More pickup considerations - Firebird, P90 and TV Jones


Hero Member

Building a Warmoth Velocity with 2 HB routes.  Thought experimenting on other pickup types.

I've been reading a bit on Firebird, P90's and TV Jones.  Have zero direct experience with any of these.  From what I've read....

P-90's:  I've read a lot of love for this type of pup.  Also read that they are not hum free, and the hum free versions don't sound as good.  They are touted as being a good split of humbucker and single coil with a great balance of frequencies.  How do these do for higher gain?  Recommendations?

TV Jones Classic - A better Filtertron pickup is how I've read these described as.  Some have claimed that these lean a little farther on the single coil side than HB, but are noiseless.  Again, how would these fair with high gain?

Firebird - From the vid's I've heard, they seem to cut through very well.  They have a mean sound (very appealing), and also broach a mix of hb and sc.

On my last partscaster I used Suhr Thornbuckers (+ for the bridge), and have come to appreciate a lower output pickup (I've grown to really appreciate a Tele sound and I never in a million years had any interest in a Tele....until joining this site and then building my 1st partscaster as a Tele).  Was originally thinking of going with another Suhr variant, but trying to expand my mind a bit and be open to other tonal ideas. 

I've seen great vid's on the FB pups, however, just about every vid I've seen for P-90's  and TV Jones, have them being played in a more vintage rock type sound.  Any thoughts as to how these 3 compare for high gain, clean and overdriven?

If it matters, I'm using an EVH 5150III 50w 6L6 amp through a vertical 2x12 with a G12T-75 (top position) and V30.

I loooove p90s. They have they raunchyness/growl of a humbucker with greater brightness and clarity. They do hum; some people seem to say they hum much worse than Fender singles, but I haven't found this to be the case at all. They sound great from clean to moderately high gain, but if you try to use them under very high gain/modern metal type sounds you'll get a mess of feedback. Also consider: not all p90s are the same! These days were fortunate to have a wide variety of p90 winds and magnets available. From the clearer, brighter, 50s style winds to thick aggressive higher winds.

TV Jones/Filtertrons are not really my thing, though I can see why other people like them. Never tried them under high gain.

Firebird pickups are very interesting. I like them for smooth, fluid lead work under moderate gain, but I don't find them to be "tight" enough for high gain. YMMV.