View Full Version : Seymour Duncan Phat Cats vs TV Jones Classics for my Bigsby Semi Hollow SE

12-15-2012, 10:12 AM
I'm the recent proud owner of a PRS SE Semi Hollow with Bigsby. I'm currently considering a pickup swap and I need some help making up my mind.

I'm looking for decent definition in the midrange--a good fundamental tone--and a touch of twang when in "crunch" overdrive. I won't be playing much high gain stuff on the guitar.

One option I'm looking at is humbucker-sized P90s, specifically the Seymour Duncan Phat Cats, which were reputedly originally designed for Hamer's semi-hollow guitars. I'm having some difficulty placing P90s sonically based on what I find on the web. In some quarters they sound positively metallic and twangy, which I like: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4c8hYFHbMIA. However, elsewhere, they sound pretty dark and dull, and quite humbucker-like. My suspicion is that they are very rig-dependent in their response.

The other option is the renowned TV Jones Classic Filtertron-type pickups. From what I've heard online they are definitely metallic sounding, almost acoustic, with a less-defined fundamental midrange. Not so much twangy as "sparkly" in mid-crunch situations. From what I understand they are in the Starla ballpark. They are also purportedly what Malcolm Young of AC/DC uses, which is great, because I do love that crunch sound.

I'm a bit stuck at the moment, because I'm worried if I go with the Phat Cat P90s I might discover they're actually too humbuckerish, and if I go with the TV Jones I might discover they're a bit brittle and thin-sounding.

Does anyone have any experience with P90s and/or Filtertrons and can offer some guidance?

Please don't suggest I try both in a shop and make up my own mind, or I try to stick with the stock pickups, etc. etc. I live on an island with less-than-optimal access to different guitar rigs, hence the call for advice.

12-15-2012, 02:23 PM
I'm voting TV's, never tried the Phat Cats though.

12-16-2012, 11:42 PM
The Phat Cats are very cool, especially in the middle position. The solo on Another Brick in the Wall was done with a P- 90 if that helps at all with the tone.
With Duncan you can exchange the pickups if you buy a set you don't really dig (it's like 30 days or something), and I've always liked that. Also, remember that if you go with Gretsch sized pickups, there is no turning back since they a different shape & size than HBs (and Phat Cats).

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12-16-2012, 11:47 PM
May I suggest a set of Starla pickups? Especially since you're putting them in a Semi-hollow PRS.