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Artec Alnico V P90 Review

#1 User is offline   Nad 

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 06:28 AM

Has anyone tried the Artec Alnico 5 P90s (Chrome covers)- see link. I'd be interested in your opinions.

http://www.ebay.com....tem2326bb4d60..

I have read elsewhere that they are re badged Kent Armstrongs, though the resistances are slightly lower (also the bridge has lower resistance than the neck.

#2 User is offline   Spamonkis 

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 09:02 AM

I looked at these for my Casino when I first got it, but after playing it a bit I found the sound too good to change. Some people swear by underwound P-90s, but I have also heard that with the metal covers, you need a little hotter winding. For the price, they might be worth trying and reporting back to us. If you don't like them, you are not out much.

God bless, Spamonkis

#3 User is offline   tweed2 

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:24 AM

I've run through a half dozen P90 makers for various guitars. I have not (knowingly) installed an Artec, but I've installed a KA ($30)in a 160e clone acoustic, like it a lot (their mini-hums are a bargain, too). Don't know who makes the "OnlyMusic" vintage dog ear ($35), but it's a reasonable P90 dogear for the money (installed on an Epi Junior). I did a second Epi Junior with a Heywood Jabanero dogear, $60, (16.9k! great, in some situations, like slide). I've had a Gibson Melody Maker with a Lollar (the best, but too expensive to justify on an inexpensive guitar). I ended up with black cover custom Biltoft P90s ($180/pair) on my Casino, and I really like them. Finally, I got a set of custom wound dogears from eBay (tmm95) that are on a par with Biltoft, but less expensive. They went on my ZBD (neck and bridge, middle stayed stock) and sound sweet. I bet they'd be good on a Casino. Bottom line, I think that you get what you pay for. In my opinion, in the "bargain" group, KA's are hard to beat. One other thing, I'm surprised to see that the k rating on the Artec neck pickup is higher than the bridge. Is that a typo or really the case?

http://www.ebay.com/...3#ht_502wt_1394

http://www.ebay.com/...6#ht_433wt_1157
Ya, that's right....
it's got a big "E"
on the pickguard!

Posted Image
Original watercolor by Dorie Rifkin

#4 User is offline   tweed2 

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Posted 29 August 2013 - 10:37 AM

View Posttweed2, on 29 August 2013 - 10:24 AM, said:

I've run through a half dozen P90 makers for various guitars. I have not (knowingly) installed an Artec, but I've installed a KA ($30)in a 160e clone acoustic, like it a lot (their mini-hums are a bargain, too). Don't know who makes the "OnlyMusic" vintage dog ear ($35), but it's a reasonable P90 dogear for the money (installed on an Epi Junior). I did a second Epi Junior with a Heywood Jabanero dogear, $60, (16.9k! great, in some situations, like slide). I've had a Gibson Melody Maker with a Lollar (the best, but too expensive to justify on an inexpensive guitar). I ended up with black cover custom Biltoft P90s ($180/pair) on my Casino, and I really like them. Finally, I got a set of custom wound dogears from eBay (tmm95) that are on a par with Biltoft, but less expensive. They went on my ZBD (neck and bridge, middle stayed stock) and sound sweet. I bet they'd be good on a Casino. Bottom line, I think that you get what you pay for. In my opinion, in the "bargain" group, KA's are hard to beat. One other thing, I'm surprised to see that the k rating on the Artec neck pickup is higher than the bridge. Is that a typo or really the case?

Posted Image

http://www.ebay.com/...3#ht_502wt_1394

http://www.ebay.com/...6#ht_433wt_1157

Ya, that's right....
it's got a big "E"
on the pickguard!

Posted Image
Original watercolor by Dorie Rifkin

#5 User is offline   Nad 

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 01:13 AM

Thanks for the input. I'd like to keep the chrome look which limits the choices to KA and Artec (Though Tweed2's Casino with the black pickup covers does look cool). Anyway I had a look for chrome covers that would take standard P90s. Unfortunately all the chrome covers I've found have a 48mm string spread on the neck cover (like the Casino pup)so won't take a standard P90. [cursing].

