If you are looking to get a better sound from your guitar or if you are just looking to add a little more punch, an upgrade to your pickups could be in order.
Pickups are often overlooked by more novice guitar players. A common mistake new guitarists often make is thinking that getting a bigger, better amp is all you need to improve your sound.
This is simply not true…
The single biggest factor that affects the sound of any electric guitar is the pickups that you use.
The P-90 pickup is known for producing brighter tones and a clearer attack than humbuckers. This is due to them being single-coil pickups which are known for an excellent high-end response.
While P-90s are single-coil pickups, they differ from other single-coil designs. The P-90 design offers more warmth and slightly less edge than standard single-coil pickups. Another plus of the P-90 is a stronger mid-tone response which provides you with power and twang.
This means greater top-end that will pierce through the mix of any musical genre.
An easy way to describe the P-90 is something between a single-coil and a humbucker. There are some differences among each of the designs, and some are better suited for certain musical styles.
But which one is the best one for you?
We’ll find out by reviewing five of the best P-90 pickups on the market to find the perfect you for your needs…
- Top 5 Best P-90 Pickups To Buy In 2019 Reviews
- Best P-90 Pickup Buyer’s Guide
- And The Winner Of The Best P-90 Pickups Review Is…
Top 5 Best P-90 Pickups To Buy In 2019 Reviews
1 Lindy Fralin P-90 Soapbar Pickup Set Black
Fralin is well-known pickup maker. All their pickups are made in the US and all are hand wound with care and attention to quality. These pickups feature a reverse wound bridge that helps to reduce noise and hum when both pickups are active. They are made with Alnico II magnets and adjustable poles.
The soapbar shape and black finish add a pleasing appearance…
With these pickups, you can get sounds that range from a drowsy deep-south drone to a grit and grime, gnashing bite. The mid-range is fat, coupled with a round, clear low-end and a sharp, brilliant high-end.
The Fralin P-90 pickups will make any guitar sing or squeal depending on what style you’re playing. They have an excellent sustain, and each note rings pure and true. You can use these pickups for any musical style, from gospel and blues to heavy and hard rock.
With Lindy Fralin P-90 pickups you will never need to ask, “Where’s the beef?”
2 Seymour Duncan Antiquity P-90 Dog Ear Pickup – Bridge
Seymour Duncan has made a great P-90 bridge pickup. The Antiquity P-90 Dog Ear bridge pickup has a classic sound and look. This pickup is modeled on the original pickups found in the first Les Paul guitars and pays homage to their distinct sound and tone.
It is full of warmth but still lets out bright and clear high and mid-range tones that simply shine. The high notes come out crisp and bright. You will find it offers lots of bite without needing a ton of gain to get there. This pickup has plenty of power just waiting to pounce.
Time for some swooning…
Push your amp and let the Antiquity P-90 swoon. This pickup was made for rock. It gives you a grinding, woody sound especially when played through a preamp or tube screamer.
Since this pickup is based on vintage designs, it works best with tube/valve amps. Set your amp to crunch and let this pickup unleash the untapped potential of any guitar.
This pickup is made with Alnico II magnets that have been specially calibrated to give you greater sustain and clarity on the high-end. The bobbins and wirings are replicas of the original components, which ensures you will be getting that vintage P-90 sound.
3 Seymour Duncan SHPR-1n P-Rails – Neck Pickup Black
A truly ground-breaking pickup.
In the world of electric guitar, there are three standards for tone: Strat, humbucker, and P-90. It used to be that in order to get any one of those tones you would need three different guitars. But, thanks to the Seymour Duncan SHPR-1 P-Rail pickup those days are over. With just this one pickup you can get all three vintage tones.
Featuring a patent-pending design this pickup is a humbucker that can be split into either a classic P-90 or a single-coil.
The humbucker sound is full and warm with plenty of expanding sustain. The P-90 sound is nothing but fat and gristle. And the single-coil rail gives you all kinds sweet and thrilling mid and high-end brilliance that sparkles with a classic Stratocaster tone.
This pickup packs a huge punch and can handle any musical style you throw at it.
Do you want some heavy rock? Kick in the humbucker…
Need some wailing swamp blues? Power up the P-90. Are you in dire straights? Single-coil to the rescue.
