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what is a p90 pickup

In Scientific Term we can classify a Guitar Pickup as a Transducer kind of device. Simply because it converts strings vibrations into electric signal that goes via mixer or amp to Speakers.

In more musical language we can define P90 pickup as a more like a split between humbuckers and single spiral models.

A P90 pickup has a vibrant attacks and brilliant tenor as compared to humbuckers, but when it comes to mid and low range or section it has a robust effect in comparison to outdated single spiral models.

P90 model has a nice ring to it as it comes with a suitable amount of resonance and vibration and sounds pretty impressive in rock and country styles.

Although many pickups out there can still generate the 60-cycle buzz of single coil pickups, but there also exist different alternatives which nullifies the effect just like the humbucker, nevertheless allowing one to enjoy it’s distinguishing P90 tone.

Their are lots of other brands that manufactures same pickup following the path of P 90 but the original ones are made by Gibson since 1946.

P90 comes with 3 key types of its casing namely “soap bar” “dog ear” “humbucker casing”.

Those guitars which are installed with Gibson and Fender style are most likely to be nonoperative with “soap bar” and “dog ear” styles of P90 pickups.

But one can still seek and analyse the sound by utilizing the humbucker casing of P90.

The following list will definitely fulfil your creation and will suits your taste of shape and style, that you are seeking.

Here are our references for the 4 BEST P90 PICKUPS available on the mart, that might help you with your preferences.

best p90 pickups In Budget

DiMarzio DP163 Bluesbucker Humbucker Pickup

DiMarzio DP163 Bluesbucker Humbucker Best P90 Pickup Gibson Guitar

If you are keen to have a pickup of a size similar to humbucker P90 that too in a very rational amount, then please have a look on this DiMarzio Blue bucker.

It operates more or less like a humbucker in terms of termination of both size and hum.

This pickup uses a blend of Virtual Vintage & Air bucker expertise that provides the compassion to play dynamics which is present In the typical coil pickup.

The exceptional feature of this pickup is that it contains a “hot” coil which has 6 modifiable poles & an additional coil which helps in the calling off the hum.

This means by altering the position of the coil will produce noticeably distinguish sounds.

Like, by shifting the hot coil nearer to the bridge can enhance the sound or closer to the neck will produce warmer sound.

This adaptable pickup produces resonance which is boundless in any situation and perfectly suits the guitarist pocket as it is pocket friendly.

Lollar P90 Pickup Swap Before and After Video

Pickup - Kent Armstrong, Stealth 90 - Noiseless P90 Neck

Cheap P 90 Pickup Kent Armstrong Stealth 90

The P90 series embarks an exclusive style in the form of Stealth 90 pickup which is unique in a way that it comes with a double coil design which enables to remove the hum but at a very lower output.

These pickups are therefore a lot more economical than those P-90s that are present in the market.

The most sensational part of this pick up is that, it has a tendency to mild up the tone with a striking high end note.

Which is subtle to a far-reaching range of selection of dynamics and comes with a variety of distinctive & unique style, beginning with raunchy blues to heavy rock distortion and many more.

This pickup provides the players of hard rock or metal with their desired preference of brittle sound which is created by the ceramic magnet present in the pickup.

There’s is no second thought to it, that this pickup is among the best p90 pickups as far as the money value is concerned.

Seymour Duncan SPH90-1 Phat Cat Nickel Pickup Set P-90 for Humbucker

Seymour Duncan SPH90-1 Phat Nickel Pickup

The Seymour Duncan phat cat is a size of humbucker pickup that fits into those guitars which are unable to use any other P90 styles.

Just like the name proposes, it has a big & fat tone which comes with particularly strong attack, creating it more preferable by the fingerpickers let alone it is played in a funk or country style.

This pickup doesn’t drop its tonal clarity when pushed at its edge and hence making its performance more exciting and excellent to experience.

It is preferred by most of the metal guitarists because of the pairing of sounds accurately and therefore making it a great choice to grab.

Lindy Fralin P-90 Soapbar Pickup Set

Lindy Fralin P-90 Soapbar Pickup Set

Lindy Fralin’s P90 pickup is the leading and supreme pickup available in the aftermarket which comes in both style that is soap bar style & dog ear style.

This pickup has steel poles (which is similar to the indigenous 1950s P90) or Alnico that produces clear and neat sound.

It provides you with a composed sound with an antique feel and it comparatively gives you a little more colour and a vivid edge across changing & compelling levels than typical Gibson pickup.

In contrast to any other P90 style pickups, LINDY FRALIN P90 is like a humbucker in a way that it does not make noise and is soundless.

Hence, providing you with the best negotiation of single and double coil designs.

This is one of the finest P90 pickup which will induce you to have it.

