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P90's or mini Humbuckers?.

#1 User is offline   Telecaster72 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:30 AM

Hi. I'm considering buying a Gibson in the near future. I know it's a question of playing various guitars and choosing the one I like best. However, I would appreciate your input for a Tele fancier: P90's or mini Humbuckers?; Mahogany or Swamp Ash?; Les Paul or SG?. Thanks.
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#2 User is offline   jdgm 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:11 AM

View PostTelecaster72, on 17 April 2017 - 07:30 AM, said:

Hi. I'm considering buying a Gibson in the near future. I know it's a question of playing various guitars and choosing the one I like best. However, I would appreciate your input for a Tele fancier: P90's or mini Humbuckers?; Mahogany or Swamp Ash?; Les Paul or SG?. Thanks.



In 2012 I decided I finally had to get a Les Paul.
I have a wonderful Tele and other guitars with humbuckers though no minis, but I did not have anything with P90s.
I found a mahogany LP with P90s. Revelation.
Unless you use distortion all the time, in which case they are noisy.
Would still like an SG too - believe they can be a little neck-heavy.

Good luck!
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#3 User is offline   Megafrog 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 08:38 AM

View PostTelecaster72, on 17 April 2017 - 07:30 AM, said:

Hi. I'm considering buying a Gibson in the near future. I know it's a question of playing various guitars and choosing the one I like best. However, I would appreciate your input for a Tele fancier: P90's or mini Humbuckers?; Mahogany or Swamp Ash?; Les Paul or SG?. Thanks.


Go to your local guitar store and check them out. P90s and mini humbuckers are very different but no one here should make that decision for you. Would you buy a car without a test drive? What I like might not be what you like. I would bring my amp to the store and try some guitars out. If you are really a tele fancier, why not get a tele? No Gibson is like a tele.
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#4 User is online   kidblast 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:38 AM

I don't think any of the current production runs of Les Pauls or SGs are anything BUT mahogany... so Swamp ash,, maybe not an option..

P90s are fantastic pickups, but they are not a one size fits all. They're a bit nosier than your average Tele/Strat setup, they are pretty hot. we love em for the "bark" they have, but I don't know if I could live with them exclusively.

Mini humbuckers fit somewhere between a P90 and a Humbucker tone/performance wise. I think unless you looking at a Reissue of an LP Deluxe, would you find a new LP with mini humbuckers (I think all the new prod models with mini's are firebirds.. Could be wrong... not an expert on the gazillion different models gibson is throwing at consumers these days.)

the debate between an SG and a Les Paul can go on for days on end.

The SG's are lighter (Way lighter) than an LP will be, and have excellent upper fret access, but have a bit more of middy punch then a paul does. I like to compare an artists brush, the Les Paul will allow you to pain with a wider one. SG neck dive is for real but the right strap (Suede or brushed leather) and you avoid that whole issue.

at the end of the day, you could do what many of us do... have one of each!! (at least 1...)
/Ray
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#5 User is offline   Twang Gang 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 03:10 PM

As you said, you need to go play them and see what works best for YOU. However since you asked our opinions, as far as LP or SG - I would recommend LP. I have owned and played both and I just prefer a LP overall. As to the pickups as Kidblast mentioned I don't know of any current models of LP or SG with mini-humbuckers, but I would go with humbucker pickups over P-90s as well.

There may be a Swamp Ash LP 2016 model if you can find one. Otherwise generally SGs are mahogany, and LPs are mahogany with a maple cap.

Good hunting.
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#6 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 04:58 PM

That's not a question, WE can answer, beyond our own preferences. I'd guess, a lot of members here, have guitars with both?

I own various LP's, (4) SG's (none of which are "neck heavy," by the way), ES models, a Fender Strat and Telecaster, and Gretsch,
and Rickenbacker guitars, as well. They ALL do different things very well.

Hence, the need to decide on your budget, and then...go to a store, on your own, and try them all out! Don't forget to check out
the Les Paul Double Cuts, as well. They come with P-90's or Humbucker's, depending on the model, and the "slab models"
(Vs. Carved Top versions) can be pretty much the same weight, or near enough, as many SG's, with excellent upper fret
access, also.

Besides, the "hunt" is at least 1/2 the fun! Good Luck!

CB
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#7 User is offline   Telecaster72 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 05:44 PM

 Megafrog, on 17 April 2017 - 08:38 AM, said:

Go to your local guitar store and check them out. P90s and mini humbuckers are very different but no one here should make that decision for you. Would you buy a car without a test drive? What I like might not be what you like. I would bring my amp to the store and try some guitars out. If you are really a tele fancier, why not get a tele? No Gibson is like a tele.