There is not much this pickup can’t do. For guitar players who like to get down with every musical style, the Seymour Duncan P-Rail pickup will add a whole new dimension of sound and tone capabilities to your ax.
4 Seymour Duncan Sph90-1n Phat Cat Humbucker Neck Pickup – Nickel
The Phat Cat is a pure single-coil P-90 that can fit under humbucker covers and can easily be popped into any humbucker-ready guitar.
The reason for putting a soapbar single-coil under the metal cover of a humbucker is to give it a greater amount of shielding and noise elimination. The covers are quite aesthetically pleasing in shiny nickel. The standard soapbar covers are usually some kind of polymer.
The tone of this P-90 pickup is right there in its name; Phat. Honestly, who doesn’t enjoy a little play on words, right? Aside from having a big, fat sound, this pickup is energetic and punchy. The tone is clear and bright with loads of mid and high-end shimmer.
The low-end doesn’t have the same thickness as vintage P-90s but is it defined and steady. Add a little bit of reverb, and the bottom will fill out and give you a real bluesy feel.
This pickup offers you an almost hyper-sensitivity to your attack and picking action.
What does this mean…
It means that as a neck pickup, this beauty is great for fingerpicking and for tearing apart eardrums during a solo. For anyone playing country or any kind of music that demands clarity first and foremost, this pickup will leave you stuffed.
The Seymour Duncan Phat Cat is made with two Alnico II magnets which give you fantastic sustain and means that it is quite powerful.
Made in the US and used by many top guitarists around the world, the Phat Cat offers growl that is full of snap and pop.
5 Tonerider Hot 90 Soapbar P90 Bridge Pickup – Black
The Hot 90 takes the vintage P-90 pickup design and ups the ante. The tone is much hotter than vintage P-90s and features extra low-end response, harmonic clarity, and depth.
The Hot 90 pickup has an Alnico V magnet which is more powerful than the Alnico II magnets found in classic P-90 pickups. It is this magnet that lets you really feel the heat when you are playing. The overall sound can go from a slightly crackling campfire to a full-on inferno when you crank your guitar volume to full or push your amp higher.
The Hot 90 is made with quality components that help to reduce hum.
This is a great pickup for those on a budget who want a loud and hot P-90 that has all the charm of classic tones.
Best P-90 Pickup Buyer’s Guide
Now that you have had the chance to get to know the best P-90 pickups available, there are a few more things you should think about before you make your purchase.
Get An Expert Installation
When it comes to upgrading or replacing your pickups, you are going to need them installed. Some will think that swapping out pickups is as easy as changing a light bulb.
It is not.
We strongly recommend that you find a professional to help you install your new P-90 pickup. Nothing would be worse than spending your hard-earned money on something that gets bungled by incompetence.
The other big factor is your guitar. Make sure the P-90 you settle on will fit in your guitar. Check out the size and shape of the P-90 you want and make sure it will fit your guitar.
Have you ever gotten some clothes as a gift and they didn’t fit?
Now imagine that feeling of disappointment but times a thousand.
And The Winner Of The Best P-90 Pickups Review Is…
We have come to the end, and it is time to give you our choice for the Best P-90 Pickup.
Of course, all the pickups we’ve looked at here are quality pickups. But in the end, there is one which grabs all the attention.
The winner is the…
This pickup has all the soul that vintage P-90 pickups have been so sought after for. Also, the reputation of Seymour Duncan to exceed expectation cannot be overlooked.
This pickup looks and sounds like the original P-90 pickup. It has bite, growl, power, clarity, and personality. It also works well with most musical genres but hangs its hat on being a rock champion.
With this pickup, you won’t believe how much more sonic diversity your guitar will be able to produce.
A big shoutout goes to our second place winner, the…
This set might be a bit on the pricey side, but you are getting your money’s worth. As a set, you will be able to cover every inch of your sound with pure, classic P-90 fat tones.
They are high-quality pickups that will send you back in time and leave your longing for more.
We hope you found this information useful, and you know which P-90 is the right one for you.
So get ready!
Once you hit that first strum with you new P-90 pickup, you will be born again.
And a believer, you will become.