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  1. #1

    Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    I just read a statement written by a guy on The Gear Page about Gibson P90s. He said the ones in custom shop Historics are different the ones used in the USA line. Any truth to this, or another myth to be exposed?

  2. #2
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    From my understanding they're the same pups.
    If he hasn't qualified his statement with any facts............??

  3. #3

    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by goldtop0 View Post
    From my understanding they're the same pups.
    If he hasn't qualified his statement with any facts............??
    Didn't see any facts in his post I was just wondering if anybody else has heard this.

  4. #4
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Best bet is to send an e-mail to Gibson.

  5. #5
    Les Paul Forum Member Ace139's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    I hope with extra $$$ the Custom Shop Guitars cost they would have some extra MOJO.

    Example - The Rís have different vs the USA Les Pauls.
    Some people call me old fashion - but fire scares me

  6. #6

    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    I would say Historic P-90's are standard Gibson A5 P-90's unless the specs say otherwise.

    e.g., Memphis had 2 specs for ES 330's in successive years; underwound A2 P-90's and MHS spec P-90's (possibly A3) after that.

    I have a Custom Shop Firebird with standard Gibson P-90's.

    IME, modern Gibson P-90's are as good a pickup as Gibson makes. I have 3 guitars with the standards and a 330 with underwound A2.

  7. #7
    Les Paul Forum Member herb's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    In my opinion you can't go wrong with Gibson P-90s. Don't know if they're all the same but I have 3 P-90 equipped CS Gibson electrics, the oldest being 20 years old and the newest 10, and I've kept all the pups stock. I remember that my ES-330 was advertised as having "underwound" P90s.

    Out of curiosity I just looked at Wildwood's description of P-90 electrics. The CS were listed as "CS P-90s", some "P-90 w/Alnico III mags". The standard non CS models were listed as having "P-90's".

    Who knows?

  8. #8
    Les Paul Forum Member pqs's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Gibson lists P-90s in theirs USA spec page, while they list Custom P-90 on their Custom shops. I havenít noticed a huge difference though when I ABd my 2017 Custom Shop Special agains a USA Original Collection Special.

  9. #9

    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    One of my CS Firebirds came with unpotted versions of their firebird mini humbuckers, so it seems like the custom shop might not just be chucking in off the shelf Gibson pickups
    My Gibsons: 2020 '57 LP Custom Historic, 2018 '59 LP Historic, 2018 '58 LP Jr Historic, 2018 LP/SG Historic, 2016 Johnny A, 2015 '64 Firebird III Historic, 2015 '67 Flying V Historic, 2011 '59 ES-335 Wrap-Tail Historic, 2011 '60 LP Special Historic
    Quote Originally Posted by 82 Silverburst View Post
    What I see on this forum more and more is akin to little girls playing dress up with their dolls, getting them ready for some tea party.

  10. #10

    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by pqs View Post
    Gibson lists P-90s in theirs USA spec page, while they list Custom P-90 on their Custom shops. I havenít noticed a huge difference though when I ABd my 2017 Custom Shop Special agains a USA Original Collection Special.
    I noticed that on the spec for my 2019 R4!

  11. #11
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    If you guys that own both USA and CS guitars have a look at the build of the P90s and see if there are any differences?

  12. #12
    Les Paul Forum Member Texas Blues's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    My R4 sounds fantesticle as is.

    I have some V's and another LP with Lollars.

    And a USA Jr. bone stock.

    They all rock.

    I can't say one is better than the other.

    They all rock harder than chinese arithmetic.

  13. #13
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Not liking the neck pickup on my '19 R6 (bridge is ok). I've dinked around with shimming & polepiece orientation, all to no avail. I ordered a set of ThroBak SB-Specials. I'll let you know what the stock pups look like when I remove them. My guess is that they're just the standard fare Gibby P90s with tarnished polepieces. I've been on the opposite end regarding the Gibson P90. I've tried quite a few in recent years, and have yet to find them all that inspiring.
    Last edited by Dave71; 04-14-20 at 06:25 PM.

