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Travis

Duncan Phat Cats?

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Those of you that have them:

how do you like them?

do they give a true P90 tone in a humbucker size or just “pretty close”...?

I see lots of people like them in their Newports but how about in a slab body like a special? Give a humbucker guitar that junior/special grit...?

what say ye...?

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I hated em in mine, they were boarish, pushy and not snotty, the Newport is so refined, it needs something more Filtertronish, to me! 

I love P90s, and they arent' close.

I heard they are amp dependent, and maybe my amps werent' right for em, low watt non master volume basic amps.

YMMV

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1 hour ago, 0054 said:

the Newport is TOO refined

I'll start this by saying I have nothing worthwhile to say about Phat Cats in anything but Newports, and I didn't even care for real soapbars in my Newport 90.  That said...

I didn't like the Phat Cats in my Newport but it was more a guitar/pickup mismatch (editors pick be damned).  P90s should inspire swagger.  The best I ever got playing a Newport with Phat Cats was maybe an understated strut.  Heck, as much as people drool all over themselves for P90 Newports, I wasn't crazy about the one I owned for the same reason.  P90s in a Newport are like glasspacks on an Audi.  

Ignoring all my anti-Newport feelings, I suspect they'd be much better in a slab of mahogany but if it were me I'd look for a cheap set of used Dimarzio Bluesbuckers.  I had a set in a Larrivee and they came really close without the hum.

 

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I dig the Phat Cats in my Newport. However, from all the videos I've seen online, I honestly think the Phat Cats seem better matched to solid body guitars like Les Pauls, SGs, and even Teles. I think it's because Phat Cats are so dynamic that they help brighten the darker tone of solidbodies, whereas the spruce-topped Newport is already pretty responsive and doesn't need the help of such a dynamic pickup. That's probably why Phat Cat equipped Newports can sound shrill/brittle to some people with certain amps. It sounds great in my Dleuxe Reverb because that Fender amp doesn't have strong mid tones that might otherwise cut through too much with a PC-equipped Newport. 

In any case, I think the near-universal consensus is that PCs don't sound like true P90s. They're just their own thing; not exactly P90, not Fender single-coil, not humbucker. More like a hot single coil that can snarl, but without the warm thickness of a true P90 (though I do think they sound a little thicker in solidbody guitars). Where the PCs really shine is in their dynamics. I've never played anything as touch sensitive as the Phat Cats in my Newport. I mean, you can have an amp/pedal setup that gets you those dynamics with other pups, but the Newport with Phat Cats just does it effortlessly. 

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Did not dig the Phat Cats in my Newport. Not even close to a good P90. The bridge was shrill and with a bit of a metallic bite to the treble, not pleasant. Not warm, no rich mids, nothing "Phat" about them what so ever. The neck did a better job, but it was kinda muddy, and with the same unpleasant metallic quality to the tone (a bit like a ceramic pickup can sound).

I've heard sound clips with the PC's in Les Pauls where they sounded very close to a paf. But in the Newport, which is hollow and does not have much tight body to it's tone to begin with, they just don't sound that good to me.

My Newport did sound okay through a Fender amp on moderate volume. But as soon as I pushed the guitar through a cranked amp, it was shrill to the bone. And through a Marshall stack, fogget about it. Tone control on zero, still earblead.

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10 hours ago, 0054 said:

 the Newport is so refined, it needs something more Filtertronish, to me! 
 

 

7 hours ago, cynic said:

I'll start this by saying I have nothing worthwhile to say about Phat Cats in anything but Newports, and I didn't even care for real soapbars in my Newport 90.  That said...

I didn't like the Phat Cats in my Newport but it was more a guitar/pickup mismatch (editors pick be damned).  P90s should inspire swagger.  The best I ever got playing a Newport with Phat Cats was maybe an understated strut.  Heck, as much as people drool all over themselves for P90 Newports, I wasn't crazy about the one I owned for the same reason.  P90s in a Newport are like glasspacks on an Audi.  

Ignoring all my anti-Newport feelings, I suspect they'd be much better in a slab of mahogany but if it were me I'd look for a cheap set of used Dimarzio Bluesbuckers.  I had a set in a Larrivee and they came really close without the hum.

