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Epiphone P90 vs. Gibson P90

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I have an Epiphone Les Paul 1956 Goldtop Reissue equipped with P90 pups (this is a seriously nice player!). I've done lots o' searching on line but can't find an answer anywhere - are the Epiphone P90 pickups different than Gibson P90's? If so, is the price tag of Gibson P90's going to bring a much better tone than the stock Epiphone P90's?

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Yes, they are different. They use different component parts (magnets, wire, etc.)and have slightly different dimensions due to inches vs. metric specs.

 

The consensus of many on this forum is that the difference in tone is less significant than the difference between Gibson and Epi humbuckers, but your own ears are the most important arbiter in that regard. I have 3 Epiphones with P-90's (Casino, Sorrento and Wildkat) and have never felt the need to change the pickups. If I were going to upgrade the pickups in any of my guitars, the Epi P-90's would be very low on my list, as I am quite content with the sounds I get from them.

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Yes, they are different. They use different component parts (magnets, wire, etc.)and have slightly different dimensions due to inches vs. metric specs.

 

The consensus of many on this forum is that the difference in tone is less significant than the difference between Gibson and Epi humbuckers, but your own ears are the most important arbiter in that regard. I have 3 Epiphones with P-90's (Casino, Sorrento and Wildkat) and have never felt the need to change the pickups. If I were going to upgrade the pickups in any of my guitars, the Epi P-90's would be very low on my list, as I am quite content with the sounds I get from them.

 

 

Excellent feedback - I'll leave the Epi p90's alone and focus on upgrading my son's Epi G-400. I have Gibson 490's in my '73 Les Paul for coil tapping reasons and they sound great through my Laney VC50 and Fender Deluxe (early '60's vintage). I've been considering upgrading the G-400 with the same. Thanks for your response.

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OOOPS...I just posted another P90 comparison. I would think the Gibson pickup is much

better that the EPI. Consider GFS P90s.

 

Thanks for your feedback as well. I believe a live comparison is in order.

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I believe a live comparison is in order.

I have replaced the the Epi P90s in my Special (see avatar) with Gibson Vintage p90s. There is a difference.

Even taking into consideration what ever amp you are playing through it is there. It is not an earth shaking, revelation, Oh my, the sun just came up in the west difference. They do sound clearer and more transparent to me.

I do not consider it a necessary upgrade. For me it was right time right place.

I was able to buy them before the prices jumped $30 each.

 

As to a live comparison, I put up a somewhat blind, youtube comparison in the lounge a couple of months back.

Someone on one of the other forums had made it. It compared Gibson P90 soapbars to GFS soapbars.

It was done both dirty and clean without telling you which pickup was which 'till the end.

It was surprising how many people preferred the GFS.

 

If I can find it I will post the link.

 

Willy

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Sorry guys,

I was wrong. One guitar is a Gibson '69 Deluxe Les Paul with P90 pickups.

One guitar is an Epiphone LP Custom with a Dream 90 Neck PU and a Mean 90 Bridge PU.

 

Still, just for fun, here is the link:

http://forum.gibson.com/index.php?/topic/63684-give-an-opinion/

 

Also, in case anyone is interested in the Duplicator 9000:

 

 

Willy

  • Haha 1

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A back to back comparison between a standard Casino and an anniversary model last weekend demonstrated starkly how much difference there is between them. Wow.

 

EG

 

Looks like a trip to the local GC and LaVonne's to find a Gibson P90 example to compare. Thanks for your feedback.

GB

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Plugged in my new '56 GT last night for the first time. While I no longer own the POS Gibson 60's Tribute and can't A/B the two, I do remember how the Gibson P90's sounded. They were definitely hotter than the Epi pickups. Whether they sounded better is a purely subjective thing. They sounded great for a Cream/Clapton vibe through my Vox AC4TVH, but I couldn't get anything resembling a clean sound through that amp. The Epi does a good clean and gets a little "rowdier" at volume. They're both good pickups - just not the same.

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When I played a standard Casino against an IBJL version (with Gibson p90's), the standard was less meaty and more toppy in comparison. The guy in the shop described it well; as if the treble had been turned an extra quarter on the amp.

 

(I bought the standard in the end)

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I just replaced the pickups in my Epi Les Paul Special to Gibson P90's and I am glad that I did; the Gibson's have more punch to them, an extra boost. I never would have done it if my friend didn't give me the Gibsons as he took them out of his Les Paul and they were lieing around. But the guitar is a beast now...before it was rather tame. I think the Epi P90's were lame; the growl and hiss that is one of the features of the P90 were just not there.

 

So - if you get a chance to change them - do so !

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Late to this thread, but...

 

I have an Epiphone Elitist Casino that came with Gibson P90's, and I also have several Epi's with Epiphone P90's...they are different, but I don't know if one is better than the other...I believe there is a big difference between the various guitars...even if you swapped the same pups from one to the other, there would be a difference.

 

mark

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I have foung the Epi P-90’s to be muted compared to a USA made P90.  Am cautious about the new P-90 Pros for 2020.  
 

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I have a few Epi's with both P90 Pro's and P90 Classics, I like them both depending on what guitar you put them in these are both Alnico V's. I tend to like the warmer squawk of the P90 Pro's in LP's and Brighter P90 Classics in my SG's. Epiphones current listing doesn't seem to make a distinction between and Pro's and Classic's and would guess that their standard now is Pro's. I also have Gibsons with P90's that seem to be affected by 60 cycle hum more than the Epi versions, even though they are built with a heavier chassis and shielding. I have been very pleased with my GFS P90's using both the Dream 90's an the very hot Mean 90's in my Gibsons and Epiphones. GFS usually provides a mixed polarity set with the neck pickup magnets and coil in reverse polarity so you get hum cancelling when your selector switch is in mid position. You can test your P90's polarity by simply placing a compass next to the pickups, if an opposite polarity set the compass will swing 180º. Most stock Epi's P90's are in the same polarity with the exception of the Blueshawk. Also note that Gibson usually uses the same P90 for Neck and Bridge position, with the same pole spacing which will affect your pickup covers. Epiphone uses different pole spacing for Neck and Bridge so the strings will line up with the poles better, making for different covers..

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