Are P90s "honky" or am I crazy?

afire

Friend of Fred
Feb 12, 2009
5,723
Where the action is!
The match between an Epi Casino and P-90s is perfect. They compliment one another.
I don't know why this is, but that's what I've found too. My first attempt was a Historic '60 LP Special. Nope. Tried again with a SG Jr. Still nope. For the last year or so I've been using a borrowed MIC Casino, and for the first time I'm getting along well with P-90s.
 

BohemianLikeMe

Synchromatic
Apr 18, 2020
776
Prague, CZ
For a long time I used a Curtis Novak p90 Jazzmaster pickup in my MIJ 66RI and it was absolutely killer. People couldn’t tell it wasn’t a vintage Jazzmaster pickup actually. But then I swapped those Novaks out for Teisco gold foils which are super nasally but are just as awesome- perfect for garage rock.
 

dmunson

Gretschie
Dec 19, 2015
466
Charlotte, NC
Apparently it depends on the model and the year. I have a 2011 Trad that sounds crystal clear. But, the windings were much lighter then compared to today. My neck unit is 7.2K and the bridge unit measures 8.3K. I recently saw a post that said that current P90's are wound to 9K, which is getting into humbucker range, and is going to sound much darker than the ealier pickups.
 

wildeman

I Bleed Orange
May 10, 2015
16,203
norcal
Suddenly,I feel like taking all my guitars àpart for some unit measuring....
 
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bendercaster

Electromatic
Sep 3, 2022
20
Sacramento, CA
I guess honky is a good way to describe P90s in hollow or semi hollow bodies--both my Casinos had that sound. But my solid bodies that have P90s don't sound like that--they have a nice growl at full volume, but with the volume rolled back a little they sound bright and jangly.
 

Falconetti

Gretschie
Sep 18, 2012
470
Bagsville, Oxford UK
Anybody had any experience with Bare Knuckle HSP 90s ? I am thinking of trying a set of their Nantucket version pick ups for a Gibson Midtown mod project. Anyone know how they score on the Honk-o-Meter ?
 

Shadowy_Man

Synchromatic
May 18, 2020
606
Chicago
I guess honky is a good way to describe P90s in hollow or semi hollow bodies--both my Casinos had that sound. But my solid bodies that have P90s don't sound like that--they have a nice growl at full volume, but with the volume rolled back a little they sound bright and jangly.

I think Casinos have hotter P90s, plus they have the metal covers.


Someone was reporting a measurement of 12kohm and 8H inductance. Normally P90s are more like 8-9kohms and 6.xH inductance. That would make a big tonal difference.
 

gretsch-to-go

Gretschie
Oct 2, 2019
212
Palm Coast, FL
P90's on the guitar I have is a Epiphone LP Special I P90. They are a heavier & more powerful tone than the Telecaster pckups becasue they have more wire windings. To me they have the noise of single coils (vs Humbuckers). With the middle position there is humbucking noise quality. The Epiphone P90's can be pleasant or growly, they can approach what humbuckers do. That's what I prefer about them & the general P90's raves for review. The Telecasters I have are close enough to P90's, but the P90's can do a little more without having to work harder to EQ the guitar, pedals & amp with Gain. Some folks are Strat/Tele single coils, others P90's & still others Humbuckers. I can't imagine what George Thorogood would've sounded like playing a Strat vs the Gibson ES125 or any of his current Epiphone White Fang's (only because Gibson doesn't make a ES125 any more.) ?
 

tifftunes

Electromatic
Jan 12, 2019
14
Newbury Park, CA
I have an ES330 with metal covered dog ears, and it'll twang, chime and "jazz" with the best of 'em! The Beatles (as mentioned) made great use of their Casinos with the same P-90s that my 330 has. From chime to heavy dirt, sometimes in the same song.

I also have a rather new ES335 with P-90s (plastic "soap bar" covers). It presents more treble, a bit thinner mid-range, and less low end than the 330. It too will twang and chime with the best!

Neither one exhibit any honk. Neither will sound like a Tele, or Filtertron, however. As mentioned, close to Dynas. I love those guitars/pick-ups as well.

Those of you who hear a P-90 honking, probably play with them too close to the strings, and vol pots wide open (and as also mentioned, higher winding/output). You are missing out on a very versatile pick-up! Deck those puppies! Roll the volume down a bit. You'll find a close relative to the Teles, Dynasonics and Filters!
 


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