Custom Les Paul 490/498 swap PU but how to remain in the spirit


Jun 21, 2009
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Hi you all,

Would you have any suggestion to define what could be the specific sound of a Custom (e.g. PU or boutique PU to look , or listen to) as I do not really know what I could/should aim to improve but remain within the 490/498 spirit.

Why this question:

Recently I had the chance to test a super 1983 Les Paul Spotlight, with "standard" Tim Shaw PU, what I heard, although not in the best configuration for a test, amazed me. As I have a Les Paul Custom 1986 (I do not play that much anymore) I thought that maybe my LP had badly setup Tim Shaw's PUs too (as some Custom were Tim Shaw equipped during this period) . When checking resistance it showed that it was not in the standard Tim Shaw 7.5k Ohm range (they are 8 and >8 ). So I must be equipped with 1986 "muddy" PUs... ok but if some Custom were equipped with Tim Shaws' what is the standard sound of a custom as the spotlight was sounding so remote ...


PS: from my humble experience if I take my historic LP 59 equipped in standard with PAF, it is "easier" to nail the sound expected from such guitar (I have "hysteric" PAF it is a great improvement but remains in line with instead of the BB which came originally but are PAF). I would like to do the same with my LP.

edit: By the way I have also removed 2 pair of 490/498 one from my SG Menace and from my les paul studio because they sounded so harsh. When I think of it all 3 pairs sound sooooooo different. The milder beeing the one from the the custom. And while at it, I have a set ot BB 1/2 lying around
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