Cleaning up the muddy tone in my Les Paul Supreme? [SOLVED]

TriSarahPloop

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I don't see why one needs a supreme to know anything. In my opinion the best way to get rid of the muddiness is to get rid of gibson's muddy pickups. I think most of their stock pickups suck.
Research pickups like throbak or bare knuckle and you can rid yourself of the Gibson stock pickup syndrome.
I adore barenuckle they are by far my favourite pickup brand. Iv never had one from them I didn’t love, was just hesitant to jump into a swap as the supremes a bit of a pain to rewire.
 

northernguitarguy

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In always been more of a fan of having brighter cleaner and more defined pickups as I find it’s easier to add warmth to the sound than to brighten up a dark guitar.
Overall, I tend to agree. My favourite humbucker is a T-Top or clone, hands down.

However, I do like having the full force of the 498 for some things. I've got an Amptweaker Tight Metal Jr. pedal that sounds ferocious when paired with that pup. But when my cover band wants to play The Who or Beatles or Stones covers, I get the same complaints you mentioned. A treble booster pedal has been a revelation in terms of using this pup with songs requiring a sharper tone.

Another awesome trick with the 498 is a 'bass cut' feature. I have these pickups wired into a Yamaha Revstar and the 'dry switch' (what they call a bass-cut) on the push-pull tone control does an AMAZING job of thinning out the woof and making it a quite versatile guitar. Premier Guitar did a write-up about it.

 

Oddball667

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Well simce im a nice guy and feeling generous and ypur not getting the tone you like ill go ahead and take her off your hands , you can pm me for address and pay shipping of course lol.
...i noticed nobody mentioned possibly removing the bridge cover, would this not also help?
Only asking because I have considered removing mine.
 

THAWK819

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I’m with you on those pickups; I had a 2012 studio with the same setup and I traded it in towards a 2016 Standard with burstbucker pros. I find they take to distortion much better.

If you’re looking to go completely different, I love the combo of a SD’59 at the neck and a SD Custom 5 at the bridge. I also have a PRS where I put a SD Jazz at the neck and Custom 5 at the bridge. I think both combos sound incredible in LP style guitars and don’t become note soup when you add drive or distortion.
 

Azhar

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Check out a SH-4....I have one in my 73 LP Standard, as the Original T-Top in the Bridge literally died at sound check a couple of years ago and I had the SH-4 in my gig tool box and soldered it in backstage. It sounded so huge when turned up and so clear when turned down that I left it in.
Seymour Duncan SH-4
 

dtodd

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I don't have a Supreme, but I bought a Tribute a couple fo months ago. I didn't care for the 490's. I don't know if you're looking for low output warm tones, or something with a little more bite? I replaced the 490's with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates, and new wiring. Wow!! What a difference. Love the sound from that guitar! Semi-aggressive that make my Marshall tube amp sing!

I have a LP 60's Standard with Burstbuckers. In a couple of weeks, it's getting some Lindy Fralin Pickups and some new wiring. That's one is going to be pure 50's PAF sounding.
I put some Lollar P90’s in my SG Tribute. Sounds nice
 

BluesDudeAK

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I don't have a Supreme, but I bought a Tribute a couple fo months ago. I didn't care for the 490's. I don't know if you're looking for low output warm tones, or something with a little more bite? I replaced the 490's with Seymour Duncan Pearly Gates, and new wiring. Wow!! What a difference. Love the sound from that guitar! Semi-aggressive that make my Marshall tube amp sing!

I have a LP 60's Standard with Burstbuckers. In a couple of weeks, it's getting some Lindy Fralin Pickups and some new wiring. That's one is going to be pure 50's PAF sounding.
I had a custom guitar built and went with Stephens Design pickups which didn't work out. I asked the builder what he recommended for a replacement and he suggested Pearly Gates which was exactly what I had in mind too. Kind of wild given all the options out there. A perfect set for the guitar though. I've had real good luck with Fralin too. In particular the True 60's sold through RS Guitarworks and the Unbucker set, which I coil split.
 

