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  1. #41
    Les Paul Forum Member tooold's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Here's one I pulled off an ebay auction for a '58 TV Special:



    I'll take some photos of a couple of mine, after we finish moving. Having to pick up every single thing you own and put them all into boxes really makes you think about living in a monastery...

  2. #42
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    I have some 50's and 60's soap bar P90 pickups without covers. Are there any currently made covers that will fit these vintage pickups? The Allparts I tried don't fit.

  3. #43
    Les Paul Forum Member riscado's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    since there is a lot of knowledgeable people in this post, as far as p90's are concerned, and since p90's are my overall favorite pickup, I'm wondering if anyone can help me in the right direction as far as replacment pickups that are good at reproducing the early 50's p90's (50-53)... I know repros are not the real thing, and I may buy original pickups down the road, or maybe an hollow 50's gibson, but if you could point me in the right directions I'd truely appreciate it.

    Thanks

  4. #44
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    Honestly there is quite a difference. You can't get the sound you get from the pickups in 50's Juniors and Specials out of 60's P-90's. I've tried putting 60's P-90's in before. There is also something very different sounding about the early 50's P-90's, as well. Much more chimey and blackguard Esquire like in a Gibson kind of way. I don't know what difference there is in construction but I've had enough to know that it's a very different sound. Maybe someone like Rick can chime in and explain the difference in magnets and windings. I don't pretend to know why the different type of winding wire Gibson changed to makes a difference but I do know it is so. All I can tell you is a 60's P-90 won't sound much at all like a 50's if you swap them out.
    Here's an old thread that discusses the effects of windings and magnet strenghth on vintage P90 tone. The OP quotes Gregg Levy who's certainly had his hands on alot of vintage Jr.'s. I spoke to Levy a few months ago and he told me essentially the same thing thats mentioned here:

    http://lespaulforum.com/forum/showthread.php?t=36387

  5. #45
    Les Paul Forum Member Red Baron's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    There is also something very different sounding about the early 50's P-90's, as well. Much more chimey and blackguard Esquire like in a Gibson kind of way.
    I've found exactly the same although I've only ever owned 2 P90 guitars, a 55 goldtop and a 68 goldtop. Both guitars are original and identical in weight. My 68 has 1 x black bobbin and 1 x clear bobbin, yet the 68's pickups are much more rawcus and less chimey than those in the 55. The 55's also seem to have more "hair". So from my limited experience, the 55 P90's sound nicer than those in the 68.

    I still love the 68 though

  6. #46

    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Thats kind of describing the sound of the clear bobbin one in my '66 Junior - the saturated distortion tone it achieves is huge and buzz-saw like but it's not too versatile. I thought that the clear-bobbins were a '70's feature, I never realised they appeared as early as 1968?
    ................................
    When you have the same guitar (or pedal, pickup, or amp) that your favorite player uses to play that music and make those sounds, you know that piece of equipment isn't part of the "problem", and you can either move on to blaming the next piece of gear or get down to playing and seeing if you can really do it.


    ...............


    ...............

  7. #47
    Les Paul Forum Member j45's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Thanks for the link. The 1957 Junior experiences in that thread sound like what I experienced as well. There was a period a few years ago in which a well known boutique amp bulder and I went through 17 or 18 Juniors, 1955 to 1958, between the two of us. We never had a '54 and only one single cut 1959. During many A/B tests we agreed the 57's were consistently our favorite year. Was there another P-90 change that took place in 1957 or is this just another coincidence? Vintage P-90's would be a great subject to do some research on and get some definitive specs. I've had enough of each era, early 50's, mid-late 50's, early 60's, and mid to late 60's to know there are several distinctly different sounding variations of the P-90. Does anyone know what magnet and winding changes occured and when? Does the winding material also change during the same periods that the PAF, various PAT sticker and T-Top versions change in? I would love to see some information put together detailing the transformation of the P-90 from late 40's to the late 60's. Even though we call them the same name I think an early 50's and mid 60's P-90 have such a different sound they might as well be a totally different pickup.

  8. #48
    Les Paul Forum Member MapleFlame's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by j45 View Post
    Thanks for the link. The 1957 Junior experiences in that thread sound like what I experienced as well. There was a period a few years ago in which a well known boutique amp bulder and I went through 17 or 18 Juniors, 1955 to 1958, between the two of us. We never had a '54 and only one single cut 1959. During many A/B tests we agreed the 57's were consistently our favorite year. Was there another P-90 change that took place in 1957 or is this just another coincidence? Vintage P-90's would be a great subject to do some research on and get some definitive specs. I've had enough of each era, early 50's, mid-late 50's, early 60's, and mid to late 60's to know there are several distinctly different sounding variations of the P-90. Does anyone know what magnet and winding changes occured and when? Does the winding material also change during the same periods that the PAF, various PAT sticker and T-Top versions change in? I would love to see some information put together detailing the transformation of the P-90 from late 40's to the late 60's. Even though we call them the same name I think an early 50's and mid 60's P-90 have such a different sound they might as well be a totally different pickup.
    The batches of materials change. Wire, magnets, bottom plates. All the parts to make a pickup were bought in big quantities and when they ran out they bought more. At any time there could have been better quality magnets, wire etc... Also maybe a different person winding and completing the pickups with the above made a huge difference.
    I agree, all the 56 and 57 guitars I have and pickups from those two years do sound the best. I do like the 59 P90's too, very High output.
    Top carves are sexy

  9. #49
    Les Paul Forum Member harveyP's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by Robal View Post
    I have some 50's and 60's soap bar P90 pickups without covers. Are there any currently made covers that will fit these vintage pickups? The Allparts I tried don't fit.
    I bought a pair of cream covers from Fatboy Guitars recently... very good colour and shape.

