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FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / I went ahead and ordered a Kent Armstrong Stealth P-90

littleuch
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Subtropical Florida

Mar 21st, 2016 11:00 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

...noiseless, chrome cover, neck. It's going in my Parts Tele Thinline and replacing my GFS Goldfoil which I'm finding too HiFi and polite for what I'm after with this guitar. I thought long and hard about going the Kinman route, as well as Fralin. Either way I have to go noiseless because of the Gremlins in my condo wiring. I used to have a Duncan Antiquity P90 in this guitar back in the day and it sounded pretty dang good. We'll see....

Peegoo
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Mar 22nd, 2016 06:28 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Cool! Please give us a recap of how you like the tone. If these are sort of faithful to the P90 tone, I might try one in an LP Junior project I'm doing.

littleuch
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Subtropical Florida

Mar 22nd, 2016 06:54 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Will do Peegoo. I got notification that it was shipped today.

Peegoo
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Mar 23rd, 2016 11:40 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Thanks brother!

littleuch
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Subtropical Florida

Mar 28th, 2016 09:04 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Received/installed. Quality looks pretty dang good. No screws or P90 cavity foam (harvested from previous pickup). Wires; red/green (soldered together), white, black, braid. Install was easy peasy although for a run from neck position to Tele Thinline controls I wouldn't want the wires any shorter.

So based on my 30 minutes of canoodling through my Princeton Reverb II on clean and low, this pickup exceeds my expectation. To my ear it harkens back to when I had a Duncan Antiquity P90 in there. Has that roundness and pop. Furthermore I'm also surprised at the return of the pinginess (as best as I can describe) to the middle position. I have a GFS blade type (lil puncher) in the bridge position and these couple well-yay!. 500K pots, in case anyone is curious. I think I'm gonna dig this.

I bought this through FDP sponsor Amazon. WD has these listed for $89.95. I paid $56.95, free shipping.

(This message was last edited by littleuch at 11:11 AM, Mar 28th, 2016)

Peegoo
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Mar 28th, 2016 10:26 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Wow, great review and info. Thanks brother...I'll give one of these a try!

Peegoo
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Apr 2nd, 2016 12:26 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Okay, I ordered a bridge version with a black plastic cover. The construction is as good as a USA-made Duncan. Very good-quality parts and all neatly assembled.

I assumed I'd have to do some creationistic modificating of a dog ear cover because P90s from various makers sometimes don't properly fit other makers' covers. The screw poles often don't line up with the holes in another cover.

But this Armstrong pickup's poles perfectly matched the Gibson dog ear cover.

Since this pickup is a dual coil, it's a bit thicker than a Gibson P90...and the standard P90 dog ear rout in a Les Paul Junior is pretty shallow. I figured I'd need to pull out the router, but it fits fine! It needed a little foam under the bottom to keep it snug inside the cover.

Getting this pickup into the Junior was a piece of cake; no bad surprises.

All buttoned up, you'd never know it's not a standard P90. "Stealth" is a great name for these pickups.

And yes, littleuch, you're right: they DO sound like a P90, but without the noise. They are extremely quiet, but they still retain the mid-range snarl we all love about the P90. Happy Peegoo.

Thanks for the recommendation!

Did you look under the foam packaging in the pickup's box? Mine came with a full instruction sheet and the two long Phillips screws.

littleuch
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Subtropical Florida

Apr 2nd, 2016 12:38 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I'll check the box to see if I overlooked the screws, but I don't think so.

Glad it worked out for you. I need to do some recording with mine.

Peegoo
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Apr 2nd, 2016 07:46 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I wasn't clear in my post above.

The Stealth P90 is not available as a dog ear pickup.

So the one I ordered was a soapbar, and I intended on installing it under a dog ear cover.

littleuch
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Subtropical Florida

Apr 3rd, 2016 01:25 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I thought I saw a dogear version, but then again I looked at so many before buying my head was swimming.

