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Author Topic: RS-2 P-90 or Humbuckers?  (Read 4387 times)
zen_1000
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« on: March 22, 2011, 09:02:34 AM »

 Hi guys! I am considering getting a Larrivee RS-2 but I face two problems:

  One, I am from Singapore and won't have a chance to try a RS-2 in person. Any recommendations for a good and responsible online dealer?
 
  Second, anyone have any opinions about the Larrivee P-90 vs the larrivee humbuckers? There are not many sound samples online of both so I thought I should ask!


Thanks!
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JOYCEfromNS
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« Reply #1 on: March 22, 2011, 02:19:53 PM »

Get em both bigrin You won't be sorry

Not sure if you are asking the difference between a HB and a P90 PUP

A P-90 a single coil is brighter and more transparent than a humbucker, though not quite as crisp and snappy as Fender's single-coil PUPs. The tone therefore shares some of the single coil twang, but having large amounts of midrange and often described as brisk. The HB is certainly more mainstream/popular BUT the P90 has certainly left it's mark in Rock and Roll from The Beatles' "Taxman", "Ticket To Ride& CCR, the Doors Leslie West of Mountain, early Black Sabbath, Neil Young's old blackie has one in the neck and on and on and on.......


Notable Guitars are a very respected member of this forum and have embraced the Larrivee Electric

As well as Guitar Adoptions are another very credible option. 12th Fret in Toronto Canada is yet another. There are many real good ones this is but three again I could go on  and on and on and on
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« Reply #2 on: March 22, 2011, 03:55:52 PM »


 Thanks Joyce :D

 I'm aware of the generic difference between HB's and P-90's but was wondering about them in particular on the larrivees. I read Matt Larrivee's reply in another post about his chance encounter with certain alnicos and was therefore curious about how these larrivee custom pickups stack up against the other popular brands of pickups. I have got a Lv-10 (from the ridiculously nice Mike Jewell :D ) and have been a huge larrivee fan ever since. Was wondering also how the philosophy of tonal balance would manifest in the electrics that Larrivee makes too. I would love for my guitar to be able to pull off a convincing jazz tone for the (occasional) jazz gigs, but also provide that versatility for the bread and butter pop tunes that I play. The RS-2 is therefore looking very attractive to me!
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elusive
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« Reply #3 on: March 23, 2011, 02:22:58 AM »

I had the same dilemma when I was shopping for the RS2 (which I should receive in a day or two) I finally got the HB's  mostly because they only had that one in stock and also because I really liked the tone of the RS4 demos (all with HB's even though they were Jason Lollar pups) on you tube. There was a creamy richness and clarity that captivated me. Perhaps the P90 would have done the same to me but there was only one demo on you tube playing a different musical type so comparing was difficult. I, like you could not find any local dealers with RS2 in stock to compare, especially since I am a lefty. But from all the comments I've read both pups are tops in their own way. Some will say that for Jazz P90's are great but then again I've heard some great Jazz tones with HB's. I guess that is why so many get a version of each.
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« Reply #4 on: March 23, 2011, 02:49:16 PM »

P90's are more attack sensitive so strumming softly will give you one tone and as you strum harder they produce a growl.I have P90's on my MIDI tele and I can play from hard rock to jazz standards all on the same guitar.
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« Reply #5 on: March 28, 2011, 03:38:20 PM »

I got the P-90's because I wanted something different and already play a very classic LP-type HB ('78 Ibanez Artist).  I really love the sound-- they are HOT-- the attack easily overdrives the input of my POD x3.  They have huge tone-- and the tone knobs have huge effect -- for the neck pickup I have to turn it down to 6 or 7 or else it is painfully bright.  But I love having that flexibility.  The neck pickup is so bassy and fat, almost too fat!  Hope you like jazz! :-)

But the real secret weapon is that they are wired in humbucking mode so with the pickup selector in middle position you get the best of both worlds-- no noise, plenty of bright, plenty of fat, and yet doesn't sound at all like a regular HB either.

I'm really, really, happy with it.
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« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2011, 05:06:05 PM »

Really depends on the style of playing.  unclrobs description is a good one.  :)
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« Reply #7 on: July 09, 2011, 03:11:11 AM »

I have had my RS-2 w/ P-90s exactly 2 weeks, my first Larrivee and my 1st guitar with P-90s. I haven't played anything w/ Larrivee humbuckers so I can't speak to those. What I will say is that these P-90 pickups are tremendous.  They have a wider range in sonic possibilities than any other pups I have heard before, can sound very Strat-like to perfect for AC/DC stuff. I also love the Santana tones I get from this guitar, not to mention rich, full cleans.  Hope this is helpful in your decision, or anyone else out there trying to make this choice.
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« Reply #8 on: July 09, 2011, 03:26:19 AM »

I went up to my local Larrivee dealer and played both this week after setting them up for me{I use to work there so they let me do what I want}.To start with I'm not a fan of humbuckers but I have to say {holy S**T} Mathhew make's some really great humbuckers,very sweet they didn't get muddy in the mid's when drivin very crisp.The P90's were what P90's are the best sounding most versatile responce,I'm not sure if Matthew winds these but a really GREAT sounding pu's.
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« Reply #9 on: July 10, 2011, 12:02:27 AM »

That's a great endorsement, unclrob! 
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« Reply #10 on: September 07, 2011, 11:14:19 PM »

anything new on the RS-2 with humbucker vs P90 or is it all said here already?

unclrob said " very sweet they didn't get muddy in the mid's when drivin very crisp" about the humbuckers (what zat mean?), but seems to like the versatility of the P90 better.

decision time......
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« Reply #11 on: September 07, 2011, 11:55:04 PM »


decision time......

