P-90 in tele?

Discussion in 'rec.music.guitar' started by Phil V., Aug 30, 2003.

  1. Phil V.

    Phil V. Guest

    Hi,

    I'm planning to buy an ash '52 RI from Japan due to its great neck, great
    finish, and solid reviews. I've never owned a tele before - just an
    american ash strat and a Dearmond M72 (dual goldtone HB). I like the
    tones of artists such as Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Neil Young,
    Radiohead, so
    a tele seemed a natural choice. I'd like to have the flexibility to play
    styles from blues rock a la mid-period stones and early AC/DC to blues to
    jazz. A lot to ask of one guitar. I'd be playing through a tweed
    champ amp - maybe a 5e3 clone later.

    Some of the ideas I've turned-up are:

    - neck PAF / other HB a la Richards: I've heard this is a sweet combo,
    perhaps enough to make me consider HB's again - I generally prefer SC
    pickups. Can a split PAF do jazz?

    - neck p-90: appeals for the option of getting that Midnight Rambler sort
    of tone and perhaps a bit of jazz (if the pup can do both), without the
    sterilty of a HBucking pup.

    - p-90 in (new) middle rout: would let me preserve the original neck pup
    for jazz and have a normal p90 for raunch.

    All of these options would require some cutting - which I'm OK with. I
    figure that considering the cost of routing vs. cost of building /
    refinishing a guitar to spec makes routing the best option if I choose to
    do so. I'd give the stock setup a good long time before committing; my
    point is that I'm not looking for posts telling me about the sanctity of
    the guitar as factory-produced.

    Can anyone give me some direction on this from their experience? What
    would I lose / gain? Which option would best fit my needs.


    Thanks,
    Phil
  2. In article <brGcnRjT5tZSpMyiXTWc-g@speakeasy.net>, "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote:

    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm planning to buy an ash '52 RI from Japan due to its great neck, great
    > finish, and solid reviews. I've never owned a tele before - just an
    > american ash strat and a Dearmond M72 (dual goldtone HB). I like the
    > tones of artists such as Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Neil Young,
    > Radiohead, so
    > a tele seemed a natural choice. I'd like to have the flexibility to play
    > styles from blues rock a la mid-period stones and early AC/DC to blues to
    > jazz. A lot to ask of one guitar. I'd be playing through a tweed
    > champ amp - maybe a 5e3 clone later.
    >
    > Some of the ideas I've turned-up are:
    >
    > - neck PAF / other HB a la Richards: I've heard this is a sweet combo,
    > perhaps enough to make me consider HB's again - I generally prefer SC
    > pickups. Can a split PAF do jazz?
    >
    > - neck p-90: appeals for the option of getting that Midnight Rambler sort
    > of tone and perhaps a bit of jazz (if the pup can do both), without the
    > sterilty of a HBucking pup.
    >
    > - p-90 in (new) middle rout: would let me preserve the original neck pup
    > for jazz and have a normal p90 for raunch.
    >
    > All of these options would require some cutting - which I'm OK with. I
    > figure that considering the cost of routing vs. cost of building /
    > refinishing a guitar to spec makes routing the best option if I choose to
    > do so. I'd give the stock setup a good long time before committing; my
    > point is that I'm not looking for posts telling me about the sanctity of
    > the guitar as factory-produced.
    >
    > Can anyone give me some direction on this from their experience? What
    > would I lose / gain? Which option would best fit my needs.
    >
    >
    > Thanks,
    > Phil




    Hey Phil
    I have a tweed champ as well. Great little amp.
    One idea would be to route the neck pickup for a HB. Then you can experiment. There are P-90s that are designed to fit
    in a HB route. Gibson, Rio Grande, Tom Holmes are a few who make them. There are even Filtertrons (a la Gretsch) by TV
    Jones that will fit in a HB route.
    Personally I would avoid doing the middle pickup thing. It seems to me there might be issues with matching the output
    levels of each pup. Of course I could be wrong.
  3. Bruce Morgen

