Single Coil Vs P90: The Battle of Pickups

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Stuck choosing between single coil and P90 pickups? You’ve landed in the right spot!

In this piece, we’ll dissect the unique sound traits of both options, along with their strengths and weaknesses.

Prepare yourself to venture into the thrilling realm of single coils versus P90s!

Overview of Single Coil Pickups

Single coil pickups – you’ve probably heard of them. They’re a favorite among guitar enthusiasts for their unmistakable bright, twangy tones and the myriad of sound variations they offer. Some of the best single coil pickups out there are widely being used by musicians, guitarists and all professionals alike.

Constructed from one solitary wire coiled around a magnet, single coils usually have two wires linked to the pickup itself. The result? A resounding brightness with an abundance of treble and clarity that’s slightly lacking in bass.

From blues to country to punk, single coils are versatile players across many genres. You’ll frequently find them paired with other types of pickups as well – all in pursuit of crafting that unique audio experience.

If you’re on the hunt for a tone that’s vibrant yet biting, filled with presence and clear articulation – then look no further than single coil pickups! Their design allows for an extensive range of tonal shifts making it all more exciting. It gets interesting when you compare single coil vs humbuckers, and then single coil vs P90, there are quite some interesting differences that may fascinate you.

Overview of P90 Pickups

P90 pickups offer a killer alternative to the good old single-coil pickups, rocking a broader and beefier sound. What makes P90s unique is their design that cranks out a robust tone with more oomph than your standard single-coil pickup. Most often you’ll find these bad boys in the bridge position of your guitar, but they can also rock the neck position.

A closer look at P90 reveals two ceramic magnets and dual coils all wired up together – this setup is what gives it its signature sound. Slapping in a new P90 isn’t rocket science, just remember to connect the right wires to the correct spots and make sure it’s tightly fitted into your axe’s body.

Talking about magnet types for the P90 pickup; ceramic leads the pack as everyone’s favorite choice. But if you’re looking for some fresh tones then Alnico or even other magnet materials could be something worth experimenting with.

Sound Characteristics of Single Coil Pickups

Single coil pickups are like that edgy friend who’s always bringing the party. Their sound is a whole lot brighter and twangier compared to the P90s’ more filled-out, thick texture. If you’re all about making your strings growl – especially when you’re jamming out blues, country, or rock tunes- then they are totally your go-to.

But just so you know, these bad boys can be quite sensitive to changes in humidity. So it might do wonders if you tweak your string gauges suitably from time to time. What I love about them though is their narrower frequency range and less output than P90s – this gives off such a concentrated sound that’s super easy to shape with effects.

And here’s something awesome: You’ll see how single coils respond well to picking dynamics! Even minor shifts in how hard or soft you strum will drastically change up the vibe of what comes out of those amplifiers!

Sound Characteristics of P90 Pickups

If you’re hunting for a pickup that delivers an intense, full-bodied sound with higher output and a broader frequency range than single coils, P90s are your go-to. They dish out extra warmth to the tone, making them rockstars in resisting humidity fluctuations and variations in string thickness. Moreover, their boosted output catapults them as favorites among rock ‘n’ roll and blues enthusiasts.

Their sonic profile is gentle yet packs a punch – perfect for both rhythm guitar riffs or killer lead solos. You’ll find these babies often cranking up tube amplifiers harder than single coils do; this results in a hearty vintage vibe that pierces through even the densest mix like butter slick on hot toast.

In essence, P90 pickups carve out their own unique audio landscape which sets them apart from other options available on the market. If you’re craving something off-beat or simply want to stand out from the crowd sonically speaking – look no further!

Pros and Cons of Single Coil and P90 Pickups

When you’re standing at the crossroads of picking between single coil and P90 pickups, it’s crucial to weigh up both sides – their advantages and drawbacks. That way, you can make an informed decision about which one will bring out your unique sound.

Firstly, let’s talk money. Single coils are typically less pricey than P90s; this makes them a winning choice if you’re counting pennies or just starting on your musical journey.

Moving onto tone quality: if a clear-cut, upbeat sound is what gets your strings vibrating then single coils are going to be right up your alley as they deliver crisp notes with a twangy edge. On the flip side, for those who love blasting raw power chords that pack some grit behind them – look no further than the robust tones of P90s.

Variety? Single coils have got that covered too! They offer an open-ended range of tonal possibilities compared to the more basic two-tone spectrum offered by most P90s.

To sum things up: when choosing between these two types of pickups –single coil vs. P90– take into account not only what kind of music lights fire in your soul but also how much cash you’ve got burning a hole in your pocket.


You’ve been on the fence about single coil and P90 pickups, each boasting its own unique sound profile. While single coils deliver a crisp, clear tone, P90’s amplify a robust and rich resonance.

In the end, though, it all hinges upon your personal taste and what kind of auditory aesthetic you’re aiming for. Given the diverse range of options available in this realm, there’s definitely an ideal pickup out there that can help carve out your distinct sonic signature.

Whether you want to learn about guitars, guitar equipment or other instruments, Guitarsquid has all the answers.