  14. #14
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave71 View Post
    Can't stand the neck pickup on my '19 R6 (bridge is ok). I've dinked around with shimming & polepiece orientation, all to no avail. I ordered a set of ThroBak SB-Specials. I'll let you know what the stock pups look like when I remove them. My guess is that they're just the standard fare Gibby P90s with tarnished polepieces. I've been on the opposite end regarding the Gibson P90. I've tried quite a few in recent years, and have yet to find them all that inspiring.
    You may have just needed to swap out the magnets. P-90's use 2 magnets in each pickup, humbuckings use just one. I would try a pair of A-4's. I have a 2017 CS Jr. and the P-90 didn't sound that bad, but the vintage 50's one I swapped in sounds amazing..

  15. #15
    Les Paul Forum Member goldtop0's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave71 View Post
    Can't stand the neck pickup on my '19 R6 (bridge is ok). I've dinked around with shimming & polepiece orientation, all to no avail. I ordered a set of ThroBak SB-Specials. I'll let you know what the stock pups look like when I remove them. My guess is that they're just the standard fare Gibby P90s with tarnished polepieces. I've been on the opposite end regarding the Gibson P90. I've tried quite a few in recent years, and have yet to find them all that inspiring.

    My experience with P90s is limited.........have a '13 R6 and many years ago(1970-72) had a '69 SG Special which I sold.
    As I recall the SGs P90s were very good, and the neck pup in my R6 is to die for(a very pleasant surprise) but the bridge lacked power/volume and spank by comparison. That neck is crisp and clear and loud compared to any neck humbucker(vintage and historics) that I've played over the decades, which had/have a darker tone.
    Now I have a pair of '52 P90s in the R6 which solved the bridge pup problem, with a smooth transition through neck/middle/bridge positions and a real 'tele on steriods' sound when solely on the bridge, with the neck the same as the '13 neck sound/tone.
    The wiring/lead setup on the back of the old pups runs parallel to the pup itself whereas on the newer '13 ones it is at a right angle down the side of the pups.

  16. #16
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    You may have just needed to swap out the magnets. P-90's use 2 magnets in each pickup, humbuckings use just one. I would try a pair of A-4's. I have a 2017 CS Jr. and the P-90 didn't sound that bad, but the vintage 50's one I swapped in sounds amazing..
    I had contemplated swapping in some A3 magnets. But when I saw Jon at ThroBak was having a 20% off deal going on, I decided to jump on a set. With all this Corona-Crap going on, I figured it might help lift my spirits a bit. Not to mention doing a small part in keeping the economy going.

  17. #17
    Les Paul Forum Member duaneflowers's Avatar
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by goldtop0 View Post
    If you guys that own both USA and CS guitars have a look at the build of the P90s and see if there are any differences?
    I have several sets of each and the CS winds are clearly better than the USA ones. I think that for some reason the recipe for making a P-90 is much easier to follow than that of a humbucker. With PAFs, everyone of them was somehow unique, yet similar. With P-90s there were early 50s, middle 50s and late 50s voicings that seem pretty much standardized. I put the CS P-90s on a par with anything Lollar or Fralin has to offer and while the USA line is good, they're not as rich or sensitive and the overtones just aren't there like they are with the CS ones. To my ears the CS are much more reminiscent of the early P-90s (which are my favorites) while the USA ones are more reminiscent of the late 50s. They seem less powerful and thinner to me. As opposed to PAFs I think P-90s are much more magnet dependent for power and sensitivity and while the differences between Alnico types is still obvious it just seems much easier to get the formula right in P90s. My favorite set of P-90s is from Rewind Electric in which James used vintage 50s wire and the 4 magnets are from a 1952 Les Paul. That set clicks each and every box for me and is the set I use to judge all others. My favorite non-vintage set are Wizzes (naturally) which, along with Wolftones, are mighty fine indeed. As is true with everything Gibson, YMMV as, with very few exceptions, the only true consistency is their inconsistency.