    Bruce Morgen Guest

    "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote:

    >Hi,
    >
    >I'm planning to buy an ash '52 RI from Japan due to its great neck, great
    >finish, and solid reviews. I've never owned a tele before - just an
    >american ash strat and a Dearmond M72 (dual goldtone HB). I like the
    >tones of artists such as Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Neil Young,
    >Radiohead, so
    >a tele seemed a natural choice. I'd like to have the flexibility to play
    >styles from blues rock a la mid-period stones and early AC/DC to blues to
    >jazz. A lot to ask of one guitar. I'd be playing through a tweed
    >champ amp - maybe a 5e3 clone later.
    >
    >Some of the ideas I've turned-up are:
    >
    >- neck PAF / other HB a la Richards: I've heard this is a sweet combo,
    >perhaps enough to make me consider HB's again - I generally prefer SC
    >pickups. Can a split PAF do jazz?
    >
    >- neck p-90: appeals for the option of getting that Midnight Rambler sort
    >of tone and perhaps a bit of jazz (if the pup can do both), without the
    >sterilty of a HBucking pup.
    >
    >- p-90 in (new) middle rout: would let me preserve the original neck pup
    >for jazz and have a normal p90 for raunch.
    >
    >All of these options would require some cutting - which I'm OK with. I
    >figure that considering the cost of routing vs. cost of building /
    >refinishing a guitar to spec makes routing the best option if I choose to
    >do so. I'd give the stock setup a good long time before committing; my
    >point is that I'm not looking for posts telling me about the sanctity of
    >the guitar as factory-produced.
    >
    >Can anyone give me some direction on this from their experience? What
    >would I lose / gain? Which option would best fit my needs.
    >

    In my experience, a "Fat
    Tele" mod trades one
    imbalance (the penetrating
    and twangy bridge sound
    overwhelming the dull and
    wimpy brass-covered neck
    pickup) for another (a
    typical big 'bucker or
    P-90 in the neck spot
    overwhelming the stock
    bridge pickup).

    By way of technical
    background, a vibrating
    string has much more
    displacement (range of
    motion) near the end of
    the fretboard than near
    the saddles, therefore
    the neck pickup gets
    much more magnetic
    energy to transduce to
    an electrical signal.
    Leo Fender knew this
    intuitively and made the
    Tele neck pickup with
    fewer turns of magnet
    wire and a narrower
    bobbin than the bridge
    pickup -- then he imo
    ruined that excellent
    surmise by stifling the
    neck pickup with that
    (imo) dumb brass cover.

    Enter the typical "Fat
    Tele" mod and the balance
    tips the other way. A
    traditional P-90 or PAF-
    style 'bucker is both
    larger and more heavily
    wound that a traditional
    Tele bridge pickup. Not
    only that, but as
    inductance increases the
    standard Tele control
    values makes the pickup
    sound mushy -- but if you
    up the control values to
    500K from the typical 250K
    then the bridge pickup
    begins to sound shrill at
    any amp setting where the
    nice new neck pickup
    sounds nice.

    Here's what I'd recommend
    before doing any routing:
    replace the neck pickup
    with either a good Strat
    pickup or an uncovered (or
    plastic-covered)
    aftermarket model --
    that'll go a long way
    toward making your Tele a
    truly practical two-pickup
    guitar. I took it to the
    next level with my
    "Reverse Fat Tele"
    partscaster -- not only do
    I have a Strat pickup in
    the neck position, but I
    have a 'bucker-sized
    pickup (but not actualy a
    'bucker) in a Gotoh bridge
    as my other pickup.

    Iow and imo, the goal with
    a guitar with only master
    volume and tone pots is to
    select pickups that blend
    and balance well with each
    other -- the typical "Fat
    Tele" setup doesn't do
    that, so I took another
    direction that I'm very
    happy with. Ymmv, so good
    luck with whatever road
    your decide to take. A
    Tele is great platform for
    thoughtful mods, and don't
    let the "vintage" freaks
    tell you otherwise!


