Dust Storm Mini Range - High output P90 set

Dust Storm Mini Range - High output P90 set

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Solderless setup with all required wiring available here.

The Mini Range series of P90s are P90s utilising FeCrCo screw magnets, similar to Wide Range humbuckers from Telecaster customs. This gives the pickups a brighter, more aggressive note attack, giving the pickups a tonality similar to a Fender style single coil. Below is the standard pickup set description. Due to using these screws, any mention of magnets in the description below does not apply, but is there for reference to the standard set.

During the production of this set, we sat down and really worked out the fine details of our P90 sets; how they handle high gain, and what we could do to make a set geared specifically for crushing distortion work. We noticed that P90s love distortion, but strangely they have a very sharp deterioration of sound quality when the gain hits a certain level. Listening closely, we've attributed this to the spiky EQ characteristics of P90s. The very same thing that give them a big, growling, but simultaneously clean and articulate character under mid level gain seems to be a handicap under high gain. We set about fixing these issues, to make Dust Storm P90 set.

P90 bridges aren't nearly as bad as the necks under high gain, so little alteration was required. We wound the bridge pickup with a thinner than normal wire gauge, this filled out the mid range, added some much-needed compression, and got rid of the brittle top end that doesn't play nicely under high gain. The thinner wire allows more turns, adding output to push an amp to distortion easily. The whole thing is kept clear balanced with a pair of alnico 5 bar magnets.

The neck was the real challenge with this set. P90 necks don't tend to work under even moderate gain levels. It's wound with a little bit thinner wire than normal to accommodate more winds to keep up in output with the bridge, and to fill out that scooped mid range. P90s, like many single coil pickup designs, gain more bass as the wind count is increased. We placed the coil over a pair of ceramic magnets to test, and it was pretty close to what we were after, but was a bit too spiky, lacking the required finesse to stay clear under high gain. It was at this point when we tried an unusual experiment - remove one of the two magnets. This had a more substantial affect than we'd anticipated. It kept the ceramic magnet clarity and trimmed off some of the harsh treble and boomy bass, giving the pickup a remarkably smooth distortion characteristic. It's instantly identifiable as a P90, but when the gain is turned up it doesn't break down into a chaotic noise like a normal neck P90. It also sounds really good clean, which wasn't something in the brief, but a fortunate coincidence.

Specifications (neck/bridge):
Resistance (ohms): 10.8k/16.6k 
Magnets: FeCrCo magnet screws

Pole spacing: 50mm/52mm
Output wire: braided single conductor
Wax potted

Supplied with mounting screws