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mihcmac

NGD P90 Upgrade..

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I picked up this RG421 for 150, I hadn't had an Ibanez for a while or a flat maple finger board. In the original configuration it had hot ceramic open coil Humbuckings and a 5 way switch. So all of that had to go. I installed a Tele wiring harness with a 3 way blade switch and Quickplugs,  Nickel finish GFS Mean 90's including a Nickel Gotoh Bridge.

GEFBwo3.jpg

It sounds and plays really good. Its very nice to have something that is so alien feeling compared to my Epiphones. 💀

 

Before my Nickel upgrade it looked like this stock photo below with black chrome hardware, only with the finish worn off.

QjU7mej.jpg

Edited by mihcmac
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Very nice.  Cool color combination and P-90s to boot.  Enjoy.

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4 hours ago, tx-ogre said:

Very nice.  Cool color combination and P-90s to boot.  Enjoy.

 

1 hour ago, rct said:

NOICE

 

38 minutes ago, ChanMan said:

Looks GREAT!!

Thank you it was a lot of fun doing the build.

I haven't had a flat maple fingerboard for a long time, Since my RGR465M like the one below with the reverse headstock, but in Black.

RGR465M_CA.jpg

I found out recently that the RGR465M doesn't come in Black, Mine came from NAMM. I wish I still had it.

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I have a guitar with GFS Mean 90s. They are the closest sounding pups to a "real" P90 and P90s are my very favorite pickups.

IMHO Once you play a P90 exclusively for a year or more, any other pickup just sounds dull and lifeless.

Notes

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20 hours ago, merciful-evans said:

It looks better now. Nice work.

I like maple fingerboards. Especially wide flat ones. 

My first flat fingerboard guitar was a 59 Coronet that played like a dream. Then my RGR465 and this RG421 with flat maple fingerboard seem to draw a bluesy feeling out of my fingers

13 hours ago, Notes_Norton said:

I have a guitar with GFS Mean 90s. They are the closest sounding pups to a "real" P90 and P90s are my very favorite pickups.

IMHO Once you play a P90 exclusively for a year or more, any other pickup just sounds dull and lifeless.

Notes

I  have the Mean 90s in my G400 as well and found that while being high output they are also low noise, perhaps something to to with the silver plating inside.

12 hours ago, ghost_of_fl said:

Very nice.  I love my Ibanez.  

I have had several Ibanez, all of them seemed to be exceptional. 

10 hours ago, uncle fester said:

Very sweet!

Thanks I'm really digging it.

Edited by mihcmac
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20 hours ago, mihcmac said:

I have had several Ibanez, all of them seemed to be exceptional. 

This one is no exception - a limited run Satriani model from the year they came out.  Model JSLTD.

IMG-20200808-112504.jpg

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2 hours ago, ghost_of_fl said:

This one is no exception - a limited run Satriani model from the year they came out.  Model JSLTD.

IMG-20200808-112504.jpg

Beautiful!  Does Joe know it got out of his stable?

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While playing the RG421 with the Mean 90's, at a higher outdoor volume, I found it to be sounding very Strat'y. I didn't kick in my boosts very often, played clean most of the time, really enjoyed the sound of my neck pickup and found myself using the tone control a lot. The bridge is just killer, works very well with my OD's and cuts through everything. The Telecaster wiring harness seemed to be pretty straight forward with 2x500k pots, a 47uf fat cap and a 3 way blade switch. The tone control reacts in an unusual but very pleasing way, could be something to do with the Mean 90's being in opposite polarity going to a single control. I will have to compare it to my G400 with the same pickups but individual controls for each. Bottom line is I am loving the sound. 

I started down the P90 path about 15 years ago and now all my guitars have P90's, most with different versions that produce their similar but individual sound. My Blueshawk with 25 1/2" scale effects its P90 Pro's, as does the RG421 with its spec 25 1/2" scale, mine actually measures 25 5/8" with near perfect intonation on 2 octaves. So I'm finding longer string length with more tension has a positive effect on P90's.

Edited by mihcmac
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I have two guitars with P90s and one with Duncan P-Rails (P90/rail/humbucker) and I used to have one with GFS Mean 90s.