    Disclaimer: I occasionally
    consult with William
    Lawrence Designs (Wilde),
    dba "Bill Lawrence Guitars"
  4. Dana Craft

    Dana Craft Guest

    "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    news:brGcnRjT5tZSpMyiXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    Hi,

    I'm planning to buy an ash '52 RI from Japan due to its great neck, great
    finish, and solid reviews. I've never owned a tele before - just an
    american ash strat and a Dearmond M72 (dual goldtone HB). I like the
    tones of artists such as Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Neil Young,
    Radiohead, so
    a tele seemed a natural choice. I'd like to have the flexibility to play
    styles from blues rock a la mid-period stones and early AC/DC to blues to
    jazz. A lot to ask of one guitar. I'd be playing through a tweed
    champ amp - maybe a 5e3 clone later.

    Some of the ideas I've turned-up are:

    - neck PAF / other HB a la Richards: I've heard this is a sweet combo,
    perhaps enough to make me consider HB's again - I generally prefer SC
    pickups. Can a split PAF do jazz?

    - neck p-90: appeals for the option of getting that Midnight Rambler sort
    of tone and perhaps a bit of jazz (if the pup can do both), without the
    sterilty of a HBucking pup.

    - p-90 in (new) middle rout: would let me preserve the original neck pup
    for jazz and have a normal p90 for raunch.

    All of these options would require some cutting - which I'm OK with. I
    figure that considering the cost of routing vs. cost of building /
    refinishing a guitar to spec makes routing the best option if I choose to
    do so. I'd give the stock setup a good long time before committing; my
    point is that I'm not looking for posts telling me about the sanctity of
    the guitar as factory-produced.

    Can anyone give me some direction on this from their experience? What
    would I lose / gain? Which option would best fit my needs.


    Thanks,
    Phil


    Harmonic Design makes a Tele P-90 with you having to route. You may want to
    pursue this option. I've never heard one though.

    http://www.harmonicdesign.net/allpages/teles.html

    Dana
  5. Dana Craft

    Dana Craft Guest

    "Dana Craft" <danacraft@charter.net> wrote in message
    news:vl2kaca7cnsp91@corp.supernews.com...

    "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    news:brGcnRjT5tZSpMyiXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    Hi,

    I'm planning to buy an ash '52 RI from Japan due to its great neck, great
    finish, and solid reviews. I've never owned a tele before - just an
    american ash strat and a Dearmond M72 (dual goldtone HB). I like the
    tones of artists such as Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Neil Young,
    Radiohead, so
    a tele seemed a natural choice. I'd like to have the flexibility to play
    styles from blues rock a la mid-period stones and early AC/DC to blues to
    jazz. A lot to ask of one guitar. I'd be playing through a tweed
    champ amp - maybe a 5e3 clone later.

    Some of the ideas I've turned-up are:

    - neck PAF / other HB a la Richards: I've heard this is a sweet combo,
    perhaps enough to make me consider HB's again - I generally prefer SC
    pickups. Can a split PAF do jazz?

    - neck p-90: appeals for the option of getting that Midnight Rambler sort
    of tone and perhaps a bit of jazz (if the pup can do both), without the
    sterilty of a HBucking pup.

    - p-90 in (new) middle rout: would let me preserve the original neck pup
    for jazz and have a normal p90 for raunch.

    All of these options would require some cutting - which I'm OK with. I
    figure that considering the cost of routing vs. cost of building /
    refinishing a guitar to spec makes routing the best option if I choose to
    do so. I'd give the stock setup a good long time before committing; my
    point is that I'm not looking for posts telling me about the sanctity of
    the guitar as factory-produced.

    Can anyone give me some direction on this from their experience? What
    would I lose / gain? Which option would best fit my needs.


    Thanks,
    Phil


    Harmonic Design makes a Tele P-90 with you having to route. You may want to
    pursue this option. I've never heard one though.

    http://www.harmonicdesign.net/allpages/teles.html

    Dana

    Ooops. Meant to say 'without you having to route'. Sorry.
  6. Phil V.

