2016 SG Standard pickup suggestions

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Chris DiTuri, Nov 3, 2018.

  1. Chris DiTuri

    Chris DiTuri New Member

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    So I've got a 2016 SG Standard with the 490/498 pickups and I'm looking for suggestions on new pickups. I've never had an SG with this configuration and it seems real bitey and at times shrill in comparison to my LP (Its a Traditional Pro with 57 Classics) and other SGs I've owned. I wish I remembered what my two older SGs had but I was young and stupid and sold them without checking.

    Would 57s get me that smoother, rounder sound in an SG or is there something else I should be looking at? I play a lot of rhythm in a hard rock band and rarely venture much past like the 10th fret so no need for scorching hot lead pickups. ;)

    Thanks for your help, fellas.
     
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  2. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

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    There's a whole bunch of us here who are fans of the 57s in the SG models. Gibson has gone back and forth with default pickup selections in the standards over the last several years. 2017s had the 57s but not 2018 standards.

    My 2018 SG HP has the 57s and it sounds pretty darn good to me.
     
  3. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    2016 SG Standard ships with 500k pots.

    I sold the following guitars in the past because they sounded too shrill to my ears compared to my other guitars. Changing the electronics did not help.

    2009 SG 61 Reissue
    neck: 57 Classic
    bridge: 57 Classic
    pots: 300K

    2011 LP Traditional Pro 50's
    neck: 57 Classic
    bridge: BB3
    pots: 500K
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
  4. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    Which guitar did you set your amps up for, LP or SG? You may try amp settings, as I have a SG with Dz36ths (bridge) and 57s and an LP with 490 type. The LP has a darker voice period, I think. I set my amps up with tone rolled about 1/2 to 1/4 down. Then moving back and forth SG to LP is easy. Also the SG just stays more articulate the LPs just have a bit more low end. Pickup placement is a big part of it.

    I guess I am saying to me the 490 stuff tends to be darker to me so a pickup switch probably will not fix it. It is how I came to have a DZ36th in the bridge of one.
     
  5. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    I'd like a standard with Dirtyfingers/Dirtyfingers. Volume controls take care of the rest. DFs are misnamed and deliver solid cleans.
     
  6. Chris DiTuri

    Chris DiTuri New Member

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    My amp is Mesa Stiletto and it's been set up favoring the SG (I turn the master up a touch for the LP since the whole guitar seems quieter). I hear what you're saying about the darker sound of the 490/498 but there's just something overly edgy about my particular SG. I think I might play around with the pickup heights a bit to try and cut some of that out.

    The LP I have has 57 classics in it but i don't like playing it. I got it in a trade and the neck is like a baseball bat. Would putting the 57s in the SG possibly mellow it out a bit?
     
  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Try it and see what happens. If still too shrill, change the pots from 500K to 300K, but as I stated earlier, I had an SG 61 RI with 57 Classics that was way too shrill for my tastes even with 300K pots and trying different pickups and I sold it because it caused great discomfort to my ears. I don’t know WTF causes this phenomenon with particular guitars that are too shrill even after changing out the electronics.

    I’m surprised that you don’t mind the baseball bat that was shipped with your 2016 SG. I actually prefer those necks on the 2016 models which are fairly thick, but they still feel like a Slim Taper in comparison to the utility pole that shipped with my 1970 SG Junior.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 3, 2018
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  8. Westernrider

    Westernrider Active Member

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    Sir,

    First off, become best friends with your ears, amp, and pickup adjustment screws. Lots of stuff elsewhere about pickup adjusting. Like my pickup screws to match the fret board radius.

    Please be careful, you might want to avoid the SD Jazz [smooth, bright, and it aint a jazz guitar nothing........ ] / JB [mids and high spike] pickup combination.

    Here are some pickup combinations that I am currently using or have tried. Please note that I also like a smoother / rounder sounds. This is why I dislike 57's as they remind me of the SD Jazz pickups.

    SD - 59's like 'em in SGs but not my LP's
    SG1 SD - WLH neck and bridge - A5 magnets
    SD - Pearly Gates Pickups - A2's and just freaking nice for some blues .....

    SG2 DMZ 36 Anniversary Set nice mids when pushed
    SG3 DMZ PAF Masters Neck A5, Bridge A4 incredibly full and creamy with some gain
    SG4 DMZ Anniversary Neck and Air Norton in bridge.


