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scottffitch

490R & 498T

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I'm new to the forum, and rather late for replying to this thread, but since it's on the subject of the 498T, and how it works/fits sound wise on certain guitars... thought I would share my little project:

 

I have a GTX Stratocaster copy that I replaced the Bridge single coil pickup, with the 498T. I wanted some versatility as well as keeping a somewhat Gibson sound for live playing, and not having to switch guitars. Well of course, there is no substituting an actual Gibson Guitar, it works good enough for me. I also put in two push-pull pots allowing me to choose single coil sounds.

I really like the sounds I'm getting out of this setup. Love the 498T!

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Welcome, Orpheus, to this nice place in the web.

 

The 498T makes - alternatingly, of course - two great single coils and a nice parallel coils humbucker, too. Can definitely confirm that. By the way, I know that '57 Classics, '57 Classic Pluses, and the Burstbuckers do that, too. No Burstbucker 3 here, but I guess it will like the other four do :)

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i have a 498t and 490r on my les paul custom and i like the sound a lot. I don't need to change out the pickups for a long time. I'm totally happy with the sound. but the 490r is a bit muddy. not too bad though.

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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

 

What suits one may not suit another, so its no use asking others which pickups are good - you will only get their opinion - you have to use your own ears, but.....

I might ruffle a few opinions here - but I find sound/tone to be very subjective and relative to the mood of the player on the day. I have two guitars with the 490/498 combination fitted and love them. However, whichever guitar I pick up, whatever pickups are fitted, the ones I really hated yesterday somehow sound really good today and vice versa, depending on how I feel.

I know some things will never change and a cheap, bad pickup will never sound good. But if all your guitars have good quality pickups, the variation in tone will please you some days but not others depending on your mood, the style of music you play at the time etc

Different brands of amp also have a strong affect on the sound of a pickup. I have two tube amps and, using the same guitar, can't get exactly the same tone from both no matter how much I fiddle with the tone settings etc. I just use the amp that sounds 'right' on the day.

And some days you will want to rattle the roof tiles, and other days you will play gentler tunes - will one type of pickup perform both tasks well? Only your own ears can tell you.

 

Too many variable for me to say one pickup is good and another bad - but I know I like 57 Classic Plus, 490/498 together, and even Burstbucker Pro on a good day.

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My set of 490r/498t PUs sit unused in a cardboard box. Here is how they ended up that way.

They came with my Ebony Studio Les Paul. I'm basically a plug and play guy. I was unable to get crunchy R&R sound without using pedal. This mystified me.

I bought a Seymore Duncan Hotrodded PU set and suddenly my Studio LP was a plug and play guitar like I wanted.

I simply wasn't getting crunchy enough sounds from the Gibby PUs. The 490r/498t is an expensive set of PUs so I am still miffed why they weren't plug and play R&R PUs. Why were they even made if they wouldn't crunch?

Maybe one day I'll solder them back into the Studio and give them another chance but for now the SD Hotrodders are doing the job.

Now I just take my SD Hot Rodders and plug them in and play. Crunch, crunch, crunch. No pedal.

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I had to bump this thread because I recently started playing a fairly new SG Standard I have. These pickups are awesome.

 

I really love the beef, warmth, definition and crunch of the 498T. I doubt I could find any aftermarket pickup I would like better than the 498T, and I have had a lot of boutique pickups. They are so responsive to height adjustment.

 

I did the foam trick to even and level the pickups and what an improvement.

I think the stock pots are fine and I have no desire to change.

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Very cool Golden. It is a personal preference thing. For the heck of it, I do want to try some other pickups. I have not tried the 57+ in an SG. How are they for hard rock? I tend to prefer medium to hot pickups. I tend to often go for a thick hard rock tone that is fairly similar to guys like Adam Jones of Tool, Dean DeLeon of STP and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains.

 

Some pickups I am thinking of trying are the Rio Grande BBQ, DiMarzio Air Zone, Duncan JB, maybe the 57+ or another boutique maker.

 

I am on the fence about 500k pots. I am tempted to give 500s a chance. I want to see if it makes the bridge pickup more powerful and fuller.

 

I like big and beefy sounding bridge pickups.

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I am curious what the 498T users on the forum prefer for pot value, and pole piece adjustment. I am not sure how to set up the pole pieces. Still messing with them.

 

Very cool Golden. It is a personal preference thing. For the heck of it, I do want to try some other pickups. I have not tried the 57+ in an SG. How are they for hard rock? I tend to prefer medium to hot pickups. I tend to often go for a thick hard rock tone that is fairly similar to guys like Adam Jones of Tool, Dean DeLeon of STP and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains.

 

Some pickups I am thinking of trying are the Rio Grande BBQ, DiMarzio Air Zone, Duncan JB, maybe the 57+ or another boutique maker.

 

I am on the fence about 500k pots. I am tempted to give 500s a chance. I want to see if it makes the bridge pickup more powerful and fuller.

