The solderless connector setup includes a circuit board loaded with all the favourite USA grade electronics (Switchcraft jack, Switchcraft switch, CTS potentiometers, Orange drop capacitor). This circuit board simply drops into your Gibson style control layout, then you plug in the connectors we've added to the end of the pickup leads into the circuit board. The humbucker setup comes with default 500k potentiometers, 3 way toggle switch and 0.022uf capacitors.
These are available in both import (short shaft pots, short frame switch), USA (long shaft pots, long frame switch), or right angle (short shaft pots, right angle toggle switch) formats. (ONLY) Gibson Les Pauls will use USA. Epiphones and other import models will use the import format. SGs and similar will use the right angle format. Import models Les Pauls typically use short shaft potentiometers, but we've found through experimentation that due to the nature of the way that the pots are seated at different heights in the cavity, short shaft pots will not work effectively. Long shaft pots are used by shimming the shaft to the correct length with the second nut inside the cavity.
No soldering is required at all, making the installation job about 10 minutes in total!
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.
Magnets: Ceramic / alnico 5 x2
Pole spacing: 50mm/52mm
Output wire: braided single conductor