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Cooperstowncook

SG and Les Paul pickups

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Hey everyone,

I wanted to get your thoughts on something. I have a 2011 Gibson SG Standard that I was able to aquire last month in a trade. I love SG's and I love this guitar. SG's are my favorite guitar to play, however...I had a 2004 Gibson Les Paul that sounded amazing. Playing it through the same practice amp I have, on the same settings, the Les Paul has a much heavier, deeper tone than the SG's I have. What are your thoughts on changing the 498T's and the 490R's for burstbuckers or 5'7 classics? I love the SG, but I'm curious about the difference in pickups. I'm just starting to learn about different hardware, and appologize if this has been covered before.

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In my opinion the reason the Les Paul sounds heavier is because it has alot more wood in the guitar itself. In other words, the body is thicker and heavier which gives a different tone with the same style of pick ups played through the same amp compared to the SG. Changing you pick ups to the 57 classics on your SG is going to mellow it out more and not sound as bright or aggressive, going back to a more vintage tone. If your looking for a heavier thicker sound you may want to try another route by going with the burst bucker type. These are just my 2 cents, Tim

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Hey Coop. Have you had the SG setup properly? If not, you may want to start with that. Then try experimenting with pickup height. In my experience with these ceramic humbuckers, I've found that when they're lower (away from the strings) they sound much better. Less magnetic pull on the strings and a much fuller sound. Can't hurt to try.

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Hey Coop. Have you had the SG setup properly? If not, you may want to start with that. Then try experimenting with pickup height. In my experience with these ceramic humbuckers, I've found that when they're lower (away from the strings) they sound much better. Less magnetic pull on the strings and a much fuller sound. Can't hurt to try.

 

It has had a setup recently, but I've never experimented with the puckup height. It's definetly something to look into though, so thank you!

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I would swap out the pickups. Not a fan of the 490 series. I find the highs ouchie and the mids muddy. I lean toward vintage and garage rock sounds so I would go with 57s. If you want something heavier go the Burst Bucker route.

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The stock SG standard PU's are 490R alnico II & 498T alnico V mags, they are not ceramic mags. Those are great all around PU's they are on the higher end of the output scale and have a midrange peak. The 57 classic's are thinner sounding with less output. To me my SG & PL with the same PU's the SG is the darker sounding and the LP a little brighter due to the maple cap and in mine the SG PU's are hotter than the LP. Also the bridge PU angle on the standard is not flush with the strings like an LP. You could play with PU height and angle, try bringing up the PU screws closer to the string too.

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I JUST went through this my-self.

wound up swapping the 490 r/t set in my SG with a set of Seymour Duncan Jazz

now it sounds right to me.

SG's are not gonna be a bottom heavy as an LP, as it was said, LP's have more mass.

57's, Jazz, what ever you pick IS going to mellow her out, and you will get much less natural "Breakup".

I just dialed in a hair more gain from my booster, it was like Aural Honey, dead on what one would expect with the SG/Marshall pairing.

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The SG and the Les Paul shaped Les Paul are very different guitars...you know that in '61 Gibson stopped making the "Les Paul" shaped Les Paul guitars because they were not selling. They introduced the SG shape and called it the Les Paul, but Les himself did not like the guitar and told Gibson to take his name off it. Gibson started calling it the SG for Solid Guitar...the "real" Les Paul was re-introduced a few years later when demand increased after Clapton and several others were pictured on album covers playing them.

 

The thickness of the wood on the Les Pauls, plus the mahogany with maple cap versus the solid mahogany of the SG make a difference...SG's have more midrange tones, while LP's can give you a deeper darker sound. You can always adjust the tone knobs, though...and the pickup heights.

 

I would not change out the pickups unless as a last resort.

 

mark

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