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  1. #1

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    Hi all!

    I have been dreaming of having a Gibson ES 175 with P90, but I also love the one I own: a 1990 Gibson ES 175 with the mahogany back and sides. So I was wondering if it was possible to install in any possible way dogears on it, without drilling any extra holes on the guitar, be it with spacers or something similar. I want real P90, not humbucker-sized P90, the tone nor the look is the same!

    I remember someone did that to a Epiphone Broadway and the results were super nice, but the post was taken down, that's why I'm creating this new one.

    Thanks to you all in advance!

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  3. #2

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    the dogear is narrower (nut to bridge), but longer (E to e string) than a humbucker..it requires the humbucker top rout to be lengthened on both sides...spacers will cover the width differences..but cutting is needed...

    also you would need to drill holes for dogear cover...unless you tweaked the spacer to secure the screws without going thru into the body...and i haven't seen such a spacer for sale!


    cheers
    Last edited by neatomic; 06-01-2020 at 06:50 PM.

  4. #3

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    Might want to tape one in place & give it a try before altering that ES-175.

    Many of the original jazz git's with P-90's might be a significantly lighter than your guitar.

    At least, I think it makes a difference with my ES-125.

    Best of luck to you, in any event.

  5. #4

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    I think you'll regret altering the guitar. I'd either go with the humbucker sized P90s (not sure why that's not an option) or buy another guitar (many options) to see if it's really for you. Then if it is, you can sell your 175 without destroying its value.

  6. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by RobbieAG
    I think you'll regret altering the guitar. I'd either go with the humbucker sized P90s (not sure why that's not an option) or buy another guitar (many options) to see if it's really for you. Then if it is, you can sell your 175 without destroying its value.
    I have an Epiphone Zephyr Regent Re-Issue (basically a 1 pickup ES175) with mahogany back/sides. I put a Seymour Duncan Phat Cat P90-in-a-humbucker shape in this guitar, and it is wonderful. The SD Phat Cat I've heard actually uses the innards of a P90 and shaves the bobbins to fit. It's a great sounding pickup and my Epi really sings with it.

    I understand wanting the look, but the sound can be very closely matched if you choose wisely. I would not cut up an ES175.

  7. #6

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    I'm probably the small minority but if I wanted the look and tone of a dog ear P90, I would drill screw holes if I needed to. I don't agree with the "destroying the value of the guitar" argument. I believe in customizing guitar to one's individual tastes. If you end up selling it some years down the line and you get, say, 500 dollars less because of a couple of small screw holes, I would say it'd be well worth it. If I have to pay 500 dollars to enjoy my guitar to a fuller extend, instead of wishing it was something else, it's not that much money to spend for that. There is also the possibility that I may never sell it. That's just my philosophy.

  8. #7

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    Routing plywood is not a simple job, even if you have the proper bits and experience.

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgosnell
    Routing plywood is not a simple job, even if you have the proper bits and experience.
    There is a old thread on this topic. It doesn't seem like it'd require routing the top:
    Replacing Humbuckers with P90 Dog-Ears?

  10. #9

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    I know it doesn’t have the look, and it’s not an exact tonal match, but I’ve heard the humbucker sized DiMarzio Vintage P90 come awfully close.

  11. #10

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    Thanks for all the answers!

    I have been looking A LOT, to the humbucker sized P90, and I like very much the Monty's Humbucker-sized FM P90 (aesthetically wise, haven't had a change to listen to them), as well as the recommended Di Marzio and some Lollar. Are there any humbucker P90 that really replicate a P90? Everything I've heard sounds similar but not quite the same, I'm going for a Kenny Burrell late 50's tone. Any recommendations are appreciated!

    However, I still want to try to go the dog-ear route and see if I can manage to do it.

    I managed to find the thread I was talking about: Epiphone Broadway? , comment #32. He used the spacers, and my idea was: would it be possible to stick the spacers with some double-sided tape to the top of the guitar, and then use shorter screws to fix the P90 on top of the spacers?

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablonavarroB
    Thanks for all the answers!

    I have been looking A LOT, to the humbucker sized P90, and I like very much the Monty's Humbucker-sized FM P90 (aesthetically wise, haven't had a change to listen to them), as well as the recommended Di Marzio and some Lollar. Are there any humbucker P90 that really replicate a P90? Everything I've heard sounds similar but not quite the same, I'm going for a Kenny Burrell late 50's tone. Any recommendations are appreciated!
    Here in the UK, Mojo Pickups offer a '50s style "staple" P90 in a humbucker mount.