 

I like big and beefy sounding bridge pickups. So far I can get the 498T sounding fat and thick. Very thick, fat mids of a pickup. I think I like it better than the BB Pro pickups I had. I found the BB Pros brighter and thinner to a point.

 

One of my favorite pickups ever is the BBQ, and also would be the Gibson Lawrence pickups feom the 80s. I may get a BBQ.

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I am curious what the 498T users on the forum prefer for pot value, and pole piece adjustment. I am not sure how to set up the pole pieces. Still messing with them.

 

Very cool Golden. It is a personal preference thing. For the heck of it, I do want to try some other pickups. I have not tried the 57+ in an SG. How are they for hard rock? I tend to prefer medium to hot pickups. I tend to often go for a thick hard rock tone that is fairly similar to guys like Adam Jones of Tool, Dean DeLeon of STP and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains.

 

Some pickups I am thinking of trying are the Rio Grande BBQ, DiMarzio Air Zone, Duncan JB, maybe the 57+ or another boutique maker.

 

I am on the fence about 500k pots. I am tempted to give 500s a chance. I want to see if it makes the bridge pickup more powerful and fuller.

 

I like big and beefy sounding bridge pickups. So far I can get the 498T sounding fat and thick. Very thick, fat mids of a pickup. I think I like it better than the BB Pro pickups I had. I found the BB Pros brighter and thinner to a point.

 

One of my favorite pickups ever is the BBQ, and also would be the Gibson Lawrence pickups feom the 80s. I may get a BBQ.

 

Well after some back and forth I prefere others over the 490R/498T.

 

You say SG + Hard Rock?

You may like the Angus Young Signature, similar output as the 498T but not as harsh, more defined and cleans up way better.

I tried one in my LPJ and I still love it.

And in my case I opted to combine it with a 57 Classic at the neck.

That was nice with the stock PCB that the guitar came with.

But it got MUCH better when I rewired it 50's style with orange drops and Emerson 500 pot's.

 

I like other guitarists much more than Angus, didn't buy it because of that.

But from the description it sounded like a good partner for a 57 Classic, I trusted my gut, and my gut was f**king right.

The AY Sig. does AC/DC, obviously but it can do whatever you wan't.

 

 

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You and others say other pickups are not as harsh as the 498t. I am not trying to effed anyone but I have never described the 498T as harsh. For me it is far from harsh.

 

I pretty much never use my volume knobs so I never worry about cleaning up.

 

To me the 498 is thick, singing, smooth, ery tight for high gain, arm yet articulate highs, very thick midrange and perfect bottom that is tight. Playing leads are effortless, very creamy. That said, I may want to try somw others for the heck of it.

 

My SG Special has the Gibson Lawrence HB set and I tried lots of after market pickups and the Gi son HBs...won.

 

I think I recall trying the Angus and may have found it too bright and in your face.

 

I would like to give another 57+ a whirl.

 

I tend to like medium to high output pickups..

 

One fav price pickup of mine is the Rio BBQ and I may go that route unless I stay with the stock set.

 

Thanks all!

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Sorry for the long post just now.

 

I forgot to mention in addition to the Angus and pickups I tried, I have tried 59s wiring and orange drops and even much more expensive pots, etc....but I never notice much difference to be honest. Only thing I ever notice is a different taper. But remember I would be fins if my guitars had no knobs, I never use them. LOL.

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Very cool Golden. It is a personal preference thing. For the heck of it, I do want to try some other pickups. I have not tried the 57+ in an SG. How are they for hard rock? I tend to prefer medium to hot pickups. I tend to often go for a thick hard rock tone that is fairly similar to guys like Adam Jones of Tool, Dean DeLeon of STP and Jerry Cantrell of Alice in Chains.

 

Some pickups I am thinking of trying are the Rio Grande BBQ, DiMarzio Air Zone, Duncan JB, maybe the 57+ or another boutique maker.

 

I am on the fence about 500k pots. I am tempted to give 500s a chance. I want to see if it makes the bridge pickup more powerful and fuller.

 

I like big and beefy sounding bridge pickups.

 

They are versatile, probably slightly more so than the 490/498. The sets shares a lot of the same characteristics but a little less of the modern rock compression imo in the mid range, but still there with the 57s which clean freaks balk about. The bridge is clearer about the same output the necks are about the same slightly muddy some would say but if you use the 500k pots as suggested that will help that issue. Sounds like the 490/498 set is right up your alley for hard rock.

 

I'm playing blues and blues rock so I'm playing clean often also and semi hollows. I like the way the 57-57+ plays Fender clean better than the 490/498 its somewhat missing with the 490/498 set imo but great rock and OD tones. The 57s work well clean, course some prefer even clearer and brighter with non potted and true to PAF specs, scatterwound bobbins, magnets correct etc. But for me they-57s are a welcome compromise in that realm.

 

That said I hear you, if I was playing what your playing I'd probably like the 490/498 better. Maybe even the 496/500T. Its all subjective and really is personal. To me the 57s are just a workhorse dependable pick-up. I guess many would say the same with the 490/498 as they have been around.

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Thanks Golden!