OBX351

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Hey guys, I have for the last 6 months or so been absolutely crazy obsessed with my Les Paul Supreme, one small issue though, the 490r & 498T get muddy the second you add drive to this thing.

I normally don’t mind these pickups that much but in this case I feel they sort of take away from the rest of the guitar.

Anyone else out there have a supreme? What pickups do you find that brightens it up a little?


View attachment 499083
You need a new harness. Get a paper in oil harness with measured pots. That will fix your problem. Reach out to MSSC here on MLP or one of the other harness vendors. Talk with them and you'll understand why you're having this issue. https://www.msscguitarwiring.com/ - you can find him here: user name MATTM

I have about 8 of these in my RIs. They improve tone and the pots work beautifully.
 
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Brutalisateur

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Ive had the same problem with 400-series pickups in certain guitars, and the only thing that helped was a pickup swap. Some pickups just dont play nice in some guitars and no amount of fiddling with the wiring is really going to fix that.

But swapping pickups in a supreme with no backplate and no f-holes? That's something worth paying a luthier to do for you because it is not easy.
 

Rwill682

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I agree w/Kitsune- try adjusting the p/ups first. Also you may consider adjusting your amp. The Marshal/LP combo we all know and love exists in part because of the Marshalls bass eq (or lack of it). So depending on the amp you're using you may consider re-imagining the eq settings. I have a Fender Deluxe Reverb- there's no mid adjustment but for my LP I set it up w/ the bass under 4 and the treble under 7- that cleans it up some but it took me a while to match that cleaned up tone on my other amps- imagine the eq as the opposite of the way you'd set it for a Strat or Tele. You can also roll the p/up volume down to 7.5-8 to get out some of the wooliness. You may also address the settings on your overdrive- if using a pedal. Try using a lower OD setting and keeping the EQ flat (if you aren't already)- the tone and volume should be the same w/the pedal on as with it off- just overdriven.

If you are going to change the p/ups you'll be happy to know that almost every Gibson, DiMarzio (PAF) or Seymour Duncan pickup will be less muddy than the 490/498. I have 3 LP's- on one I replaced the Burstbucker Pros (which were too trebley) with SD Anico II pro's- these sound great and clean up nicely. I have an R0 w/the stock Burstbucker 1 & 2 and they're also pretty easy to manage. I recently installed a Manlius T-Top replica (bridge) in my R9 to go with the stock BB1- all different set ups but all manageable.

That's a really nice looking Supreme BTW- I hope this helps. I found after years of struggling w/either a very trebley Strat or a very muddy LP that it's best to have an amp specifically set up for different p/up and guitar types.






View attachment 499083
[/QUOTE]
agree
 

TXOldRedRocker

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I had a custom guitar built and went with Stephens Design pickups which didn't work out. I asked the builder what he recommended for a replacement and he suggested Pearly Gates which was exactly what I had in mind too. Kind of wild given all the options out there. A perfect set for the guitar though. I've had real good luck with Fralin too. In particular the True 60's sold through RS Guitarworks and the Unbucker set, which I coil split.
I absolutely love my LP with the Pearly Gates! I play it most. I'm putting Fralin's Pure PAF's in the LP Standard. (Along with all new wiring, POTS, etc.) I want that guitar to sound as original as possible, and nothing like the Tribute with the Pearly Gates. I play some very clean music that the Fralin's should shine at doing. The Pearly Gates have great natural grit, and can become beautifully dirty for the music I play like that. Ohhhh I love my LP's.
 

gearhead63

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I've changed out the volume pots before to a 1Meg pot in a couple gits I have that were really dark sounding. Allows more highs to come through. And the cap in series with the hot lead works too. You can try different cap values.
Also the metal covers tend to make you lose some "highs"/upper mids. Most LP I've ever had I removed the pickup covers. Have you tried different cables? the more capacitance your cables have, the more highs you lose. Just an idea.
 