    Humbucker Sized – Staple – Mojo Pickups

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablonavarroB
    Are there any humbucker P90 that really replicate a P90? Everything I've heard sounds similar but not quite the same
    This 2013 Premier Guitar rundown, which has decent clean clips, may be of help. Scope it out if you want to.

    I've had good results with Duncan Phat Cats in some guitars. My home-brew solid-body is currently wearing Gibson P94s and I don't plan to change. Each lands in the 'P90 neighborhood' and each responds well to my preferred .012 'jazz light' set. As with all pickups, there's no 'one size fits all' universal solution.
    Last edited by Sam Sherry; 06-03-2020 at 11:46 AM.

  14. #13

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    I already checked that link this morning! Quite helpful

    As I said, the P90 - humbucker seems the easiest, but I've yet to see a demo or a clip where the sound is what I have in mind.. However, if someone has themselves installed some, I'd be happy to see/hear a demo when using an archtop!

    Until then, I'm still very interested in the spacer + dog-ear P90 route. If anyone has an idea if what I mentioned previously could work, I'd be very thankful!

  15. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by pablonavarroB
    I already checked that link this morning! Quite helpful

    As I said, the P90 - humbucker seems the easiest, but I've yet to see a demo or a clip where the sound is what I have in mind.. However, if someone has themselves installed some, I'd be happy to see/hear a demo when using an archtop!

    Until then, I'm still very interested in the spacer + dog-ear P90 route. If anyone has an idea if what I mentioned previously could work, I'd be very thankful!
    Don't forget that Kenny Burrell could pretty much get "that sound" on any guitar he played. I do think the gear matters a lot, but it's also the guy playing the gear. I bet if you gave Kenny an archtop loaded with a Seymour Duncan Phat Cat, he'd get "that sound" after about 20 seconds of knob turning. Great player seem to sound like themselves regardless of what they play.

    There is still value in doing all we can to have the instrument we want. But never underestimate the technique and touch angle.

  16. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by lawson-stone
    There is still value in doing all we can to have the instrument we want. But never underestimate the technique and touch angle.
    Totally! It is not that I'm trying to emulate anyone, I just mentioned Kenny Burell as a reference sound for what I'm more or less going for.

  17. #16

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    Quote Originally Posted by Tal_175
    I'm probably the small minority but if I wanted the look and tone of a dog ear P90, I would drill screw holes if I needed to. I don't agree with the "destroying the value of the guitar" argument. I believe in customizing guitar to one's individual tastes. If you end up selling it some years down the line and you get, say, 500 dollars less because of a couple of small screw holes, I would say it'd be well worth it. If I have to pay 500 dollars to enjoy my guitar to a fuller extend, instead of wishing it was something else, it's not that much money to spend for that. There is also the possibility that I may never sell it. That's just my philosophy.
    Totally agree. Go ahead, trash the resell value on that ES175. Who cares, you made it into something you prefer.

  18. #17

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    That's a guitar I don't plan on ever selling, so I don't think that would be a problem. I've had it for almost 10 years, since I was basically a kid.

    I'm just trying to find the best solution possible with the least amount of modifications, that's why I'm asking if the double-tape + the spacers and shorter screws is feasible. If not, I'll probably have to suck it up and go with a humbucker P90, even if it is not 100% the same. So if anyone knows of any brand/model that truly is a P90 in a humbucker enclosure, I'd be happy to take a look.

  19. #18

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    Here's your answer...

    NECK
    P90 1/8" NECK PICKUP SPACER FOR GIBSON ES-175 125 225 | Reverb

    BRIDGE
    P90 3/16" BRIDGE PICKUP SPACER FOR GIBSON ES-175 125 225 | Reverb

    you might want to drill holes on the spacers thats the same on the HB rings.. hopefully there's enough room for four screws on the corners of the spacers.. use the same screws that came with the HB rings as those are flat on the surface then mount your Dogear P90 covers..

    if you buy P90 pickups, make sure you pick the short covers to compensate for the height of the spacers (or you can just sand down the spacers to allow clearance for the dogear P90 covers..
    P-90 DogEar: Lollar Pickups


    and then tweak pickup heights using these shims
    Shim Pack for Dogear: Lollar Pickups


    Ive used the shims and they are pretty good, high quality and fits exactly the same as dog ear P90 covers..

    Untitled by D Y, on Flickr

    Untitled by D Y, on Flickr




    Depending on your skill level and how handy you are, i think it will be an easy job.. but if not, you want it perfect, take all the parts to a luthier..