    Phil V. Guest

    The '53 bridge and neck pair sound like they might be a decent option
    without routing. Good reviews on Harmony Central ('course nobody shows
    off their dogs...). Sounds worth checking out. Thanks!

    On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 18:42:26 -0700, Dana Craft wrote:

    > Harmonic Design makes a Tele P-90 with you having to route. You may want
    > to pursue this option. I've never heard one though.
    >
    > http://www.harmonicdesign.net/allpages/teles.html
    >
    > Dana
    >
    > Ooops. Meant to say 'without you having to route'. Sorry.
  7. Phil V.

    Phil V. Guest

    Thanks for the verbose explanation. Hadn't thought of it that way.

    P

    On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 17:58:02 -0700, Bruce Morgen wrote:

    > Ymmv, so good
    > luck with whatever road
    > your decide to take. A
    > Tele is great platform for
    > thoughtful mods, and don't
    > let the "vintage" freaks
    > tell you otherwise!
  8. Phil V.

    Phil V. Guest

    On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 17:45:28 -0700, Brad St Clair wrote:

    > I have a tweed champ as well. Great little amp. One idea would be to
    > route the neck pickup for a HB. Then you can experiment. There are P-90s
    > that are designed to fit in a HB route. Gibson, Rio Grande, Tom Holmes
    > are a few who make them. There are even Filtertrons (a la Gretsch) by
    > TV Jones that will fit in a HB route. Personally I would avoid doing the
    > middle pickup thing. It seems to me there might be issues with matching
    > the output levels of each pup. Of course I could be wrong.


    I'll fess-up, it's a 6v6 gibson skylark, but it's basically a champ and
    frankly, nobody ever knows what you mean when you say 'skylark.'

    Hadn't thought about the output matching with the 3rd PUp. Thanks for
    the insight. RE gretch pups, I almost considered dearmond 2k's, but in
    my limited experience they're just sooo clean and quacky - like an old
    beatles song. Can't imagine them getting dirty.

    P
  9. Phil V.

    Phil V. Guest

    Hrmm. Read a bit more of the site - maybe V+. I've heard that Bardens
    are a bit too clean. These don't suffer from that problem do they?
  10. "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    news:19OcnelwyoEszM-iXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    > I've heard that Bardens are a bit too clean.


    Depends on what you mean by clean. Danny Gatton and Johnny Hiland sure got
    some nasty, dirty sounds out of Bardens...
  11. Nunya Bidni

    Nunya Bidni Guest

    "Jack A. Zucker" <jaz@jackzucker.com> wrote in message
    news:sls4b.20702$2Y6.7055175@news2.news.adelphia.net...
    > "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    > news:19OcnelwyoEszM-iXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    > > I've heard that Bardens are a bit too clean.

    >
    > Depends on what you mean by clean. Danny Gatton and Johnny Hiland sure got
    > some nasty, dirty sounds out of Bardens...


    ME TOO!

    No, seriously- Bardens respond very well to pick dynamics. If you have a
    sloppy right hand, they don't hide it. They twang righteously and go nicely
    with a dirtbox or a tube amp that's turned up a little. I've played mine
    into a couple of solid state boxes in front of my DRRI, a Budda Phatman in
    front of my DRRI and the DRRI turned up to about 7 where the power tubes
    start doing their thing. Satisfactory results in all cases, and absolutely
    no noise.

    -nyb
  12. Ed

    Ed Guest

    "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    news:19OcnelwyoEszM-iXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    > Hrmm. Read a bit more of the site - maybe V+. I've heard that Bardens
    > are a bit too clean. These don't suffer from that problem do they?