I already have a Tele. I love Gibsons too. You're right. It's best for me to try both formats with my amp and OD pedal, and pick the one I like best.
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#8 User is offline   Telecaster72 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 05:46 PM

 kidblast, on 17 April 2017 - 10:38 AM, said:

I don't think any of the current production runs of Les Pauls or SGs are anything BUT mahogany... so Swamp ash,, maybe not an option..

P90s are fantastic pickups, but they are not a one size fits all. They're a bit nosier than your average Tele/Strat setup, they are pretty hot. we love em for the "bark" they have, but I don't know if I could live with them exclusively.

Mini humbuckers fit somewhere between a P90 and a Humbucker tone/performance wise. I think unless you looking at a Reissue of an LP Deluxe, would you find a new LP with mini humbuckers (I think all the new prod models with mini's are firebirds.. Could be wrong... not an expert on the gazillion different models gibson is throwing at consumers these days.)

the debate between an SG and a Les Paul can go on for days on end.

The SG's are lighter (Way lighter) than an LP will be, and have excellent upper fret access, but have a bit more of middy punch then a paul does. I like to compare an artists brush, the Les Paul will allow you to pain with a wider one. SG neck dive is for real but the right strap (Suede or brushed leather) and you avoid that whole issue.

at the end of the day, you could do what many of us do... have one of each!! (at least 1...)


Ha ha. Maybe when I get promoted I'll buy one of each ... plus a fat sounding Roadhouse Strat :)
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#9 User is offline   Telecaster72 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 06:59 PM

 charlie brown, on 17 April 2017 - 04:58 PM, said:

That's not a question, WE can answer, beyond our own preferences. I'd guess, a lot of members here, have guitars with both?

I own various LP's, (4) SG's (none of which are "neck heavy," by the way), ES models, a Fender Strat and Telecaster, and Gretsch,
and Rickenbacker guitars, as well. They ALL do different things very well.

Hence, the need to decide on your budget, and then...go to a store, on your own, and try them all out! Don't forget to check out
the Les Paul Double Cuts, as well. They come with P-90's or Humbucker's, depending on the model, and the "slab models"
(Vs. Carved Top versions) can be pretty much the same weight, or near enough, as many SG's, with excellent upper fret
access, also.

Besides, the "hunt" is at least 1/2 the fun! Good Luck!

CB


Yep. The hunt is fun indeed. And it's difficult to decide without playing specific guitars in my amp. Tony Iommi used P90's, and if I'm not wrong, Dennis Stratton used Mini Humbuckers on Iron Maiden's debut LP
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#10 User is offline   Telecaster72 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:04 PM

 Twang Gang, on 17 April 2017 - 03:10 PM, said:

As you said, you need to go play them and see what works best for YOU. However since you asked our opinions, as far as LP or SG - I would recommend LP. I have owned and played both and I just prefer a LP overall. As to the pickups as Kidblast mentioned I don't know of any current models of LP or SG with mini-humbuckers, but I would go with humbucker pickups over P-90s as well.

There may be a Swamp Ash LP 2016 model if you can find one. Otherwise generally SGs are mahogany, and LPs are mahogany with a maple cap.

Good hunting.


Readily available, there are three models:

Swamp Ash LP with Humbuckers (Maple neck)
Mahogany/Maple LP with P90's
Mahogany SG with mini Humbuckers.

It should be fun to play them all. I must think of specific chords that would help me decide :)
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#11 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:06 PM

View PostMegafrog, on 17 April 2017 - 08:38 AM, said:

Go to your local guitar store and check them out. P90s and mini humbuckers are very different but no one here should make that decision for you. Would you buy a car without a test drive? What I like might not be what you like. I would bring my amp to the store and try some guitars out. If you are really a tele fancier, why not get a tele? No Gibson is like a tele.


Whenever someone asks for advice on guitars someone always replies with that trite answer. Obviously if you're interested in buying a guitar you should try to play that individual guitar if you can but that isn't always possible. So why not just tell him which you personally like better? Just playing a guitar for a few minutes in a guitar store isn't going to tell you much about the advantages and disadvantages, characteristics, tonal range, etc of a P90 VS a mini humbucker.
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#12 User is offline   Telecaster72 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:12 PM

 jdgm, on 17 April 2017 - 08:11 AM, said:

In 2012 I decided I finally had to get a Les Paul.
I have a wonderful Tele and other guitars with humbuckers though no minis, but I did not have anything with P90s.
I found a mahogany LP with P90s. Revelation.
Unless you use distortion all the time, in which case they are noisy.
Would still like an SG too - believe they can be a little neck-heavy.

