Gibson 490R & 490T pickups?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by djlogan33, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. phundamental

    phundamental Member

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    I'm selling my 490r and 498t combo from my 1996 LP Studio right now.
    Ebay Link
    Great sound, just looking for more of a vintage feel!
     
  2. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    The 490R does jazz and blues very well, but I don't like it under higher-gain treatment. The 490T is a good middle-of-the-road pup, with a good round tone.

    And yes, tweaking your amp will get the most out of any pups. Also, adjustment-screws are there for a reason, and provide a useful, easily reversible solution to many tone issues.

    My .02.
     
  3. djlogan33

    djlogan33 Senior Member

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    ==========================================================
    I have 490R & 490T pickups in all of my guitars, right now.
    They sound different in each guitar:
    - Gibson B. B. King Lucille (covered) - they sound warm & fat
    - Gibson Studio (covered) - sound real good with all knobs @ 10
    - Gibson 1958 Reissue (uncovered) - almost too harsh - have both tone knobs at 5.
    :dude:
     
  4. The Refugee

    The Refugee Senior Member

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    When I use my bros SG they suit my needs fine.
     
  5. hbucker

    hbucker Senior Member

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    It doesn't surprise me that people here like them. I think there are better pickups out there though. Even from Gibson. Burstbuckers would be one example.
     
  6. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    I would disagree, I actually prefer 490's to Burstbuckers, at least as bridge pickups. Just a difference in personal preference tho.

    I tend to like my pickups on the smoother and warmer side, and the 490's are definitely that to my ears. Stock, the Burstbucker 2 was too harsh. I have found I like the Burstbucker with a magnet change tho.

    There are, without a doubt nicer pickups out there, but it's just my opinion 490's get an unnecessary bad rap. Best thing about them is used ones can be found cheap, and a simple magnet swap can really positively change the overall voice of them.
     
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  7. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Yeah, I don't see anyone making the argument that they're the best Gibson has to offer.
     
  8. captain tightpants

    captain tightpants Banned

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    Nope, not in the slightest. Just don't think they are as bad as some claim.
     
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  9. 79lp

    79lp Junior Member

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    I've had the 490t in the bridge of my 79 Custom and found it pretty weak even after I swapped the magnet for an Alnico 5. I tried a 490r in the neck with a Dimarzio Tone Zone and liked that; they seemed well balanced and pretty hot. But the TZ is a but two dimensional to my ears - great for rock through a cranked amp and that's about it. So I put a T top in the neck and tried the 490r in the bridge. And that worked really well. I like the 490r as a bridge pickup better than the 490t. It balances perfectly with the T top and is more versatile than the TZ. Since then I've snagged another T top for the bridge and it has a really open, organic tone to it that the 490s don't. The only disadvantage is that it's overpowered by the neck. But that's what the volume control is for eh?
     
  10. Thumpalumpacus

    Thumpalumpacus Senior Member

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    Absolutely. For every tone, there is a song which can use it perfectly.
     
  11. Telechamp

    Telechamp Senior Member

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    +1. I really love them in my SG Special Faded as well. I think they sound great both clean and dirty.


    [​IMG]
     
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  12. AK-78

    AK-78 Junior Member

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    I recently picked up a used SG special faded, and I've given the pickups a critical listen and some time to sink in. The 490r neck has full bass, a woody, dry (scooped?) midrange, and suprising highs, with good clarity, and harmonics. This seems different to me than the generic "muddy" description given by some (I roll the bass control on my amp down to 3, maybe this explains why I don't get the mud). The pickup seems to get much of its woody midrange character, and highs, from the guitar itself, which has a woody, resonant, and bright tone. I like the 490r for blues, and a thicker hard rock tone, and for full cleans.
    The 490T is bright, (its bridge pickup), but in a manageable way. Its also fairly full, and suits my purposes for a bridge pickup. It conjures 70 hard rock easily, and I've also dialed in some nice vintage blues tones (ie Buddy Guy "I was Walking In the Woods").
    The SG with the 490r suprised me with its woody, dryish midrange. It reminds me of a dry wine, with tannic and oak, less sweet, but complex and intriguing all the same. My LP copy with a Rose Pickups New Dawn, is more sweet and full in the midrange, (like that French red wine from Burgandy that I remember), with a plenty of harmonics and overtones. Which is better? Well, its mostly a matter of taste I suppose. It would be hard to compare the pickups head to head without playing them in the same guitar.
     
