Workshop: 1949 Gibson Non-Adjustable P90 Pickup

There's not a lot of info about these postwar "P90" pickups found on ES-125s and the like up to about 1950. Outwardly, it looks like a normal P90 pickup except that the poles are non-adjustable and staggered for 4-wound, 2-plain ("wound G") stringing.

Unlike a P90 pickup, those polepieces are actually the magnets. That means that this pickup design is basically comparable to a Fender design style and more related to Gibson's '30s and '40s lap steel pickups which also featured a similar construction.

While the coil wrap around the poles is about the same as a '50s P90, the baseplate lacks the magnets under it and the adjustable poles, and this changes the tone quite a bit. To me it sounds a lot like a modern "overwound" Jazzmaster pickup. It's clean, clear, and has plenty of punch. Good output means it does drive an amp nicely for a period pickup, but it definitely lacks the grind and rawr-like growl of a "real" P90 design.

Cool, no?


daverepair said…
Very interesting, did not know these differed from later P-90s.