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GFS Mean 90 vs Dream 90, what's the difference?

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Postby notes_norton » April 21st, 2009, 1:41 pm

I have an old LTD EC-50 that I want to put P90 pickups in. Guitar Fetish Dream 90s were recommended by a friend, they fit in the humbucker slot, and one of them is reverse polarity so if there is a lot of noise, I can simulate a humbucker by putting the switch in the center position.

Guitar Fetish offers both Dream 90s and Mean 90s with only a few dollars price difference.

I want to make sure I get the one that will sound best to my ears.

So does anyone know what the difference is as far as the tone is concerned?

Thanks,
Notes
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Postby Gabba Gabba Hey » April 21st, 2009, 3:24 pm

I know someone who has used both. From what I remember, the Dream is a bit brighter, the Mean is a bit darker and throatier. But they were in different guitars, so it's not a direct comparison. Also I was told the Mean sounds closer to an actual P90 sound (not exact, but closer.) I like some of the GFS stuff; I've got a couple of their humbuckers now. Good bang for the buck.
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Postby notes_norton » April 22nd, 2009, 5:45 am

Thanks.

Jay from Guitar Fetish also recommended Mean 90s, but I wanted an unbiased second opinion.

Notes
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Postby notes_norton » May 30th, 2009, 7:46 am

OK, I've installed the Dream 90s on an LTD EC-50

Image

Comparing their sound to the Duncan P90s on my Epiphone Casino or the stock P90s on my Gibson ES-330 I know is not a fair comparison as the Epi and Gibby are hollow body guitars and the LTD is solid. But that's all I have to compare them with.

All in all I like the Duncans the best.

The Duncans are brighter and warmer than the Gibsons, and the Mean 90s are the brightest of the bunch and a bit thinner sounding (this could very well be due to the guitar bodies). By turning the tone down about 3/4, I can make the Mean 90s sound close to the Epiphone -- close enough for an untrained ear (which is my audience).

All in all I'm happy with them, and would recommend them to anyone who asks.

Notes
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Postby rparker » May 30th, 2009, 6:57 pm

Congrats on your first project, Notes! I saw your post in another thread that described it in detail. Those cheap LTDs ain't so bad.

I like the Mean 90s. I've never tried the others, so no way I could offer up an opinion comparing the two.
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Postby Gabba Gabba Hey » May 31st, 2009, 4:29 am

notes_norton wrote:the Mean 90s are the brightest of the bunch and a bit thinner sounding (this could very well be due to the guitar bodies). By turning the tone down about 3/4, I can make the Mean 90s sound close to the Epiphone -- close enough for an untrained ear (which is my audience).


Just curious: did you use 500k pots (which is probably what the guitar had) or 250K?

Good review; thanks.
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Postby notes_norton » May 31st, 2009, 6:30 am

Gabba Gabba Hey wrote:<...>

Just curious: did you use 500k pots (which is probably what the guitar had) or 250K?

Good review; thanks.


I used the 500k pots.

A friend on another forum told me he tried the 250k pot but it limited the range of adjustment he had and he went back to 500k. Since this was my first mod and I relied quite a bit on other peoples experience, and since I had the 500k pot, it just seemed natural to leave well enough alone.

BTW, some of the settings on the Varitone decrease the volume quite a bit, so I have the gain on the mixer turned up, and when the Varitone is bypassed, I turn the volume on the guitar down quite a bit. The volume setting on the guitar itself doesn't seem to affect the tone of the guitar (at least to my ears) so that adds a little versatility to the guitar.

Notes
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Postby notes_norton » May 31st, 2009, 6:45 am

rparker wrote:Congrats on your first project, Notes! I saw your post in another thread that described it in detail. Those cheap LTDs ain't so bad. <...>

Thanks.

I was actually quite impressed with the quality of the cheap, bottom-of-the-line LTD. The neck is terrific, the frets finished nicely, the wiring was neat and tidy, the soldering good, and even the cavities were painted nicely. I've seen some pictures of Epiphones, Squiers, and other "bargain" guitars costing more than the LTD that weren't finished as well -- of course those could be isolated incidents, as only disgruntled people have a reason to post a close up of a defect on a forum.

Here is a picture of the cavity before I rewired it (along with some flash flare and close focus problems)

Image

I know this varies from guitar to guitar, the LTD I have has nice acoustic properties for a solid body, it is fairly loud, live and with a good deal of sustain.

Insights and incites by Notes

I read where the body is made of Agathis, but I really don't know how that relates as a "tone wood". But I am a believer that excluding the players fingers, the pickups probably contribute 99% of the tone anyway. After all, my Gibson ES-330 sounds better as an acoustic guitar than my Epiphone Casino, but with the Duncans in the Epi, it sounds better coming out of the speakers. So the "tone wood" was trumped by the pickups.

I'd like to compare the Mean 90s with the Duncan version of the 90 in a humbucker sized cutout, but alas, until the economy picks up, gig work is going to stay slow, so I'll have to contain my GAS.
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Postby rparker » May 31st, 2009, 8:23 am

Here's my LTD. It's a M-252 model, which really doesn't impress Google a whole lot last time I searched. I'm guessing a 90's era. Anyhow, a broken ouput-jack and three little chips. Got it used for $127. It came with the pick-ups, "Duncan-Designed" and they love to scream as well as being very good in it's role for that deep, dropped-tuned-chunky thud in modern Metal. Alas, no screaming for me right now. Using it to make some slide noises with in open G. (Saying that I play slide would insult all those who do)

It did play very well before I set it up for slide noises and always seemed to stay in tune just fine. Others have been impressed by it.

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and
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Postby music-guy » October 13th, 2009, 9:32 pm

i like GFS Mean 90 then Dream90
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