    Happy hunting!!
    Tone To The Bone!
    LP=[(CC*8)+(Sig*5)+(R9*2)+R8+R7+R6+(R4*2)+(50sT*2)+Stu D+LPX]+[(EpI*19)+(EsP/Ed*6)+(ToKi*3)+(Ba*3)+(Fe/Bu*2)+(ObG)+(CMS)]

  18. #18

    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave71 View Post
    I had contemplated swapping in some A3 magnets. But when I saw Jon at ThroBak was having a 20% off deal going on, I decided to jump on a set. With all this Corona-Crap going on, I figured it might help lift my spirits a bit. Not to mention doing a small part in keeping the economy going.
    I noticed their sale and took a look yesterday. Even at 20% off they are about double or more of what the top winders are asking for a P90
    My Gibsons: 2020 '57 LP Custom Historic, 2018 '59 LP Historic, 2018 '58 LP Jr Historic, 2018 LP/SG Historic, 2016 Johnny A, 2015 '64 Firebird III Historic, 2015 '67 Flying V Historic, 2011 '59 ES-335 Wrap-Tail Historic, 2011 '60 LP Special Historic
    Quote Originally Posted by 82 Silverburst View Post
    What I see on this forum more and more is akin to little girls playing dress up with their dolls, getting them ready for some tea party.

  19. #19

    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by duaneflowers View Post
    I have several sets of each and the CS winds are clearly better than the USA ones. I think that for some reason the recipe for making a P-90 is much easier to follow than that of a humbucker. With PAFs, everyone of them was somehow unique, yet similar. With P-90s there were early 50s, middle 50s and late 50s voicings that seem pretty much standardized. I put the CS P-90s on a par with anything Lollar or Fralin has to offer and while the USA line is good, they're not as rich or sensitive and the overtones just aren't there like they are with the CS ones. To my ears the CS are much more reminiscent of the early P-90s (which are my favorites) while the USA ones are more reminiscent of the late 50s. They seem less powerful and thinner to me. As opposed to PAFs I think P-90s are much more magnet dependent for power and sensitivity and while the differences between Alnico types is still obvious it just seems much easier to get the formula right in P90s. My favorite set of P-90s is from Rewind Electric in which James used vintage 50s wire and the 4 magnets are from a 1952 Les Paul. That set clicks each and every box for me and is the set I use to judge all others. My favorite non-vintage set are Wizzes (naturally) which, along with Wolftones, are mighty fine indeed. As is true with everything Gibson, YMMV as, with very few exceptions, the only true consistency is their inconsistency.
    Happy hunting!!
    Could be they're the same pickups just un-potted
    My Gibsons: 2020 '57 LP Custom Historic, 2018 '59 LP Historic, 2018 '58 LP Jr Historic, 2018 LP/SG Historic, 2016 Johnny A, 2015 '64 Firebird III Historic, 2015 '67 Flying V Historic, 2011 '59 ES-335 Wrap-Tail Historic, 2011 '60 LP Special Historic
    Quote Originally Posted by 82 Silverburst View Post
    What I see on this forum more and more is akin to little girls playing dress up with their dolls, getting them ready for some tea party.

  20. #20
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by Tommy Tourbus View Post
    I noticed their sale and took a look yesterday. Even at 20% off they are about double or more of what the top winders are asking for a P90
    But still considerably cheaper than quite a few others. Are you implying that Jon is not one of the top winders out there?

  21. #21

    Re: Gibson P90 pickups in Historics

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave71 View Post
    But still considerably cheaper than quite a few others. Are you implying that Jon is not one of the top winders out there?
    don't be stupid
    My Gibsons: 2020 '57 LP Custom Historic, 2018 '59 LP Historic, 2018 '58 LP Jr Historic, 2018 LP/SG Historic, 2016 Johnny A, 2015 '64 Firebird III Historic, 2015 '67 Flying V Historic, 2011 '59 ES-335 Wrap-Tail Historic, 2011 '60 LP Special Historic
    Quote Originally Posted by 82 Silverburst View Post
    What I see on this forum more and more is akin to little girls playing dress up with their dolls, getting them ready for some tea party.

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