From the manufacturer:
Ground breaking, patent pending design allows a full-size humbucker to split to either a “real deal” P-90 or a traditional single coil. Perfect for a wide variety of styles including country, pop, surf, jazz, blues, classic rock, and heavy rock.
Until now, if you wanted humbucker, P-90, and vintage Strat® tones, you’d have to haul three guitars to the gig. Enter P-Rails™. It’s a full-size humbucker that splits to either a full-size P-90 or a special Alnico-powered single-coil Rail pickup. The humbucker sound is full and expansive, owing to the mis-matched coil configuration. The P-90 is a super fat. And the Rail coils, when used together, sound like the “2” and “4” positions in a great Strat.
P-Rails are best used in a matched neck and bridge set. To get both humbucker and P-90 tones, use a two-way switch (push-pull or mini-toggle). To have humbucker and P-90 tones and bring in the added dimension of the single-coil Rail, use a three-way switch (DPDT on-off-on). P-Rails are available pre-wired with Triple Shots which makes it easier to access all the tones in addition to giving you series and parallel sounds.
P-Rails can be used in any guitar set up for a traditional humbucker or Trembucker. A single P-Rails will bring added dimension to your guitar. However, to optimize P-Rails’ unique splitting capabilities and get the best single-coil Rails tones, use a neck and bridge set.
Normally, in humbucking mode, P-Rails are wired in series, for a high-output sound that works great for classic rock and heavier tones. However, when wired in parallel, the coil mismatch produces a very usable P.A.F.-style humbucker tone with less phase cancellation associated with standard parallel wired humbuckers, complete with present upper-mid “bloom” and pronounced string articulation.
Peter Stroud / Sheryl Crow Band, Blues Saraceno, Eric Miker / Decemberadio
Magnet type: alnico 5 bar
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The Seymour Duncan P-Rails pack three distinct pickup sounds into one configuration. You have your classic P-90, single coil, and humbucker tones at your disposal with this versatile pickup. Skip to 1:50 to hear the neck pickup in single coil mode. There is nice warmth from the low end and a distinct single coil snap to give you a really nice jazz tone. Switching to P-90 mode on the neck (2:15), you get an even fatter sound with spongy lows and rounded highs, with a subtle attack to give each note distinction. Kick the neck pickup to parallel humbucking mode (2:35) and you will get a little more presence and boost for a brilliant clean tone. In series (3:00), you get your classic fat humbucker tone that is rich and balanced. Combining the pickups allows for even more tonal options -- from the snappy single coil duo (3:22) to the smooth P-90 couple (3:45). You can even get into strat territory using the single coil in the bridge (listen at 4:55). The options are endless with the Seymour Duncan P-Rails, offering a three-in-one setup without having to lug around multiple guitars.
The player is Jason Fryer and he is using a Gibson Custom Shop ES-339 through a 1976 Fender Twin Reverb with a Marshall BluesBreaker pedal for a touch a drive.
Here is a great video highlighting the many tones you can get with the Seymour Duncan P-Rails. Skip to 1:12 to hear the P-90 bridge on a clean setting. The tone is incredibly clear with a brilliant top end and even lows, and just enough mids to add a bit of grit. In the middle position, the P-90 sounds very musical -- with plenty of warmth, twinkle, and sustain (listen at 1:23). The P-90 sounds even fuller in the neck position, with a deep low end for a fat clean sound. Switching over to the rails, you can get a really nice country twang sound in the bridge for a classic tele tone (Listen at 2:05). Kick in the middle position (2:17) and you'll instantly have snappy strat tones at your fingertips. For an even thicker strat sound, take advantage of the rails in the neck position (listen at 2:30). If you want more of a classic humbucker sound, you have that option with the P-Rails. Depending on the wiring, you can run it in series (2:43) or parallel (3:10) on either the bridge or neck position for a large pallet of tones. Skip to 3:48 to hear all of the pickups on a dirty setting, noting the variety of sounds you can get -- from snarly blues tones to jazz, country, hard rock, and beyond.
The player is James Ryan and he is using a Jim Root Telecaster through an EVH 5150 50 Watt Rig.
Here is an in-depth look at the Vox Humana CarbonTech Custom Telecaster Thinline guitar, equipped with Seymour Duncan P-Rails pickups. With these pups, you get an extensive arsenal of tones between a P-90, single coil rail, and a humbucker. With the P-90, you get a super fat sound with deep bass and even highs. The P-Rails also do a great job emulating the classic single coil sounds of a strat, saving you from buying another axe! The humbucker sound is very expansive, giving you a classic tone with a full body and brilliant balance. You can literally dial in a number of rhythm and lead tones using each individual pickup configuration or a combination of the three. Depending on wiring and electronics, you can even take advantage of series and parallel circuitry for a thick phase-cancelling sound or a vintage out-of-phase sound. The Seymour Duncan P-Rails give you ultimately versatility, essentially offering three guitars in one pickup.
The player is JJ Tanis and he is using a Vox Humana CarbonTech Custom Telecaster Thinline through a Vox AC15C1 amp.
The Seymour Duncan P-Rails are "triple-sound" pickups that are extremely versatile and useful for so many sonic applications. This video begins by explaining the three different types of pickups that you can choose from (single coil, P-90, and humbucker) and how the P-Rails give you all those options in one! Skip to 0:55 to hear these pups in action. Get slinky strat tones with the bridge rail coil (1:00) or a creamy P-90 sound (1:10). Or maybe you just want that traditional humbucker sound (1:20). These are only a few of the many options you have with the P-Rails. On the neck position you can get a whole new pallet of tones, from a fat single coil (1:30) to a thick P-90 (1:40) or a classic humbucker (1:50). Any and all combinations tend to sound good depending on the style you want to play. Whether it's country (2:05), funk (2:18), blues (2:28), rock (2:42), or even metal (2:54), the P-Rails are equipped to handle a number of tones on demand.
The player Philip Ockelford and he is using a PRS SE guitar.
Here is a close look at the multi-voice functions of the Seymour Duncan P-Rails pickups. Skip to 3:30 to hear both of the single coil rails in action -- you get plenty of sizzle and twang for a very convincing strat-like tone. At 3:50 you can hear the P-90s, which have an even fatter single coil sound that is warm and very rich sounding. For an even fuller tone you can take advantage of the humbucker, which has a very round sound with a lot of chunk (listen at 4:05). You'll notice with these pickups that there are so many tonal variances, as well as different levels of output in the sound. This allows for so many different tones for practically all styles of music.
The player is Frank Falbo and he is using what appears to be a Westbury guitar.
Check out this '72 Fender Tele Deluxe guitar equipped with Seymour Duncan P-Rails. The owner of this brilliant axe takes you through all of the possible combinations of pickup tones, alternating between the single coil rails, the P-90s, and the humbuckers. With the P-Rails you get three distinct pickup voicings that are all unique and musical in their own ways. If you are looking for that workhorse axe and want to play a ton of different styles without having to switch out guitars, P-Rails may be your pickup solution.
The player is Shu Lor and he is using a '72 Fender Telecaster Deluxe RI through a Line 6 HD300.