Introduction:

The P90 pickup was invented by Gibson, one of the most influential brands in the history of guitars. They were extremely popular during the ’40s and the ’50s, but they were soon replaced by an improved version – the humbucker.

Anyhow, the humbucker was capable of reducing the unnecessary “humming” noise some guitars made, but it was pretty mediocre in the mid-range department.

Old-school rockers who preferred some crunchiness in their sound stuck with the P-90, as did most of the beginners once this remarkable pickup came back on stage.

Best P90 Pickups

QUICK RUNDOWN

If you are in a hurry here is a quick comparison:

P90 PICKUPS
KEY PROS

#1 Gibson Gear IMP9R-CC P-90 Single Coil



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  • Beautiful crème color

  • Original Gibson P90 specs

  • Superior performance

  • Offers controlled, accurate sound output




#2 Seymour Duncan SPH90 Phat Cat P90 Electric Guitar Pickup



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  • Ravishingly beautiful nickel-plated pickups

  • Premium-quality Alnico 2 magnet

  • High performance

  • Ideal when attached to hollow-body guitars



#3 TFW Replacement Pickup Set - P90, Humbucker Size Set of 2




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  • Performance beyond average

  • Great for the buck

  • High-quality ceramic magnets

  • Come in a set of 2 with hardware

  • Can substitute for any humbucker-size pickup


#4 Kmise MI0159 Set of 2-Piece Cream Ivory Guitar P90 Soapbar Pickup Dog Ear Style



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  • Decent performance

  • Very affordable

  • Neat dog-ear design




#5 Kmise A1861 P-90 Soapbar Single Coil Pickups Bridge and Neck Cream



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  • Among the most affordable P-90 pickups on the market

  • Mediocre performance – still better than most budget pickups and magnets

  • Beautiful cream color

  • Medium-quality hardware


BEST P90 PICKUPS REVIEWS

P90 Soapbar Pickup

Best P90 Pickup Under $200

Gibson invented P90 pickups, so it’s only normal that the originals are superior when compared to others. This particular pickup is the best model in our review, as it offers a precise tone, balanced mid-section, and full, rich sound.

Surely enough, it costs quite a lot, but the price is fair, considering that IMP9R-CC single coils are among the best in the series.

This P90 pickup features the “soap-bar” design – a crème colored magnet that’s on point in regards to aesthetics and performance.

Overall, you can’t make a mistake if you go with Gibson, especially if you’re looking for that twangy, slightly driven sound.

 

For more about Gibson Gear IMP9R check out customer reviews on Amazon.

  • Tone and Sound 97%
  • Quality 95%
  • Design and Looks 95%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Beautiful crème color
  • Original Gibson P90 specs
  • Superior performance
  • Offers controlled, accurate sound output
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • A Bit expensive
  • Doesn't come in a set of two, unlike most P90 sets

Best P90 PICKUP Under $100

Now, Seymour Duncan is a reputable brand, and, even though they might not have invented P90s, they surely make them good.

Here we’re looking at SPH90 Phat Cat P90 pickup with Alnico 2 magnet and a single conductor cable – a perfect hardware setup for people who don’t mind paying top dollar.

It features a beautiful nickel casing, amongst other things, which is decently durable. Overall, you’d have to search really hard to find a better P90 pickup in the price range – great performance, amazing aesthetics, and absolute reliability is the least you should expect from Seymour Duncan SPH90 Phat Cat.

For more about Seymour Duncan SPH90 check out customer reviews on Amazon.

  • Tone and Sound 92%
  • Quality 94%
  • Design and Looks 93%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Ravishingly beautiful nickel-plated pickups
  • Premium-quality Alnico 2 magnet
  • High performance
  • Ideal when attached to hollow-body guitars
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Just like Gibson Gear IMP9R-CC P-90, Seymour Duncan Phat Cat comes solo

Best Jazz Bass Under $50

This price range is filled with great P90 pickups, and TFW’s P90s are a perfect example of that. These pickups come in a set of two, which is why they’re considered as “replacements”.

