490 set VS '57 Classic/Classic+ in SG

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by caldera, Nov 30, 2018.

  1. caldera

    caldera New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Hey all, joined your ranks yesterday with a new 2019 SG. Can't put it down!

    I'm new to an SG. I like the 490R and 490T so far and will give them a long test drive. However, I know that I have liked '57 Classics a lot whenever I have owned them before in any other guitar - but I've never played them in an SG.

    How would you compare the 490s to the '57 Classic/Classic Plus set on the SG platform?

    Main thing that's important to me is that I want pickups that clean up exceptionally well, either through dialing back the volume or just amp settings. I love the rock and blues tones you can get out of either, but I want the best I can get of those exceptional bell like middle position tones, and anytime you need that crystal clear clean thing I want pickups that excel at that.

    Thanks for any opinions you could provide.

    Peace love rock :h5:
     
    vintagechime likes this.
  2. Robus

    Robus Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2013
    Messages:
    132
    Likes Received:
    91
    Location:
    Chicago Area
    I think you want a PAF style low output humbucker then. I couldn't hang with the 490s and went with Seth Lovers instead.
     
  3. papagayo

    papagayo Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    142
    Change the 490T with a 498T.

    The 490R / 498T is my favorite combo.
     
  4. caldera

    caldera New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Do I really want something hotter in the bridge for my purposes? They seem to have plenty of output already.
     
  5. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2017
    Messages:
    1,698
    Likes Received:
    1,879
    Try adjusting the pickup height.

    IMO the 490T/490R is a great medium output combo and I keep the stock set in my SG Special. In the past I had an SG '61 RI with 57's and remember they sounded very brittle to my ears.

    My favorite SG are the ones with P-90's.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2018
  6. VetPsychWars

    VetPsychWars Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2017
    Messages:
    342
    Likes Received:
    288
    The DiMarzio 36th Anniversary PAFs are good for what you want. But the 490s are good too.

    Tom
     
    Westernrider likes this.
  7. papagayo

    papagayo Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 3, 2018
    Messages:
    184
    Likes Received:
    142
    Yes for sure, the 498T can give you Crystal sound to acid sound, a great combo with the 490 on the neck.
     
    Curtis Craig likes this.
  8. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2017
    Messages:
    673
    Likes Received:
    460
    Location:
    Jacksonville FL
    Personally I'll go with the 57s every time. To me, its just a more versatile pup. You can dial them up or down, in or out, hotter or cooler, whatever, by messing with knobs or adjusting the height of them to your tastes.

    The 490/ 498s seem just a little limited for my tastes but that's just me. If given a choice, I'll go with 57s in the SG as well as LPs.
     
  9. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2015
    Messages:
    226
    Likes Received:
    149
    My recommendation is set it up and to play it as is for the time being. Get used to it and then decide if pickup or pot / cap swaps are in order.

    I don't mean any disrespect, but since you're new to the SG, give the stock setup a chance and get a baseline. Then if you want make any mod you like. It's your guitar, there's no wrong answer. Stick four Tele neck pickups in it if you want.

    But to answer your actual question, I'm a fan of '57 / '57+ pickup's. I had them in my SG's for years before I put ThrōBak's in.
     
    cerebral gasket likes this.
  10. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2012
    Messages:
    10,478
    Likes Received:
    8,517
    Location:
    -
    the 490s are hotter, clean up great. '57s are great clean ok bottom end and mid. Need a booster for edgier rock and metal, imo.
    I have 490s in most of my SGs and 57s in one, that I use almost exclusively for smooth jazz and acid rock.
    Me too.
    Off the wall recommendation: DirtyFingers! They are the most flexible pickups I know of and despite the name they are CLEAN machines. Seriously considering putting them in my faded cherry special.
     
  11. GrumpyOldDBA

    GrumpyOldDBA Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2018
    Messages:
    382
    Likes Received:
    305
    Location:
    Cleveland
    Yeah i agree i have one of my lps with 490/498 and they are just a little to much high e string bright ish compared to 57s.

    Not bad at all but can bug me at times so then bam switch guitars.

    Anyone want to trade me 57s 4 wire quick connect ready for same in 490 498 pair?
     
  12. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2009
    Messages:
    7,029
    Likes Received:
    6,554
    Location:
    Michigan
    Welcome to ETSG! And congratulations on getting one of
    the best guitars ever.

    I think there's lots of great posts on this thread already, and I also think
    that your original plan is the best course. Play it for a while, get to know the
    instrument. We have a whole section on pickups on this forum, with plenty
    of input from multiple nations... from the Frosty Fjords of Norway to the
    desert sands, and from England to Australia where they play upside down
    all the time. *grins

    Nothing wrong with the 490 set IMHO... and once you've made yourself
    familiar with how they sound you ought to be able to dial them in.
    My first SG was equipped with those pickups, and I played her for almost a
    year while visiting this site at the same time. I learned a lot about guitar
    pickups, and played my SG a lot... in the end, I swapped out my 490s
    for '57 Classic and Classic plus... and I've never looked back.

    IMHO the 490R neck P'up and the '57 Classic sound quite similar in an SG.
    So you might not need to swap that out. I'm a fan of the tone of the 490R
    and the '57 Classic. Both will do what you said you're looking for.

    Also IMHO the 490T has less presence than the 57 Classic +, so all I did
    to cope with that was to play the neck pickup at 7 or 8, and turn the
    490T wide open. When I removed the 490s from my SG, I installed them
    in my step daughter's Epiphone Les Paul Special ll. To me, they sound better
    in the Epi than they did in the Gibson. Very useful still. Great snarl and
    sustain in that plywood Epiphone. Go figure.