On the gig I use the P-Rails, but they sit in the P90 position about 95-99% of the time. If I use both pickups in the rail mode, it has the Fender tone, and I use the rails or bridge humbucker for a couple of songs. I think I use them just to justify their existence.

NN02_DF522NN.jpg

By sliding the two little switches I can get P90, Rail, Series Humbucker or Parallel Humbucker. It's a Swiss Army Knife of Pickups. The P90 sounds very good, as does the humbucker and although the Rail sounds decent, the output is low but the volume knob is near my pinky finger. There is also a Piezo pickup under the bridge for acoustic sounds. Using the third knob I can blend the piezo with the mags and get some extra jangle/twang into the tone. Or with the second toggle switch I can use only the piezo, but it really doesn't sound full enough to replace an flat-top sound. It's think like an arch top.

NN03_TShot_B4.jpg

Notes.

 

 

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7 hours ago, Notes_Norton said:

I have two guitars with P90s and one with Duncan P-Rails (P90/rail/humbucker) and I used to have one with GFS Mean 90s.

On the gig I use the P-Rails, but they sit in the P90 position about 95-99% of the time. If I use both pickups in the rail mode, it has the Fender tone, and I use the rails or bridge humbucker for a couple of songs. I think I use them just to justify their existence.

NN02_DF522NN.jpg

By sliding the two little switches I can get P90, Rail, Series Humbucker or Parallel Humbucker. It's a Swiss Army Knife of Pickups. The P90 sounds very good, as does the humbucker and although the Rail sounds decent, the output is low but the volume knob is near my pinky finger. There is also a Piezo pickup under the bridge for acoustic sounds. Using the third knob I can blend the piezo with the mags and get some extra jangle/twang into the tone. Or with the second toggle switch I can use only the piezo, but it really doesn't sound full enough to replace an flat-top sound. It's think like an arch top.

NN03_TShot_B4.jpg

Notes.

 

I've heard a lot of good things about the P-Rails...

As I was making my transition from Humbuckings to P90's I found that the more I tweaked my amp for the P90's, I found that the humbuckings started to loose their unique sound and mine started to collect dust.  When Gibson introduced their trade name Humbucker design, I became a big fan later in the 60's. By the 70's many companies were producing their own humbuckings like my early Aria Pro LP.

Anyway I have migrated completely to P90's using Reverse coils and Dummy coils, like in my Blueshawk to reduce hum. Including better cables, fewer pedals and tweaking all controls to get the most hum free sound possible. 

Anyway 2, my interest is driven by how versatile P90's are and how they react to change of pressure or volume and tone settings on the guitar. When the guitar volume is set to about 1/2 is where the Strat sound starts..

Anyway 3, my RG421 with Mean 90's has turned into an incredible tone machine.  😬

Edited by mihcmac

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18 hours ago, mihcmac said:

<...snip...>

Anyway 3, my RG421 with Mean 90's has turned into an incredible tone machine.  😬

I really liked my GFS Mean 90s. One of the pups was reverse polarity / reverse wired, so in those rare situations where it was noisy, I could just flip the switch to engage both pickups. With on RP/RW it acted like a giant humbucker. Sure the tone was compromised, but it saved the gig.

The Mean 90s are a little brighter than the P90s on my ES-330. That's neither good nor bad as a tone control can fix that.

Although I loved the Mean 90s, I had problems with the guitar. It was a bottom-of-the-line LTD faux LP. It was built well, the neck was fast but too thin for my hands.  I got it in a trade for some of the software I write for Band-in-a-Box so I didn't lose any money on the deal, and it was my first guitar mod project with the Mean 90s.

The P-90 sound of the P-Rails is good. About as close to a real P90 as the mean 90s are. I don't have the LTD any more so I can't do a direct comparison.

Notes

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On 8/11/2020 at 4:41 AM, Notes_Norton said:

I really liked my GFS Mean 90s. One of the pups was reverse polarity / reverse wired, so in those rare situations where it was noisy, I could just flip the switch to engage both pickups. With on RP/RW it acted like a giant humbucker. Sure the tone was compromised, but it saved the gig.

