The T-90 blends Tele-style twang with P-90 growl in a striking-looking package
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As it turns out, the Hanson crew has been supplying pickups and manufacturing instruments for other brand names since the ’90s. That helps explain why the Chicagoan displayed none of the new-to-the-biz growing pains, such as funky frets or finish. So when PG presented me with a new Hanson model to review, I jumped at the opportunity to test it out. I put the Firenze T-90 through its paces, running it into Orange Tiny Terror and Egnater Rebel 30 heads, each in turn driving a custom 1x12 cab with an Eminence Texas Heat speaker.
As soon as I pulled the Firenze T-90 from its rectangular hardshell case (street $90), I understood the “T-90” part of its name. The bridge pickup, bridge, pickguard, and control assembly scream T-type guitar, while the “90” part is an obvious reference to the P-90-style neck pickup.
The “Firenze” part was not as quick to reveal its origin. I deduced that it’s Italian for the city of Florence, Italy, which is known as a place of great beauty. So that part of the name might symbolize the spectacular splendor of the figured maple top, glowing through the awesome orange finish that coats both it and the ash body. Still, the name could just as easily hint at funky Italian guitars—like Eko or Wandre—whose off-kilter styling is reflected in the truncated lower cutaway and the Teisco-inspired headstock. (Yes, I know Teisco is not an Italian make, but it is funky.) The truth of the matter proved closer to home and unrelated to guitar: Florence was a grandmother in the Hanson clan. Though the design might not appeal to all, the fiery figuring of the top and marvelous workmanship evidenced in the construction, finish, and frets is indisputably on par with the craftsmanship that gave us Florence’s Ponte Vecchio and Boboli Gardens. There is even a hint of flame in the maple neck. (A hint is plenty—you don’t want too much, as flame maple necks are notoriously unstable.) The finish on the back of the neck is highly glossed but smooth as silk, with none of the stickiness that sometimes rears its ugly head on heavily finished necks.
Lord of the Ring
Before plugging in the Firenze, I played it acoustically for a while. Strumming open chords produced a satisfying ring that I suspected would translate well electrically. In my hand, the neck vibrated like the “Magic Fingers” bed massager in cheap hotels. The body’s modest weight sat easily on my shoulder, and as a longtime Fender player, the 25 1/2" scale length was right in my comfort zone, too. The neck’s C-curve profile felt solid, and the high, narrow frets contributed to the instrument’s precise intonation, as did the six-saddle bridge. The frets were nicely rounded, which made it easy to slide into notes. The flattish neck radius and the height of the frets had me bending with the supple ease of a yoga instructor. The tuners moved smoothly and held their tuning well.
Attack of the Dark Twang
It was finally time to plug in, and the “T” in the T-90 moniker led me to start out by testing the guitar’s twang factor through the Egnater’s clean channel. The Firenze is equipped with Hanson’s Broadcaster-inspired bridge pickup, meaning it sounds darker and beefier than the ice-pick cut of a standard Telecaster bridge pickup. In part, this is to better match the midrange punch of the neck-position Hanson P-90. Hanson’s version of that early Fender bridge pickup delivers the iconic sound you’d expect—plenty of meat, but with the twang fully present. I often find that when I go for chicken pickin’ sounds on a Tele, I have to roll back the tone pot to keep from taking people’s heads off in the front rows. But with this pickup I could leave the tone control wide open, because the Firenze gave me plenty of cut without drawing blood.
Still in the clean channel, I checked out the neck P-90 and found it to be so hot and bass laden that it was hard to get a totally clean sound out of the normally pristine Egnater. Lowering the bass side of the pickup helped quite a bit, but if you want to get any bite out of this baby through a clean amp, you will have to crank the treble and roll off most of the bass. On the plus side, I didn’t have to roll down the tone control to get a warm, jazz timbre from this pickup. Combined with the bridge pickup, the neck P-90 chimed like the bells in the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
Shifting Into Overdrive
Through the Egnater’s overdrive channel or the Orange with its gain up, the T-90 offered up another set of cool sounds. The P-90 provided some different blues tones—not SRV-ish Strat sounds or searing PAF tones, but more like the funkier tones of a National or Kay driving a Supro amp to the brink of destruction. I grew to love this sound, finding it perfect for slide. With a little more gain, the P-90’s sustain went on forever in a Big Muff sort of way.
Both pickups together yielded a 335-type tone, with the bridge pickup adding definition to the P-90’s girth. This sound was ideal for B.B. King blues or Larry Carlton-esque fusion.
By itself, the bridge pickup proved powerful enough to drive both the Egnater lead channel and the Tiny Terror like a humbucker, yet it offered enough bite for easy pinched harmonics. For extra sustain, I kicked in a Fuchs Plush Pure Gain pedal and served up some major Zeppelin raunch. Rolling back the tone knob introduced a throaty “woman tone” roar in all positions, but turning down the volume knob diminished the highs way more than I would have liked—especially in an instrument this bassy to begin with.
The Final Mojo
The Firenze sounds as unique as it looks. The pickups unite with the maple cap to create a dark tone with a very quick attack. The guitar blends the outline of a funky pawnshop prize with the figured top and finish work of an instrument costing well over twice as much. Hanson has leapt into a crowded market and rapidly made its mark. If you’re looking to make yours, this might be the guitar to help you do it.
you want a distinctive, quality-built instrument at a killer price.
you want your guitar to look and sound like what the other kids play.
