P90s to full size humbuckers

Brewser

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I have a nice P90 LP Special I and will be converting it to full size humbuckers (not minis). I have the tools and a good idea how to do it, but I'd like to hear from anyone who's done it, in case there's something I haven't figured out. I have other P90 guitars, but none with humbuckers, so this one is going under the knife (OK, router).

IMG_4103.JPG
 

psafloyd

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I have a nice P90 LP Special I and will be converting it to full size humbuckers (not minis). I have the tools and a good idea how to do it, but I'd like to hear from anyone who's done it, in case there's something I haven't figured out. I have other P90 guitars, but none with humbuckers, so this one is going under the knife (OK, router).

View attachment 14114
Why not minis? They can sound great, even in combo with a P90.
 

Brewser

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Ouch...looks good as is, but I get it.
Did you make that pickguard?
Yep, made the pickguard.

Why not sell it and buy a guitar originally fitted with humbuckers? That way you won’t potentially ruin what looks to be a perfectly fine Special.
I really like this guitar; it's all mahogany (no veneer), lightweight, and I've done quite a few mods already (rolled fretboard edges, leveled, crowned & polished frets, vintage tuners, USA controls). I've been making & modding guitars for many years, and converting this inexpensive Epi sis a continuing project. Plus I got a sweet deal on a set of StewMac Parsons Street humbuckers.

Why not minis? They can sound great, even in combo with a P90.
I've had minis before, but thought the output was kind of thin compared to a full size HB.
 

Robert Smith

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NO NO Please NO!!!!!!! This is a rare bird that needs to fly on her P-90's. Why kill it with hb's when there are tens of thousands of Late Special I's and Special II's that all have the dreaded humbuckers already installed. Oh well it is yours to do with as you wish, Enjoy.
 

dasherf17

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Why not sell it and buy a guitar originally fitted with humbuckers? That way you won’t potentially ruin what looks to be a perfectly fine Special.

...or, keep the Special and buy a Special with full size humbuckers...best of both worlds!
 

RR-Ramblers

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Don' do it. Buy a cheap $150 Epi LP Special with humbuckers..

Don't ruin a sweet P90 LP Sp I just to see what humbuckers sound like. I had a LP SP I with humbuckers, great tone and sustain, but don't take the P90's out of that one......
 

Keefoman

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I really like this guitar; it's all mahogany (no veneer), lightweight, and I've done quite a few mods already (rolled fretboard edges, leveled, crowned & polished frets, vintage tuners, USA controls). I've been making & modding guitars for many years, and converting this inexpensive Epi sis a continuing project. Plus I got a sweet deal on a set of StewMac Parsons Street humbuckers.

Inexpensive Epiphone and no veneer?

Anyway, it's your guitar and of course you do whatever you like. Those humbuckers you refer to aren't exactly top of the line, are they? They may be fine, but I don't know if butchering a nice looking Special for them is worth it.

If anything, I would rather pay my attention to upgrading the P90s and electronics if you aren't satisfied with how it sounds.
 

BGood

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Inexpensive Epiphone and no veneer?
Yes they do have veneer.
If anything, I would rather pay my attention to upgrading the P90s and electronics if you aren't satisfied with how it sounds.
These P90 are amongst the best out there. They compare favorably to boutique P90's, very musical.

Often when someone is not familiar with P90, they find all sort of negatives about them. You have to learn to love them, tweak them, find their sweet spot height and EQ your amp differently than with humbuckers or thin Fender like single coils. Some people don't want to go to the trouble of adjusting those variables, they think it's easier to replace everything, then their mind tells them it's all better because it cost something and it follows forums beliefs, but it really isn't.
 

Brewser

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"Yes they do have veneer."
No, this one doesn't; it's a 3-piece mahogany body with no veneer. I've attached some photos that I've enhanced showing clearly that there is no veneer.
But really, this was an inexpensive guitar that had a few QC issues when I got it. The strings were like stiff cables, the bridge was set WAY high on the treble side, and I had to slightly enlarge the pickup routes because the the covers fit so tight they couldn't be adjusted up or down. It's the perfect guitar to mod, and it's gonna be fun.

IMG_3181 copy.JPG IMG_4292 2.JPG IMG_4299 2.JPG
 

Keefoman

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I see a veneer, but very hard to determine from your pictures. Anyway, I see this is the low end bolt on neck, so now I`m not that concerned about hurting the value of your guitar. :)
 

Norton

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there are TONS of conversion threads at the les Paul forums.
 

Brewser

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I see a veneer, but very hard to determine from your pictures. Anyway, I see this is the low end bolt on neck, so now I`m not that concerned about hurting the value of your guitar. :)
Yes, it is just an inexpensive guitar, which is why I plan to have fun modding it. I've always been a fan of the flat top Gibson Specials with humbuckers like this, so I'm heading that direction:

2001-gibson-les-paul-special-sl-natural-YM9trMh.jpg

And most believe this guitar has a veneer, but trust me, it doesn't:

20210317_065320.jpg 20210317_065841_Burst03.jpg
 

IGRocker

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It’s a cheap guitar, not a 50’s Gibson. It’s not even a set neck! I can’t wait to see the finished guitar.
 


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