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Rating and Reviews: Seymour Duncan Phat Cat

The Seymour Duncan SPH90-1 offers fat, punchy tone. Also known as the Phat Cat P90, the Seymour Duncan SPH90-1 is a fantastic choice for rock.

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Sound
Features
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The Wow Factor
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"Midlife crisis pickup for your humbucking guitar. It's better than buying it a sports car." submitted June 16, 2005

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Musical Background: Gigging Musician
Music Style: Roots Rock, Indie Rock, Country, and Folk
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SPOTLIGHT REVIEW
Sound: Great Biting Tone, Bluesy if you want it to be, but also really fun, sort of twank available to you. A Bit better on the high end than a humbucker, not quite as nasal as a single coil sounds to me. Note again I said twank, not quack. Have mine in a les paul so that will color the sound as well. but overall very balanced with great attack defintion. Can sometimes get a bit fuzzy in chords if you're on a dirty setting of your amp, but not necessarily in a bad way. Feature: Yup, that's right, zero accessories. No action figures, no comic book wrapping material, no glow in the dark anything. About the only thing it did come with are my favorite pickups in the world. There I said it. Quality: a little scratch heavy, but great if you're into that vintage look. But really folks, don't expect to go after the screws on top, slide off and scrape your screwdriver accross the cover and not leave a scratch. If only someone had warned me. Value: Look around and find them cheap. It's not like they're handwound gifts from god here, just lovely little assembly line beauties that will revive your love of your humbucker guitar if you, like myself, find yourself getting tired of all that extra push. Manufacturer Support: Could go either way, havn't really needed any. The Wow Factor: Ok, so I play an epiphone les paul classic quilt top in Orange. When I first got it, I liked the way the neck felt, I liked it's weight, (read very heavy) and I liked the way it sat on my body, hated the electronics, hated the open coil humbuckers. So I get it on the cheap, cause you can do that with an epiphone. Replace the electronics, slap a Bigsby B12 on there, and then as the piece of resistance (Say that last part in french if you like) put these pickups in my guitar. I went through three pairs of pants on the spot. Sex appeal? Oh YEAH! Overall: For what they are, they surely kick ass. I'd also suggest looking into the Rio Grande Bastard and Fat Bastard, havn't tried them myself, but I'd like to. Don't expect a humbucker, don't expect a single coil. Expect a really nice loively looking, P90 sound in a drop in replacement for your humbucker.
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"Love it love it love it" submitted January 26, 2009

By a customer from dwc.edu
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Rock, Punk, Ska
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Sound: I have a les paul and the humbuckers had a bit of a muddy sound that just couldnt seem to cut through to shine in the high end department. these p90s absolutely have no problem giving me high end with out sacrifice the low end that i also need. Feature: None, you dont need any Ease of Use: Its a pickup, just drop in and enjoy Quality: very sturdy, accidentally droped the box it was in on the floor from a tall table and it still works fine. Value: They are definitely worth it. You can tell a difference as soon as you start playing. Manufacturer Support: dont need them The Wow Factor: The wanting for a p90 sound is fufilled with this product. SD nailed it, putting a p90 in a humbucker casing? Genius!!!! Overall: I would recommend these pickups to anyone wanting to split with a humbucker and try something new.
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"Wish I had kept them" submitted March 20, 2011

By a customer from windstream.net
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Musical Background: Play at home mostly
Music Style: Blues & Country
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: I purchased & tried these in a guitar I had put together swamp ash body & maple neck they were installed in both neck & bridge position with a Seymour Duncan classic stack in the middle I play Blues & Country they sound fantastic they can be used in any style I made the mistake of switching them out under Seymour Duncans 21 day exchange policy after I had removed them & sent them for exchange & temporarily reinstalled my old pickups I had a change of heart wished I had kept them I am going to build another guitar and Phat cats are deinitely going in it you can't go wrong with them very versatile Feature: Great Pickups Ease of Use: Install them adjust height & enjoy Quality: I give them a 10 one hint about installing leave the tape cover on until you have them at least installed & the height approximately set then remove the tape and do your final adjustment I slipped with the screw driver and scratched one of them Value: Great price Manufacturer Support: Seymour Duncan has the best warranty hands down it absolutely can not be matched everyone I had the pleasure of talking to was great even after I told them I had scratched one of them they still switched them out for me I was amazed at how fast & friendly they were about taking care of the exchange. By the way my new Seymour Duncan SH1 MODEL 59 are also great pickups got to say THANKS to James at seymour Duncan best service I have ever received anywhere. The Wow Factor: Great looking Overall: Not looking these are permanent
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"Great p-90 tone without the harsh noise" submitted September 25, 2012