  20. #19

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    I wonder if a creative luthier or pickup winder might be able to rig up a thin P90 mount with a flat plastic baseplate that you can screw into the humbucker mount.
    Last edited by wzpgsr; 06-02-2020 at 08:59 PM. Reason: Ah crap. I think the post above this one spells it out exactly.

  21. #20

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    i don't get the confusion!...as i wrote ^, the p90 is a longer length than humbucker...so you need to enlarge the humbucker rout on the archtop...& no going back from there!! once you cut, it's done..

    spacers cover any spaces left, but you still have to cut the archtop!!!

    here's jason lollar-installing p90 in humbucker space...see, he needs to use router!!! spacer's a completely different issue...and equally tricky




    just get a p90 in a humbucker mount...here's an older but still valid overview

    Humbucker-Sized P-90 Review Roundup | Premier Guitar

    cheers






  22. #21

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    don't get the confusion!...as i wrote ^, the p90 is a longer length than humbucker...so you need to enlarge the humbucker rout on the archtop...& no going back from there!! once you cut, it's done..

    spacers cover any spaces left, but you still have to cut the archtop!!!

    here's jason lollar-installing p90 in humbucker space...see, he needs to use router!!! spacer's a completely different issue...and equally tricky




    just get a p90 in a humbucker mount...here's an older but still valid overview

    Humbucker-Sized P-90 Review Roundup | Premier Guitar
    cheers





    but thats because he is mounting those soapbars on a pickguard.

    ive seen ES-295’s (which is basically an ES-175 with P90s and gold color) with P90 spacers.

    ive checked my dogear P90 pickups and it is flush at the bottom of the cover. So the spacer will work given the thickness and clearance from the body.

    shims are different from the P90 spacers. shims are used to raise the pickup, spacers are technically, well, raising the p90 as well but functions more like the HB rings.

  23. #22

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    re-watch the vid!...he routes the guitar body!!!

    has nothing to do with pickguard..(that can easily be cut or replaced)...but..a p90 will not fit in a humbucker route...dogear or soapbar...

    dogear has added problem that you need to drill 2 holes for cover..which will not be covered if and when you want to go back to humbucker!

    lollar says it all..just watch the vid!!

    cheers

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    didn't you watch vid???...he routes the guitar body!!!

    has nothing to do with pickguard..a p90 will not fit in a humbucker route...dogear or soapbar...

    dogear has added problem that you need to drill 2 holes for cover..which will not be covered if and when you want to go back to humbucker!

    lollar says it all..just watch the vid!!

    cheers
    i did watch the vid.

    spacer will work this way. See how it mounts on a HB route.

    P90 DOGEAR PICKUP Spacers Black Set for Gibson Epiphone ES-175 225 Project NEW - $64.99 | PicClick

    like I said on my post above, in order to avoid drilling on the body, the OP needs to drill four screw holes thats is in the same location as the HB rings.

    and use a short screw that will just “hold” the p90 onto the spacer. Basically screwing into the spacer and not down to the body.

  25. #24

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    a humbucker is 70.5 mm lengthwise

    a p90 is 88mm

    here's a pic..an exaggerated view..and you would never need a route that big..but gives you an idea of length requirements...



    the spacer just covers...you still have to remove the wood!!!


    cheers

  26. #25

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    Quote Originally Posted by neatomic
    a humbucker is 70.5 mm lengthwise

    a p90 is 88mm

    here's a pic..an exaggerated view..and you would never need a route that big..but gives you an idea of length requirements...



    the spacer just covers...you still have to remove the wood!!!


    cheers
    exactly, the spacers will cover that space,

    BUT dogear P90s dont protrude further into the body. The pickup underside is flush with the underside of the dog ear cover. So with the height of the spacer, and the dogear P90 sitting on top of it, it will have clearance.

  27. #26

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    Interesting. So the intent is to use the spacer to raise the P90 above the body of the ES-175. That only works if there's enough room between the top and the strings. What are the relevant dimensions of the spacer, pickup + cover, and how much distance between the top of the arch and the strings? This is probably not an issue at the bridge, just the neck. And do the P90 spacers fully cover the humbucker rout(s), so that the 4 corner screws can be set?

    This may be helpful with some hints and a lot of similar conversation:

    https://www.thegearpage.net/board/in...ersion.215616/

    converting a humbucker hollow body to p90 | Page 2 | Telecaster Guitar Forum

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by dreamingJazz
    Here's your answer...

