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Phat Cat vs P-Rails (P-90 side)?

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  • Phat Cat vs P-Rails (P-90 side)?

    It's been years since I had my Phat Cats, and I'm getting ready to install my P-Rails. Speaking strictly of the P-90 side of the P-Rails, has anyone compared them?

    The specs are:

    Phat Cat (twin A2's): N: 7.98k, B: 8.49k
    P-Rails P-90 (twin A5's): N: 7.17k B: 10.14k

    I'm guessing, because of the A2's, that the Phat Cats might be more "polite."

    Thanks all.

    Edit: And even better, how about A5's in Phat Cats?
    Last edited by ArtieToo; 08-26-2020, 08:09 AM.

  • #2
    I've never owned a Phat Cat but I've heard lots of clips that sound very good. Because of its A2 magnets I always thought it would sound too "polite" and I never got excited enough about that to lay down the $$ for one. But the clips I've heard actually sound very alive, bright, and punchy like you'd expect a good P-90 to sound like.

    I've got lots of P-Rails, lots of P-90's from many different brands, and I've got lots of P-90's in humbucker size. There are actually a lot of differences in their sound and performance, even comparing them with the same magnets. They all sound good (I really love P-90's) but the P-90 coil in the P-Rail is one of my favorites, no matter what magnet I put in it (but my preference is A5).

    The reason I've never owned a Phat Cat, and thus never made a direct comparison to the P-Rails, is because the humbucker-sized P-90 pups from GFS are so great and only about $30. Their Mean 90 used to be my favorite due to its full-bodied flavor with big mids, but I've grown more fond of their Dream 90 lately because it sounds brighter and more articulate...more like the P-Rail's P-90 coil but with less low end. I think I still like the P-Rail slightly more, but they all sound so great how can you choose?!

    Oddly enough, my least favorite P-90 was from a Gibson LP Goldtop. It just sounded bland and blah no matter which magnets I put into it.

    Anyway, let us know what you think of the P-Rail compared to your Phat Cat. The REALLY great thing about the P-Rail (in addition to its super P-90 tone) is the tonal options available because of the additional Rail coil.
    Originally Posted by IanBallard
    Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.


    • #3
      That's great info Doc. Exactly what I was wondering. I don't have my Phat Cats anymore, however, I do have a pair of Dream 90's in my Iceman. This will be cool. I'll be able to compare them side-by-side.


      • #4
        Keep in touch.
        Originally Posted by IanBallard
        Rule of thumb... the more pot you have, the better your tone.


        • #5
          Absolutely. But two more customer guitars came in, so my own projects take a back seat again. Dang, I wish these customers would go away.


          • #6
            I think the P90 coil of the P Rails neck is the best P90 in a humbucker size that I've ever tried...but it's tied with the DiMarzio Bluesbucker.

            The P90 of the bridge version is nice too, but I find the pickup pretty useless in series mode. Too hot IMO. So I use two neck models in my P-Rails set. If I want a bit more heat from the bridge, I use it as a series humbucker.

            The Phat Cats are too squishy IMO.
            Originally posted by LesStrat
            Yogi Berra was correct.
            Originally posted by JOLLY
            I do a few chord things, some crappy lead stuff, and then some rhythm stuff.


            • #7
              I know it is not a popular option but I love my P-Rail bridge in the humbucker position. It is a solid hard rock/metal pickup.

              | Gear Reviews | Beer | Babes | The Internet's Only Unedited & Uncensored Musician's Forum | Sports |


              • #8
                To me, the P-90 coil of the P-Rails sounds more like an authentic P-90. It was also, by far, my favorite sound in a P-Rails.
                Dave, Ambassador/Writer/Artist for Seymour Duncan


                • #9
                  Thanks guys. This works perfectly with the wiring scheme I've come up with. If I get spare moment, I'll wire it up and tell you how it worked out.


                  • #10
                    I've had both Phat Cats & P-Rails in my SG, and this is what it looks like currently:

                    The P-Rails' P-90 coils sound like the P-90s I'm used to from 60s-style SG Specials, while I just couldn't get along with the Phat Cats. They sound great in the Hamer Newports they were designed for, but in my SG the bridge was weak & honky while the neck was muddy & dull.
                    Originally posted by crusty philtrum
                    And that's probably because most people with electric guitars seem more interested in their own performance rather than the effect on the listener ... in fact i don't think many people who own electric guitars even give a poop about the effect on a listener. Which is why many people play electric guitars but very very few of them are actually musicians.


                    • #11
                      That's killer. Especially with the Bigsby, that I'm not usually a fan of.