Gibson 500T / 496R Pickup Combo Review

Discussion in 'The Tone Zone' started by pedecamp, Aug 4, 2020.

  1. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    A friend gave me this set of pickups about 15 years ago out of a brand new Gibson Explorer he got that he put EMGs in, I said sure I'll take them! So they sat for years I didnt have anything to put them in until recently. I decided they should go into my LP knockoff (disclaimer: I did try them both in the bridge position of my Strat briefly several years ago and didnt like them). So I put them in my LP and I was pleasantly surprised! The bridge is hot at 14.7k and so is the neck at 8.5k but let me tell you they both sound fantastic in this guitar! All my other guitars have low gain paf style pickups which I love, this guitar with these pickups is clearly different I dont need any OD pedals at all to get a nice crunch going, and the neck sounds very bluesy and articulate no mud at all. This guitar has 500k pots and bumblebee caps, with these pickups its a really good combination of electronics. Would I want this in all my guitars no, but its different enough and stands out from anything else I have, I highly recommend it. :yesway:

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Aug 4, 2020
  2. Im247frogs

    Im247frogs Well-Known Member

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    I liked em in my Explorer, too bad I had to sell it.
     
  3. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    Although this set seems to get swapped out by a lot of players per the internet i have kept mine in my Flying V.

    They excel with a heavy overdriven amp. I pair my V with my DSL20HR. They are a great match.

    One cool setting i like to use is both pickups on and the tone control rolled back a good bit.
     
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  4. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Yeah I always hear people tossing these for something else, crazy cuz theyre really good! :yesway:
     
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  5. Biff Maloy

    Biff Maloy Well-Known Member

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    I get what some of the comments say about them in a more vintage type grind or cleaner amp tone. My Les Paul's HB's are more suited for that but given the choices of amps and guitars i have my Flying V with those pickups and DSL actually won out in my last band trying different combinations. This was a contemporary Christian rock band of all things. I do think that middle position like i mentioned is a unique sound compared to my other HB guitars. Just something about it. I'm glad I've kept them in and they pair so well with that DSL that is the main reason i hold on to that amp also.
     
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  6. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer Forum Support Spec. Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    I gigged with them for years in my 1999 Gibson 1960 Classic Les Paul. But I never really liked them. Too much gain for me. Then I used Les Paul's with the Classic & Classic Plus pickups when they became stock on many models. They worked ok for me for years again. About 4 years ago I bought a used Gibson 50's Tribute with the stock set of 490R/498T and I was like, "Ahhh - now I remember what Rock n Roll sounds like". That's my favorite set now - the 490R/498T. I might one day put them in my R8 because I haven't very much liked the stock Burstbuckers.
     
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  7. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I didnt like the 498/490 combo, the 498 is just as hot I think as the 500 but its got too much honky mids, the 490R was too muddy, they can both probably been fixed but I just didnt spend that much time with them, just didnt like them right off the bat like I liked this pair.
     
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  8. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer Forum Support Spec. Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    So this is the one I have Pedecamp. I like the honky mids you mention and the neck pickup isn't muddy at all (I hate muddy neck pickups). No disagreement, not arguing a point, not even thinking you're wrong. It's the only guitar I have with the 490R/498T set in, so maybe it's an exception, I've nothing else to compare it to. Maybe 'cause it's a chambered guitar? I have no idea. I found the 500T to have too much gain, which to me, kept it from having any kind of voice. But the 498T in this guitar is dynamic - more mids maybe, feeds back super sweet and harmonically rich. I dunno. Again, not debating, just wondering if mine's an exception or something.

    [​IMG]

    Actual pic, for what it's worth. Stock as far as I'll ever know, I bought it used, returned by an owner after three months. I figure the pickups are original because the plastic bobbins have more string wear than I've ever put on a guitar in years, let alone 3 months:

    [​IMG]
     
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  9. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    I like the 490r/490t set....has a classic paf with more bite thing going on....sounds very classic rock to me.( first guitar I haven't gotten the pickup swap bug for in 25yrs) 498t was too mid focused for me.
    Btw I think swapping to an A5 magnet in the 490r makes it into a t type pickup(minus the t bobbins). The 490t is close but has a higher resistance from what I hear. But I've no need to mess with my 490s.
     
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  10. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Looks good! :yesway:
     
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  11. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I guess it depends on the guitar theyre in and the rest of the electronics, my faded SG had 490s and the bridge was too bright and neck too muddy so out they went, really I could have changed pots and caps to adjust them but at that time I didnt know any better.
     
  12. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer Forum Support Spec. Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Just don't tell SonVolt, he hated my deck couch. LOL! :D
     
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  13. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, looks comfy though! What other couch would you expect Ace Frehley to have! :yesway:
     
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  14. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer Forum Support Spec. Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    It's the whole reason I hate buying and changing pickups. You never know what you're going to end up with, and you spend half an afternoon tuning down, changing things out, tuning back up, testing, deciding, and if you hate it you to have spend another half an afternoon changing things back out and hoping you can return the pickups you just spent a couple/few hundred bucks on.
     
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  15. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    I stick with Gibson pickups for that reason, I can usually find a guitar with them to try. I've always been disappointed with every Seymour Duncan and Dimarzio recommendation Ive bought so never again. Lots of used Gibson pickups out there to buy! :yesway:
     
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  16. Vinsanitizer

    Vinsanitizer Forum Support Spec. Double Platinum Supporting Member VIP Member

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    Yeah, same here. The others try to give you accurate descriptions on the tone, but it usually isn't accurate in the end.
     
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  17. matttornado

    matttornado Well-Known Member

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    I had those pickups in my 1967 V re-issues and they sounded awesome through my superlead.
     
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  18. Sg-ocaster

    Sg-ocaster Well-Known Member

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    Yea and gotta love the Duncan pickup calculator thingy.....they ask what your after...more distortion bass etc etc....but what pickups are you starting with....pretty worthless....
    I do like a jb in a strat not a dimarzio fan.....do have 2 blue velvet single coils in my strat...but I dewound um to my liking....so not dimarzio anymore
     
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  19. pedecamp

    pedecamp Well-Known Member

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    Getting alot of mileage out of this guitar lately, I like having at least 1 guitar with these pickups. :yesway:
     
  20. johnny q

    johnny q Active Member

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    I had this combo in my 1989 Les Paul Custom. Non Boutique, Hot ceramics can't be good, right?;) I thought they sounded fantastic. They sounded particularly amazing through high gain amps, but also sounded great through vintage setups. A little "sizzly" when playing clean though. I swapped them out for Rio Grande BBQ bridge and Genuine Texas neck. Why? No idea....
     

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