  10. #50
    Les Paul Forum Member AtomEve's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by tooold View Post
    The P-90's on my '50 ES-300 sound different from late 50's P-90's on several other guitars. Really chimey, I'm liking them a lot.
    Hve any pics of your ES-300? The P-90s in mine are beautful, blooming, bursting, rich, melodic, full, warm, chimey...... etc....

    1951 ES-300


  11. #51
    Les Paul Forum Member tooold's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by AtomEve View Post
    Hve any pics of your ES-300? The P-90s in mine are beautful, blooming, bursting, rich, melodic, full, warm, chimey...... etc....

    1951 ES-300

    Twist my arm...







    Spectacular guitar... very responsive, perfect neck, heavenly tone. The Gretsch bar bridge came on it - I think it really adds to the sound. Let's see some more!

  12. #52
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by harveyP View Post
    I bought a pair of cream covers from Fatboy Guitars recently... very good colour and shape.
    Did these covers fit 1950s - 1960s vintage P90 soapbar pickups? I don't see these P90 covers on Fat Boys website, was this a special order? Do you mind saying how much they cost? Thanks!

  13. #53
    Les Paul Forum Member BostonRocker51's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by riscado View Post
    ... I'm wondering if anyone can help me in the right direction as far as replacement pickups that are good at reproducing the early 50's p90's (50-53)... I know repros are not the real thing, and I may buy original pickups down the road, or maybe an hollow 50's gibson, but if you could point me in the right directions I'd truly appreciate it.
    Thanks
    Well, I've only had one 1950 P90 and it had to be re-wound at Fralin's shop. Tom Brantley did the re-wind. I never installed it, but Mr. Brantley said it sounds a bit brighter than the later P90's, more like a Fender pickup. He really knows his stuff and I would not hesitate to ask him to custom wind a vintage style pup.

    I put a 1958 P90 dogear in my 1990 LP Jr and it sounds exactly like the 1960 LP Jr I had, but I did use the pots and cap from the 1950 Gibson (I forget what guitar it came from).

    Honestly I would dig deep and cough up the money for a real vintage P90 over the reissues, but aside than asking Brantley for a P90, I've hear the Duncan Antiquity pups are good.

    Other than that I have no suggestions. I put a 1960 P90 soapbar on a 1996 LP Special by the bridge and it sounded too much like the 1996 neck pup in my opinion, especially since it cost me about $600 just for the vintage pickup. So, maybe a recent Gibson P90 is a worthwhile option. Best wishes.

  14. #54
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Klein can get them)new production) close, he used my 57 special to dial them in. They(my 57 special) are 8.3 Neck and 8.99 bridge (they rock)

    DonR

  15. #55

    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Can anyone help me identify the age of my p90 pickups?
    Attached Images Attached Images

  16. #56

    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by cruyff View Post
    Can anyone help me identify the age of my p90 pickups?
    .Help any advice?

  17. #57
    Les Paul Forum Member tooold's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    About all I can tell you is they're not old. And maybe not Gibson.

  18. #58
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Here's a few pics of the rough cast magnets in my pair of P-90s from 1952:

    52swap5_zpswdetkaqy.jpg52swap6_zpsp4ia87ua.jpgbwwvyhnxzio2bf5nurda.jpgfullsizerender-1.jpgimage1.jpg

    They currently reside in my 2001 Pete Townshend SG. The neck reads 8.25k Ohms, and the bridge 8.93k Ohms. Had to mount them on new dogear plates and reshape some black plastic covers to get it just right on the SG, but they live happily on there now:

    https://thegenerationofmusic.files.w...3201135721.jpg

  19. #59
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Thought I'd bring back this thread as I've just bought a pair of '52s and want to know whether the magnets are A2 or A3.

  20. #60
    Les Paul Forum Member Hamerfan's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    The oldest mags in P90 are very special and different from the later PAF like mags. They are thicker 3/16 inch and cast as one 5 inch piece. They were cut into two pieches with a grinder. They are very weak and definitly A3.

    image.jpg

    image.jpg

  21. #61
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Quote Originally Posted by Hamerfan View Post
    The oldest mags in P90 are very special and different from the later PAF like mags. They are thicker 3/16 inch and cast as one 5 inch piece. They were cut into two pieches with a grinder. They are very weak and definitly A3.

    image.jpg

    image.jpg

    Thanks for this info Hamer........good pics

  22. #62
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Just now checked the length of the magnets in my '13 R6 pups and they're both 2 1/4" pretty much........it'll be interesting to compare to the '52s when they arrive(as per Hamerfan's pics above).

  23. #63
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Vintage P90 Identification

    Got the '52s and they're 2.5" each.
    Measured at 8.33 neck and 10.01 bridge on a warm day here in Auckland.

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