DylanS

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Hey guys, I have for the last 6 months or so been absolutely crazy obsessed with my Les Paul Supreme, one small issue though, the 490r & 498T get muddy the second you add drive to this thing.

I normally don’t mind these pickups that much but in this case I feel they sort of take away from the rest of the guitar.

Anyone else out there have a supreme? What pickups do you find that brightens it up a little?


View attachment 499083
There are maybe less than 30 of these in existence. If you aren’t bonding with it, sell it and buy something that sounds better to your ears but don’t modify it, it will kill the value. This is likely to become one of the most sought after production non-custom shop models ever made. You have something special there, keep it original.
 

ErictheRed

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I don't see why one needs a supreme to know anything. In my opinion the best way to get rid of the muddiness is to get rid of gibson's muddy pickups. I think most of their stock pickups suck.
Research pickups like throbak or bare knuckle and you can rid yourself of the Gibson stock pickup syndrome.
I also love Bare Knuckle pickups (have a set of True Grits, Emeralds, and Nailbombs), but in my experience there's nothing wrong with Gibson pickups. At least not the stock pickups from my 2004 Standard (Burstbuckers of some kind) or 2009 R9 (Custombuckers), or the old 70s Custom that I used to have (490t and 498r). I think that people change their pickups prematurely most of the time.
 

TriSarahPloop

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There are maybe less than 30 of these in existence. If you aren’t bonding with it, sell it and buy something that sounds better to your ears but don’t modify it, it will kill the value. This is likely to become one of the most sought after production non-custom shop models ever made. You have something special there, keep it original.
I have been following closely this current theory I tried to get in contact with Gibson about it but go figure I get radio silence the second I mention the model in the emails :rolleyes: I have decided to keep it as is thanks to the suggestion of adjusting the pole pieces I have managed to get it in the ball park of where I want it.
 

TriSarahPloop

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I also love Bare Knuckle pickups (have a set of True Grits, Emeralds, and Nailbombs), but in my experience there's nothing wrong with Gibson pickups. At least not the stock pickups from my 2004 Standard (Burstbuckers of some kind) or 2009 R9 (Custombuckers), or the old 70s Custom that I used to have (490t and 498r). I think that people change their pickups prematurely most of the time.
I general agree with you on this, off all the brands that do their own pickups Gibson usually are the ones I am least likely to change. Custombuckers are crazy nice.
 

Spudvader

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I have a custom with the 490 & 498 set, I didn't particularly like them so I swapped the magnet from the bridge ( alnico 5 ) and put it in the neck and put a rough cast alnico 4 in the bridge. I couldn't have been more happy with the result.
 

ashbass

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Muddy sounding neck pickup? Try Seymour’s quick tech fix
Posted on November 15, 2010 on the Official Seymour Duncan Blog

By Seymour Duncan Tech Guru Scott Miller

People often call and ask how to fix a muddy sounding neck pickup. Some years ago, Seymour taught me a cool trick to fix this exact problem. If you connect a .047 capacitor in series (directly in-line) with the hot output wire from your neck pickup, it will filter out the excess low-end, and clean up the muddy tone. Most of the time, this solution is perfect. And, it is an easy mod that most people can do themselves.

1605292132620.png
 

Arf

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Hey guys, I have for the last 6 months or so been absolutely crazy obsessed with my Les Paul Supreme, one small issue though, the 490r & 498T get muddy the second you add drive to this thing.

I normally don’t mind these pickups that much but in this case I feel they sort of take away from the rest of the guitar.

Anyone else out there have a supreme? What pickups do you find that brightens it up a little?


View attachment 499083
I've been threatening to get one of those - I LOVE THEM!!! But I've had two gibsons with 490's and the same problem. One guitar I replaced them with the Duncan Jazz pair. Yes, the Jazz bridge exists - excellent pickup. They describe them as being basically an underwound '59 but I disagree. They were actually a bit louder, brighter, more alive, pick sensitive. Just a better pickup.
 


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