The P-Rails: Three Times The Tone

Sometimes when you’re contemplating a pickup swap or putting together a custom guitar, the hardest choice to make is what kind of pickup to use. Humbucker? Single coil? P-90? Each have their charms, of course, and you can split a humbucker into a single coil to expand your tonal reach a little further. But we guitarists are well known for looking at our instruments and thinking “What if..?” And it was one of these ‘What If Moments’ which led to a pickup which could do all three: the P-Rails.

Players have been splitting pickups for years but the options have typically been limited: you’ve either got a humbucker or a single coil, or perhaps two coils in parallel. The poor P-90 was feeling neglected. The P-90 offers a bright, occasionally dirty, powerful take on a single coil sound, and it’s very hard to achieve if you’re using a small pickup. So a large part of the P-Rails’ surface area is dedicated to a ‘real deal’ P-90, to ensure that the pickup’s P-90 sound remains authentic. There’s also an Alnico rail-style mini single coil, and this mismatch of coil types ensures a particularly full humbucker sound.

P-Rails are typically used in a neck and bridge set to fully explore their capabilities. There are many ways to wire them up: a three-way toggle can select each of the three modes; you could simply switch between two of the pickup types if you have no need for the third (for instance, a single coil and a P-90, or a P-90 and a humbucker); you could add a switch to take humbucker mode from series to parallel; you can use a DPDT (double pole double throw) switch to change the mode of both pickups simultaneously or you could use one for each pickup for maximum flexibility. Or you could use the Triple Shot mounting ring to access series and parallel options as well as accessing either of the individual coils.

For players who need a more powerful bridge pickup, the P-Rails Hot uses a more powerful Alnico 8 magnet for the rail coil, along with a special wire type for the P-90 coil. It still matches perfectly with the regular P-Rails Original in the neck position.


Where to buy:

Tricked Out Guitar Crazy Dave’s Music The Music Zoo
Pro Audio Land The STRATosphere Musicians Friend
Blue Star Music Sweetwater

 


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  • http://www.facebook.com/jessie.deacon.1 Jessie Deacon

    Hot damn
    Great timing, restoring an old axe and this is perfect for what I have in mind

  • Oshua Ichards

    Wow, I really like the sound of those! Maybe I’ll switch ‘em out on an older guitar of mine.

  • zed

    I have one wired for P-90, humbucker & rail. I use all three–mostly P-90, and mostly for slide. They’re a cool idea that works.

  • pixelzombie

    Does it have 60 cycle hum?

    • SeymourDuncanBlog

      Not when you are using the humbucker position.

  • Pedal Nerd

    Those look and sound AWESOME!

  • http://www.facebook.com/masskevinjames Kevin James

    WHERE’S THE WIRING DIAGRAM IF I WANT TO HOOK ONLY ONE OF THESE UP?