JB/59 - ignoring the warnings, gonna give it a try

David Garner

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I have come over the past 6 years roughly to appreciate the 498t/490r set in my 93 Standard. I didn't like them at all at first, mostly because I wanted a more vintage tone. I migrated to unpotted PAF styles, but then I got a second LP that had those in it, and went a little through the wringer looking for the right pickups for that guitar.

In the meantime, I didn't like that both of them sound so much alike. They're different guitars, but they covered largely the same ground, and I wanted something that was more of a sonic contrast while still being able to cover the same basic ground. That way I can use one to back up the other, but each will have its own niche.

Anyway, that led to me putting the 498t/490r set back in the 93. I'm really liking it. And it occurred to me, what most people say they don't like about the 498t in particular is the upper mids. Same thing people say they don't like in the JB. So I ordered a mid-80s model JB from Reverb. JB-L, so not the coveted JB-J, but still a good winder. Then I found a good deal on a 59 neck and ordered it too. I'm going to install them once they arrive.

The JB is a 4 conductor, so I also ordered a push/pull pot to install for the bridge tone control so I can split it. Will report back, but I'm hoping to love it. If not, I bought them used so I can flip them.
 

LPTDMSV

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Well I've never owned a JB so I am going to be interested to hear what you find.

There doesn't seem to be that much love around for 498Ts but they are *the* classic 80s rock pickup and yet they are not horribly overwound or overpowered so capable of quite pleasant clean tones too, in my short experience of them.
 

David Garner

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I love JB's but I use them for hard rock/metal.
That's sort of the general vibe I'm going for, though I'm looking more at 80s metal than anything much harder than that. No Megadeth or Tool, but all of the hair band stuff.

I still didn't want a one-trick pony though, which is why these videos were instrumental in my decision.


 

Deftone

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That's sort of the general vibe I'm going for, though I'm looking more at 80s metal than anything much harder than that. No Megadeth or Tool, but all of the hair band stuff.

I still didn't want a one-trick pony though, which is why these videos were instrumental in my decision.


Yea, that sounds great. I was considering something different for my next project (I have 4 JB's in different guitars) But I might have to get another after hearing those clips.

My JB's do 80's metal all day long but still very organic sounding. I think I have the SH4....I forget. Marshall JCM800 or clone with some of those G12T-75 Celestions. I like my amp clean with a MXR 6 EQ & Metal Muff Nano in front.

If I want to push it into Tool/Megadeth territory I have a MXR 10 band EQ and a BBE Stinger in the loop. Rumor has it Adam Jones uses a JB. I think AJ's tone is my holy grail.
 

David Garner

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Yeah, I don't understand the hate for these. I might not like them in a more midrange-heavy guitar, but in my particular 93 Standard, they sound amazing.

The 490r/498t set gets a lot of hate too, and to my ears they sound very, very close. It's obvious to me the 498t was Gibson's attempt to get at that JB sound. The 490r in mine has a UOA5 magnet, so it sounds really close to the 59 neck here, but in stock form it sounds more like a 57 Classic or an Alnico II Pro.
 

Deftone

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It's all subjective. I liked the 498T's and I like JB's....in fact I have four JB's in different guitars...LPC, SG, Flying V and a Charvel.

I'm doing a HSS super strat build now. I'd like to try something different, but if I can't find another humbucker that really wows me I'll get another JB. I can find them used all day long for $50.

No idea what single coils I'd get...maybe I'll start a thread.
 

LPTDMSV

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It's all subjective. I liked the 498T's and I like JB's....in fact I have four JB's in different guitars...LPC, SG, Flying V and a Charvel.

I'm doing a HSS super strat build now. I'd like to try something different, but if I can't find another humbucker that really wows me I'll get another JB. I can find them used all day long for $50.

No idea what single coils I'd get...maybe I'll start a thread.
it's good that you know what humbuckers you like, because now you only have to choose between the 999 varieties of Strat-style pickups for your HSS :)
 

David Garner

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it's good that you know what humbuckers you like, because now you only have to choose between the 999 varieties of Strat-style pickups for your HSS :)
Strat pickups are way harder for me. I’ve liked most of the humbuckers I’ve tried.
 

David Garner

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Had the JB / 59 combo in the past and liked it.
Used 300K volume pot on JB only so it’s not too shrill and only coil split the 59 for cleans in the neck position.

I never cared for coil split at the bridge on any Humbucker.
I generally don't either. My DGT always felt like a compromise. I got the JB coil split on this one yesterday and it does too. Sort of Tele-ish, but not really like a Tele. It's an oddball tone for sure. I'll probably use it mostly for lower gain stuff when I don't want to switch to my LP with PAF style pickups. And I might just take it out later, honestly, but I'm going to live with it for a while before deciding.
 

David Garner

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I did find one cool use for the coil split JB that I didn't have on my DGT. On the DGT, if you pull up the tone knob, both pickups are split. Push it in and both are humbuckers. There's no way to do just one or the other.

Which is a shame because the JB split with the 59 on full humbucker mode is a very cool tone. I will be using that one a lot.
 


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