Wow... SG Special with minis...

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Dale, Apr 16, 2019.

  1. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I too have been somewhat confused about just what a Gibson 495 mini
    humbucker actually is. I've looked up info and posts and read a lot of
    commentary. Before Gibson went broke, their website had lots of great
    pages, all their model descriptions going back quite a few years, and it
    was easy to find facts and compare them.

    For a while I was convinced that Gibson was only making one kind of
    mini humbucker... The 495R and T. I was under the impression that three
    of Gibsons guitar models all were issued with the same 495 set of
    pickups. (this would make sense from a manufacturers point of view).

    The three models included the SG special T, The Les Paul Deluxe, and
    the Firebird. I checked Gibson's pages sometime before they took them
    down, and that's what it said for all three of those guitars. The 495s were
    described as having blade sensors instead of pole piece, and Alnico magnets.
    The 495s were described in 2012 as being a completely new version of the
    older mini humbucker from forty years before.

    I know also that in the past, Gibson Firebirds have been equipped with
    very hot output mini hum buckers with ceramic magnets and a unique
    build, different from any other Gibson pickup. So they sound different from
    a normal Gibson, like a Lester or a Vee. Firebird pickups have always
    been something radical, and different from any other Gibson gear IMHO.

    What I don't know now is whether any of this is still true. Gibson may
    restore their website and their archives at some point in the future when
    they get their finances under control. At this point, you have to play it and
    listen, and make up your own mind. You either like it or you don't.

    What I do know is that I like the tones I get from my minis.
    They are NOT high output or high gain p'ups. Their level is much more like
    a regular humbucker, but different enough to be called "unique" by me.

    I don't think my SG sounds like a Firebird at all. It might have a kinship
    with a Les Paul Deluxe... I'd be curious if anyone on this forum owns a
    Deluxe and can voice an opinion. To me the tone from the minis is much
    warmer and less edgy than the tone of the Firebirds I've heard.

    But if I step on my blues driver, it rips. *grins
     
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  2. PixMix

    PixMix Well-Known Member

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    I have been tempted to pull the trigger on an SG with mini humbuckers. However, I don't really need any other guitars, and selling a couple I'm not playing would probably be the most reasonable thing to do. And then get another SG with minis.
     
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  3. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    From what I can gather from unreliable word of mouth on the internet, there is only one style of Mini Humbuckers now made by Gibson’s and they go on the current firebirds and the SGs that have them. But they aren’t the same as either a vintage firebird style or a vintage Epiphone style Mini Humbucker. Implication: they are their own thing. So your guitar may not sound like an old firebird but it might sound like a new one. But who knows, Gibson seems committed to being mysterious in this case.
     
  4. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    I will try, sometime, to pull the cover from my spcial (18) and see what it reads for the pickups. This should tell us something.
     
  5. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    I'd be curious... and I know that the modern minis don't sound like
    any of the old ones. Personally, I just don't care about that.
    I like the tone of the ones I have... whatever they are, and that's good enough for me.

    But word of mouth on the internet is like scuttlebutt...
     
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  6. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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  7. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    I didn't get to plug her in yet.... But I'm reading 16.3 neck and 16.4 bridge.....

    The card and ransom picture says she was born on 5/24/18
     
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  8. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Honestly, I am not sure I really care either. It works for me quite well. Note I have the year wrong on the guitar here it is really a 2018 Special.

    Cleanish (One of my favorites I have done)


    Dirtier (one of the least favorites of mine of what I have done recently)
     
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  9. Steve D

    Steve D Well-Known Member

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    I don't care in the sense that a guy who possibly has original PAF pickups or Tim Shaw's really cares because it makes a giant difference in value. But I'm interested in gear and learning about it and I'm frustrated that these pickups are just called "mini humbuckers" and implied they are like the old epiphones ones in 70s Les Pauls but they have no exposed pole pieces so that seems unlikely. Basically it's like if you got a guitar that said "with single coil pickups!" You might be curious what kind. P90s? Fender style ones? etc. Knowing won't change the sound but it will make me more knowledgeable, that's all. At my next string change I planned to remove the pickups and take a look anyway. To see what they are but also to see why the bridge pickup seems to be bottomed out at a pretty high position.
     
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  10. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    I am on board with you there.
     
  11. Derald

    Derald Member

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    The mini humbucker I have in my 2012 70’s Tribute SG read 6.9k for both.
     
  12. AngelDeVille

    AngelDeVille Well-Known Member

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    Huh, I triple checked mine and I’m over 16k...
     
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  13. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Your mini humbuckers have similar reading as the ones in the 2016 SG Special T that I had in the past. The labels on the bottom of the pickups read "Rhythm Tribute" and "Lead Tribute".

    Maybe next string change you can take a look underneath one of the pickups and check if a label exists with a model name.

    I'm starting to see a pattern...

