Ever since Gibson introduced the P90 pickup in guitars in 1946, it has gained an unmatched popularity among the guitarists. Though humbucker came after the P90’s this one still remains a classic. Be it in blues, rock, country style or jazz, the P90’s are still popular as they give a rich treble.
This single coiled version is mainly preferred because of the response it gives. Humbucker guitars might sound brawny and the strat guitars might give you a twangy note. To strike a balance, if you are looking for something in between, something that can give a touch of the typical vintage blues, then a P90 is your best choice. If you play rhythm more often, then again you would find the P90 a great option.
The snarl that you can hear in the mid-range notes when you play a P90 cannot be heard in its successors. So, though the P90 was a brief commercial model for Gibson, seeing the fame it gathered in a short period, other makers started introducing similar pickups. You can even find some of the best guitar players in the famous bands still owning a P90 as a priced possession in their collection. There are also beginner guitars that come with P90 pickups now and this would mean that even if it is your first guitar, you could still make a mark.
Though the guitar looks pretty much the same size on the outside, the actual single coil design under the case is what gives it the difference. Now that many other manufacturers started releasing this iconic pickup in their guitars, you have many options to choose one when it comes to buying a P90.
Here is a list of the best p90 guitars in the market to make it easier for you to make a decision.
[Editor Top Pick]
With killer looks and slick styling, this one is a love at first sight and what’s better, the truly remarkable P90 pickup which makes this stunner a great choice of guitar.
Design and styling
The single cutaway shape of the guitar comes in solid mahogany wood. In a vibrant cherry red hue it comes with a glossy finish. This right handed guitar comes with a rosewood fretboard on the SlimTaper D neck. There are 22 medium frets on the guitar. The fixed bridge comes with a wraparound design. Though there is no kill switch on the guitar, you can find the standard controls at the bottom including the knob for the volume control and tone adjustment. The body is lightweight and it also easy to hold for beginners in particular.
This one is an economic choice recommended by many mainly for the pickup it offers. So if you are looking to experience the true magic of the P90’s without burning a hole in your pocket, here is a perfect one for you.
- In the Les Paul collection from Epiphone, this one comes with a light yet sturdy build thanks to the mahogany wood case
- The wraparound bridge on the guitar is adjustable so you can get a sustained note and a great edge
- It comes with a 24.75” long scale
The truly rich sound that is delivered by this guitar is definitely the first thing you would notice the moment you start playing it. The richness in the sound also comes with no compromise in the quality of the notes. Your frets won’t buzz and so you have pure notes exactly the way you want them. Surprisingly, this guitar also comes without a hum in the output which is the benefit you would get if you own a humbucker.
This guitar makes a great choice for regular practice sessions as well as for your jamming sessions. If you are looking for a P90 that is affordable for a small event, then again this one can be a steal deal, falling in the below $200 segment.
2- Epiphone CASINO Thin-Line Hollow Body Electric Guitar, Vintage Sunburst
Here is another P90 from Epiphone which comes in a classy sunburst hue.
Design and styling
If you are looking for a contemporary guitar with vintage styling, this one is for you. This 6-string guitar was made popular by the famous music bands. The sunburst design on this guitar is special because it is a hand-painted one. The hollow construction of the case comes in thin line design. There is also a coupe size in the same collection which has also been equally popular. There is a trapeze tailpiece on the guitar. Talking about the construction of the hollow body, this one is made of premium quality maple wood body with laminate and mahogany wood on the neck.
For the sound it delivers, this one is famous among professionals. It makes a great guitar to rock your rock concerts. The lifetime warranty that comes with this guitar makes it a great one to buy in the below $750 category.
- It gives a sparkly sound thanks to the Dogear P90 pickup
- The scale length of the guitar is 24.75”
- The neck comes in a streamlined design which offers extra comfort for the guitarist to wrap his fingers around
- Maple top is a 5-play design. The maple wood construction on the sides and back add to the sturdy construction
- Carrying a SlimTaper D design like from the guitars of the 60’s this comes with a neck which is joined at the 16th fret
The P-90R and P-90T pickups give the growl you would expect in mid-range. The sound output of the guitar should also be attributed to the signature hollow body the Casino collection of guitars carries. You can be sure to get the perfect tune with this guitar every single time.
There is also a “LockTone Tune-O-Matic” bridge to ensure that you get the set tune every time and so this model would never disappoint you. This guitar might look professional and might be preferred by professional guitarists but it is also a great one for causal sessions as it is so much fun playing this.
