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scottffitch

490R & 498T

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I feel like the Gibson 490R & 498T pickup combo in the right guitar is highly overrated. Does anyone else feel like they get a bad rap..?

 

It's been my experience that many players who buy a new LP Studio, or SG Standard (two of the more affordable Gibson USA models..) often times blindly replace one, or both of these pickups immediately after getting their guitar home. This seems a travesty to me! It's my opinion that the 490, and 498 are some of Gibsons best pickups when in an all mahogany guitar..

 

Any thoughts?

 

-scott

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I feel like the Gibson 490R & 498T pickup combo in the right guitar is highly overrated. Does anyone else feel like they get a bad rap..?

 

It's been my experience that many players who buy a new LP Studio, or SG Standard (two of the more affordable Gibson USA models..) often times blindly replace one, or both of these pickups immediately after getting their guitar home. This seems a travesty to me! It's my opinion that the 490, and 498 are some of Gibsons best pickups when in an all mahogany guitar..

 

Any thoughts?

 

-scott

490R & 498T are quite nice. However, I wonder why there are so few models equipped with 490R & 490T. To my ears the 490T provides a bit more clarity than the hotter 498T and matches nicely an SG's response to attack. As of me, I never had the idea to blindly replace the 490R and/or 498T in my 2011 L6S guitars, and I guess I will never do this, neither blindly nor with the eyes opened up...

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490R & 498T are quite nice. However, I wonder why there are so few models equipped with 490R & 490T. To my ears the 490T provides a bit more clarity than the hotter 498T and matches nicely an SG's response to attack. As of me, I never had the idea to blindly replace the 490R and/or 498T in my 2011 L6S guitars, and I guess I will never do this, neither blindly nor with the eyes opened up...

 

I always hear the 490R being described as muddy-- yes--the higher output will give it less clarity than an original spec PAF (well...depending on who wound it, I suppose..) but to my ears, it's by no means muddy.

 

I put a 490R in the neck of my PRS McCarty (Korina) it truly opened it up to a whole new world of possibilities. The depth of bass expanded tremendously (well..any replacement for a PRS stock pup should open up the bass response, but thats a topic for another thread..) and gave the guitar a real woody tone that I would expect from an SG, not a PRS.

 

I've also found the 498T to be exceptional with the tone knob rolled down to about 6 -- still has the clarity and highs to cut through it, but it also woodies up the tone..

 

thanks for the insights!

 

-scott

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490R & 498T are quite nice. However, I wonder why there are so few models equipped with 490R & 490T. To my ears the 490T provides a bit more clarity than the hotter 498T and matches nicely an SG's response to attack. As of me, I never had the idea to blindly replace the 490R and/or 498T in my 2011 L6S guitars, and I guess I will never do this, neither blindly nor with the eyes opened up...

 

 

I agree totally. I really like the 490T and 490r together. I however do not like the 498t at all and will replace it every time I find it in a guitar I own. I have had it and really dislike it totally.

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Last time I played one of the latest generation of LP Studio with that combo I actually

got surprised how hotter it was than the 'crowd' (other gibsons with 490s/57s), but I

would probably replace one or both pickups, as I am fond of higher gain humbuckers.

But that is just me. At least a 496R/500T for me pls.

 

 

EDIT: LEEWAUN - you can send them all to me, I would pay for the shipping! xD

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Last time I played one of the latest generation of LP Studio with that combo I actually

got surprised how hotter it was than the 'crowd' (other gibsons with 490s/57s), but I

would probably replace one or both pickups, as I am fond of higher gain humbuckers.

But that is just me. At least a 496R/500T for me pls.

 

 

EDIT: LEEWAUN - you can send them all to me, I would pay for the shipping! xD

To my ears, the 496R/500T PUs are the finest high-output pickups, and rather versatile for achieving undistorted sounds, too with the guitar's volume controls significantly turned down. I think Gibson should consider providing them with covers, too. At the moment, the only guitar model coming stock with a covered 496R seems to be the Alex Lifeson LP Axcess which however has a 498T in the bridge position.

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I recently put a 490/498 set into an '07 Studio VM that had stock BB Pros.

 

IMO, the differences are just a tad greater than subtle.

 

To my ears the 490/498 are a little bit hotter with the 490 being a bit darker than the neck BB Pro

and the 498 being a bit brighter than the bridge BB Pro. Scooped mids maybe? No, not that

drastic. I haven't dug into all of the differences in guitars equipped with these as stock pups. Are the

trebble bleeds the same values in all LPs regardless of pups, or are different values used? I would

really like to understand what all I can do easily to tweak tone back/forth ... but I usually just pick it up

and play it instead :)

 

DC resistance for the BB Pros is 7.4K and 8.0K.