Unfortunately you won't be happy til ya gottem both. They are both about as good as they get really.
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« Reply #12 on: September 08, 2011, 12:57:03 AM »

Unfortunately you won't be happy til ya gottem both. They are both about as good as they get really.

Well, I have to start somewhere...

responses fall on both sides of the line.

from some older threads....

Talking about humbuckers.

I like clarity and definition. Like in acoustics, I like balance between low mids and highs where no specific frequency range appears dominant. Yet at the same time, I want it to growl when you dig in - Really drive the amp. It needs good attack but not too quick. In general I prefer the sound of gibson style pickups over fender style pickups (pole piece instead of direct magnet).

Talking about P90s

The Larrivee P-90's are partially accurate to vintage models - I did model them after a 54 soapbar, but I put a slight twist on them. Many of the details are vintage correct (Screw alloys, Magnet wire, braided lead, etc) but I changed the baseplate to Nickel Silver - which I think sounds way better and cleaner than traditional brass (Probably why Seth Lover chose Nickel Silver for PAF's). In addition, older P-90's used the commonly available AlNiCo 3 magnets. I did countless tests with A3 and just could not bring myself to like it. I finally settled on A8 and A6. AlNiCo 8 in the bridge makes the pup so responsive to touch, and beautifully clean to average playing.. but strike a little harder and it growls. It has a throatiness and drive that I just love. The AlNiCo 6 in the neck is totally off vintage spec, but it does wonders for a neck pup. It full and vibrant, with a distinctive bite. Excellent mid range with clarity that you dont see in neck pups. Many neck pickups I try sound washed out, where as these just ooze mojo.

Many makers make higher wind P-90's (11+ kohms), probably because they attempting to compensate for a tone they dont like. It has the effect of darkening the pickup and driving it too hard. I like a low to vintage wind (7.5-8.8kohms). It will handle anything you throw at it and sound great in virtually any style from Jazz to Punk Rock.

So to answer your question - Yes they are a vintage wind - but with a well thought out twist.
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« Reply #13 on: September 08, 2011, 02:03:21 AM »

Randy when you open the volumn control full out and strum hard on most humbuckers the responce of the pu seems to loose all of its midrange responce but not just in the mids the mids that are in the high freq get shrull and in the low freq they disappear completely and seem to add more muddier sounding low's.The clearity just disappears its like adding a distortion that is just unpleasant.With the Larrivee's you still get good not seperation with what is describe by Clapton as the women tone go back and listen to the John Mayall album {Some call it the Beanie album} the overdrive that was recorded with his Les Paul played thru a Marshall is the close's I can think of as a comparision.As you know I don't like humbuckers but If I was to play a guitar with humbuckers it be a Larrivee.I do prefer P90's,come to think of it Larrivee humbckers remind me of older Gibson P90's {before they messed them up}Listen to Leslie West recordings with Mountian,the best example's would be either Nantucket Sliegh ride or Theme to an Imaginary Western.
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« Reply #14 on: September 08, 2011, 09:37:24 AM »

Another option is to get an RS-2 or RS-4 and have it fitted with Duncan P-Rails  ohmy

That may sound like sacrilege to some but those pickups are super versatile.
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« Reply #15 on: September 08, 2011, 09:39:16 PM »

Randy, I think an RS-2 with humbuckers sounds like an excellent starting point; here's why: the humbuckers are uncovered, which usually means they'll have even more clarity than covered humbuckers, and the Larrivee covered humbuckers already excel in this area. So I suspect the uncovered ones would add just a bit more clarity to the tone, getting them closer to the kind of "ideal" tone that unclrob is talking about in P-90's.

The other reason to start with the humbuckers is that they're quiet. I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my RS-2 with P-90's, but they do have some noise, and sometimes this can be irritating. It's the reason humbuckers were invented in the first place (and later adapted to single coil size pickups for Strats and Teles by people like Bill Lawrence, Larry DiMarzio, Joe Barden and many others). Sometimes you just gotta be noise free!
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« Reply #16 on: September 09, 2011, 01:08:18 AM »

Thanks everyone for helping my education. I now have a shiny new black RS-2 Ventura  with humbuckers sitting on my living room couch.

http://www.larriveeforum.com/smf/index.php?topic=37752

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« Reply #17 on: September 09, 2011, 02:40:20 AM »

 ohmy no all by itself,were are you,leaving a lovely defensless guitar alone on a couch. ohmy


Congrats enjoy her I hope you got that price you mentioned.
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