“All the tone of the classic P-90 pickup without the hum”: Is Seymour Duncan’s new Silencer range the perfect modern P-90 platform?

Seymour Duncan Silencer P-90s
(Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

Seymour Duncan has debuted its all-new range of Silencer P-90 pickups – a fresh catalog of P-90s that is headlined by a new Jared James Nichols signature single-coil.

However, while the arrival of a new Nichols pup is note-worthy in itself, the wider lineup in general will no doubt pique the interest of P-90 players all over owing to the particular tonal performance it promises to provide.

The clue is in the name: the P90 Silencer pickups vow to deliver a completely silent tone that bears all the visual and sonic hallmarks of a classic P-90 without any of the irksome 60-cycle hum that plagues vintage units.

It’s a pitch that will appeal to many. After all, the best P-90s on the market are considered some of the most well-rounded and versatile pickups available, though the hum – resulting from the single-coil design – is enough to put many potential players off.

It’s important to note hum-canceling P-90s are not a new innovation, and other brands (Seymour Duncan included) have already made efforts in harnessing the true authentic tone of vintage P-90s while eradicating the hum conundrum.

Seymour Duncan Silencer P-90s

Seymour Duncan P90 Silencer JJN  (Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

Examples include the DiMarzio Fantom P90, Mojotone 56 Quiet Coils and Lindy Fralin’s Hum Cancelling P-90s, among others.

Nevertheless, while not alone in the hum-canceling P-90 camp, Seymour Duncan’s Silencer range looks to be a genuinely noteworthy addition to the market, boasting a newly innovated design that “retains all the tone and appearance of the classic P90 pickup without the 60-cycle hum”.

Not only that, its generous quartet of options – JJN, Neck, Hot and Vintage – paired with its commitment to faithful P-90 appearances and sounds (there’s no active wiring here, unlike some other close comparisons) will likely strike a chord with traditionalists.

Seymour Duncan Silencer P-90s

Seymour Duncan P90 Silencer Neck  (Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

As mentioned, the lone JJN Silencer is the highlight here. “Simply put, the Seymour Duncan Jared James Nichols P90 Silencer is my dream pickup,” the Gibson artist said of his new pup, which has been voiced to “cover everything from sparkling cleans to barking dirty tones”.

In perhaps one of the most extravagant tonal summaries you’ll ever read, the JJN P-90 Silencer is described by its master as “delicate and strong, like a grizzly bear and a paper airplane landing”.

The rest of the range is completed with a sole Neck unit (which can be paired with any other Silencer pickups) as well as Hot and Vintage options. For those latter two categories, full sets or lone bridge pickups can be obtained.

Seymour Duncan Silencer P-90s

Seymour Duncan P90 Silencer Hot  (Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

As an added bonus, each of the Silencer pickups – JJN P-90 included – arrives in both Dogear or Soapbar formats, and Cream or Black covers, depending on player preference.

In terms of tone, the Hot units are, unsurprisingly, the hottest set of the lot, “offering a more aggressive sound” that will probably counteract the low output issues of other hum-canceling P-90s.

The Vintage pickups are equally self-explanatory, and are matched to vintage specs for old-school tones. Handily, all Silencers are drop-in replacements for “most” standard P-90 routes.

Seymour Duncan Silencer P-90s

Seymour Duncan P90 Silencer Vintage (Image credit: Seymour Duncan)

In terms of price, the sole JJN P90 weighs in at $149, while the rest of the lot come in at $139 for one unit. Vintage and Hot sets are priced at $278.

Visit Seymour Duncan to find out more.

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Matt Owen

Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.