 

One thing I would like to do is swap the Volumes for 500Ks. I have never done this on a circuit board. I read one has to replace the entire board. However, can't I just desolder the lugs from the board and solder in a new one? Do I have to desolder any wires or caps?

 

People often forget the tone of the instrument. Some guitars just sound better. I find pickups don't do a ton, so much comes from the guitar itself, amp, cab and speakers. Pickups are like a little seasoning. Some people complains some pickups are too scooped for example. That shouldn't be a problem if you have a good guitar, with the right amp, speakers and you EQ mids into your tone. An example, is the Duncan C-5, which is considered scooped. In my semi hollow through my amps, sounds huge, thick and with super fat mids, because this pickup has neutral mids, allowing the guitar to shine through.

 

Maybe I am just a medium hot pickup guy. I have tried Burstbuckers, Wolfetone PAFs, WCR PAFs and a bunch of others. I always come back to the hotter, and especially AV pickups.

I also love my semi-hollow for clean to mean and I am in love with the Duncan C-5/59 in that guitar.

 

I can't figure out how I like the poles set on the 498t, flush or radiused to match the fretboard.

 

Maybe someday I will try the 57s again, and in one of my SGs.

 

The funny thing is, I don't hear the issues that others have with these pickups.

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490/498 are my favorite p/u's and i am not putting them in my new guitar, just yet.

I am trying to adjust to the 57's in it, and give it a chance instead of replacing them immediately like you say people do.

But when i do replace my 57's, Ill be sure to set them in a safe place, maybe even in my older les paul.

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Thanks Golden!

 

One thing I would like to do is swap the Volumes for 500Ks. I have never done this on a circuit board. I read one has to replace the entire board. However, can't I just desolder the lugs from the board and solder in a new one? Do I have to desolder any wires or caps?

 

People often forget the tone of the instrument. Some guitars just sound better. I find pickups don't do a ton, so much comes from the guitar itself, amp, cab and speakers. Pickups are like a little seasoning. Some people complains some pickups are too scooped for example. That shouldn't be a problem if you have a good guitar, with the right amp, speakers and you EQ mids into your tone. An example, is the Duncan C-5, which is considered scooped. In my semi hollow through my amps, sounds huge, thick and with super fat mids, because this pickup has neutral mids, allowing the guitar to shine through.

 

Maybe I am just a medium hot pickup guy. I have tried Burstbuckers, Wolfetone PAFs, WCR PAFs and a bunch of others. I always come back to the hotter, and especially AV pickups.

I also love my semi-hollow for clean to mean and I am in love with the Duncan C-5/59 in that guitar.

 

I can't figure out how I like the poles set on the 498t, flush or radiused to match the fretboard.

 

Maybe someday I will try the 57s again, and in one of my SGs.

 

The funny thing is, I don't hear the issues that others have with these pickups.

 

500k ohm pots are the only pots i would use, or higher perhaps, but certainly not 250k or 300k. If you change them, i suggest changing capacitors too. .22 pico's i think, double check that

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Thanks,

 

I never change caps because I don't notice any difference, and the stock value is perfectly fine. I tried all sorts if caps over the years, feom cheap to crazy expensive and never notice any difference.

 

I have also replaced 300k pots in years past with 500k and never noticed much difference. I haven't touched a cap or pot in years so with the SG, I thought I might give it one more chance. :)

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Thanks,

 

I never change caps because I don't notice any difference, and the stock value is perfectly fine. I tried all sorts if caps over the years, feom cheap to crazy expensive and never notice any difference.

 

I have also replaced 300k pots in years past with 500k and never noticed much difference. I haven't touched a cap or pot in years so with the SG, I thought I might give it one more chance. :)

 

i have only done that once and it made a huge difference to me. New caps gave new life they were the same value as the ones i replaced but they really revived the guitar sound. As for 300k to 500k the difference is not so much sound as it is a more gradual change as you turn it sort of like a higher gear machine head. if that even makes sense.. w/e you do let us know im interested.

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I've changed a few and both make a tone difference. You can hear the cap values for example on a Strat when changing the single coils to humbuckers. I've changed a few over to rails and theres definitely a difference. The pots also from 300 to 500. If you heard the same guitar side by side with 300-500K you would hear the difference. The 300 are almost like having pick-up covers on. Thats the type of difference I hear in tone when changed to 500k. That said some like the 300 tone and I have played Strats with the values of the caps not changed which mellowed out the Rails and effectively they sounded pretty good.

 

You have to experiment with a project guitar.

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You have to experiment with a project guitar.

 

Boy did i learn that lesson the hard way long ago.

And be careful what the soldering iron touches, like caps and other wires, it can be messy, so breadboard as much of your job as you can before you put them in that tight little cavity.

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Thanks guys, for my ears the cap changes I never noticed a difference. Pots, sometimes I thought I heard a change but other times not. If anything, for my ears, the difference was small enough for me to not bother over recent years.

 

Maybe my ears are better now.

 

Maybe I will notice a difference. Seems I have typically favored covers because I find pickups creamier.

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