3- Gibson Memphis ES-330 ES30VCBNH1 Semi-Hollow-Body Electric Guitar – Vintage Cherry
When we talk about the best guitars in P90, how could we leave behind this popular one from Gibson! The very first ES-330 came decades ago, way back in the years 1959-1972. The Memphis is a recent one in this iconic ES-330 collection.
Design and styling
Combining vintage and contemporary, this one is a clear winner in terms of the styling. The deep cherry hue of the guitar is sure to make it stand out. The rims, back and the top are all made of maple wood with laminate finish. Carrying the classiness of the craftsmanship of this collection, this one comes with a single-piece mahogany wood neck. The fingerboards are all made of rosewood. The 5-ply binding ensures a sturdy build.
If you are looking for a P90 guitar that would come a long way in your music career, one has some of the best reviews from all its users, one that totally justifies the price you pay; this is one of the best p90 guitars you would ever find. It falls in the below $5000 category.
- The sound output in this guitar is pretty close to the ones that came first in this collection. It still comes with a vintage touch in its sound.
- Be it rock or blues, this one makes a great guitar for large concerts
- The hollow body and the absence of the beam give the subtle wooden warm tone in the output.
The narrow neck of the guitar is both a plus and limitation. Once you master the knack of holding it, it is a breeze playing this guitar and you can strike the chords with so much ease. But the narrowness of the neck also means the closeness of the 6 strings and this would require greater accuracy of your fingers. This is particularly, useful for playing long duration.
4- Godin 5th Avenue CW Electric Guitar (Kingpin II, Burgundy)
If you are looking for a guitar that comes with antique vibes combining contemporary technology, here is one of the best p90 guitars to meet your requirements.
Design and styling
It comes with a stylish cutaway body that comes with a solid and durable construction. The neck of the guitar comes as a single piece of maple wood and the fretboards are all rosewood. It is a little smaller than most other models in this category. Overall, the guitar looks pretty graceful. The placement of the neck is high on the cutaway body.
This guitar is mainly popular among the beginners those who are looking for a P90 guitar which is also cheap. It is conveniently priced below $1000 and comes with impressive features that make this a great value for money.
- This guitar manufactured in North America is known for its light yet durable build
- The truss rod of the guitar comes as a double action model
- Both acoustic and electric modes play equally well in this guitar
- The tone is both dynamic and rich
- There are 2 Godin Kingpin “P-90” pickups
- The P90 pickup gives the burly touch to the output sound
- Even the lows are delivered with a good volume and the overall projection is impressive.
If you ask any user of this guitar about their review you are sure to hear about how nice this one performs as an entry level one for practice and small jamming sessions. It also delivers a great quality sound. The dynamic range of the tunes is what would grab your attention. The sounds are also a bit tighter than many others in this category. Be it for blues or jazz, you get cleaner sounding tones which aren’t too powerful. Neither is there any interfering buzz.
5- Stagg SEL-P90SB P90 Rock L Series Electric Guitar with Solid Alder Body – Brown Sunburst
If you are looking for a versatile guitar that anyone with any level of expertise in playing a guitar could use, here is one that would surely impress you.
Design and styling
The Alder wood body makes this a pretty stable and durable one. The fingerboards on the guitar are made of rosewood and are comfortable while playing. The design on the whole is smooth and comes in a brown sunburst hue which is a timeless beauty preferred by many guitarists.
This is one of the best p90 guitars in terms of the price. It is attractively priced below $500 and so, it can make a great first guitar which also comes with the benefits of adding P90 single coil pickups.
- The neck comes in mahogany wood with a satin smooth finish
- There are 21 frets on the rosewood fingerboard
The bridge on this guitar features the popular “tune-O-matic” styling. There are 2 P90 pickups and they deliver high quality sound. The guitar construction is light and rigid at the same time and thus making it convenient to hold for beginners and professionals alike.
It also offers a great balance. It comes strung and is ready to play straight out of the box once you tune it. The electronics of the guitar, though not the best in class, are decent enough for the beginners who are still getting the hang of it. But the acoustics, they make the guitar stand out as one of the best in the affordable price range of P90 guitars. You cannot, however, expect the perfect crunchy notes as in other P90 models but it does carry the flavor of this classic pickup.
The above list has the best p90 guitars in every price range. Each one suits a different level of guitar player. Pick one based on the purpose for which you are buying.