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In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best P90 guitars on the market right now.
I’ve compared design, tone, build quality, and cost to give you my top recommendations.
What are the Best P90 Guitars?
P90 Guitars Reviews
The P90 single-coil pickup was first introduced by Gibson in the mid-1940s and so when it comes to finding the best P90 guitar, it is difficult to find a more suitable candidate than the Gibson Les Paul Standard ’50s model.
Aside from the P90 bridge and neck pickups, however, there is plenty more to get excited about here. The body of the guitar has a vintage appeal and is made from mahogany and finished with nitrocellulose lacquer.
This stunning Les Paul Standard simply has a distinguished, gorgeous tone. The sound is ideal for a range of different styles, from rock and roll or blues, through to country music and rockabilly.
The 1950s style neck provides great comfort, while the fingerboard has been carefully designed to allow for as much movement as possible, which is perfect for show-stealing rock solos.
If you are looking for an exceptional guitar for the money, look no further than the stunning Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II Hollowbody Electric Guitar.
In particular, the Godin Kingpin P90 pickups help to provide a distinctive tone, which is absolutely perfect for jazz, rock, blues, and even big band performances.
The guitar benefits from a ‘Cognac Burst’ polished finish, adding to what is a very clear vintage aesthetic. It also comes with a case, which makes it easy to store the guitar at home or take it with you on your travels.
Aside from its affordability, excellent tone and classic appeal, one of the great things about the Godin 5th Avenue CW Kingpin II is the comfort on offer. This is perhaps best evidenced through the design of the main body, which includes a cutaway that provides excellent access to the whole of the fingerboard.
If you have your heart set on a Gibson P90 guitar, but do not want to splash out on a Les Paul Standard ’50s P90 model, a more affordable alternative can be found in the form of the Les Paul Special Tribute P90 and this may be the best P90 guitar for your particular needs.
This model is available in a choice of ebony, walnut, vintage cherry, or worn white colors and benefits from a ‘Nitro’ finish in much the same way as the aforementioned Standard ’50s P90.
Its mahogany body also combines with its P90 pickups to provide a classic, full sound, which sounds especially great when playing rock music.
One of the defining characteristics of the Les Paul Special range is the stripped-back nature of the design and this provides a very pure sound, which has been favored by many of the top musicians of all-time.
The Epiphone Wildkat with Bigsby Semi-Hollow P90 Guitar is likely to be the best P90 guitar for anyone wanting real value for money.
The guitar features a semi-hollow body, which helps to make the model comfortable to hold and play. It is also available in a choice of either a yellow ‘Antique Natural’ color scheme or in ‘Pearl White’.
A major feature on the guitar is the presence of a Bigsby B70 vibrato bar, allowing for pitch variation to be effortlessly introduced to your guitar playing.
Meanwhile, the supreme tone of the guitar is provided, in part, thanks to the two Alnico VP90 pickups, which are positioned at the bridge and the neck.
The sound produced by the Wildkat makes it perfectly suited for blues, rock, and jazz music. Historically, semi-hollow body guitars available for a more affordable price would often compromise on build quality, but the Wildkat does not suffer from this problem.
This excellent guitar offers an authentic semi-hollow body experience at an entry-level price point.
If you are looking for a modern guitar, inspired by classic designs, the best P90 guitar may just be the Yamaha Revstar RS502T Electric P90 Guitar.
Said to take visual inspiration from the London and Tokyo motorcycle racing scenes, it perhaps offers the most unique aesthetic of any guitar on this list, while still maintaining a classic appeal.
In terms of what really matters, the guitar provides a warm tone that packs a real punch and this can make it ideal for hard rock music and even metal.
Meanwhile, a medium neck profile and the presence of jumbo frets on the fingerboard help to provide a comfortable and smooth all-round playing experience.
One of the most important features to highlight, however, is the push-pull Dry Switch, which has the capacity to filter out low frequencies.
This allows the guitar to deliver greater clarity and the resulting tone boosts its versatility, making it perfect for a range of additional music styles, including country, blues, and folk music.
Finally, the Epiphone SG Special P90 Guitar is the most budget-friendly option on this list and is based on the legendary Gibson SG Special, which was played by legendary figures such as Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath) and Pete Townshend (The Who), among others.
It is, therefore, the best P90 guitar for those who want a similar model at an affordable price. The guitar has a solid body and comes equipped with two Epiphone P90 Pro Soap Bar pickups in the bridge and neck positions.
This combination of body type and pickups makes it ideal for playing loud and, as you might expect, this makes the guitar especially well-suited to rock and roll, indie, and similar music styles.
In addition to looking the part and sounding great, the Epiphone SG Special P90 Electric Guitar also feels comfortable to play. This is aided, in no small part, by its 1960s SlimTaper neck, which is comfortable to hold and allows for an excellent range of movement across the whole of the fingerboard.
Buyer’s Guide: Finding the Best P90 Guitar
If you are seeking a P90 guitar but are a relatively inexperienced guitar buyer, you may be unsure about what the benefits of the P90 pickups are and what other features you should be looking out for.
For this reason, we have created this buyer’s guide, which aims to provide you with the most important information needed to make your purchase.
First of all, it is worth stressing that a P90 guitar is defined as a guitar that is P90 electric guitar pickups. These are single-coil pickups, which were introduced by Gibson in the 1940s.
Keep reading to find out more about the benefits of a P90 guitar and the things you should look for when buying one for the first time.
What Do P90 Pickups Sound Good For?
One of the biggest questions people have before buying a P90 guitar revolves around the sound the pickups produce. Generally, this can be described as a bright, thick and warm tone, which has less edge than some other single coil pickups on the market. It is sometimes described as a mid-point between Fender single coils and humbuckers.
While the precise sound produced by a P90 guitar will depend on a range of factors, including the body type and the amplifier and effects pedals you opt for, these models are generally considered to be good for a range of music styles, including rock, blues, country, jazz and even big band music.
What to Look For In a P90 Guitar
Aside from the presence of P90 pickups, there are a number of different features you will need to consider when trying to find the best P90 guitar for your particular needs. These include factors like the price and the physical appearance of the guitar, but also various other elements that can influence the overall sound.
For example, you may need to choose between a hollow body, a semi-hollow body and a solid body guitar. Your decision here may depend on the type of music you want to play, as hollow-body guitars are typically associated with jazz and blues, while semi-hollow and solid body guitars are more commonly associated with rock music. This is primarily because they can be played at a louder volume without encountering issues associated with feedback.
You will also want to make sure the body of your guitar is made from high-quality materials, while optional features, such as whether or not a guitar has a vibrato bar, may also influence your final decision.