By Ric C in Lakewood, CO
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Musical Background: Guitar player, luthier
Music Style: Blues, jazz, folk
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Overall: This is the second time I have recommended these pickups for a customer and I am still pleased with the incredible tone and great look of these. First time, I installed them in a reissue Kay Thin Twin, now in a refurbished Epiphone Sheraton and they both can hold up to any 10,000 dollar guitar
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"NICE!!!!" submitted November 8, 2005

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Semi-pro. Played for the last 20 years, played out for the last 17 years.
Music Style: indie/punk rock
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Sound: If you love that P-90 sound, you won't be disappointed. Crank them up and you get one of the all time great rock 'n' roll sounds. Huge, thick, sloppy notes with crazy amounts of tone. Not the right pickups for your machine gun shredding (all that pick work will be lost) but the best pickups in the world for big nast riffs and power-chords. HIGHLY recommended for punk guitarists. Feature: No "I heart p-90s" stickers. No catalog of outfits to dress them up in. SD really fell down on the job here. Quality: Nothing seems amiss, and once installedm, it's hard for anything to really go wrong with a pickup. Value: Sounds great, and fits in where a humbucker would go. For a Gibson P-90 you'd pay more upfront, and then have to take a router to the top of your guitar. Manufacturer Support: Haven't dealt with them, but they have a pretty good website. The Wow Factor: Looks like a normal shiny humbucker... but wait... the posts are running down the middle... is that a giant single coil??? Be still my heart. (Sad truth is that I'm enough of a guitar geek that the above was not meant as sarcasm) Overall: I play a bunch of different guitars. But this will be my primary one for some time to come.
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"Like NOS for your tone." submitted October 23, 2010

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Musical Background: Semi-Pro, Student, Engineer
Music Style: Indie Rock, Folk, Electronic
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Sound: Spanky, raw, chimey, and still classy enough to take out on a Friday night. I installed 2 of them in an unusual way in a beater guitar; a 3HB epiphone "les paul custom" (read: frou frou SG) in SERIES into the bridge and middle slots, leaving the stock HB at the neck. The middle one can be switched out. Effectively this config lets them act as a rather high output neck position HB, OR just as the straight single coil at the neck. GREAAAAT tones. -1 for being a bit noisy as a single coil. Feature: What you see is what you get. Ease of Use: To install, gotta know your way around a soldering iron, or hire a tech who does. Also, woulda liked more wiring options than just the classic parallel. Quality: Some things in this day and age are, in fact, made like they used to be. Alnico mags, wax potted, braided shield, cloth pullback insulation, tinned copper leads. Oooh me, yes please. Value: Yes yes yes. Breathes life into otherwise stuffy-sounding guitars with HB pup's with very little, completely reversible modification. Unless you're like me and are into irreversible franken-modding, in which case they still rule. The Wow Factor: Rawr. The gold blends in unassumingly with the rest of the guitar, only betraying the subtle difference visually by the location of the pole screws. Overall: The things are internally just like a P90. Knowing Seymour Duncan's prowess at taking a classic sound and giving it modern appointments, I would have been happier with a pup that could more easily be wired in series for the sound I'm seeking , but I'm a bit weird about these things. I know SD makes a soapbar-sized P90 that allows for this. I'm tempted to crack this bad boy open and rewire internally. QUICK! SOMEONE STOP ME!
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"This is the sound I have been looking for. It's rare to find P90's on guitars now. Sometimes the best comes from the past." submitted March 14, 2011

By a customer from comcast.net
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Ease of Use
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Musical Background: Hobbyist plus
Music Style: Classic Rock and Blues
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VERIFIED BUYER
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Sound: I purchased both the neck and bridge pickups in gold. The sound of the Phat Cat in one word is "amazing." Highs that are razor sharp. even with the tone turned down they are bright and can cut through even the loudest distortion. The Bridge position is great for blues and many types of rock. In the neck position watch the jazz players turn green with envy at the tone. Not muddy and maintains a bright edge. Notes just ring out clearly. Most stock pickups just are not clear. These will surprise people with their wow factor. It turned a $300 dollar guitar into one I was offered $ 600 for. Ease of Use: I would definitely recommend professional installation. If you are replacing Humbuckers you will need to have your volume pot replaced with a lower resistance one. Which is mentioned in the instruction sheet. After that you'll be a tone monster. Quality: The pickups were bright and shiny and had no obvious defects out of the box. Plenty of length on the leads. Appeared very high quality. Value: Definitely worth the price. The price compared favorably with other pickups. The Wow Factor: Very pretty. The girls will love it. One note and the girls will melt. Overall: This is now my main rig. I will be keeping this until I die and maybe a little while after. I may just have the thing buried with me.
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"Very Good Pick-ups" submitted June 30, 2007