 

I said so refined because it's like a nice old vintage guitar, but being mated to a for modern music pickup, it was, for me, not a great sound. I don't like modern sound, I like old vintage sound. Crap, I can now get the Ted Nugent sound with the lower output Filtertron type pickups and a brown deluxe, so it's not too refined....

I'm sure we are all aholes as there as many others who would say they are great! LOL.... 

Maybe if I tried lighter strings it woulda worked... I dunno... they just weren't for me.

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I had a set in an Ibanez solid body.  Pretty close to the p 90 vibe, but not all the way there.  Maybe it's the magnets in them?  IIRC the tone knob was set closer to the middle instead of all the way up to tame some of the brightness.   YMMV.   

Some say the midrange of the PCs isn't the same as what the P-90s offer. I like the idea of p90s in a hollow body - worked for Wes.  Who am I to argue?  But I liked the DDs in the Tally more than the PCs in the Ibby.  I really liked the p-90 neck that Josh wound up for me in my old Mirage.  If you want a p-90 get a p-90.

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I installed Phat Cats in my Newport, and I think they sound OK. My Newport has a maple top, so maybe that has an effect on the sound.

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I liked them ok in my Newport, but yanked them for Rio Grande humbuckers.  I tried them in one of my 3-hole Duotones and actually liked them better than the 59/JB stock combo (and even thought they sounded a tad better in the Duotone than in my Newport but still ended up replacing them with a set of Rio Grande humbuckers).  As you can probably tell this is a pattern for me...I like a warmer/thicker midrange pickup (like Rios) which the Phat Cats in general really aren’t.   I’d imagine that to some players Phat Cats are a glorious sounding pickup, but to a hard rocker/Prog metal guy (currently forced into playing modern Country) such as myself they just aren’t my cup of tea.  

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Posted (edited)

I think they totally rip in a Limba body... that being said, I will be selling a gold set of Phat Cats from my Korina Vector after I reinstall the original SD set before also selling the Vector... eh6jKv1.jpg

Lemme know if interested 😉

Edited by Dave Scepter
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3 hours ago, holLoWskull said:

I liked them ok in my Newport, but yanked them for Rio Grande humbuckers.  I tried them in one of my 3-hole Duotones and actually liked them better than the 59/JB stock combo (and even thought they sounded a tad better in the Duotone than in my Newport but still ended up replacing them with a set of Rio Grande humbuckers).  As you can probably tell this is a pattern for me...I like a warmer/thicker midrange pickup (like Rios) which the Phat Cats in general really aren’t.   I’d imagine that to some players Phat Cats are a glorious sounding pickup, but to a hard rocker/Prog metal guy (currently forced into playing modern Country) such as myself they just aren’t my cup of tea.  

I have Rio Grandes in my T-51; the Muy Grande bridge pup gets closer to a P90 sound than the Phat Cats and it sounds glorious. I woudn't swap them out for anything. Don't mess with perfection.

I still like the PCs in the Newport myself. They're not for everyone and they're not for everything; they're no Swiss Army knife of a pup, but, for me, they do what they do well. Maybe it's because I'm a bedroom player and I don't crank my amp to live-performance-level volumes, so it never gets shrill to my ears. I dunno.

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3 hours ago, Dave Scepter said:

I think they totally rip in a Limba body... that being said, I will be selling a gold set of Phat Cats from my Korina Vector after I reinstall the original SD set before also selling the Vector... 

Lemme know if interested 😉

My Momose V came to me set up like that with Phat Cats. Definitely worked well in there, albeit maybe a little bright in a V for my taste.  I ended up swapping in a set of Seth Lovers that I had in the parts bin.

yu8pSRo.jpg

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38 minutes ago, chromium said:

My Momose V

yu8pSRo.jpg

That's badass! 

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Not a phan of the Phat Cats (see what I did there?).  Sorta like a P90 in frequency response but without their bark, growl and attitude.  Have to say the word that best describes the Phat Cats to me is "brassy" - would make a fine setup for jump blues or jazz perhaps??...

