Bare Knuckle Mississippi Queen HSP90
The Mississippi Queen HSP90 is a humbucker size P90. Humbucker. Size. P90. HSP90. Get it? LOL! Have to make sure, we’re all guitar players here after all. HaHa! And as the name suggests, it is a take on one of the biggest tone-having P90-fueled songs in rock history. Mountain’s “Mississippi Queen”, from 1970. As a reminder, here it the song. Just remember it was recorded with a Les Paul Jr with a regular P90.
Disclaimer: This is the song from 1970 for use a reference. This is not the actual BKP MS HSP90.
Holy mackerel! That’s huge! Especially for what is fundamentally a single coil. That’s right. A P90 is basically a single coil. Just not the traditional Stratocaster single coil we all commonly think of. It’s a different bobbin size, and therein lies the magic. But a traditional P90 bobbin size requires a special route that’s not as common for that garden variety humbucker and Strat single coil guys. As such, there is the HSP90 format to get that P90 goodness in a humbucker slot.
These HSP90s are going into a 2-hum mahogany body. The harness is Bourns 500k pots, a Switchcraft 12120x 3-way toggle, and a Pure Tone 1/4″ output jack. This is basically a single coil with vintage braided lead wire, so it’s a basic configuration. The tuning is E standard with 10-46 strings.
On a dirty amp setting, the Mississippi Queen HSP90s are right at home. I’m starting with high gain and hitting the usual 80s riff rock standards with the most pleasing results. Rolling back the volume pot a little and it’s all about getting back in black with a little high voltage. The Alnico 4 neck position handles expressive lead work, where the Alnico 5 bridge deftly navigates explosive shred-level pyrotechnics. Lows are in control, but don’t shy away from being bold. The high end dominates with ample presence that has focus but not shrill.
The versatility is really on display with a clean amp channel. For a pickup capable of handing so much gain, it’s right at home with the cleans. The best part is there’s no need for fancy switches or wiring gymnastics. The dynamics of the pickup are so that it’s going to be all about the player. Meaning that this is a good option to help develop playing technique. There’s nothing to hide behind. It’s just you and the tone.
Your guitar volume knob is going to be a new best friend with a pickup like this. The nuances within the voicing really open up with the right finesse. And that’s what helps the Mississippi Queen wear so many hats. Maybe even work with a few different pot tapers to really tune in (ha! a pun!) a vibe tailored to your style and preference.
There are no official BKP video demos of the MS HSP90. Here are a few that I think are worth your valuable time. I do not know these guys and get nothing for sharing their work. If you like them, please go and give them a LIKE.
Mississippi Queen HSP90 Bridge
DCR – 7.585 K
Inductance – 6.118 H
Magnet – Alnico 5
Mississippi Queen HSP90 Neck
DCR – 6.701 K
Inductance – 4.78 H
Magnet – Alnico 4
This is a great set of HSP90 pickups. A good player with a good rig can accomplish a lot with these. The straight-ahead no-baloney approach of the Mississippi Queen HSP90s makes them super adaptable. This will be good for blues, country, funk, indie, alternative, jazz, classic rock, hard rock, metal, and more. You can currently order them with 19 different covers, 19 different TVs, and a dozen different screw options. They are available with short or long legs, and with vintage braided or 2-con+screen lead wire.
For reference, this Bare Knuckle Pickups Mississippi Queen HSP90 pickup set evaluation was conducted with a Fractal Axe-Fx II XL+ featuring Celestion Impluse Responses and Fractal MFC-101 MIDI Foot Controller. Real cabs are Marshall 1960B cabs with Celestion Vintage 30s and G12M Greenbacks.
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