Gibson 500t vs Seymour Duncan JB in Les Paul

Hydra19

Senior Member
Joined
Jan 25, 2011
Messages
824
Reaction score
332
I've been going back and forth on these, but decided to buy both and test them out.
In case anyone here is in a dilemma, here is how they sound to me

The Gibson 500t seems very hot, warm and a little bass heavy. I had in the bridge of a Greco Les Paul Custom and found it a bit too much. Super loud, wall of sound, and makes me play metal with a lot of chugging. It's really awesome for some palm muted riffs and seems very close to the power of my EMG loaded Explorer, but the EMG is tighter and clearer. I didn't find it too versatile so I swapped it out for an 80's JBJ. Although it's bassy and warm, the trebles are there.

The JB is a classic sounding humbucker that I've had in numerous 2nd hand guitars, so I'm familiar with it. It sang well, leads were clearer and less thicker sound overall. It's bright, just like the 500t but without the wall of sound that the 500t has. I found this pickup a lot more classical sounding and versatile than the 500t. I worked on it to set it up to my liking and left it alone.

Yesterday, I decided to put the 500t back in and give it more time and take time to set it up. The 500t seems to like it's pole pieces pretty flat in comparison to the JB, but the lower I set it, the better it sounds.

I read a lot about it sounding better in all mahogany guitars than maple topped Les Pauls.
I hope the above is some help to anyone. Does the 500t need to be set lower due to the triple ceramic magnets? How high do you have your 500t set?
 

AmpliFIRE

Senior Member
Joined
Dec 22, 2010
Messages
456
Reaction score
241
I have a 500T in my Greco LP Custom and a JBJ in my R8. The 500T is definitely set further away from the strings than the JBJ. BTW, I love both pickups.
 

Dilver

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 25, 2011
Messages
2,075
Reaction score
3,742
I just put a 500T/496R set back in my Les Paul Studio, after having a set of OX4 in there for a couple of years. As soon as I put the 500T back in I remembered what a cool pickup this is. It’s a one trick pony - but it’s a helluva trick. To set it up I started with the pickup low and then raised the height until I started to hear the overtone feedback when I bend a note. I really just adjust the polepieces to balance the string to string volume.

The Duncan JB is okay. To me, it’s a perfectly fine Les Paul pickup, it’s a just little generic. I don’t think I’d pick a 500T if I only had one Les Paul. But it has undeniable character.
 

Classicplayer

Senior Member
Joined
Sep 6, 2007
Messages
3,007
Reaction score
2,088
I originally had the 496R / 500T in my 2000 Classic. I was under the impression that those stock pickups were for Rock and Metal. Was I wrong? After 3 years with them, I tried '59's and 11 years later, Seth’s (which are still installed). What is generally considered the 500T best utilized for?


Classicplayer
 

Shelkonnery

Silver Supporting Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2021
Messages
699
Reaction score
1,795
My experience with the 500t/496r set is the same as you guys described.
It’s amazing for high gain stuff. But it’s a bit one dimensional, even though you can get interesting results rolling down the volume knob a bit. I still keep them in a MIJ singlecut, great combination. Nothing special about their height though.

I have no experience with the JB. I have the 498t in other guitars, and every time I watch decent comparisons with the JB, I hear no reason to swap them, they’re so similar. It makes sense though as they were Gibson’s late response to JBs.
 

hamerfan

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 19, 2010
Messages
544
Reaction score
237
The 500T has 2 side magnets. If you swap one of them out and use wooden stick as support of the bobbin, you can tame it. Its similar to a SD Distortion, maybe a bit warmer.
 

Latest Threads



Top