    NECK
    P90 1/8" NECK PICKUP SPACER FOR GIBSON ES-175 125 225 | Reverb

    BRIDGE
    P90 3/16" BRIDGE PICKUP SPACER FOR GIBSON ES-175 125 225 | Reverb

    you might want to drill holes on the spacers thats the same on the HB rings.. hopefully there's enough room for four screws on the corners of the spacers.. use the same screws that came with the HB rings as those are flat on the surface then mount your Dogear P90 covers..

    if you buy P90 pickups, make sure you pick the short covers to compensate for the height of the spacers (or you can just sand down the spacers to allow clearance for the dogear P90 covers..
    P-90 DogEar: Lollar Pickups


    and then tweak pickup heights using these shims
    Shim Pack for Dogear: Lollar Pickups


    Ive used the shims and they are pretty good, high quality and fits exactly the same as dog ear P90 covers..

    Untitled by D Y, on Flickr

    Untitled by D Y, on Flickr




    Depending on your skill level and how handy you are, i think it will be an easy job.. but if not, you want it perfect, take all the parts to a luthier..
    Thanks!! Okay, that answers most of my questions: it IS possible to do it. Sounds great! My ES 175 has a lot of space between pickups and strings, as so do all of the ES 175 with humbuckers as far as I know. My only question left is: if doing so, do I have to screw anything from the dogear on the guitar body? Because the spacers already have the two screws for the dogear and I if try to make the same holes as those from the humbucker route, nothing new has to be drilled on the guitar, right?


    Thanks everyone for the links at the discussion, it is proving to be very helpful!

  29. #28

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    Pablo, measure the distance between the top of your guitar and the underside of the strings - typically a P90 measures about 18 or 19mm from the bottom of the baseplate to the top of the polepiece screws, so if you add a bit of clearance, you need about 21-22mm clearance for the P90 to be able to float above the top of the guitar, in that case, you will be fine with spacers, as only the pole screws will protrude into the body (the Lollar video isn't really relevant here, since it is about a solidbody guitar, where the P90 sits inside rather than on top of the guitar).

    If you've got less than those 21/22mms, your P90 baseplate will alos have to go inside the body; you will have to cut the four corners of the HB route, where the humbucker frame holes are located. The length of the P90 baseplate (without mounting tabs) is 84.1mm - almost identical to the length of the humbucker route WITH the HB mounting tabs (that's about 84-85mm, there's some variation); the length of the route for the baseplate of the humbucker is around 70mm (again: +/- 1mm); so you need to cut out the 7mm difference in length on each of the corners of the humbucker route, to make it one long rectangle (rather than a short one with "ears").
    Even if you can float the whole neck pickup above the body inside its cover, you probably still won't be able to reuse the four HB frame mounting screw holes - unless you've got so much clearance that the P90 baseplate would sit even above the shim itself - something like 30mm; I doubt that that's the case with the neck pickup...

    Now, about covering the width of the HB route with your shim: a HB route is about 39-42mm wide - there's no hard rule for that, some builders use more some less, they only need to take care that it's more than the 38.5mm of the HB baseplate, and less than the 44.5mm of the HB ring. A P90 dogear cover is 40mm wide - so it may cover the HB hole, but most likely, there will be a tiny gap on the sides. In that case, you'll need shims that are slightly wider than the dogear cover, about a mm on each side. However, if you look at pictures of vintage ES175s and ES295s, that's actually historically correct - they also had shims that were wider than the actual covers (on most ES295s they even painted the shims the same gold color as the body...)

    As for your original conundrum, I'd totally do it, and I wouldn't mind drilling for dogear mounting screws, either. Dogears look a lot cooler than HB-sized P90s; a 90s Gibson is not exactly a rare "vintage" guitar; as you said, this is a "user" guitar, so make it useable, and disregard resale value. And if you have to sell it for whatever reasons: If you check the forum here and other places, there's quite a bit of demand for P90 ES175s, but there aren't that many around - so some buyer might actually appreciate to find your guitar, and not having to mod one himself...

    And: a guitar is a tool for making music, not an investment - I never even think a second about resale value. Unless it's some historically significant, rare vintage guitar, mod away!

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by RomanS
    Pablo, measure the distance between the top of your guitar and the underside of the strings - typically a P90 measures about 18 or 19mm from the bottom of the baseplate to the top of the polepiece screws, so if you add a bit of clearance, you need about 21-22mm clearance for the P90 to be able to float above the top of the guitar, in that case, you will be fine with spacers, as only the pole screws will protrude into the body (the Lollar video isn't really relevant here, since it is about a solidbody guitar, where the P90 sits inside rather than on top of the guitar).

