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 handled 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 diminishing returns when the gain hits a certain level, past which they deteriorate very quickly. Listening closely, this is attributed 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, and the Dust Storm P90 set is the fruits of that labour. 


P90 bridges aren't nearly as bad as the necks under high gain, so there wasn't a huge amount of alteration required The starting point was to wind the bridge pickup with thinner wire, 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 too, adding output and allowing it to push an amp in distortion hard. The whole thing is kept clear and bright 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. Strangely though, P90s seem to gain more bass as the wind count is increased, as opposed to mid range when a humbucker is overwound. We stuck 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 smoothness to stay clear under high gain. It was at this point when we tried an unusual experiment that we'd been throwing around for a while - 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, making the pickup nice and balanced while it's distorting a preamp hard. The character is a strange mix, it's instantly identifiable as a P90, but when the gain is turned up it doesn't break down into a mess 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