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Thread: P90s vs. Mini-humbuckers

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    Ultimate Tone Slacker Travis's Avatar
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    Default P90s vs. Mini-humbuckers

    How would you guys describe the sounds of these two types of pickups, individually and in relation to each other? I know that they are two very different types of pickups and it might be akin to comparing single coils with full sized humbuckers, but humor me please. Thanks
    Everything in this post is the sole opinion of the author. The author makes no claims that his word is final, only that the opinions expressed are those of the author and any similiarities to the opinions of others is purely coincidental.

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    GuitarArtologist kmcguitars's Avatar
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    Default Re: P90s vs. Mini-humbuckers

    To my ears P-90's have a fat warm round tone Unlike a fender SC.
    Mini-Hums on the other hand sound more Fenderish, But still have the
    Bucker growl. I think when gibson released the Firebird in 63' w/t Mini's
    It was there Idea of a Stratocaster? Atleast there was lititagation when
    CBS took over Fender.

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    Toneologist
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    Default Re: P90s vs. Mini-humbuckers

    I've always thought of mini-buckers as more of a thin, crunchy sound compared to the warm sound of the P-90's.
    -Alex

    *Proud Owner and Player of Guage guitars, Warmoth guitars, and Orange amps*

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    Ultimate Tone Member rhmcfarland's Avatar
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    Default Re: P90s vs. Mini-humbuckers

    Hey, Fatty....

    I am currently using minihumbuckers, Firebirds, and a Phat Cat in various guitars.
    The minihumbucker is bright and thin, especially the bridge. I should say that this applies to the original Gibson (there are a lot of different versions, some of which have a ton of output). The bridge was too thin for me with my Les Paul Deluxe. It was also microphonic in a bad way. The neck pickup, however, is a my favorite of all time. Its bluesy and screams. More fullness and richness than a Fender, less bloopy and sloppy than a humbucker.

    The Firebirds are bright and gritty. The bridge is more aggressive, with a steely top, and more clearly defined lows. Its bright, but not ice-picky like the mini bridge was. I am using Antiquity Firebirds in one of my guitars.

    The P90, or in this case, the Phat Cat, is warmer. It has more output. The P90 has a dynamic character where you can play clean with a light touch, and then drive the preamp into overdrive with heavier playing. The upper mids emphasis is pronounced, and that helps it to cut through the mix, certainly more aggressive sounding with an overdriven amp. Some neck position P90's can be very smooth and jazz-ish, which is kind of an interesting contrast from the bridge position pickup, which is generally recognized as being a great rock type of sound.

    output levels:
    minihumbucker @ about 6.5 kohm
    Firebird @ about 7.5 kohm
    P90 & Phat Cat @ about 8.5 to 10 kohm, depending on the individual piece.

    Randy
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