I've found the Artec pickups listed on a couple of sites and the specs are the same showing the neck pickup with a higher K rating. possibly a typo?

I may give the Artec a try. I only found one review of these pickup, but is was positive and gave them a good rap.

#6 User is offline   Nad 

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Posted 30 August 2013 - 08:52 PM

I've ordered a set of the Artecs and will report back. I should have them in a couple of weeks.

I did some more searching and found 4 reviews all recommending them as an upgrade for the Casino. Given the low price they're worth a try.

#7 User is offline   Spamonkis 

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Posted 31 August 2013 - 01:57 PM

[thumbup]

#8 User is offline   Nad 

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 02:49 AM

The Artec Alnico V P90s have arrived. I've checked the resistances and they are:

Neck: 7.72K
Bridge: 7.76K

This is better than the advertised resistances (neck: 7.6k. bridge 7.3K).

Once they are fitted I'll provide a review.

The Chrome covers look pretty good. [smile]

#9 User is offline   Bluemans335 

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:06 AM

View PostNad, on 09 September 2013 - 02:49 AM, said:

The Artec Alnico V P90s have arrived. I've checked the resistances and they are:

Neck: 7.72K
Bridge: 7.76K

This is better than the advertised resistances (neck: 7.6k. bridge 7.3K).




Actually not. It's best to have more of a difference between the two PU's (to equalize volumes), and you can put the hotter one in the bridge slot; it makes absolutely no difference which one says 'neck' or 'bridge.'

#10 User is offline   Nad 

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Posted 09 September 2013 - 06:27 AM

I installed the Artecs and I like them [thumbup] . It's late here so I've on had a brief play at lowish volume, but the guitar is brighter with better note definition/separation and no mud. The bridge pickup sounds great. The neck pickup is bassy, but not as dark as it was before. The polepieces on the neck pickup are an 1/8 of an inch above the pickup cover which puts them very close to the strings. Tomorrow I'll lower them on the bass side and balance the volumes. In contrast, the pole pieces on the bridge pickup are flush with the cover.

The chrome cover look good. the bridge pickup is a perfect fit. As the pickup is not soldered to the cover i used some neoprene rubber as a shim between the pickup and the guitar top. The base of the neck cover has a tighter arch than the guitar top so there is a gap between the middle of the cover and the guitar top. The gap is quite small and only noticeable up close.

Overall $50 well spent.

#11 User is offline   Spamonkis 

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Posted 15 September 2013 - 09:23 PM

Any updates now that you have had a bit more time with them?

#12 User is offline   Nad 

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Posted 19 September 2013 - 02:34 AM

View PostBluemans335, on 09 September 2013 - 06:06 AM, said:

Actually not. It's best to have more of a difference between the two PU's (to equalize volumes), and you can put the hotter one in the bridge slot; it makes absolutely no difference which one says 'neck' or 'bridge.'


Sorry I missed your post earlier. Normally I'd agree, but in this case the pickups aren't interchangeable because of the different pole piece spread, mounting brackets and cover heights.

View PostSpamonkis, on 15 September 2013 - 09:23 PM, said:

Any updates now that you have had a bit more time with them?



I'm liking these a lot. I've lowered the pole pieces on the neck pickup and balanced the volume with the bridge. This also eliminated the bassyness. The Artecs are brighter and clearer than the stock pickups and the neck pup is no longer muddy. They are still gritty and have attitude [smile]

The only issue is that the neck pickup cover is not a good fit. The arch in the base is too high and doesn't sit flush on the guitar surface in the middle. Also, the base of the ears is flat so there is a gap at the front where the guitar top dips down at the neck. When I get some time I'll take off the cover and grind the base down to reduce the arch and angle the ears slightly. The cover is angled and the rear is higher than the fretboard so taking off a couple of millimeters shouldn't be an issue.

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