    The Mini Humbuckers with labels that read "Lead Tribute" and "Rhythm Tribute" have DCR reading of 6-7k. The 495R / 495T have DCR reading of 14-25k.

    See link below with 495R / 495T and DCR reading in description.

    https://reverb.com/item/7164517-gib...bucker-bridge-pickup-495t-mini-humbucker-2017
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
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  14. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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    readings that high don't seem right, to me anyway.
    My SG is a '70s Tribute...

    My minis seem about the same output as the '57 hum buckers on my other
    SG. But maybe I'll unscrew mine too next time I change strings, and
    just see what it says. I'd guess my mini hums would be in the 7 to 8 K ohm range.

    My bridge pickup seems to be hard to adjust as well, so I'll be looking to
    see if the screws are bottomed into the wood with no holes to go into.

    Here's a song of mine we recorded using my 2912 SG in the hands of my good
    friend Rod Capps, for the lead part. He's a mighty fine Telecaster player, and he
    cranked my SG to suit himself, which I was hoping he'd do.



    Rod plays clean mostly, with maybe a touch of grit. He was using a Fender
    Pro Junior, miked, if I remember right. Or it might have been a Vox VT-20.

    This is why I don't trust a high resistance reading. These are not high output
    pickups. I might believe the high resistance reading with a set of Firebird pickups
    with the hot ceramic magnets.
     
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  15. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    Since your SG is a 70's Tribute, it probably has the "Tribute" Mini Humbuckers with a 6-7k DCR similar to the ones in the 2016 SG Special T that I had.

    I do remember seeing high DCR values listed on the spec sheets of recent year SG Specials with Mini Humbuckers before the pages from previous year models were removed from the main site.

    495R / 495T were used in recent Firebirds and some of the recent SG Specials. Those pickups have high DCR readings. See link below.

    http://www.everythingsg.com/threads/wondering-about-mini-humbuckers.32144/
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2019
  16. LeoFGibson

    LeoFGibson New Member

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    WOW! I’m away from the forum for a week on a business trip and all these GREAT posts pop up! I need to make sure my alerts are working!

    Nice grab on that naked special, Angel.

    Cerebral, what was your overall experience with the mini hum/P90 combo?

    Love this forum!
     
  17. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    I use my bridge pickup exclusively for hi gain and the neck pickup for cleans. My goal was zero-hum at the bridge with a mini humbucker and a P-90 at the neck for cleans.

    Later on I discovered the Kinman zero-hum P-90 and installed one in the bridge and it has now become my favorite pickup for hi gain. I ended up with an SG Classic configured with the stock P-90 at the neck and a Kinman zero-hum P-90 at the bridge. I really like the fact that the zero-hum P-90 keeps the guitar looking like a stock P-90 equipped guitar, but where it really shines is how it sounds. It is freakishly quiet just like a humbucker when muting between notes.
     
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  18. LeoFGibson

    LeoFGibson New Member

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    Nice! I picked up a set of stock Gibson P90s from Reverb (I think they were off a more recent Special), and am looking forward to exploring tone options on this beast. They’re the quick connect version like the stock mini hums (not perhaps the “vintage faithful” hand wired preferred by the cognoscenti, but until I nail down my keeper combination it’s a convenient option).

    Have to say though that the stock minis are a nice start. Yesterday I ran through a couple of Southern rock faves and was pleased with the tone from those p’ups. I was playing through a cranked Fender Hot Rod Deluxe III (fitted with a Jensen neo magnet speaker) and a Weber Mass 100 attenuator to keep the volume down. No pedals out front or in the loop, and out flowed a sweet singing tone despite my rusty fingers.

    My poor, lonely MIM Strat was hanging on the wall looking dejected, but the comfy neck on this SG made it hard to put down!

    Thanks for the info on your setup. Always value the experience of others when I’m venturing into new territory!
     
  19. Dale

    Dale Well-Known Member

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    Well, I am not sure this makes sense. I pulled the cover and disconnected the mini plug for bridge and neck. I multimetered all combinations for eack pickup. The bridge appears to be 13.7 or so and the neck was16.3 or so. It seems a bit odd to me as I expected the reverse.
     
  20. Derald

    Derald Member

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    I have a ‘12 SG 70’s Tribute with Lead and Rhythm Mini Humbuckers.
    I just measured the output and both are 6.9k ohm give or take a hundredth. I think the only difference between them is the winding / polarity for him canceling.

    I installed Orange Drop caps and now my tone is +2.
    They play hotter than the DC says. Compared to another SG with a T-Top clone which is 7.6k ohms, the Mini Humbucker plays hotter on the same amp and same settings.

    I toyed with replacing the bridge or neck with a P90 but I just can’t - the MHum really cut nicely and have a similar P90 tone.

    Really dig these MHum SGs missed out on the 2018 versions.
     

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