When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby Porge on Tue Jul 13, 2010 1:21 am

My copy of the GP repair guide is lost in the move, but I remember Dan Erlewine referring to a change from AlNiCo V to AlNiCo II ... or vice-versa in about '68 - maybe this is part of the so-called slide?

Personally, I loved the factory clear-bobbin'd P90s in my '74 "1955" Reissue LP Special. And I love the P90's in my 1967 SG Special. Find the '67 pickups have more of jsut about everything, but this is based upon memory.
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby Bigsbyman on Fri Dec 21, 2012 8:24 pm

I have a '56 and '58 Junior, both dead stock with single dog-ear P90's. Both are fairly dark sounding guitars with lots of sonic girth. My '64 Epi Coronet has a single dog-ear P90 with metal cover. It's got a much thinner sound, a bit more useful IMO. My '65 Firebird has 3 soap bar P90's, and is probably the best sounding P90 guitar of the bunch (at least the bridge PU is). Recently I sold an early 70's LP Special that had the original P90's. That was a very good sounding guitar, it lacked nothing. It didn't have the sonic girth of the Jrs, and it was a little thicker sounding than my Epi or Firebird. In reality, the thickness of the body translates very directly to the thickness of the tone of those guitars.

Although I owned the Special for about 10 years, I probably didn't fully appreciate how good it sounded until the past few years. It had been poorly refinished several times and had other minor mods done to it (tuners, Bigsby, polarity switch, strap locks). I traded it and a very poorly relic'd (by the original owner) Sherwood Green 62 RI Strat for a string of pearls for my wife and a Matchless 2x12 cab for me. Only traded it because I had so many other P90 options.

Getting back to your question, I think my Special was made in '74, and I thought that was a good sounding guitar. All my P90's from the 50's and 60's sound great. I briefly had a 1990's Gibson ES295, a guitar I lusted for many years. Plugged in, it sounded like poop; unplugged it also sounded like poop. Couldn't sell it fast enough, and I still wonder if it isn't a Chinese copy/fake Gibson (it sounded that bad). It had the same serial number as this guitar, but I could never confirm if it was this guitar: http://www.sheltonsguitars.com/2009/12-9-09/gibson-es-295-12-9-09.html
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby Bigsbyman on Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:06 pm

I've been thinking about my comments about my 70's LP Special. I wrongly stated that those P90's lacked nothing. In retrospect, it took me a while to warm up to their sound. After acquiring 50's and 60's P90-loaded guitars, I had something to compare/reference the 70's guitar to. True, it had a good sound, but it wasn't as instantly pleasing or harmonically complex as my older P90-equipped guitars.

I still think it's fair to say that the thickness of the mahogany body has a lot to do with how P90's sound. Forgive me if that's stupidly obvious.... :shhh:
'64 JMI Vox AC30 with original alnico blues, '72 JMP 50-watt w/4x12 Greenbacks, '76 Lead & Bass combo (tan 25-watt Celestions), '76 Superlead with TV 4x12 (greenbacks), '78 2204 with Marshall 2x12 cab (Greenbacks), '78 Hylight DR504/SA4123, '79 Fawn 2204 50-watt w/matching Fawn 4x12 (tan 25-watt Celestions), 1970's Marshall 1982AP cabinet (black back 30-watt Celestions), Matchless D/C-30, Traynor, Garnet, Leslie, Bacino, Gibson, Fender, Gretsch, Rickenbacker, Trussart, Dano, Dobro

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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby jcs on Sat Jan 05, 2013 7:15 pm

Well, lets face it some guitars sound different than others in terms of the wood, so you can't expect say a great P-90 out of a 56 Jr. to sound stellar in something else.

In the case of my 65 SG Special the neck pu was the only original P-90 and it measures at 8.7k with the shorter magnets.

I found this original neck P-90 pickup in my guitar to be too dark and bassy to accomplish cleaner brighter chords on the neck pickup, especially thru smaller amps which could not handle the bass output!

I am going to try this pickup in the bridge position where a PAF clone resides at the moment (guitar was pro routed for a humbucker when i bought it).
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby spangled99 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 11:04 am

I have a 67 Coronet that was routed for a humbucker. It now has a P90 from a 50's ES175 under a plastic cover, which just covers the hole. Compared to an otherwise identical late 60's Coronet with the stock P90, it sounds much better.

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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby Gooch on Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:10 pm

That's a great looking Coronet. I love that "Silver Fox" finish, is it original? I have a '62 that I'm considering redoing to Silver Fox, since it's already refinned. Is your neck a 1-9/16" or 1-11/16" nut?
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby spangled99 on Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:34 pm

1 9/16 and skinny, although mysteriously still comfy for me, and in general I prefer bigger necks...

Yes its original. think it would be hard to duplicate, as it is "limed", ie the grain is filled in with yellow before the green goes on - a bit like some LP Jr finishes. Also, it's up the back of the neck and rear of the headstock as well...

I've since located the correct barrel knobs, off an old Olympic. Very often these have Gibson type knobs, which dealers will try and tell you are original.

The replacement nickel Kluson tuners-on-a-strip are not correct, because they would originally have had white plastic knobs, but I prefer the nickel ones. The bridge I think is a Badass, and is definitely an improvement!

Yours I'm guessing has the three a side headstock?
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby Gooch on Thu Mar 28, 2013 12:38 am

Yes, my Coronet has the 3+3 headstock and symmetrical body. Mine needs some more accurate knobs also. I'm hoping to grab some off one of the new reissues, they're actually fairly close.
The finish wouldn't be terribly hard to do, hardest part probably is matching the green hue. I'm not real concerned about an exact match, I just think the finish is cool as hell. I believe Gibson originally used a siver-tinted grain filler (hence the Silver Fox name). They all look yellowish now due to the aging of the clear coat.
I agree with you about the nickel tuner buttons, I've got the same thing on mine. Still have the original "stairstep" bridge though. I'm thinking of throwing on a nickel P90 cover, those look pretty badass.
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby spangled99 on Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:25 am

i'd like to find a decent hard case - apparently a new epi sg case will fit. I have a "correct" non-original case, but its fibreboard with no protection at all.
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby Gooch on Fri Mar 29, 2013 7:02 pm

Mine lives in a late '70s Gibson SG "Protector" or "Chainsaw" case. It fits fine in there.
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Re: When Did P90s Go Into Decline?

Postby Stinkfoot on Fri Apr 05, 2013 6:31 pm

I now have three SGs with P90s. Someday I will get round to a critical appraisal of them, however, some porn.

1963 near mint LP junior.

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1969 SG Special.

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And the latest acquisition. 1971 SG pro.

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