The Mean 90s are a little brighter than the P90s on my ES-330. That's neither good nor bad as a tone control can fix that.

Although I loved the Mean 90s, I had problems with the guitar. It was a bottom-of-the-line LTD faux LP. It was built well, the neck was fast but too thin for my hands.  I got it in a trade for some of the software I write for Band-in-a-Box so I didn't lose any money on the deal, and it was my first guitar mod project with the Mean 90s.

The P-90 sound of the P-Rails is good. About as close to a real P90 as the mean 90s are. I don't have the LTD any more so I can't do a direct comparison.

Notes

Just as a note, in a reverse coil pickup the actual polarity is reversed, the coil (bobbin) and magnets are reversed creating an opposite magnetic field. The wiring is the same, if changed it will take the pickup out of phase creating an undesirable effect.

If you place a compass next to your pups the normal pup will swing the south end of the needle closest to it, on either end of the pup. The reversed  pup will swing the north end of the needle to it, on either end..

If you take a P90 part and remove the magnets, you will notice that the magnets are held together in opposing fields trying to push each other apart creating  a single magnetic field at both ends of the pup.

I-5980-p90-pickup-kit-P-90-pickup-diagra

On a P90, if your compass swings to the same  pole on both pups, then they are in the same polarity.. Normal pups in the same polarity will normally swing the south end of the needle toward them..

Humbuckings get confused, with one magnet and two coils, as each coil inside the pup has an opposite or opposing magnetic field. 😳

Edited by mihcmac
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On 8/8/2020 at 1:31 PM, mihcmac said:

Beautiful!  Does Joe know it got out of his stable?

Ty!  I'm sure he has a few just like it. 😄

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6 hours ago, ghost_of_fl said:

Ty!  I'm sure he has a few just like it. 😄

I remember the first one I saw that looked like solid chrome..

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On 8/11/2020 at 2:13 PM, mihcmac said:

Just as a note, in a reverse coil pickup the actual polarity is reversed, the coil (bobbin) and magnets are reversed creating an opposite magnetic field. The wiring is the same, if changed it will take the pickup out of phase creating an undesirable effect.

If you place a compass next to your pups the normal pup will swing the south end of the needle closest to it, on either end of the pup. The reversed  pup will swing the north end of the needle to it, on either end..

If you take a P90 part and remove the magnets, you will notice that the magnets are held together in opposing fields trying to push each other apart creating  a single magnetic field at both ends of the pup.

I-5980-p90-pickup-kit-P-90-pickup-diagra

On a P90, if your compass swings to the same  pole on both pups, then they are in the same polarity.. Normal pups in the same polarity will normally swing the south end of the needle toward them..

Humbuckings get confused, with one magnet and two coils, as each coil inside the pup has an opposite or opposing magnetic field. 😳

Thanks for the explanation!

Notes

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23 hours ago, Notes_Norton said:

Thanks for the explanation!

Notes

If anyone should try to reverse a Gibson P90 is one of the most difficult because it is very substantially built. You will need a good soldering gun to desolder the cable shielding from the chassis so you can flip the coil, while being very careful not to damage the leads going to the coil. Also need to mark the magnets with something like nail polish so you know the original orientation.

Usually much easier to just acquire an aftermarket reverse polarity P90, most manufacturers are building them in sets this way..

Epiphone P90's are easier to reverse with no desoldering required, just mark the magnets, disassemble requiring the pole screws to be removed, flip the coil and reverse the magnets in an opposite opposing position, check  the polarity with a compass and finish reassembling.

There are a few other posts in the Epiphone thread explaining in more detail.  

****    Easy P-90 hum cancelling mod

Edited by mihcmac
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A new home for my Ibanez, a Fender Black Tweed case...

oN51mxp.jpg

Had to add a small piece of foam under the heal and under the neck rest. It fits quite nicely..

Edited by mihcmac
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I couldn't pass up this 2019 USA case for $60 and my Min Pin is guarding it, she thinks it hers..

LMViZA1.jpg

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