    If you're thinking of Harmonic Design, you'll have a six week wait after you
    put your order in. Definitely worth the wait and the high price tag. I don't
    know about the V+, but I just got my Z-90s installed and they are all I
    could ever hope for from a single coil pickup in terms of clean bell chimey
    stuff. And then when you add a bit of gain they get real vicious.
  13. jtees4

    jtees4 Guest

    On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 16:46:58 -0700, "Phil V."
    <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote:

    Many years ago, put a p-90 (from a non reverse firebird) into a tele.
    It was an early 70's tele. It sounded great....but those pickups just
    sounded great anyway. I miss both those guitars and can't afford
    either one now anyway.
  14. Another thought...Do the Brent Mason thing. Mini humbucker in the neck,
    strat in the middle, tele bridge...

    "jtees4" <jtees4@hotmail.com> wrote in message
    news:esi7lvcgq7l70kbfpmv532j6v2cdjnpj0d@4ax.com...
    > On Sat, 30 Aug 2003 16:46:58 -0700, "Phil V."
    > <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote:
    >
    > Many years ago, put a p-90 (from a non reverse firebird) into a tele.
    > It was an early 70's tele. It sounded great....but those pickups just
    > sounded great anyway. I miss both those guitars and can't afford
    > either one now anyway.
  15. Phil V.

    Phil V. Guest

    On Mon, 01 Sep 2003 15:48:00 -0700, Jack A. Zucker wrote:

    > Another thought...Do the Brent Mason thing. Mini humbucker in the neck,
    > strat in the middle, tele bridge...


    haven't heard him. I'll have to check him out.
  16. "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    news:DRmcncrVq7NtfM6iXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    > On Mon, 01 Sep 2003 15:48:00 -0700, Jack A. Zucker wrote:
    >
    > > Another thought...Do the Brent Mason thing. Mini humbucker in the neck,
    > > strat in the middle, tele bridge...

    >
    > haven't heard him. I'll have to check him out.


    Seriously? He's one of the best guitarists in the world. He does it all. His
    CD "Hot Wired" Displays a mastery of jazz, fusion, bluegrass, chickin'
    pickin', rock and even classical guitar.

    One amazing picker. Possibly the best guitarist in Nashville...

    Jaz
  17. "Jack A. Zucker" <jaz@jackzucker.com> wrote in message
    news:DkR4b.20983$2Y6.7325970@news2.news.adelphia.net...
    > "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    > news:DRmcncrVq7NtfM6iXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    > > On Mon, 01 Sep 2003 15:48:00 -0700, Jack A. Zucker wrote:
    > >
    > > > Another thought...Do the Brent Mason thing. Mini humbucker in the

    neck,
    > > > strat in the middle, tele bridge...

    > >
    > > haven't heard him. I'll have to check him out.

    >
    > Seriously? He's one of the best guitarists in the world. He does it all.

    His
    > CD "Hot Wired" Displays a mastery of jazz, fusion, bluegrass, chickin'
    > pickin', rock and even classical guitar.
    >
    > One amazing picker. Possibly the best guitarist in Nashville...
    >
    > Jaz
    >
    >

    Yup. There's a reason he's a 'first call' session man, in a town where
    *really* good players are a dime a dozen...;+)
  18. PCollen

    PCollen Guest

    "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message news:<brGcnRjT5tZSpMyiXTWc-g@speakeasy.net>...
    > Hi,
    >
    > I'm planning to buy an ash '52 RI from Japan due to its great neck, great
    > finish, and solid reviews. I've never owned a tele before - just an
    > american ash strat and a Dearmond M72 (dual goldtone HB). I like the
    > tones of artists such as Keith Richards, Muddy Waters, Neil Young,
    > Radiohead, so
    > a tele seemed a natural choice.


    Neil Young plays a Les Paul or that big ugly Gretsch White
    Falcon...never knew he played a Tele. Also, Keith Richards uses a
    Gibson 335 quite often, vs. the Tele.


    I'd like to have the flexibility to play
    > styles from blues rock a la mid-period stones and early AC/DC to blues to
    > jazz. A lot to ask of one guitar. I'd be playing through a tweed
    > champ amp - maybe a 5e3 clone later.