    If you've got less than those 21/22mms, your P90 baseplate will alos have to go inside the body; you will have to cut the four corners of the HB route, where the humbucker frame holes are located. The length of the P90 baseplate (without mounting tabs) is 84.1mm - almost identical to the length of the humbucker route WITH the HB mounting tabs (that's about 84-85mm, there's some variation); the length of the route for the baseplate of the humbucker is around 70mm (again: +/- 1mm); so you need to cut out the 7mm difference in length on each of the corners of the humbucker route, to make it one long rectangle (rather than a short one with "ears").
    Even if you can float the whole neck pickup above the body inside its cover, you probably still won't be able to reuse the four HB frame mounting screw holes - unless you've got so much clearance that the P90 baseplate would sit even above the shim itself - something like 30mm; I doubt that that's the case with the neck pickup...

    Now, about covering the width of the HB route with your shim: a HB route is about 39-42mm wide - there's no hard rule for that, some builders use more some less, they only need to take care that it's more than the 38.5mm of the HB baseplate, and less than the 44.5mm of the HB ring. A P90 dogear cover is 40mm wide - so it may cover the HB hole, but most likely, there will be a tiny gap on the sides. In that case, you'll need shims that are slightly wider than the dogear cover, about a mm on each side. However, if you look at pictures of vintage ES175s and ES295s, that's actually historically correct - they also had shims that were wider than the actual covers (on most ES295s they even painted the shims the same gold color as the body...)

    As for your original conundrum, I'd totally do it, and I wouldn't mind drilling for dogear mounting screws, either. Dogears look a lot cooler than HB-sized P90s; a 90s Gibson is not exactly a rare "vintage" guitar; as you said, this is a "user" guitar, so make it useable, and disregard resale value. And if you have to sell it for whatever reasons: If you check the forum here and other places, there's quite a bit of demand for P90 ES175s, but there aren't that many around - so some buyer might actually appreciate to find your guitar, and not having to mod one himself...

    And: a guitar is a tool for making music, not an investment - I never even think a second about resale value. Unless it's some historically significant, rare vintage guitar, mod away!
    Thanks Roman for your kind and helpful answer
    I'll measure it and see what my options are.

    And I totally agree with your statement! Resale value is fine if is something you keep for a while, but we all have that instrument that's always there no matter what. I've been waiting for years to do this mod, and I am convinced on doing so!

  31. #30

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    The spacers can be seen in this video as well:



    Notice the first frames, it's a close-up.

  32. #31

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    Well, seems like you should buy the items snd try a mockup to see if it will work

  33. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cunamara
    Well, seems like you should buy the items snd try a mockup to see if it will work
    I did some fiddling around today with a GFS P90 and a stack of shims I had in a box here. I found that two really thick shims I had would actually lift the pickup enough that only the pole screws would extend into the body cavity. The two shims together are about .2" thick. The pickup, cover, and shims altogether were about .65" thick. The space on most ES175 type guitars would accommodate that reasonably well. Just using these shims, of course, the humbucker opening is to wide. So if someone made a shim wide enough to cover the 4 holes, better, have mounting holes to use those, one could conceivably "surface mount" a P90 on an ES175.

    I've attached pictures of this very crude mock-up, which I might actually try to test sometime just for fun. I have an Epiphone Zephyr Regent Reissue which is basically an ES165 and I've tried every pickup I own in that guitar except for this P90. Maybe I'll get a free day here soon and give it a shot. But as a test of concept, I think it's clear a custom made shim of the right thickness would basically be a Humbucker-to-P90 Adapter Ring. It would require enough clearance between the strings and the top of the guitar, and as you can see, the guitar I tried it on for testing the size of the opening would NOT work due to the way the neck is mounted. But others with the elevated fingerboard might work fine.Install P90 Dogear on Gibson ES-175-img_5627-2-jpgInstall P90 Dogear on Gibson ES-175-img_5628-jpgInstall P90 Dogear on Gibson ES-175-img_5629-jpgInstall P90 Dogear on Gibson ES-175-img_5630-jpgInstall P90 Dogear on Gibson ES-175-img_5631-jpgInstall P90 Dogear on Gibson ES-175-img_5632-2-jpg

  34. #33

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    This is really helpful!
    I will definitely try it for myself as soon as possible.

    However, for the actual installation, I might try to find a luthier as I have never changed pickups on a guitar and it seems to me that beginning with an archtop would be quite hard.