Still Using The Gibson 496R & 500T Set?

Classicplayer

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My 21 year-old came with the stock 496R/500T combination as pickups. I always wondered if Gibson intended these pups for high gain use only. I used them for 3 years and was adjusting them constantly in trying to get a workable tone and finally went to lower wound Duncan '59's. I still have the stock ceramics; should I ever decide to sell this Classic. Is anyone successfuly using their stock ceramics in a Les Paul these days. There must be a few advocates of them around after all of these years.


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smk506

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My sg faded has I think the 490/490r set if I recall. Not the same but pretty similar all in all. They’re definitely a solid rock (rock solid even) pickup but I’ve found they do the other stuff at least passably.
 

Zungle

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I actually feel like the 496r is a really good neck pickup, I recorded some good tones with it in the past.....
 

noodlingguitars

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Its kind of fun to have them in a guitar, IF you have more than one Les Paul. I’m less of a fan of the 496R, but the 500T is lots of fun. It’s a high gain one trick pony. But it’s one helluva trick.
I feel exactly the same - I just kept them in one of my classics because I've got other LPs with other pickup configs to play with too. Definitely not my go-to though... (actually it's been in storage for years)
 

BKS

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I believe that set lives in my 2007 silverburst flying v.
 

Guvnor513

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My '99 LP Classic came with those pickups. I didn't realize it at the time, but I hated those things. For the longest time, I thought my guitar was a dog. You couldn't switch to another guitar, say, a telecaster, without having to completely reset the amp. I swapped that set out for a set of Seth Lovers and -other than a brief flirtation with a set of Bare-Knuckle Mules - have not looked back.

The 500T/490R were, to me, an odd attempt by Gibson to go after tones produced on the '59s and '60s, soiled by what we learned about pickups in the '80s. Rather than take the whole signal chain into account, they used the '80s philosophy of more gain all the time to try and achieve what say, Carlos Santana, was doing in the '60s with his Gibson instruments. For whatever reason, they ignored the fact that the '50s/'60s instruments were relatively mid-output pickups and the amp carried part of the load as well. It was a low/mid gain amp coupled with low/mid gain pups so it could roar when they were both opened up, but it could still be tamed with the volume knobs.
 

Dilver

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Apparently, that set was also in the Jimmy Page signature Les Paul, as well…
 

jbash

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I think they sound best in the all mahogany guitars- I never could live with them very long in a classic,

BUT

All the ones I had were 300k pots and modern wiring. I have a hunch it is one of those sets that could really benefit from a wiring upgrade..50s style, 500k pots and then set your main sounds with the volumes rolled off to half or so. Lower for cleans, full up for mayhem.
 

Classicplayer

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My '99 LP Classic came with those pickups. I didn't realize it at the time, but I hated those things. For the longest time, I thought my guitar was a dog. You couldn't switch to another guitar, say, a telecaster, without having to completely reset the amp. I swapped that set out for a set of Seth Lovers and -other than a brief flirtation with a set of Bare-Knuckle Mules - have not looked back.

The 500T/490R were, to me, an odd attempt by Gibson to go after tones produced on the '59s and '60s, soiled by what we learned about pickups in the '80s. Rather than take the whole signal chain into account, they used the '80s philosophy of more gain all the time to try and achieve what say, Carlos Santana, was doing in the '60s with his Gibson instruments. For whatever reason, they ignored the fact that the '50s/'60s instruments were relatively mid-output pickups and the amp carried part of the load as well. It was a low/mid gain amp coupled with low/mid gain pups so it could roar when they were both opened up, but it could still be tamed with the volume knobs.

Similar findings here. I now have Seths in mine after 12 years with ‘59's.


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pondcaster

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My twin bro bought an early 2k's Classic that already had the pickups switched to 57s but the original ones came with the deal.

We put the 500 in his Tele and holy smokes!,... What a beast.

Here's his below with my newest (and last?) Telecaster, Rosie.

1656869171527.jpeg
 

Mr French

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These are pre burstbucker era and I assume the company wanted something that would give a modern day sound but somewhat old school. Heck the mid 90's Jimmy Page guitar was equipped with these and he approved of them.

Burstbuckers changed everything and the company was more focused on the original PAF sound.
 

ARandall

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^ The 57 classic (designed by Tom Holmes) was released in the early 90's for the first RI line. They were into PAF tone well before the BB. In fact (execution aside), Gibson tried doing a sort of 'deliberate attempt at a PAF wind' for the 1980 Heritage series. These lasted in every guitar in the catalogue almost for 7 years.

In the early 90's hi-octane hard rock was the marketing aim for Gibson (obviously GnR and Motley Crue being visible).......and if you didn't have a modded marshall (like the big bands could have access to) then you needed a hot pickup to goose the front end.
The Standards and Customs of the day had the 498T, and the Classic had the 500T. They weren't so far apart really in output, and fitting hot pickups to these also made the idea of the RI with the PAF like pickups an easier upsell when the replacement pickup market was just Duncan and Dimarzio essentially.
 

Mr French

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^ The 57 classic (designed by Tom Holmes) was released in the early 90's for the first RI line. They were into PAF tone well before the BB. In fact (execution aside), Gibson tried doing a sort of 'deliberate attempt at a PAF wind' for the 1980 Heritage series. These lasted in every guitar in the catalogue almost for 7 years.

In the early 90's hi-octane hard rock was the marketing aim for Gibson (obviously GnR and Motley Crue being visible).......and if you didn't have a modded marshall (like the big bands could have access to) then you needed a hot pickup to goose the front end.
The Standards and Customs of the day had the 498T, and the Classic had the 500T. They weren't so far apart really in output, and fitting hot pickups to these also made the idea of the RI with the PAF like pickups an easier upsell when the replacement pickup market was just Duncan and Dimarzio essentially.
Agreed and I completely forgotten about Tom Holmes and the 57 classic. Those too are great pickups.
 

dc007

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I could not get along with the ceramic in my classic either. Replaced with a duncan 59 neck and Pearly Gates Bridge for the longest time. Have wolfetone marshallhead in the bridge and dr vintage in the neck now. That combo sings.
 

TXOldRedRocker

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Not a fan of ceramic in LP's. But I haven't tried any really old ones.

My 3 PUP 2019 Frampton came with 57 Classic, 57 Classic+ and 500T. Didn't like a single one of those PUPs. They're not in there any more.

My 2011 Classic Custom has its two original 57 Classic's in it. They are absolutely f'n fantastic. These have to be close to the Holmes spec. The 2019 version must be using lower quality parts or something. Side by side comparison of the 57 Classic in the same position on the two guitars, they weren't even close.
 

AJK1

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These are pre burstbucker era and I assume the company wanted something that would give a modern day sound but somewhat old school. Heck the mid 90's Jimmy Page guitar was equipped with these and he approved of them.

Burstbuckers changed everything and the company was more focused on the original PAF sound.
I read somewhere JP didn’t approve of the guitar at all, I own one but it’s nothing like his 1 or 2 but I bought it for its infamy, I had to change the pickups because the original ones were awful, so I put some PAF style pickups in it and it now sounds to me more like it should lol
 

Bryansamui

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Apparently, t

hat set was also in the Jimmy Page signature Les Paul, as well…
It was, and Pagey wasn't impressed. They were nothing like he used... Mind you the later 200
Apparently, that set was also in the Jimmy Page signature Les Paul, as well…

4 Page Reissues were a replica of the post 2000 instrument and the pickups and wiring were still NOTHING like what was in it during the Zeppelin years .
 

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