    You would be better off with a Gibson or other humbucker-equipped
    guitar.


    > Some of the ideas I've turned-up are:
    >
    > - neck PAF / other HB a la Richards: I've heard this is a sweet combo,
    > perhaps enough to make me consider HB's again - I generally prefer SC
    > pickups. Can a split PAF do jazz?


    YES...I use a split-coil Duncan '59 in the neck of my Hamer.


    > - neck p-90: appeals for the option of getting that Midnight Rambler sort
    > of tone and perhaps a bit of jazz (if the pup can do both), without the
    > sterilty of a HBucking pup.


    "sterility of a humbucker .."...?????? Since when are humbuckers, in
    general, 'sterile'. EMG's are sterile....

    > - p-90 in (new) middle rout: would let me preserve the original neck pup
    > for jazz and have a normal p90 for raunch.


    I would NOT advise doing this...



    > All of these options would require some cutting - which I'm OK with. I
    > figure that considering the cost of routing vs. cost of building /
    > refinishing a guitar to spec makes routing the best option if I choose to
    > do so. I'd give the stock setup a good long time before committing; my
    > point is that I'm not looking for posts telling me about the sanctity of
    > the guitar as factory-produced.
    >
    > Can anyone give me some direction on this from their experience? What
    > would I lose / gain? Which option would best fit my needs.


    I suggest getting a two-humbucker equipped guitar, and installing a
    split-coil neck pickup. I use a Duncan 59 and a Duncan JB in my Hamer
    and it has excellent tone in all pickup modes.
  19. Phil V.

    Phil V. Guest

    > Neil Young plays a Les Paul or that big ugly Gretsch White
    > Falcon...never knew he played a Tele. Also, Keith Richards uses a Gibson
    > 335 quite often, vs. the Tele.


    I don't know if young plays a tele.

    > "sterility of a humbucker .."...?????? Since when are humbuckers, in
    > general, 'sterile'. EMG's are sterile....


    I should clarify. My last HB guitar had dearmond goldtones. My problem
    was that they seemed to lack the texture of single-coils. That's what
    I'm getting at.

    > I would NOT advise doing this...


    Having heard a few such replies, I think I'll steer clear.

    > I suggest getting a two-humbucker equipped guitar, and installing a
    > split-coil neck pickup. I use a Duncan 59 and a Duncan JB in my Hamer
    > and it has excellent tone in all pickup modes.


    Should've tried other pickups in that DeArmond, maybe. Thanks.
  20. Dan Stanley

    Dan Stanley Guest

    "Phil V." <pvnews1@NOSPAM_nekophile.com> wrote in message
    news:xrmdnbSr9rn-sMiiXTWc-g@speakeasy.net...
    > > Neil Young plays a Les Paul or that big ugly Gretsch White
    > > Falcon...never knew he played a Tele. Also, Keith Richards uses a Gibson
    > > 335 quite often, vs. the Tele.

    >
    > I don't know if young plays a tele.


    Occasionaly, but it's been years. Around the time of "Tonight's the Night"
    he did. He also strapped a Flying V on around then, maybe a little later.
    Strange but true.

    Mostly for him it's been that black LP, or the Gretsch. There are pics of
    him from the recent Greendale tour using a goldtop LP w/ P-90s.

    Keef uses a lot of things, but Teles are certainly high on his list. Some
    straight, some with 'buckers in the neck, and of course the black double
    'bucker Tele Deluxe, which is almost a LP in Tele's clothing.

    The 335 has been making a lot of appearances in the last several years,
    though.

    P-90 in a Tele is an idea worth exploring. Suhr makes dual P-90 Telezoids
    that are beeyootiful...for instance:

    http://www.suhrguitars.com/4of35.htm

    I don't really go for the way figured wood, but still, he's making them.

    Here's something a little closer to "Traditional":

    http://www.suhrguitars.com/290tml.htm
    Those are Dimarzio Virtual P-90s. Same size, anyway.

    Suhr makes some great stuff.

    Dan

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