    The '57 Classic plus is now my favorite pickup, hands down.
    To me, Gibson SGs and the '57 Classic pickups are made for each other.
    But there are plenty of other great combinations, as my colleagues above
    have said, and like what you'll find in our section on p'ups.

    If you want to save some $$$$$$$, seriously look at StewMac's Golden Age
    overwound hum bucker, I have one in my Epi Wilshire and it rips.
     
    vintagechime likes this.
  13. Derald

    Derald New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just got a ‘19 SG Tribute with the 490’s and have to say I’m really impressed with them.
    One thing you could do is swap out the Alnico II with an Alnico V in the bridge to get a little more push and cut. More of a TTop sound and a bit more output compared to vintage PAFs.
    Like others have said you should just play the heck out of it for a bit and see if your opinion changes after a few weeks.
     
  14. bwotw

    bwotw Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2012
    Messages:
    972
    Likes Received:
    1,060
    I've never had the 490s and the 57s in the same guitar to do a direct comparison, but my feeling tells me I wouldn't be able to tell them apart. I find them very similar (the 498T, that's a whole other story)

    The best pickups Ive had in an SG for the sound you look for are the Duncan Antiquities. Very low output, but bright and raunchy, a phenomenal sound. The DiMarzio 36th are similar, but overall hotter, rounder and smoother.

    Also, in the high output realm, both the DiMarzio Super Distortion and the Dirty Fingers can produce clear, bright cleans. I've found other pickups in this range (JB, 500T, Invader...) are too boomy-loose-big in the lows and lack treble for good clean and low-gain sounds. Of course YMMV.
     
  15. vintagechime

    vintagechime New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi guys, Caldera congratulations to you as well on your new axe, love the 490 pickups myself — Gibson is throwing those in the new White BB King Custom Lucille, so they definitely can clean up. I’m also another new member here, hi gang. Just put my SG on layaway, 2017 Alpine White, Gold Hardware...

    Got the ‘57 Classics in her. Love them, but ordered a set of Alnico IV and VIII magnets for cheap, both polished and rough to test out in the neck and bridge positions. Caldera don’t forget you have that as a cheap option if you absolutely can’t get along with the 490’s...

    Also, ordered a set of Duncan Saturday Night Specials for my Explorer and I really like them, everything from great old school PAF cleans to some heavier 70’s classic rock tones in those, fall right in between 50’s and modern...

    Hopefully you take the time to really grind the 490’s but if they don’t work with your rig or playing style/attack, the mag swap can hopefully get you there too on the cheap, enough to experiment a little :)

    Nice meeting you guys n thx for having me.

    -Sol
     
  16. caldera

    caldera New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2018
    Messages:
    5
    Likes Received:
    4
    Thanks all. I'm going to give the 490s a few weeks at least and see how they work for clean and low to medium gain which is most of what I play. Seems like a lot of harder rock styles attract people to the SG, but I want to use it for every style because it's so easy to handle and comfortable to play, not to mention it looks great!

    One other question - where could you buy the quickconnect pickups? Most places online seem to have the 2 conductor versions, but I'd really like to have the quickconnect version so I could swap them in or out with a screwdriver in just minutes. Anywhere online that those are being sold?
     
    xland and vintagechime like this.
  17. Neil from Ottawa Canada

    Neil from Ottawa Canada New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2018
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    4
    My SG with its 57's sound so good clean that I had to think whether to keep my strat and Gretsch. The ONLY thing I don't love about the SG is the "long" neck. I play it in rotation with 4 other electric guitars and it takes me a couple of hours of play time to avoid mistakes. Must add that I've never tried any other pickups on any SG. Also, your amp and eq has really alot to do with the clean tone you get. Experiment in the shops before making a decision. Have a sweet happy day.
     
    vintagechime likes this.
  18. vintagechime

    vintagechime New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2018
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    hey brotha,

    you can buy the quick connect adaptors on eBay (same with the alnico mags). You'd have to solder them onto your pre-existing pickups, unless you find a pickup (or set) that has them pre-soldered on for you. Search 'gibson quick connect adaptor' or 'gibson quick connect' or 'gibson quick connect pickups' -- there are a few options to choose from, including full sets, pre-wired controls, and wires -- make sure to get the correct number of wires to match your pickups. One seller on there (maybe more?) asks that you tell him which pickups you're going to be using them on and he'll get you the right # of wires so all you have to do is match colors and solder them on.

    I'm sure there are also independent luthier/electronics sites that sell these, most cross-sell on eBay, I'm sure others could suggest another place to purchase.
     
  19. pedecamp

    pedecamp Active Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2013
    Messages:
    415
    Likes Received:
    181
    Its been so long that I swapped pickups i dont remember why or what the 490's even sounded like. I think the bridge was too bright and the neck was too muddy and I played an LP with 57C+ and 57C combination and loved it so I put them in my SG and never looked back. Out of a half dozen nice guitars I have I play this one the most. :yesway:
     
    vintagechime and arcticsg like this.
  20. xland

    xland Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2015
    Messages:
    70
    Likes Received:
    64
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ
    I have the 490R 490T set in my Cherry SG Special and I really like them a lot. I have a 57 and 57 plus in my other SG and I find them a bit brighter. I have no doubt I am in the minority but I like the 490 set better. I also have the stock 490R 490T set in my Gibson LP Tribute and it's probably the best sounding guitar (to my ears) that I own.

    Give them some time and if you still want to change them then by all means, change them out. Both are great sets IMHO.
     
    vintagechime and cerebral gasket like this.

Share This Page


Recommended Links: PAF Pickups, Luthier Forum