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Seymour Duncan Phat Cat SPH90-1 humbucker-sized P90 Gold Neck 11302-15-GC Top, SD photo

Seymour Duncan

Seymour Duncan Phat Cat SPH90-1 humbucker-sized P90

From the manufacturer:


Authentic P-90 sound in a humbucker retrofit size pickup. Recommended for country, jazz, blues, rockabilly, classic rock and heavy rock.

Originally developed in the Custom Shop for Hamer® Guitars, a Phat Cat is an actual single-coil P-90 Soapbar that fits under a humbucker cover and drops into humbucker-equipped guitars. The tone is big and fat, er, phat. It uses two Alnico 2 magnets for more sustain and softer attack. Also, the metal covers provide more shielding and noise reduction than standard soapbar covers. Comes with single-conductor hookup cable.

complete setup
Available for both neck and bridge positions in a balanced set. The neck pickup is RW/RP relative to the bridge for hum-free performance when both pickups are used together.

For use in any humbucker-equipped guitar. Works especially well in balanced instruments with rosewood, ebony or maple fingerboards.

available mods
Choose nickel plated or gold plated cover (included).

Tom Dumont / No Doubt, Bill Frisell, Steve Pedulla / Thursday 


Ethan's picks for best videos/sound-clips:

Check out this sweet promotional video by Seymour Duncan for the Phat Cat series pickups. Throughout the video you get to hear the Phat Cats in a number of applications from clean to high gain. Skip to 2:38 to hear each tone isolated with a description of how the tone was dialed in. The first is a clean breakup sound, with the Phat Cat neck pickup engaged for a gritty, broken-up clean sound. The Phat Cat neck has a very warm bell-like timbre that sounds very hollow and round. Skip to 2:58 to hear both pickups isolated and set to the middle position. On a low-gain setting with the Shapeshifter pedal engaged, you get a nice stutter effect coupled with plenty of warmth and shimmer from the pickups. Listen to the bridge pickup at 3:20 on a high-gain rhythm setting. The Phat Cat screams with plenty of bite and edge; it almost has a twangy character about it, with a very cutting sound. Listen at 3:51 to hear the Phat Cat's lead tone, with an 805 overdrive and a bit of delay in the mix. This pickup cuts right through the mix with pure aggression and growl for a mean and gritty lead tone.

The players are Grant Cooper and Scott Giffin and they are using a 1989 Gibson Les Paul Standard guitar through an AxeFX II Plexi 100w High Gain; Seymour Duncan 805 Overdrive used as boost on leads with a little delay added in Pro Tools; Seymour Duncan Shapeshifter Stereo Tremelo used on Grant’s intro/outro tone;  Interface: Universal Audio Apollo Twin DUO; DAW: Pro Tools 11


Here is a close look at an Eastman T486B guitar equipped with Seymour Duncan Phat Cat pickups. Listen to the first 40 seconds to hear all of the rockin' tones you can get -- from a bright harmonic rhythm tone to a screaming lead with insane bite and growl. Moving onto clean tones at 0:40 in, you'll notice how rich these pickups sound -- with deep lows and crystal highs that lend to a fat single coil sound that is warm and bold. You can even get a sweet jazz lead tone with a mild, yet snappy attack and a warm mellow character (1:05). Add a little overdrive and you'll get a creamy P-90 lead tone that is thick and smooth.

The player is Evert Zeevalkink and he is using an Eastman T486B guitar through a Bogner Duende 15w and a Vox AC15 H1TV with a number of pedals including: -Boss Blues Driver - Keeley Mod, Keeley 4 Knob Compressor, Fulltone OCD, MI Audio Blues Pro, Diamond Pedals Quantum Leap, Ernie Ball VP JR, Strymon El Capistan, Strymon Blue Sky, and TC Electronic Nova Delay.

The third part is Larry Carltons solo on Steely Dan's, "Kid Charlemagne". Backing track for that part by


Check out this Gibson Les Paul loaded with Phat Cat pickups. The clean tones are brilliant, giving you classic single coil snap and a big, fat, and punchy P-90 sound. The lows are nice and deep while the highs are round and smooth. The upper mids are extremely focused, giving you a nice cutting sound with plenty of bite to sit perfectly in the mix. The Phat Cats are extremely dynamic pickups and can be used for a variety of applications.

The player is Gregor Hilden and he is using a 2007 Gibson Les Paul "Vixen" through a Fender Vibroverb amp. Later in the video he uses an Okko Diablo Overdrive pedal.


Here is a very extensive comparison of the Seymour Duncan Phat Cats (left channel) vs. the Gibson Classic '57s (right channel). If you listen through, you'll notice that each pickup set has its own unique sound, even if there are subtle variations in tone. The Phat Cats definitely live up to their name -- literally giving you a "fat" sound that is warm, punchy, dynamic, and rich. The low end has a lot of depth and the highs are a little tamer than the 57s, lending to a more balanced tone than is smooth and even. The '57s on the other hand have this very distinct sound that is so natural and sweet to the ears. It has such a nice top end that bites and the tone in general has this vintage charm that you really cant match. It ultimately comes down to preference, as both pickups sound incredible -- with only a few nuances that differ.

The player is Thor Oliversen and he is using a Gibson ES-335 through a Genz Benz Black Pearl 30 amp.


Check out this sweet Yamaha Pacifica axe with a Phat Cat in the bridge. Skip to 1:56 to hear it action. Even on a basic low-gain setting, this pickup has a lot of character. It is extremely balanced and has a nice vintage sound, with a great focus in the midrange for a nice cranky tone. This pickup always manages to sound very smooth and even, and it has a nice fat compressed sound that only a classic P-90 could produce.

The player is using a Yamaha Pacifica guitar through a Fender Hot Rod Deluxe.


The Phat Cat neck pickup gives you plenty of thump and snap for the perfect blues/jazz tone. You get this nice single coil bite while retaining a fat bottom end that is smooth and warm. The output is also pretty high, lending to a rich and bold sound that has a lot of dynamic character, especially when you add some overdrive to the mix (listen at 2:15). Cleans are a given with the Phat Cat neck, giving you an organic sound that is woody and mellow -- perfect for jazz; and with a bit of overdrive, you'll have this meaty sound with plenty of sustain and bell-like timbres for melodic lead tones.

The player is using a Gibson SG through a Doctor Z Maz 18 NR 1x12 combo and a Fulltone OCD.


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