Good luck!


I once tried a modern SG and it did not have neck dive issues. And they sound sweet ... so do Lesters ...
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#13 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:25 PM

View PostTelecaster72, on 17 April 2017 - 07:30 AM, said:

Hi. I'm considering buying a Gibson in the near future. I know it's a question of playing various guitars and choosing the one I like best. However, I would appreciate your input for a Tele fancier: P90's or mini Humbuckers?; Mahogany or Swamp Ash?; Les Paul or SG?. Thanks.


I don't really like mini humbuckers personally, I actually have a 78 Deluxe I was thinking about putting p90s into because I'm not happy with minis.. They're Seymour Duncans, not the original Gibson pickups and they just don't have the power regular humbuckers have. Compared to my other LP (I have a Custom, a Classic and a Junior in addition to the Deluxe) they sound kind of trebly and don't have the same growl you normally expect from a Gibson LP. They don't sound terrible, just for lack of a better word "weak". I'm always trying to get a little more out of them. That seems to be a common complaint with the mini humbuckers. For what it's worth though I tend to play loud rock so if you wanted a cleaner tone they might work for you, but honestly I'd just get a Tele or some other Fender if I wanted that kind of sound.

I also have a Junior with a single P90 and I love it. When it's cranked it's just about a perfect rock machine IMO. I also like that it's a really simple guitar. No bridge, one pickup, two knobs, just crank it and away we go. So for my money if I were you I'd look into juniors with P90s, they're on the cheap end (for Gibsons) they're light and they sound awesome. If you wanted a Standard type LP with P90s I know you can get those in a Tribute LP, I think it's a 50s Tribute but I'm not sure, I don't keep up with all the LP models out there anymore. The Tributes are also pretty affordable (again for a Gibson).

Go to YouTube and watch reviews of Deluxes and Juniors, that will give you a good idea of what they sound like. Like I said I personally like the P90s more but one of the guys from Thin Lizzy played a Deluxe and he sounded great with it. Also the mini humbuckers would be different if you're into that setting yourself apart. I've never (that I know of) known or seen another guitarist play an LP with the mini humbuckers, that was one of the draws for me. But it turns out there's a very good reason (IMO) nobody uses them.
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#14 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 07:38 PM

View Postcharlie brown, on 17 April 2017 - 04:58 PM, said:

That's not a question, WE can answer, beyond our own preferences. I'd guess, a lot of members here, have guitars with both?

I own various LP's, (4) SG's (none of which are "neck heavy," by the way), ES models, a Fender Strat and Telecaster, and Gretsch,
and Rickenbacker guitars, as well. They ALL do different things very well.

Hence, the need to decide on your budget, and then...go to a store, on your own, and try them all out! Don't forget to check out
the Les Paul Double Cuts, as well. They come with P-90's or Humbucker's, depending on the model, and the "slab models"
(Vs. Carved Top versions) can be pretty much the same weight, or near enough, as many SG's, with excellent upper fret
access, also.

Besides, the "hunt" is at least 1/2 the fun! Good Luck!

CB


Maybe you can't answer his question but I can and did, so what's the "we" stuff? He just asked for input. He literally wrote in his post that he knows nobody can tell him what's right for him and that actually playing the guitars in question is the only way he could know for sure.......



BUT


"WE" can absolutely tell him our experience (if "we" have any) and preferences between P90s and minis.

This "only you can decide what guitar is right for you" stuff is a pet peeve of mine, especially when the guy says in the OP he already knows only he can decide which guitar is for him. I had the exact same experience on here when asking for opinions and advice on acoustics.

Someone who asks for advice on what YOU think about a particular type of guitar isn't asking you to pick one for him, he's just asking your OPINION ON THAT GUITAR.
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#15 User is offline   Megafrog 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 09:11 PM

View PostAllenjason95, on 17 April 2017 - 07:06 PM, said:

Whenever someone asks for advice on guitars someone always replies with that trite answer. Obviously if you're interested in buying a guitar you should try to play that individual guitar if you can but that isn't always possible. So why not just tell him which you personally like better? Just playing a guitar for a few minutes in a guitar store isn't going to tell you much about the advantages and disadvantages, characteristics, tonal range, etc of a P90 VS a mini humbucker.


Are you serious? [confused]

Going to a guitar store with your amp and gear is key to making an informed choice.

OP, I like both P90s and Mini Humbuckers for different reasons and styles of playing.

P90s on an Epiphone Casino will give you the sound of the mid 60s Beatles, played through the proper equipment of course. P90s on an SG will get you a early 70s Who sound, same equipment caveat. P90s on a Melody Maker will get you a great tone for punk rock or early Green Day. P90s on a Les Paul will get you a great blues or jazz sound.