I'm kinda having a hankering to go back to P90s on my Studio 50's Trib. I might just order a set of the Stealth 90's. The pics I saw of the cream covers didn't look as fleshy as the stock Gibson P90s, which is a good thing.

Peegoo
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Apr 22nd, 2016 03:56 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The beauty is the KAs will fit perfectly under the Gibson covers.

Nobody will be the wiser except you when they wonder how their P90s are so noisy and your are dead quiet and sounding great.

littleuch
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Florida

Aug 12th, 2016 07:15 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Well, I went ahead and ordered me a full set for my 50's Trib Goldtop LP. I had long ago put in Duncan Antiquity minihums in there. They had their day in the sun, time for a change. Never was in love with the Duncan bridge pup. Should be fun.

Peegoo
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Aug 12th, 2016 07:19 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

This pickup is still in the LP Junior and it gets played every day. I like a lot of different pickups, and this one especially.

Very happy to get your recommendation on this one and try it out.

Thanks brother.

littleuch
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Florida

Aug 12th, 2016 07:47 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

My pleasure. When it comes to pickups my experience has almost always been "you get what you pay for" but so far these are the exception.

Peegoo
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Aug 12th, 2016 09:53 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Don't you worry. Once word gets out on these--they'll be up into the $60-$70 range, just like the PS humbuckers Stooge Mac sells. Those were $30 when first released. And word got out!

littleuch
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Florida

Aug 12th, 2016 10:20 AM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

The creme set looks less "band-aid-y" than the stock Gibby P90s, which is a good thing. I painted my pickguard to match the rings on the Duncan mini's, and swapped out the selector ring from an Agile which matched better. I'm hoping to get a reasonable match on all the plastics. Then again, I never leave my 7x8 closet studio, so who GARA? ;-)

littleuch
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Florida

Aug 16th, 2016 12:01 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

I received the Stealth 90 set from Amazon way ahead of schedule...yay.

Installed and had to go back in 5(!) times before I got it right. It seems that little white wire actually needs to connected to something. D'oh!

A few thingy-do's. First, the Kent Armstrong version of cream color is a more muted version of the fleshy Gibson plastic. I now got 3 different shades of cream (switch disk, pickups and pickguard).

The Gibson 50's Tribute Les Paul Goldtop has a metal plate in the pickup cavity. This plate allows either P90's or mini hums to be installed. The problem is the P90 screw holes are tapped for machine screws, the KA's come with standard P90 wood screws. But no matter, I had machine screws that worked. Yay! BTW, removing that multi-functional plate and installing the P90's the traditional way isn't an option; there are two large #2 pencil size holes directly below
the plate to allow adjustment height for the machined screws. Boo!

The pickups are a wee bit tight in the route. We're talking "a little sandpaper-no biggie" tight. I'm not a P90 aficionado so maybe this is a normal thing, but the break angle of the strings over the bridge pickup bugs me. Maybe this is enhanced by my Vibramate/Bigsby/Roller bridge addition, I dunno. Nothing that turning the individual pole pieces didn't resolve.

Sound is as I experienced with my Tele parts guitar. I think these pickups sound great. A bit disappointing is that there is *some* noise, unlike my dead quiet Tele. My electo-environment is brutal, which is why I went this route. I can swivel in the chair to make the nominal noise go away, but it's still a bit disappointing. I'm betting this is the ST50's wiring, or something specific to this guitar, not the pickups. I get it in all 3 positions.

Anyhoo, it's good to have the 2 P90 thing back. I forgot "that sound".


Peegoo
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Aug 16th, 2016 12:04 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Cool, great report.

Did you try the original soapbar covers? Bet they fit...and the color match might be better.

littleuch
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Florida

Aug 16th, 2016 12:09 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Nah, I had foolishly sold the original P90's, covers and all.

Peegoo
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Aug 16th, 2016 12:47 PM   Edit   Profile   Print Topic   Search Topic

Gah!

FDP Forum / The 'Pup' Tent / I went ahead and ordered a Kent Armstrong Stealth P-90




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