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Gibson 490R/T in a Les Paul

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by LKNJ, Feb 13, 2018.

  1. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

    Age:
    38
    234
    Apr 22, 2016
    NJ
    Has anyone tried the combination of 490R/T in a Les Paul? It seems that the LP models that come with the 490R typically have the 498T in the bridge, and the 490R/T combination is reserved for certain SGs.

    Anyway, how's the volume balance between the 490R and T? What do you guys think about the 490R in a Les Paul?

    Thanks!
     
  2. -Hawk-

    -Hawk- Friend of Leo's

    Oct 14, 2015
    IL, USA
    Yes, I have that combination in my 2017 Tribute. I like it fine, but it depends on what you are looking for I suppose.

    Balance between the two is good to my ears. The middle position is actually pretty useable and I normally hate that.

    I won't call it muddy, but the neck isn't SD Jazz clear by any means. It's full bodied. Really does great for that fluid and smooth lead guitar sound.

    Bridge has a nice top end. Bottom is kind of loose and spongey compared to something like a JB.
     
    LKNJ likes this.
  3. LtKojak

    LtKojak Tele-Meister

    179
    Sep 10, 2013
    Milano, Italy
    The 490R/490T set is two p'ups where the only difference is the polepiece spread. All other aspects, type of wind, TPL, etc. are identical.

    So, you get to balance'em by setting the "right" height to the strings' setup.

    A way of better balancing output is to change the magnets and put an A4 in the neck and an A8 in the bridge. Then they'll balance a lot better.
     
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  4. TimothyC

    TimothyC Tele-Afflicted

    May 12, 2016
    California
    I loved the 490 combo in the tributes, I liked them more than the 490/498 in my older lp
     
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  5. lineboat

    lineboat Friend of Leo's

    Aug 6, 2012
    I’m one who couldn’t hang onto that set.
    They didn’t do it for me. They are supposed to be like a PAF in tone, but I went with a set of Seth Lovers from Duncan and couldn’t be happier. If I were going to buy a set, it definitely wouldn’t be the 490’s.
     
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  6. JL_LI

    JL_LI Tele-Afflicted

    Age:
    68
    May 20, 2017
    Long Island, NY
    I have 490R and 490T pickups in my SG. I dare not raise the bridge pickup higher. I use the volume controls for balance. I play country, almost always clean. I like the bright tone of the 490T for blending with the neck pickup. I rarely play that pickup alone. My setting for what sounds like a bridge pickup tone to most people is the neck volume on 3 and the bridge on 8. Tone settings are bridge on 10 and neck on 8. I think what happens is that gear nuts obsess over things like this. I can play almost any song on any of my guitars. I like the tone of one or the other of them better for some songs, but I know my guitars well enough to almost always get suitable tones. If you're thinking of changing pickups in an existing Les Paul, work on guitar and amp settings first. If you're thinking of buying, unless you take it apart, you don't know what's in it anyway. Play it for as long as you can and decide based on how it plays and what you think of the tone. If you like it, negotiate hard for the best price. The only other thing to consider is if you need high output to drive an amp. In that case, Gibson makes much hotter pickups than 490R and 498T.
     
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  7. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Holic Silver Supporter

    Age:
    47
    738
    Dec 19, 2017
    Chattanooga
    Same, I have in an SG. I feel the 49x pickups are all muddy.
     
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  8. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

    Age:
    38
    234
    Apr 22, 2016
    NJ
    Thanks, everybody! The reason I was asking about these is: I picked up a Les Paul Studio husk on the cheap, and was trying to figure out what pickups to install. These seem to be selling for pretty cheap (there is a theme here) used, especially when compared to some other quality options. I play in mostly 90's type cover bands, so from Wallflowers to Foo Fighters, etc. Not really a fan of most high output pickups, so figured this set might do it for me. Especially since from what I read the Duncan Alnico II Pro is based on the 490. Plenty of people seem to love those pickups.
     
  9. LtKojak

    LtKojak Tele-Meister

    179
    Sep 10, 2013
    Milano, Italy
    Would you please share your source? Because it just couldn't be farther tfrom the truth.
     
  10. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

    Age:
    38
    234
    Apr 22, 2016
    NJ
    Read it on the Seymour Duncan forum. Not exactly the most reliable source, I know. But there are multiple comments claiming that. So, the pickups aren't similar?
     
  11. deadbeat son

    deadbeat son Tele-Afflicted

    Apr 5, 2010
    Evergreen, CO
    I had the 490R/T combo in a single-cut LP special and loved it. I haven't tried them in a regular LP, but I have been tempted to buy a 490T to replace the 498T in my ES-137 Classic.
     
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  12. LtKojak

    LtKojak Tele-Meister

    179
    Sep 10, 2013
    Milano, Italy
    I'm a regular on the SDUGF, and I can't find any reference. Are you sure you understand it correctly?

    They're almost polar opposites, tone-wise.

    But, may I ask what exactly is that you don't like about the 490 set that you feel the need to change'em? As I've suggested earlier, a magnet change is a much cheaper possibility. Or, the setup is less-than-optimal.

    What is it?
     
    RLee77 likes this.
  13. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    378
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
  14. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

    Age:
    38
    234
    Apr 22, 2016
    NJ
    Yes, definitely understood it correctly. Just tried to find it, but couldn't in quick search. Did a bunch of reading in there before to research these pickups. It's buried in comments on a couple of posts.

    Anyway, to answer you question: as I posted above, I have no problem with the 490s. In fact, I'm considering installing them in a Les Paul body I recently picked up.
     
  15. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Meister

    250
    Feb 11, 2013
    10-uh-C
    In reply to OP: I have the 490R/T set in a Les Paul Special from a few years ago and I like them for what they are. I also have a set of '57 Classics in a SG from about the same time. Woods are similar, so a comparison, while imperfect, isn't miles off. I find the 490's to be a little more "mids forward" and the '57's to be a little brighter. To each his own, but they both sound good to me, just different. YMMV
     
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  16. uriah1

    uriah1 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

    Feb 12, 2011
    Around
    I think I have them in my standard
    Good..
    I have classic57 in SG and 335
    All good in own way
     
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  17. Mincer

    Mincer Tele-Meister

    Age:
    48
    318
    Dec 19, 2017
    Tampa Bay Area
    Simply not true. It is based on a Jazz (a much older pickup) with an Alnico II magnet. I don't think the 490s &A2P sound alike at all.
     
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  18. LKNJ

    LKNJ Tele-Meister

    Age:
    38
    234
    Apr 22, 2016
    NJ
    Ok, thanks!
     
  19. Bruxist

    Bruxist Friend of Leo's

    Oct 12, 2010
    Kentucky, USA
    Have had 2 sets. Both in SGs. One set I pulled and one set I put in, lol.

    My 3 pickup SG had 2 490Rs and a 490T. I replaced with 3 SDs: Alnico II, JB, and Pearly Gates Plus.

    The other, an Epiphone, I replaced the Probuckers with the 490 set and, man, what an improvement. Way less mud.
     
  20. RLee77

    RLee77 Friend of Leo's

    May 15, 2016
    Silicon Valley
    You just need to do one simple thing to the 490’s to make them shine — I put a A4 magnet in the neck and an A5 in the bridge, and they transformed into one of the best sounding pickups I’ve ever had. Mud gone. Replaced by a crisp vintage organic bite. Mag swaps are easy and cheap.
     
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