Mini Humbuckers on an SG like the 2016 70s Special will give you great clean tone that surprisingly has a good amount of low end clarity yet distorts nicely. A mini on a Firebird will be very similar to an SG but with a bit more low end.

There ya go, my opinion, based on personal experience but know that your experience will likely differ because I probably have a very different equipment configuration. Ultimately going to a guitar store with your equipment in tow will help you make the best choice for you.
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#16 User is offline   Allenjason95 

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Posted 17 April 2017 - 10:19 PM

View PostMegafrog, on 17 April 2017 - 09:11 PM, said:

Are you serious? [confused]

Going to a guitar store with your amp and gear is key to making an informed choice.

OP, I like both P90s and Mini Humbuckers for different reasons and styles of playing.

P90s on an Epiphone Casino will give you the sound of the mid 60s Beatles, played through the proper equipment of course. P90s on an SG will get you a early 70s Who sound, same equipment caveat. P90s on a Melody Maker will get you a great tone for punk rock or early Green Day. P90s on a Les Paul will get you a great blues or jazz sound.

Mini Humbuckers on an SG like the 2016 70s Special will give you great clean tone that surprisingly has a good amount of low end clarity yet distorts nicely. A mini on a Firebird will be very similar to an SG but with a bit more low end.

There ya go, my opinion, based on personal experience but know that your experience will likely differ because I probably have a very different equipment configuration. Ultimately going to a guitar store with your equipment in tow will help you make the best choice for you.


Am I serious?

"Hi. I'm considering buying a Gibson in the near future. I know it's a question of playing various guitars and choosing the one I like best. However, I would appreciate your input for a Tele fancier: P90's or mini Humbuckers?"

The guy literally said he understands he should play the guitars and choose the one HE LIKES in his OP but for some reason you felt the need to repeat it right back to him anyway. Why?

We've all heard it a million times "play the guitars". Yeah, no **** but you can still ask for advice and again....playing a guitar for a few minutes in a guitar store isn't going to tell you much except how that particular guitar feels and basically sounds, but it's not going to tell you other people's experience with the guitar, how it sounds in different conditions, how it might hold up, problems, quirks, etc etc etc.

I buy a lot off guitars from the internet/Ebay..... what should I do? Drive to the seller'shouse before pulling the trigger because the only way I can decide if I want a guitar is to "play it myself". When I find a guitar I'm interested in online.....if it's something I don't know a lot about I do exactly what I suggested he do.....watch YouTube vids. I also research the particular model I'm interested in.....by reading reviews and asking advice on guitar boards. I bought a Yamaha Revstar when they first came out before you could even find them in stores. I couldn't go into a store and play one even if I wanted, so I read reviews and watched demos on YouTube and decided to buy one. You can't always play guitars before buying.

It's not that complicated. If someone asks you for an opinion on a guitar if you have an opinion...give it. I don't get the point in repeating a trite cliche like "play them for yourself, only you can decide" like you're some kind of guitar guru. Like I said this is one of my pet peeves and the same thing happened to me on these forums when I asked about Gibson acoustics. "Go play them yourself" isn't helpful to anyone besides a very novice guitar player who literally knows nothing about guitars. The guy said he owns a Tele, he's not some guy buying his first guitar.

Like I said I just don't get why so many people think giving advice on a guitar is something they "can't" do...."only you can decide...play the guitars yourself". When he gets to the store should he play every guitar in it before buying one? It's the only way right? He couldn't possibly ask for advice on models he's interested in beforehand I guess.
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#17 User is offline   merciful-evans 

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 04:52 AM

View PostAllenjason95, on 17 April 2017 - 10:19 PM, said:


It's not that complicated. If someone asks you for an opinion on a guitar if you have an opinion...give it. I don't get the point in repeating a trite cliche like "play them for yourself, only you can decide" like you're some kind of guitar guru. Like I said this is one of my pet peeves and the same thing happened to me on these forums when I asked about Gibson acoustics. "Go play them yourself" isn't helpful to anyone besides a very novice guitar player who literally knows nothing about guitars. The guy said he owns a Tele, he's not some guy buying his first guitar.



I've kept out of this because I didnt think my personal opinions would be helpful. However since you ask:

All of the following applies to neck mounted pups only.
P90s have one sound. I dont like that sound. A hollowbody can impact the sound of P90s positively, but not enough IMO. I traded in my Epi Casino Coupe I had for a year because of this.