 

The 490/498 are 8.4 and 14.5K. Yes, 14.5K ...

 

From the various discussion I had read prior to getting the 490/498s, I was expecting a much greater

difference than what I ended up with.

 

This was a recent swap, and for now I think I like the 490/498 a little better, but we'll see when the honeymoon

is over.

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I now have this pickup set in my new Studio. Coming from BB Pro's, there is a distinct difference in output and to my ear, tone. It's not a 'bad' difference per se, just a difference. The 498T gives an awful lot more bite when you increase pick attack, and this I love. It is a very responsive pickup. The BB Pro's do offer a more rounded 'vintage sounding' tone to my ear.

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my 95 LP Standard has these as well as my SG Limited.

 

I wouldn't even consider changing them.

 

if it aint broke................

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I love dual 490 combo in my SG and I don't want to change them.

I've played with a bunch of SDs. like sh4, 5, 6, 13 and 2 and 59 in neck - in LP. SDs are great but there is some qualities in 490s that fits my taste.

This is not the matter of gain and output in nowadays amps and boosts which can give you massive gain from quite low output pickup.

For me it's better to have lower output since it gives some clarity - but maybe it's just my years.

Played an LP with 498 in the bridge and it was too compressed .

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I like variety in my guitars. That's why I swapped out the Rhythm pickup in my Studio to a '57 and threw some 496/500s in my one of Epiphones(50's wiring & Russian K40n caps). In my Special I left the stock 490 & 498 (I believe that's what it has) but I did the 50's wiring w/ Russian K42Y caps. To me they all sound great, for different things and with different amp settings.

I feel like I'll never find the perfect tone, but it's fun to try.

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I gotta say that I was one of those cats who would rip the 490R & 498T out of a Gibson for some Duncan's or Di Marzio's; and when I bought my 2005 Custom Shop EDS-1275, I was ready to replace them with Burstbuckers. After doing a bit of research, and finding out that these p'ups has Alnico II magnets, and were similar to PAF's, I figured I'd give them a fair shake. After all, if the Custom Shop uses them, they HAD to be decent.

 

After a bit of tweaking, and comparisons to my '07 SG RI with '57 Classics, and my '12 L.P. Trad Pro II with the Super '57 and '57 Classic, I gotta say that the 490 & 498 are some badass p'ups. Granted it did take a while to find the sweet spot adjustment wise, now the 6 string neck simply smokes, and the 12 string is phenomenal; I am definitely leaving this axe STOCK.

 

My Mesa Boogie Mk V likes it just as it IS.

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Since the pole pieces are aligned for the Rhythm and Treble positions, they just have to sound different. '57s and Burstbuckers use the same coil bobbin regardless of pickup position which means a misalignment increasing from the center to the outer strings. So the outer strings will have more of a treble attack which leads to a more gnarling bite of the attack and a distinctive upper edge in the overall tone.

 

Aligned pole pieces provide a less biting, smoother attack and a rounder tone, in particular of the outer strings. As a consequence of the smaller space left for the coil due to identical bobbin width, the Treble versions have to use a thinner wire causing a higher DC resistance.

 

Using coil split of the '57s of my Frank Zappa "Roxy" SGs leads to a "Fenderish" tone due to the misalignment. Splitting 490R and 498T of my 2011 L6S guitars delivers much brilliance with a less sparkling, still fat tone.

 

I experienced similar differences on Fender Stratocasters. Vintage Noiseless and N3 Noiseless pickups use the same magnet spacings in all the three positions, reflecting the traditional response with a fat, even tone from the middle pickup, more upper edge in the neck, and a chirring attack and lisping tone in the bridge position, sometimes reminding of breaking glass. In contrary, the Fender SCN (Samarium Cobalt Noiseless) pickups designed by Bill Lawrence use three different bobbins with aligned magnets. This leads to a rounder, smoother tone, sometimes described as providing more of everything: punchy attack, clear treble, fat mids, and rock-solid lows.

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I don't know about 490/498, but I'm seriously considering SD P-Rails. Am I nutz?

 

UPDATE: After several months, the 490/498 are back out, BB Pros back into my Studio. This will likely end up with p-rail/ts rings.

 

For some reason I was expecting the 490/498 to be a little hotter, but they were about the same with a more trebbly bridge.

