I only discovered the magical sound of P 90 pickups late in life. Like Telecasters, P 90 loaded guitars lived in the shadows of my Stat gems until Peter Weihe presented me with a tonal giant, a 1956 Gibson Les Paul Goldtop.
This guitar sounded absolutely magnificent! A little later I was able to pick up a ´53 P 90 from an old Les Paul and as luck would have it, an old friend gave me box with two ´50s P 90 pickups. These 3 old P 90s became the model for my SB 52 Set.
The sound samples are from Rainer Gaffrey. To hear is always the neck pickup, then both pickups followed by the bridge pickup. To get an even more detailed picture, I recommend visiting Rainer Gaffrey's site.
The SB 62 Set focusses more on powerful. earthy mids and is ideal for guitarist looking for classic fat, mid-driven rock sounds with singing harmonics that can come from wound up vintage amps of the category Marshall Plexi, Fender ´59 Bassman or Vox AC 30. The ´60s P 90 sounds bring back memories of Pete Townsend “Live at Leeds”, Leslie West, Keith Richards, John Lennon, Johnny Thunders – the list just goes on and on! Blues players will use the SB 62 for slide orgies. What was that saying? Careful, hot and greasy!
SB 52 clean in Les Paul Goldtop R6 VOS:
SB 52 crunch in Les Paul Goldtop R6 VOS:
SB 52 driven in Les Paul Goldtop R6 VOS:
SB 62 clean in Les Paul Special DC TV VOS:
SB 62 crunch in Les Paul Special DC TV VOS:
SB 62 driven in Les Paul Special DC TV VOS:
My version of these pickups was inspired by te legends of ´50s Rock´n´Roll: Scotty Moore, Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Muddy Waters, Hubert Sumlin - they all used guitars with P 90s. These pickups never fail to surprise with their prowess. With strong harmonics they drive the mids but also have a cool twang to the bass strings. In later years several rock musicians discovered the attraction of the old ´50s soap bars: Frank Zappa at the Mothers of Invention, Allen Wilson with Canned Heat or Dave Gilmour and his ´56 Les Paul Goldtop with Bigsby.