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Thread: P90 that's closest to Franz pickup?

  1. #11

    Re: P90 that's closest to Franz pickup?

    The T100 with the original Franz has medium flatwounds. Plugged into the Sano it is a time machine. There are deep baritone lows that can sneak up like warm ocean waves spilling through the tremolo and reverb. Highs show a hint of teeth like a card player gathering his winnings. There is always a packed house full of happy mids who are all glad to be there and never pick a fight. This pickup is very sensitive to picking dynamics and seems to enjoy being mischievous, but nothing sounds like it. The Franz is a seductive and dangerous character drawn from smoky clubs, detective novels and film noir.
    littlesongs that was spot on :)

  2. #12

    Re: P90 that's closest to Franz pickup?

    Thanks for the kind words! No amount of hyperbole compares to plugging one into an amplifier. That is where the magic happens.
    '63 T-100 "Carol"

  3. #13
    Senior Member Jeff Haddad's Avatar
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    Jul 2005
    southeastern PA

    Re: P90 that's closest to Franz pickup?

    littlesongs - wow, thanks for the well thought-out response. I think the happy mids are due to the flatwounds. :)

    It sounds like the underwound Lollars or Fralins would be the way to go if I want to replace the Duncans. The Duncans do sound good and tonight I played around with the amp settings (what a concept!) and am somewhat more pleased with the status quo. I'm playing through a Bandmaster reverb in a Super Reverb setup (4x10's) and cut the bass and mid to about 2 with the treble on 5, vol on about 3 - 3.5 and got a very good sound. I'll probably leave well enough alone for now with the guitar - I'm just a stay at home player and just want to enjoy it as is.

    Thanks for all the opinions and help.

  4. #14

    Re: P90 that's closest to Franz pickup?

    Ziz said
    They do have some variability.....some are darker, some are brighter, some thicker toned others thinner.....maybe its how they've aged, or the way they were originally made
    In a Mandolin Brothers newsletter about fifteen years ago, I read that Franzes were wound with an inconsistent number of spins, so they vary in the number of wraps in the coil (if those are the correct terms).

    And as Ziz suggests, there must be a whole lot of variation in aging.
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  5. #15
    Junior Member
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    Jun 2018
    United States of Apples
    I would just get a P-90 and have it rewound to whatever you want. Should be fairly straight forward. You might check out Seymour Duncan Antiquity as well.

  6. #16
    The closest Franz-like sound I've heard from a non-Franz pickup comes from the kleenex box pickups in my Kay Jazz II. Compared to a P90 wound to ~7.5K they're lighter & brighter. (I won't even attempt to compete with littlesongs in the description department. ) They sound gorgeous with a good set of flatwounds too. Roger Fritz might be able to wind a set of 'em to order (he's made repros of various Kay models over the past decade or so) but I imagine they'd ¢o$t too.

    1962 F-20 Troubadour
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    c. 1971 Foxey Lady

  7. #17
    Senior Member
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    Feb 2007
    Montclair, NJ
    I've never heard a regular type P-90 that sounds close to the Franz sound. Same goes for the sorta P-90 types I've heard - those in a yamaha SGV600, the Mosrite/Hallmark types, the kleenex box p/us in a couple old Kays.

    Words fail me in this area. I can hear similarities between P-90s and Franz p/us, but the differences are hard to describe.

  8. #18
    Super Moderator Default's Avatar
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    Jul 2007
    Philly, or thereabouts
    SD wound a P90 "Franzesque" for the T-500, but I don't have a Franz equipped box to compare it to.
    "Steve, you are a man of many goats."~ capnjuan

    "Alternatively, you could just go the ultra-relic route with it. Basically go for a look that says the amp was on fire and they put it out using belt sanders."
    (amps - I need a "99" & "50")

  9. #19
    Senior Member Walter Broes's Avatar
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    Jun 2005
    Antwerp, Belgium
    Wow, someone revived a very old thread! :-)

    A friend of mine has a guitar with a set op pickups by Curtis Novak - dogear P90's wound to vintage franz spec by Curtis Novak. He nailed it as far as I'm concerned.

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  10. #20
    Honestly, I've always thought it was interesting how similar the two are in construction. Coil geometry seems really close, and they both have that big coil sitting on top of two bar magnets with a metal anchor bar in the middle. I wonder if the magnets are the biggest difference. It would be interesting to swap around parts between the two, to the extent it's possible, and see what makes them sound like each other.

    For what it's worth, I think Franz pickups sound closer to Fenders than P-90s. Go listen to some Paladins stuff and you can almost convince yourself you're listening to a Strat with a lot of loose, gainey reverb on top of it.

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