still a thought, but it doesn't seem to be winning the day.
     
  15. LSchefman

    LSchefman Hears Tones

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    I’m all about giving unsolicited, unreasonable advice! ;)

    Two PRSes, one with humbuckers, one with P-90s, is the tastiest of combinations, but I’ve never been a Fender player (I mean, I’ve owned Strats and Teles, just never bonded with ‘em). So what do I know?
     
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  16. Jimi D

    Jimi D New Member

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    I ran P-Rails in an ESP Eclipse II for about 8 months when they were first introduced... The Eclipse was my second/backup/drop-d gigging guitar at the time (my 25th Anniversary Custom 24 was my number one), and I really liked the guitar - the neck, the wood, the playability and fit and finish were great. The EMGs had to go though, so I tried P-Rails first and pretty much regretted it right from the start... The P-90 setting was "okay", and I could work with the two coils in parallel, but no set up sounded really great to my ears and it was a very frustrating experience. Anyway, it cost me a lot of blood and treasure to get those damned pickups in there, so I really tried to give them a go, but I finally tore them out and replaced them with a Dimarzio 36th Anniversary PAF in the bridge and a Gibson P-94 (humbucker-sized P-90) in the neck. I loved that combo, and it stayed in the guitar until I finally let it get displaced by my growing collection of PRS guitars... Still, I thought the P-90 / PAF humbucker combo was really great and I loved playing it, and I imagine putting a good humbucker-sized P-90 in the neck of the 594 would be equally satisfying.
     
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  17. drdoom8793

    drdoom8793 THAT guy at Chick-fil-A

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    Don't forget the Seymour Duncan Phat Cat! I used to swear by a 72 Tele Deluxe with a Alnico 2 Pro in the Bridge and a Phat Cat in the Neck. Awesome tones!
     
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  18. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    Very reasonable and fully solicited advice! Just not that I can put to good use. Believe me, if I had the space, discretionary $$$, and the mental makeup to deal with many guitars as great variety rather than choice-induced mental paralysis, I'd be all over having two 594s and probably multiple other PRS's, Fenders, Ibanezes (which seem to be my stand-in for Gibsons and Epis because I get along with Ibanez necks a LOT better), and god-knows what else. I'd love to have walls full of guitars - I love 'em that much as objects of art that you can also pick up and play. But I don't have the space, $$$, or mental makeup for any of that to work, and I'm honestly not nearly a versatile enough player to need that many subtle shades. Adding P-90s is feeling pretty essential - it's a sound I overwhelmingly bond with. And no way in hell I'm getting rid of either of the guitars I have and love already. So a third (but cheap and funky) guitar or splitting up the pickups on the 594 seems like the ticket...

    -Ray
     
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  19. RaySachs

    RaySachs New Member

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    There seem to be a fair number of well regarded humbucker shaped/sized P-90s that I could drop into that neck slot on the 594, the Phat Cats among 'em. So if I decide to go that route, I'll just have to read up and listen to what I can of a handful of them and then take a leap of faith and buy one...
     
  20. AP515

    AP515 Mostly Normal

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    Just remember you are going to lose the split setting on the neck. It will wire in fine but the push pull will be empty.
     

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