  13. foxtrot

    foxtrot Senior Member

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    I can't speak to the bridge pickups, but I have a 4 conductor 490r in my Studio Deluxe (with 500k pots).

    I really like the sounds I get from the 490R and don't really have any sort of temptation to try anything else in the neck.

    On the other hand, I have a BB Pro in the bridge that I might swap out for something else. Way too shrill.

    I might need to play around with it more. I adjusted it a bit last night and improved it somewhat. Keeping the tone around 3-4 also works wonders.
     
  14. Zhangliqun

    Zhangliqun Senior Member

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    I think the 490T and R are the same, just wider spacing on the T. But check me on that...
     
  15. Gryphon

    Gryphon Senior Member

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    I wasn't happy with the 490R and 498T in my LP Std as the tone is so radically different that the amp settings dont work for both pickups; it was a case of one or the other. So I swapped the magnets to brighten the neck 490R and soften the bridge 498T. The 490R comes with an A2 but putting the A5 from the 498T in it really lifts it up out of the mud - much improved. The 498T with the A2 inserted is less shrill than it was with the original A5, but it's still only 'ok'. Other posters have recommended that putting an A4 in there is the best solution, so I will try that one day.
     
  16. Mindfrigg

    Mindfrigg Senior Member

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    The 490t is slightly hotter.
     
  17. AK-78

    AK-78 Junior Member

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    :doh: Ok, I'm going to really have to eat my words here... hmmm dry and woody. Anyway, after an extended time of critical listening, and getting past my preconceptions and personal desires, I became frustrated with the 490r's lack of treble response. I initially thought it was bright... but that was mostly a rather strident upper midrange. I tried some treble bleed mods and a better cable, but the pickup just won't deliver much shimmer. As an experiment I ordered an Iconix Tbone handwound neck humbucker (7.69K Ohms and a vintage charged alnico 2 magnet) and I put that in my SG special. The Iconix has the treble shimmer the 490r was missing. The Iconix Tbone also has a sweeter midrange, but still manages to maintain the SG's woody character. I 'd listend to a number of youtube recordings of the 490r and it sounded good to me, so I had high hopes for it. I really wanted to keep the guitar original, but I'll be using the Iconix Tbone once it returns from the builder. It has two conductor, vintage style braided wire, and its out of phase with the 490t (I like the 490t just fine). Having the pup's out of phase would be ok if I wanted to copy certain Peter Green tones. I tried, but failed at liking the sound. Too twangy. So Don Smith of Iconix is going to reverse the wiring for me. I decided I didn't want to risk destroying the pickup rewiring it myself.

    I've also considered having Don rewind the 490r... I like it's honestly acquired relic looks, with the rusty spole pieces and such, but I already paid for the new pickup, so I'll just tuck the 490r away into the guitar case, and leave it be.
     
  18. xSinner13x

    xSinner13x Senior Member

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    Absolute shit on a shoe.
     
  19. fwr1982

    fwr1982 Junior Member

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    Absolutely love the 490r! The 490t not so much
     
  20. Carl Mustaine

    Carl Mustaine Member

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    I have a set that were from an old SG.

    I have put them in my 96 Wine Red LP studio (8.5lbs, quite trebly). I think they sound amazing. I can get an ACDC type tone by dropping the gain on the amp, and then if I put the gain about halfway, they have a really great distorted tone that is very sparkly and jangly (someone will know what I mean!).

    I think the way to go is a lower output pickup, which is then driven as hard as you need to. You can always add more gain!

    The R pickup can be bassy, but I set the eq up for this and roll a litle off the T tone. Seems to work great.

    Hope this helps

    Regards

    Carl
     
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