Street $599 - Hanson Guitars - hansonguitars.com
Kick off the holiday season by shopping for the guitar player in your life at Guitar Center! Now through December 24th 2022, save on exclusive instruments, accessories, apparel, and more with hundreds of items at their lowest prices of the year.
We’ve compiled this year’s best deals in the 2022 Holiday Gift Guide presented by Guitar Center.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses.
DiMarzio, Inc. announces the release of the Relentless P (DP299), the Relentless J Bridge (DP301), Relentless J Neck (DP300), and the Relentless J Pair (DP302) for 4 string basses. The new Relentless P and Relentless J series pickups feature the Relentless cover designed in collaboration with Billy Sheehan.
As with the Relentless pickups, we removed all the hard edges from the standard P Bass and standard J Basspickups, and added an arch to the top of the pickups to bring the sensing coils and pole pieces closer to the strings. These improvements increase the dynamic range and make active circuitry unnecessary.
The Relentless P and Relentless J pickups incorporate Neodymium magnets and produce 70 percent more output than traditional passive pickups, and they’re dead quiet due to the incorporation of metal covers and foil-shielded cables. To dial in (or fine-tune) the individual string output, the Relentless P and Relentless J include eight adjustable pole pieces. These pickups also have a broad magnetic field so you can even bend notes without volume dropout.
DiMarzio’s extra shielding makes the Relentless P and Relentless J better for both recording and stage performances. We’ve mounted them onto robust .09375” thick circuit board base plates to eliminate the annoying protruding mounting screws — ultimately creating a more comfortable and consistent foundation to rest your fingers on.
The new Relentless P steps beyond the traditional P-Bass sound and can only be described as massive. It has more of everything: more volume, beefier lows, a growling midrange, and crispy highs with better individual string definition.
The Relentless J incorporates a new invention, (patent pending) parallelogram-shaped coils, offering an expanded mid-range punch, snappy highs, precise lows, and a new dimension to the sound of the Relentless series pickups.
Relentless P and Relentless J pickups will breathe new life into any bass, increase playability, and work well for any style of music from Motown to metal.
DiMarzio’s Relentless P, Relentless J Bridge, Relentless J Neck, and Relentless J pair are made in the U.S.A. and may now be ordered for immediate delivery.
Suggested List Price for the Relentless P is $169.00 (MAP $119.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Bridge and Relentless J neck is $155.00 (MAP $109.99).
Suggested List Price for the Relentless J Pair is $296.00 (MAP 209.99).
For more information, please visit our website at dimarzio.com.
Mystery Stocking is coming soon! Sign up for PG Perks below so you don't miss it.
Sign up for PG Perks on the form below to make sure you don't miss the launch announcement!
About Mystery Stocking
Each year, Premier Guitar likes to put out these mystery boxes as a part of bringing some fun to the holiday season. Remember, this is supposed to be a fun holiday treat! If the contents of this box will ruin your holiday, deplete the last of your bank account, or end your ability to see the good in humanity, it may not be for you.
- This year's Mystery Stocking will cost $44.95. ($39.95 + $5 Flat shipping)
- Each box will be guaranteed to contain $40 or more in value.
- US only. (Sorry World.)
- Make sure your shipping address is correct.
- Have your credit card ready to go before you refresh the page. Paypal is not available. Autofill may not fill in your information.
- There will be NO REFUNDS given.
- There has been a huge demand for these in the past. We really did sell out in less than 4 minutes last year. When they are gone, they are gone.
- One per household, one per person.
Q: What's in the Mystery Stocking?
A: It wouldn't be much of a surprise if we told you, now would it?
Q: Will I definitely get my money worth?
Q: Can I return it if I don't like it?
A: Nope. All sales final.
Q: What if I live outside the US?
A: Sorry, US only.
Q. How much is it?
A. $39.95 Plus $5 shipping
Q. When will it ship?
A. On or before December 10, 2022.
Q. What form of payment do you accept?
A. Credit cards only. Sorry, no Paypal for this.
Q. Can I ship to a different location than my billing address?
Q. I tried last year and didn't get one. Will I get one this year?
A. There is an overwhelming demand for Mystery Stocking. Be sure you have a fast internet connection and be ready when they go on sale. Last year we sold out in 3 min 33 seconds.
Q. I want to buy 5. How can I buy 5?
A. You can't. This year, we're limiting to one per household, so more people can get in on the fun!
Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
Origin Effects introduce the new M-EQ DRIVER mid booster & drive pedal. Based on a vintage Pultec studio EQ, this unique pedal offers a range of mid-focused tones, from a subtle mid boost to thick, resonant overdrive. Featuring the Adaptive Circuitry recently introduced on their Halcyon Green Overdrive, Origin Effects have brought us a pedal with a character all of its own and a new flavor of drive.
A choice of three mid-range frequencies ensures that you can boost just the right part of your guitar signal and, when pushed harder, can elicit a range of saturation from a classic “mid-hump” overdrive to fierce “cocked wah” distortion. Thanks to the Adaptive Circuitry, the high-end roll-off of the Cut control is reduced as the pedal cleans up. This allows for a smooth transition from warm overdrive to bright clean tones in response to playing dynamics or guitar volume knob changes.
Introducing... M-EQ DRIVER || Mid Booster & Drive
Built-in the UK to the highest standards, the M-EQ DRIVER continues the Origin Effects tradition of vintage, studio-inspired tones in modern guitar pedals. The Origin Effects M-EQ DRIVER is available now from Origin Effects dealers worldwide.
RRP: 259 GBP (Inc VAT) / 319 USD (Ex TAX)
For more information, please visit origineffects.com.