By a customer from yahoo.com
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Musical Background: Active Musician
Music Style: Indie Pop (currently)
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Sound: This is a very nice pickup. I knew the P-90 sound would be what I was looking for and it was. It just seems to fall in that happy middle ground between normal single coil and humbucker. I have replaced to high output humbuckers on my vintage Yamaha SBG-500 with these babes and there are so many cool combinations. The bridge is just the jazziest thing ever. The bridge pick-up is just incredible and right in the middle is the no hum zone, which leads me onto why I rated it so. I gave it a 9 because of the hum which in all honesty isn't that bad. I think it would be pretty sweet if they could make this in a stack pickup and still maintain it's tone... Feature: There aren't that many things to muck around with in a pickup. Ease of Use: It's a pickup so it's pretty easy. Don't try and put it in yourself unless you kind of have an idea of what you are doing or your local music store will laugh at you, I know from experience. Quality: It seems to be pretty amazing. I haven't had any problems. I have a neck and a bridge pick-up and they are both pretty incredible. Value: It's a little pricey for a single coil but given that it can go in a humbucker spot and it is way cheaper than Gibson's version, it's pretty good value. Manufacturer Support: I dunno what the support is ike but let's not ruin it's rating because of that. The Wow Factor: Ok, it is a pick-up. However, if you want that amazing P-90 tone and you don't want to buy a brand new guitar, get this. I really wanted that tone. Overall: Besides spending a total of $160 on the guitar, which is something you have to come to terms with when you own such an investment, and the problem all single coils have with noise, it's an amazing product. There is really nothing to validly complain about, I knew about the price and the hum going into this. It's just what you need for that P-90 sound. I think I am going to get a cheap guitar for the road and I am going between getting a single pick-up Les Paul and switching one of these in or just getting the double pick-up one. The fact that these are really the way to go is making this decision quite the task.
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"My Les Paul came alive!" submitted August 30, 2011

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Sound: I replaced my Les Paul Humbuckers with the Seymour Duncan Phat Cats. My sound went from muddy and dark to smooth and clear, with an awesome bite. Classic P90 sound. Great for blues and classic rock. Now this guitar sounds as good as it looks! Feature: Would have been nice to have wiring color codes translator for the install. Gibson uses differenct colors than Seymour. Quality: Very nice, solid with a great metal finish. Value: Great value, compares well to boutique equipment at lower cost.
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"Beautiful in the neck" submitted April 26, 2013

By vincent v in brooklyn, NY
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Musical Background: I've been playing for about 40 years, lots of bands, lots of years ago and now I play with friends, write and record.
Music Style: rock blues jazz r&b soul reggae
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Sound: Phat. Nice strong high end and big bottom, For blues it's brilliant and has an almost vocal tone quality. Feature: It was designed and originally produced in the custom shop and it's as good as you can get. Beautiful build quality. Ease of Use: Solo'd, you can make subtle tonal changed with just the volume pot It's a P90 and a great one. Quality: A+ Value: You can buy one of these for about 90bucks new. Manufacturer Support: Don't need it The Wow Factor: Comment: the gear doesn't make music. The gear is always in the way of the music and you have to tame it to make make the music you want to hear. The sound is in your fingers as much or more than in the gear. You can make great music with a 50 guitar, ten year old strings and maybe a piece of a bottleneck. Don't need no stinking boutique gear. But it is nice. Overall: I put a Phat Cat in the neck position of 1999 sg. Left the humbucker in the bridge. It's like the best of both worlds. But some friends thought I was dyslexic and should have installed it in the bridge. But the neck pickup, that I hardly ever use, I solo with now. Plus it's just a great sounding pickup.
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"Beautiful in the neck" submitted April 26, 2013

By vincent v in brooklyn, NY
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Sound
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: I've been playing for about 40 years, lots of bands, lots of years ago and now I play with friends, write and record.
Music Style: rock blues jazz r&b soul reggae
Back to Product Information
Sound: Phat. Nice strong high end and big bottom, For blues it's brilliant and has an almost vocal tone quality. Feature: It was designed and originally produced in the custom shop and it's as good as you can get. Beautiful build quality. Ease of Use: Solo'd, you can make subtle tonal changed with just the volume pot It's a P90 and a great one. Quality: A+ Value: You can buy one of these for about 90bucks new. Manufacturer Support: Don't need it The Wow Factor: Comment: the gear doesn't make music. The gear is always in the way of the music and you have to tame it to make make the music you want to hear. The sound is in your fingers as much or more than in the gear. You can make great music with a 50 guitar, ten year old strings and maybe a piece of a bottleneck. Don't need no stinking boutique gear. But it is nice. Overall: I put a Phat Cat in the neck position of 1999 sg. Left the humbucker in the bridge. It's like the best of both worlds. But some friends thought I was dyslexic and should have installed it in the bridge. But the neck pickup, that I hardly ever use, I solo with now. Plus it's just a great sounding pickup.
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