Soapbar Sonics: Seymour Duncan P-90 Options

Posted on by Peter

The P-90 is kind of unusual, when you get down to it. It’s hotter and ruder than a regular single coil, yet not as muscular as the average humbucker. It occupies an area somewhere between the two, but with plenty of its own character as well. And it’s one of the oldest pickup styles still in use today.

We offer plenty of different P-90s for different types of guitar and different musical styles. First and foremost, the models made in the Antiquity room are designed to be incredibly faithful to the originals. They feature the same hand-fabricated bobbins, the same wire and “flatback” tape as the originals, and they use two special Dun-Aged ™ Alnico II magnets attached to a precision metal spacer. And of course there are six fillister head pole pieces. The Antiquity P-90 is available in cream or black covers, or in a “Dog Ear” version with an aged thermoformed black cover. All are available in neck or bridge models.

If you’re after an authentic vintage-style soapbar P-90, check out the Vintage Soapbar SP90-1. This pickup is a faithful recreation of the 1946 Gibson® P-90, and it’s wound with plain enamel wire on the same Leesona machine which wound the 1950s versions. Again it’s available in both neck and bridge versions, in cream or black covers.

Those who want a bit more oomph from the bridge pickup might like the Hot Soapbar SP90-2, which uses dual small ceramic magnets and extra coil windings for increased sustain and output, and more string detail. It has a more pronounced upper-midrange quality, and has enough power for even hard rock, punk and metal styles.

The Custom Soapbar SP90-3 uses larger ceramic magnets compared to the Hot Soapbar, giving it even higher output, a more compressed dynamic range and more powerful attack. It’s available in both bridge and neck versions, or it pairs nicely with the SP90-1 Vintage.


Of course, an authentic P-90 will have the characteristic single coil hum, so those who want that classic barky, bitey but rich tone at higher gain levels might want to check out the P-90 Stack STK-P1. This stacked pickup is hum-free but it also provides the ability to use series, parallel or split wiring options via a DPDT toggle or push-pull pot. The parallel mode adds brightness compared to the loud, brash series wiring.

Do you want classic P-90 tone but your guitar isn’t routed for one? The SPH90-1 Phat Cat was originally developed in the Custom Shop for Hamer Guitars, and it’s a P-90 Soapbar single coil hiding inside a humbucker cover. It uses two Alnico 2 magnets, and the metal cover provides more shielding from interference than regular soapbar covers. It’s available in neck and bridge versions, and some players like to use one in the neck position in conjunction with an SH-55 Seth Lover Model humbucker in the bridge.

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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Written on August 24, 2012, by Peter

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