2019 ‘61 Pickups

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Evan Wolfe, Jun 26, 2019.

  1. Evan Wolfe

    Evan Wolfe New Member

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    Hey y’all, new to this forum. Been a longtime fender and Ibanez player but it’s finally time to make the move to an SG. Been playing them at shops for a couple decades and never pulled the trigger. Here’s my question, and I’d love some advice of any and all kinds.

    I bought the new ‘61 Standard (non custom). Have been playing it through my setup at home for a week. I’m finding the low end on the burstbuckers a little muddy, unless I really hit the low strings on the proper pick angle. I love soloing on my low E and A. I’ve played the new Standard SG which has the 490’s. I’m finding I like the overall tone and low end of them better than the bursts. Even though Gibson says the Bursts gave higher output, I’m getting (to my ear and style) a fatter mid range and less muddy low end on the Standard.

    My issue is that I like the design (neck, frets, tuners, bridge, even case) all better on the ‘61 than the standard, but I can’t hide from the fact I prefer the tone on the standard.

    Can I a) buy those same 490’s from Gibson to swap out the bursts, b) in theory will I get the same or very close to the same tone as the standard once I swap them out, and c) can I keep all the wiring, pots, guts and just have my tech swap the pickups? I really dig the quality of the volume and tone knobs re Agnesi’s video about the tapering and detailed adjustments they are using on the new 2019 line.

    Thanks SG world for any help on this. If they made the new ‘61 with 490’s I’d be in perfect shape but if I can pull this off, that’s the tone and hardware/design combo I’m looking for.
     
  2. Derald

    Derald Member

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    Two things: You can get Gibson 490s from their store, Reverb or eBay.
    Two I have swapped out the A5 magnet in that 61 pickup for an A8. That was the ticket. Cost $7.
    Finally I literally have a 490R sitting in my parts bin basically new if you want to trade a ‘61 pickup for it.
    I might have an Alnico 5 magnet for the 490R which will make it literally a T-Top clone. No one accuses that pickup of being muddy in the lower strings.
     
  3. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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  4. koaguilds

    koaguilds Well-Known Member

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    I have a set of uncovered black 490's (490R and 490T) with the quick connect unused mint from stratosphere I could give you a good deal on if you are interested.The quick connect can be quickly clipped off if they will use point to point solder connections.
     
  5. Derald

    Derald Member

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    I have an A5 magnet for the 490R if you want it. I would be happy to trade one of your '61 pickups for a 490R with the A5.
     
  6. ezypikins

    ezypikins New Member

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    Do yourself a favor. If you buy Gibson pickups, buy a set that has been taken off a factory guitar. They will be better matched with a sweeter output.
     
  7. brazilnut

    brazilnut Active Member

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    I've even got an old T-Top in fine working order, if you want it. I've also got a '57, a BB2 and 3, and an ol set of 490-498T out of a 2000 Standard. Don't buy from Gibson--too expensive. Buy or trade with one of us.
     
  8. Evan Wolfe

    Evan Wolfe New Member

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    Thank you all for the replies, advice, and fellowship. I ended up bringing the axe back, wasn’t worth swapping out and messing with a brand new guitar when I could get something else. Played a half dozen different SG’s for a month and ultimately fell love with a Junior. Turns out I’m a P-90 guy! Still want to get a Standard some day, totally different beast than the jr of course, but that’ll have to wait. Loving this forum, you guys rock.
     
    Retrop and brazilnut like this.
  9. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Huh?
     
  10. Retrop

    Retrop Member

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    Glad you got it sorted, P90s are awesome as well. That being said, I think the '59/'61 pickups are some of the best Gibson has to offer these days. Sorry they didn't work for you!
     
  11. Guitar Whiskey

    Guitar Whiskey Member

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    P90 pickups are also awesome. I think that was a good decision to exchange guitars rather than swapping parts. Sometimes it's the wood that effects the tone more than the pickups. Juniors typically really ring due to the massive neck joint and lack of magnetic pull from a neck pickup.
     
    cerebral gasket likes this.
  12. Evan Wolfe

    Evan Wolfe New Member

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    Cheers. Yeah I gotta say the way the sound pops off the Junior is unlike anything I’ve played before. Having spent a month with her now, learning the nuance of the tone and volume controls and playing through different amps and my Fractal, I’m blown away by the tones I’m able to get. It was also an adjustment having the strap button sit low on the back like that, I’ve always had horn based buttons, but now I’m used to it. Getting a wide leather strap has also cured the crazy neck dive, which didn’t really bother me but it’s certainely more stable now.
     
  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    P-90's are the best sounding pickups to my ears. IMO they are the perfect balance between an F-style single coil and humbucker. And with the hum-cancelling versions that are available, I see no reason to use traditional humbuckers.
     

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