Ancient Gibson Secret... Huh? LPJ Covered Pups Revealed

jstarr823

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Okay, maybe it's not ancient or even a secret, but I think I've cracked the code on these new LPJ & SGJ black covered pickups.

Since I bought my new LPJ a few weeks ago, I've been struggling with what to do about those damned black plastic covered 490R and 498T pups. Aside from the less-than-desirable looks of the pickups themselves, they also have the lovely 5-pin Molex PicoBlade connectors on the leads going to the PCB ~ which makes swapping pickups a major PITA.

All of that being said, I decided to pull the pickups today... with the initial plan of selling them on eBay and dealing with whatever it would take to wire up a new set (although the prospect of wiring those beyond tiny PicoBlade pins seemed quite daunting).

After removal, my curiosity got the best of me. First thing that I noticed was the fact that the backing plates on mine are completely different than the all of the others I've seen pics of... all of the others have a brass looking plate, with no Gibson stamp... just a sticker.

I'll let the pics do the rest of the talking. The covers were easy to remove, as they were simply held on with clear "hobby" type hot glue. It's pretty clear that converting these back to normal pups should be rather easy. I've ordered a new set of base plates & pole screws and I expect that I'll end up with a nice set of open 490R and 498T pups with little investment (about $20). I see no reason why the older ones with the "brass" back plate can be converted either. More pics to come with the finished product.



 

jstarr823

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For reference, here's a pic of the older style pups with the different backing plates:

 

jstarr823

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Confuzzled
I guess you'd have to own or be acutely aware of the pups on the new LPJ model. They have a new pickup design that doesn't allow for replacement of the cheap looking black plastic covers, because the covers also serve as the mounting base.
 

politenessman

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do you figure that gibson has some reason for not wanting the pickups swapped, or simply that that they save a penny or 2 making them this way and they dont care if it makes it hard to swap pickups? guess which one most people on this forum will pick?
 

jstarr823

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do you figure that gibson has some reason for not wanting the pickups swapped, or simply that that they save a penny or 2 making them this way and they dont care if it makes it hard to swap pickups? guess which one most people on this forum will pick?
If it's for cost savings, they're not saving much (if anything) by having to R&D a whole new design + the tooling and production for the new parts. I think some marketing dude probably thought that this young demographic of LP buyers would like the EMG look. Who knows?
 

Dino Velvet

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Thanks for the pix. I had thought about picking up one or the SGJ as a project but now it seems the pup,swap is too much of a PIA.
 

Dirtyclinic

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How hard is it using a non 5-pin Molex PicoBlade connector work with a Les Paul with a PCB? And is it easy to use a pickup with a 5-pin Molex PicoBlade connector with the classic setup? Do you just cut and strip the wires?
 

old mark

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As always, new Gibsons suck...old ones were great, but you can't get them any more. Been that way forever, dude:dude:


mark
 

jstarr823

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How hard is it using a non 5-pin Molex PicoBlade connector work with a Les Paul with a PCB? And is it easy to use a pickup with a 5-pin Molex PicoBlade connector with the classic setup? Do you just cut and strip the wires?
To do the picoblade connectors the right way, you need a $200 Molex crimp tool... And that's no joke. To say the pins are tiny is an understatement.

Yes... You can just cut and strip the quick connect pickup wire for use with traditional wiring.

No sure about your first question.
 

Farquad

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So instead of crimping molex, why dont you just cut the wire back from the plug and reuse the plug? That way you can just wire up what you want (assuming you wire to the correct wires).
 

dspelman

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In almost every respect, the LPJ is designed to be the cheapest possible piece of...um...guitar that Gibson could foist...um...present to the public that wasn't a game controller. The Chinese and Indonesians refuse to stoop low enough to make copies, and even Estonia has demurred.

Somalia-based pirates found a shipment on a vessel they'd hijacked and paid a ransom for them to be taken away.

They've been deemed internationally unsuitable for landfill anywhere on the planet.

When a rocket loaded with them was launched toward the GAS giant Jupiter, scientists were startled to discover an intelligent race of creatures who lived on the planet who apparently decided they'd better reveal themselves rather than risk another rocket or two heading their way. Amid the joy of the discovery, the existing denizens denied the immigration status of the shipment of LPJs and suggested to a Gibson executive that he put them "deep in Uranus" instead.
 

cybermgk

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So instead of crimping molex, why dont you just cut the wire back from the plug and reuse the plug? That way you can just wire up what you want (assuming you wire to the correct wires).
Same thing I was thinking/wondering.
 

cybermgk

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I guess you'd have to own or be acutely aware of the pups on the new LPJ model. They have a new pickup design that doesn't allow for replacement of the cheap looking black plastic covers, because the covers also serve as the mounting base.
Doesn't look too hard to replace with a standard baseplate though.
 


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