Surely enough, they offer full, defined sound, and they’ll capable of complementing virtually any axe you have.

These are ceramic magnets that come fully equipped with necessary hardware, so just plug them in and play. They’re the size of a standard humbucker, and they bear some semblance to it in terms of design.

Great for the cash, even though they’re far from perfect.

For more about TFW Replacement P90 – Humbucker Size check out customer reviews on Amazon.

  • Tone and Sound 90%
  • Quality 89%
  • Design and Looks 90%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Performance beyond average
  • Great for the buck
  • High-quality ceramic magnets
  • Come in a set of 2 with hardware
  • Can substitute for any humbucker-size pickup
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • J These pickups offer a fairly balanced tone, even though they can't compare to their high-end counterparts

Best P90 Pickup Under $20

Kmise is, perhaps, the most successful brand of low-end pickups, and their MI0159 model is simply great for people who’re low on cash.

Most people like the sound this pickup gives you, even though they’re physically a bit too large for some guitars.

Overall, we can characterize the performance of MI0159 as decent, at best. They’re pretty neat in terms of aesthetics, as they feature the dog-ear design, but, as we said, they’re huge.

Overall, great for experimenting, if you’re up for it.

 

For more about Kmise MI0159 check out customer reviews on Amazon.

  • Tone and Sound 80%
  • Quality 77%
  • Design and Looks 81%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Decent performance
  • Very affordable
  • Neat dog-ear design
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Very large, might not suit some guitars

Best Budget P90 Pickup

The last item on the menu is another product from Kmise – the A1861 P-90 soapbar pickup pair. Now, these pickups are some of the best in the price range, as they give a welcome boost to your tone, but they simply can’t compare to better pickups, like Gibson’s, or Seymour Duncan’s.

Anyhow, the DC resistance of these pickups is estimated at 8,000, and they feature a pole spacing of 50 millimeters – which is pretty nice for a budget set of P-90 pickups.

 

For more about Kmise A1861 check out customer reviews on Amazon.

  • Tone and Sound   72%
  • Quality 65%
  • Design and Looks 72%
THINGS WE LIKED
  • Among the most affordable P-90 pickups on the market
  • Mediocre performance – still better than most budget pickups and magnets
  • Beautiful cream color
  • Medium-quality hardware
THINGS WE DIDN'T LIKE
  • Might serve as replacement, but don't think about using these pickups as your main

THINGS TO CONSIDER:

Most notable benefits of using p90 pickups

Getting the perfect sound is very hard, as you often have to balance between a good, deep bass output, not overly accentuated highs, and, of course, the biggest problem – clean, crispy mids.

This is where P90 pickups come into play, as they offer a well-balanced soundstage, boosting your midsection without cutting out your attuned frequencies.

Needless to say, if you’re trying to get the best from your guitar with easy mods, you might want to consider trying P90 pickups out. There are different price ranges for everyone to find what they’re looking for – from measly $20, to way over $200.

P90 pickups variations and types

There are three most common P90 pickup variations – the soap bar, the dog ear, and the humbucker casing:

Soap bar – the soap bar is rather plain design, as it features a rectangular shape, with screws mounted throughout the perimeter of the coil. One of the first guitars which featured the “soap bar” P90 was Gibson Les Paul 1952;
Dog ear – the “dog ear” is a variation of the soap bar. The reason for this name can be seen in the extensions at the sides, which resemble dog ears.
Humbucker casing – Gibson made the “humbucker-size P90” variation so as to resolve the cosmetic issue of larger pickups being used on guitars that couldn’t accommodate them.

CONCLUSION

If you’re looking for good magnets – the ones that are equally powerful as they are accurate, you are looking for P90 magnets.

Even though they aren’t the latest name in technology, they’re counted among the best in various fields of performance.

First of all, they’re extremely reliable, and you don’t have to worry about them dying on you when they’re most needed. Secondly, most P90 pickups are decently affordable – even the most expensive models don’t cost a fortune.

Last, but not least – they sound amazing, and that’s a rule.

Best P90 Pickups for 2018
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