Fender Pure Vintage '65 Jazzmaster Pickup Set

Fender Pure Vintage '65 Jazzmaster Pickup Set
Fender Jazzmaster Pickup Set

P 90 pickup Style - how guitar pickups work ?

Here's couple of videos explaining in details about how Guitar Pickups works.

Single Coil Vs Double Coil

Single Coil Vs Double Coil

As you know magnetic pickups are base which are wrapped with wire all around the structure (coil-former). A single formation like this is Single Coil Pickup and Double Coil Pickups has two of these structure.

Our Pick For Best Single Coil Pickups

Wilkinson LIC Black ST Strat Vintage Voice Single Coil Pickups
Wilkinson LIC Single Coil Pickups Fits Stratocaster
Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups
Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups
Seymour Duncan STK-S4s
Seymour Duncan STK-S4s
Musiclily Dual Hot Rail Guitar Single Coil Humbucker Pickups
Fender Tex-Mex Strat Pickups

Soap Bar Style

The actual Gibson P90 was of rectangular figure and hence was known as soap bar style.

The overall look of the pickup seems to be packed on the forward-facing side as the screws on these models are placed in the middle of the pickup which eventually leads to the misassumption of the screws as a pole piece.

Later on, the dog ear style was developed which helped in the elimination of this issue by replacing the rectangular shape of old-style soap bar with a triangular screw plates.

Moderate Output Vs High Output Pickup

Moderate Output pickup Vs High Output pickup

Extending from the end of soap bar design and letting the screws to be attached far apart from the poles. 

In 1960s, the p90 casing of dog ear was communal on the Gibson hollow body guitars and it has a parallel feature of overall shape and size to the actual design of soap bar.

Both designs of Gibson P90 series has an outstanding and exclusive feature.

Comparatively, they are lengthier than any other pickup styles, broader than many single coil pickups, but are thinner than humbuckers.

Passive Vs Active Pickups

Passive Vs Active Pickups

This implies that if someone wishes to connect to a standard p90 pickup in a humbucker guitar – a Les Paul, for example, or most Fenders.

One has to alter the structure of the instrument which will eventually leads to artistic problems or operational difficulties.

These issues enforced the creators to install a casing of humbucker for their P90 pickups, providing them with a brand-new sound possibility.

If you want to ensure that the pickup selected by you fits your instrument then it is essential to choose the right shape & size for the best P90 pickups.

Vintage Vs Modern Pickups

Vintage Vs Modern Pickups

But as far as the quality of sound is concerned the shape won’t have much influence on it. 

This pickup provides unique sound to experience because of the core mechanisms of pickups that are selected from diverse brands.

But then again it is not confined only with the shape of the cover but also with the way the poles are coiled and the materials are used in it.

P90 Pickup Magnet Materials - Alnico Vs Ceremic

Types of Magnets used in guitar pickups


  • Lowest Magnetic Field Strength
  • Lowest String Pull
  • Warm Vintage Tone
  • Lowest Output
  • Very Soft-attack


  • Low Magnetic Field Strength
  • Lowest String Pull
  • Warm Vintage Tone
  • Low Output
  • Soft Attack


  • Moderate Magnetic Field Strength
  • Moderate String Pull
  • Hot Vintage Tone
  • Moderate Output
  • Strong Attack


  • High Magnetic Field Strength
  • Significant String Pull
  • Modern Aggresive Tone
  • High Output
  • Sharp Attack

The P90 pickups comprises of mainly two types of magnets namely: Alnico Magnet & Ceramic Magnet.

The ALNICO Magnet is the most commonly used magnet made up of a blend of aluminium, nickel, and cobalt.

These magnets are unchanging and firm in their characteristics and emits high radiation, they are luxurious in nature although it comes into higher grades and outputs.

The CERAMIC Magnet is a very rare magnet material which create a magnetic field by using some kind of iron ferrite.

If same grade of an Alnico and a Ceramic magnet were to be compared, then it is highly possible that alnico would be preferred because of its durable nature.

But since ceramic is so much economical, there is likely a greater chances of getting a higher grade magnet for the equivalent price and hence can be affordable by all.

This finally leads to stronger magnetic field in the pickups due to the use of ceramic magnet in it.

If evaluated from a rational viewpoint, the outcome of the comparison is that those pickups with Ceramic magnets has intense tone as compared to the Alnico magnets.

The Alnico Magnets have achieved a better reputation & status as it is being used in the “higher end” pickups.

These are regularly made with more care but this does not signify that an Alnico Magnet is fundamentally better than Ceramic Magnet.

If you really want a strong, bold and more persuasive tone from your guitar then a well-made ceramic magnet product is all you have to catch as that may be the best P90 pickup as per your preferences.

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