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Anyone tried the Rio Grande P90s in humbucking format: Bastard, Lil Bastard and Fat Bastard? When reading the description they would be more like what I would like in my Newport.

Paging @zorrow Paging @morningstar

 

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2 hours ago, Disturber said:

Anyone tried the Rio Grande P90s in humbucking format: Bastard, Lil Bastard and Fat Bastard? When reading the description they would be more like what I would like in my Newport.

Paging @zorrow Paging @morningstar

 

I have a lil Bastard waiting for a guitar.  Bought it super cheap. I can't lay off chasing the p90 thing - worse than high fast balls. 

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1 minute ago, BubbaVO said:

I have a lil Bastard waiting for a guitar.  Bought it super cheap. I can't lay off chasing the p90 thing - worse than high fast balls. 

Listening to the sound clip on Rio Grandes web page I think these pickups sound great. It makes me curious, would love to try a Fat Bastard in the bridge of my Newport.

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My Rio Grande Big Bottom Bastards stayed in their box while I had them. I sold them because I had no guitar to put them on.

Currently I have two guitars with HB-sized P90, all by Manlius.

One is an import Hoyer, 5-piece neck-through. There’s mahogany and maple and god-knows-what-other-woods in that guitar. It has a set of Fat Goat R90 (see here: https://www.manliusguitar.com/products/fat-goat-r-90). Those are fantastic pickups. Do read the description in that link. They are exactly as advertised.

The other guitar on which I have a HB-sized P-90 is my apocryphal hollow-bodied V, built from leftovers by a friend, inspired by something I saw online once and totally below any quality standards we might have around here. It’s a very cool guitar, but I cannot use the tone it produces as a reference for anything. The pickup is a Fat Goat P90 (see here: https://www.manliusguitar.com/products/fat-goat-hb-p90). This is me playing it through a cheap practice amp, so this is by no means a tone report, but it might give you an idea:

 

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Love the Phat Cats in my Newport. Never had a solid body with them so can't give you feedback on that question. My Newport almost has a hollow body "Tele-ish" tone to it. Doesn't sound like any of my other electrics, and that's good right? I have enough two humbucker guitars.

I just took it to rehearsal last night and played it for two and a half hours. I noticed that the guitar seem more responsive to pick attack (than humbuckers) as far as being able to control the overdrive of the front end of my amp. Would agree that they don't sound like P90s.  

Newport 2.JPG

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Seems like most people, love them or hate them, pretty much describe the PCs the same way. "Brassy" and "Tele-ish" certainly seem accurate (depending on how one is playing).

I wonder how many people are using the PC equipped Newport to play the kind of stuff one might play on a Gretsch, because I think my Newport gets closer to a Gretsch vibe than to a hollowbody Gibson, and it seems a lot of people who don't care for the PCs would prefer the Gibson tone more than the Gretsch tone. I say that because a Gretsch (like the Newport with PCs) really doesn't do the higher gain thing well (though they can do crunch pretty well, or to my satisfaction at least), whereas a hollowbody Gibson with humbuckers seem to be able to cross over into higher gain territory (maybe because they usually have center blocks?). I personally wouldn't want to play higher gain stuff with a hollow body guitar, so I'm not bothered by the limitation of the Newport in that respect. I have my Cali for the really hard rock or higher gain stuff. The Newport can cover most everything else. 

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On 6/10/2019 at 9:25 PM, 0054 said:

I hated em in mine, they were boarish, pushy and not snotty, the Newport is so refined, it needs something more Filtertronish, to me

 

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17 minutes ago, gtrdaddy said:

 

Josh Gravelin to that particular rescue!

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17 hours ago, Camstone said:

...Love the Phat Cats in my Newport.... almost has a hollow body "Tele-ish" tone to it.

I loved the Tele-ness of the Newport/PhatCat combo. 5 stars. Would own again.

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39 minutes ago, hamerhead said:

I loved the Tele-ness of the Newport/PhatCat combo. 5 stars. Would own again.

I'm with her, the Newport/Phatcat Combo is a killer. 

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That's Mr. Her to you, dingus.

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