I wanted to like the P90 equipped 2015 LP DC Specials. I tried several on
Vox AC15, Marshall DSL40C, Orange CR60C, Hughes & Kettner Tubemeister, Fender Stage 112 and a Blackstar & Peavey (cant recall models). Nothing made the P90s sound like anything other than like a bunch of rubber bands.

I haven’t used Gibson Mini Humbuckers, but I think they sound great on Explorers. I have Ric Mini HBs on my 650 and its one of the best sounds I have.

Avoid P90s and get mini humbuckers.
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#18 User is online   kidblast 

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 05:51 AM

I buy a lot off guitars from the internet/Ebay..... what should I do? Drive to the seller'shouse before pulling the trigger because the only way I can decide if I want a guitar is to "play it myself". When I find a guitar I'm interested in online.....if it's something I don't know a lot about I do exactly what I suggested he do....

this...


I think we're getting to a point in time where the days of going "Guitar Shopping" at a reasonable drive distance from where each of us live is becoming a thing of the past unless you're looking for pedals, imports, and beginner starter packs.

the local stores are not USA Made authorized dealers. So you're left with chasing around at the guitar centers that are in reach with a 60/90 minute drive. but, better call first, and hopefully someone answers the phone, and takes the time to see if they have what you're looking for in stock. Most of the ppl that work there give me the impression they are more annoyed by ppl asking questions then they are ever helpful.

So I really think it is down to researching, asking questions from players who own them on places like this forum, then finding a good online place to do your business with Unless you're looking for an import, (Epiphone, Gretch, Fender)... you can find plenty those, sometimes in abundance. But USA made guitars? nope.. none around here except a GC - if you're lucky, they may have one for you to try,, and it may be a bit beat up by the window shoppers by the time you get there.

I think we gotta get over the idea of driving to a few stores on a sunny Saturday afternoon and sitting down with the potential "next one". There is limited places to do this, at least in my neck of the woods.
/Ray
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#19 User is offline   'Scales 

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:08 AM

Tele72 - P90's Rock and Mini's Roll - they're both great but very different from each other so don't think of them as 'sub-humbucker' cos they can both bite hard. I have used Epi version of the MiniHB and its main characteristics were a (severe) treble bite that could be rolled off for some interesting tone options. P90's?...I just think of Ron Asheton or Lesley West tone - hate to keep using the word 'bite' but.... (They are both cool!)

AJ95 - yeah that trite and twee stuff drives me nuts too and you just know it's coming from the usual suspects...but...the thing is it's actually good advice IF the target is not aware of the benefit of going and trying etc. it's hard to tell from some OP's whether they could benefit from it or not - in this case he (?) seems aware of the value of playing them, but then again asks about LP's vs SGs - now if you actually haven't played those models, you'd kinda want to before buying don't you think?
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#20 User is offline   Telecaster72 

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Posted 18 April 2017 - 06:12 AM

 Allenjason95, on 17 April 2017 - 07:25 PM, said:

I don't really like mini humbuckers personally, I actually have a 78 Deluxe I was thinking about putting p90s into because I'm not happy with minis.. They're Seymour Duncans, not the original Gibson pickups and they just don't have the power regular humbuckers have. Compared to my other LP (I have a Custom, a Classic and a Junior in addition to the Deluxe) they sound kind of trebly and don't have the same growl you normally expect from a Gibson LP. They don't sound terrible, just for lack of a better word "weak". I'm always trying to get a little more out of them. That seems to be a common complaint with the mini humbuckers. For what it's worth though I tend to play loud rock so if you wanted a cleaner tone they might work for you, but honestly I'd just get a Tele or some other Fender if I wanted that kind of sound.

I also have a Junior with a single P90 and I love it. When it's cranked it's just about a perfect rock machine IMO. I also like that it's a really simple guitar. No bridge, one pickup, two knobs, just crank it and away we go. So for my money if I were you I'd look into juniors with P90s, they're on the cheap end (for Gibsons) they're light and they sound awesome. If you wanted a Standard type LP with P90s I know you can get those in a Tribute LP, I think it's a 50s Tribute but I'm not sure, I don't keep up with all the LP models out there anymore. The Tributes are also pretty affordable (again for a Gibson).

Go to YouTube and watch reviews of Deluxes and Juniors, that will give you a good idea of what they sound like. Like I said I personally like the P90s more but one of the guys from Thin Lizzy played a Deluxe and he sounded great with it. Also the mini humbuckers would be different if you're into that setting yourself apart. I've never (that I know of) known or seen another guitarist play an LP with the mini humbuckers, that was one of the draws for me. But it turns out there's a very good reason (IMO) nobody uses them.


Juniors seem very appealing: simple like Esquires. Just plug and play. I hope I find one.
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