 

Anybody looking for a 490/498 set?

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UPDATE: After several months, the 490/498 are back out, BB Pros back into my Studio. This will likely end up with p-rail/ts rings.

 

For some reason I was expecting the 490/498 to be a little hotter, but they were about the same with a more trebbly bridge.

 

Anybody looking for a 490/498 set?

i had 490& 498'in an 08 giobson es137 m& they were extremely hot & a great sound any way you wanted to play clean or dirty [thumbup]

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I found the 498T a little too harsh and tinny, and replaced the pair with Lollar low-wind Imperial humbuckers. You can still hear the same tone on the bridge pickup, but overall the pickups take a good guitar and make it better. Was it worth the $250 net cost? I don't know; I probably could have done more with EQ to improve the tone, but bandmates say it's like I have a different guitar. It's definitely fun to play and something I'll hand down to one of my kids when I get too old.

 

StLouiePlaya - sounds like you are in St. Louis, MO. Where do you play? I haven't seen many people play this guitar. I don't play much blues, but the tones out of it are great for that.

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My friend left me his SmartWood Exotic Les Paul in his will. It has a 498T in the bridge and sounds monstrously big on stage. I did swap out the 490R for a SD 59N, the Alnico 5 magnet giving me a little more bite in the neck pick up. With 500k pots, 50s wiring, PIO tone caps and treble bleep caps, the guitar is one of the best sounding guitars I've ever played.

 

So, big thumbs up for the 498T in this case. I do suspect it may be a down to the match with a particular instrument rather than saying the 498T is perfect full stop.

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While i am not the most experienced player, I know what sounds good to me. Out of all the guitars I have, Fender Strat MIM, Epiphone SG (modified), older ~'80's Samick something HSS (heavily modified), and stock '92 Gibson LP Studio, the Gibson has the best tone qualities. Big deep lows, clear highs, and superb power from the 498/490 combo. Just don't keep the neck tone or volume all the way up. Thought about putting them in Epiphone SG, but didn't. Left the neck alone, Seymour Duncan TB14 Custom 5 in the bridge. But still might try it later. So bobf_, if you still have that set of pickups, send an email, we'll talk.

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While i am not the most experienced player, I know what sounds good to me. Out of all the guitars I have, Fender Strat MIM, Epiphone SG (modified), older ~'80's Samick something HSS (heavily modified), and stock '92 Gibson LP Studio, the Gibson has the best tone qualities. Big deep lows, clear highs, and superb power from the 498/490 combo. Just don't keep the neck tone or volume all the way up. Thought about putting them in Epiphone SG, but didn't. Left the neck alone, Seymour Duncan TB14 Custom 5 in the bridge. But still might try it later. So bobf_, if you still have that set of pickups, send an email, we'll talk.

 

I sent you a PM ...

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I love dual 490 combo in my SG and I don't want to change them.

I've played with a bunch of SDs. like sh4, 5, 6, 13 and 2 and 59 in neck - in LP. SDs are great but there is some qualities in 490s that fits my taste.

This is not the matter of gain and output in nowadays amps and boosts which can give you massive gain from quite low output pickup.

For me it's better to have lower output since it gives some clarity - but maybe it's just my years.

Played an LP with 498 in the bridge and it was too compressed .

 

You had a SH-13 or Dimebucker in the NECK? Really? That's a huge switch from the other pickups you list. Did you not know it was a super output pickup designed for Diamond Darrell from Pantera?

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It is true the 490/498 combo sounds great. But i played them now for over 6 months and from the beginning i wanted to try some others. Not that i disliked them but im new with guitars and like learn and experiment with new sounds. In my case they where installed in a LPJ 2013. I have to say that i did not like the black plastic covers they came with. Now i changed them with 57 Classic on the neck and Angus Young Signature on the bridge. I like it more that way, i say it again i am pretty new with that stuff but for my ears especialy the Angus Young sounds much better. I found the 498 to harsh, but again imo. Maybe it is because of the woods used to build this guitar. It has a mahagony body maple top and neck. I am realy happy with the tone i get from them. But i am not done yet in my search for the perfect tone, if you have some sugestions of what could sound even better tell me. The only thing that is important to me is that they are versatile. Im just starting to play and one thing i think its important, its to play as many musical styles as i can that way i will learn much more.

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I like the 490/498 combo so much that I dissected a (nonfunctional) pair and took DC resistance values per bobbin off a 4-conductor pair so I could rewind all of my nonfunctional/cheap humbuckers in the parts drawer into rough approximations.

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