    Also, I run with 500K pots which tends to make things brighter. The DMZ's are bright and they turn down nicely.
    I'm losing my love for SD's. Started out life really enthusiastic with Duncans in all of my guitars. Over the past few years, I have moved into the DMZ camp for my SG's. Am now preferring their low output humbuckers to the Seymour Duncan pickups.

    Currently, my 1st pick is the 36 neck / Air Norton bridge and 2nd is the SD WLH combo and third is the DMZ PAF Masters set.
     
  9. NMA

    NMA Well-Known Member

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    I don't understand this.

    Isn't the point of buying another guitar is to get a different tone? Yes, your SG should sound different than your Les Paul, no?

    As someone above suggested, tweak the amp. You can get rid of bite and shrill.
     
  10. rich85

    rich85 New Member

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    Swap the magnets over! A 498 with an Alnico II becomes much smoother and a 490 with an Alnico 5 becomes a bit brighter.
     
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  11. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    For what it's worth, the 57+ / 57 is my favourite Gibson made pickup. For years I had them in installed.

    You also might want to check out what kinds of pots are in both guitars. I'm wondering if one is 300k and the other might be 500k. That could be another component to what you're hearing.
     
  12. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I like waffles.
     
    Last edited: Nov 4, 2018
  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Not necessarily.
    Sometimes folks want a second guitar that sounds similar to their Number 1 daily driver for either a backup in case of string break, etc or to have another guitar setup for alternate tunings which may or may not require different string gauges.

    That grainy bite and shrill with an icepick thrown in is somewhere around the 3-5 kHz range and the offending frequencies are in too narrow of a bandwidth to be attenuated with treble and presence tone controls alone on the amp unless said amp has a built in parametric EQ to filter out the offending frequencies. Turning the treble or presence down on the amp is going to affect too broad of a frequency range and make the amp sound like it has a wet blanket covering the speakers. It's best to correct the problem at the source, being the guitar.
     
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  14. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    In general I like 57s. Smoother sounding that I also like include...

    Dz 36th Anniversity
    Duncan APII
    Seth Lover
     
  15. poppunk

    poppunk New Member

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    I like a thick neck, but that is stupid.
     
  16. Chris DiTuri

    Chris DiTuri New Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback, guys. So I think I got close to the results I wanted and here's how I got there:

    First, I did a little research and found out exactly what specs I have going on in both guitars. The LP has 500k pots and '57 A3R/'57 A3T pickups (not the regular '57s like I thought). SG has 500k pots and 490/498 pickups. I brought both guitars to my guitar tech and played them with the same amp setup (he has a JCM900). We could both hear the shrillness in the SG as compared to the LP. We spent a few hours on the SG messing with amp EQ, pickup positions, guitar tone knob adjustments and just couldn't get it quite right. If we brought the tone down we could get rid of the bitey sound but then it would sound too flat. Eventually he came to the conclusion that maybe it was just the pickups.

    But here's where it gets a little weird- he has a 2006 SG Standard (unmodded) with allegedly the same pickups as mine. We plug it in and there was none of that shrillness that I hear in mine. It definitely had the SG bark but sounded quite a bit fuller and darker. He thinks that maybe there's something faulty in my pickups. He said a bunch of technical pickup things which I honestly don't know a lot about. The next logical step in his mind was to try a different set of pickups.

    Here's what we changed:

    He took the pickups out of my LP since I liked the tone of those. We put them in the SG and it instantly sounded a hell of a lot better- definitely still the SG bark but that ice-picky sound is gone. The only thing I didn't care for, honestly, was the look of them so he put pickup rings around them and put chrome covers on. The covers alone seemed to darken the sound of the '61s even more, so what I was left with was an SG that sounded much closer to my LP. I'm a happy camper now.

    As for the LP, I'm not sure what I'm gonna do with that one yet as it's sitting here currently without pickups but that's a project for another day. I might order another set of '57s and throw them in there.

    Thanks for all of your suggestions, guys!
     
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  17. dub-setter

    dub-setter Active Member

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    :cheers:
     
  18. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    You did exactly what I would have tried and I would also have gone a step further, by putting the SG pickups in the LP. They might just do the trick. Not much to lose.
     
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