In an SG Standard: 490's or '61's ?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Jumpin Joe, May 9, 2021.

  1. Jumpin Joe

    Jumpin Joe Member

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    Opine Time SG Players.....

    Not that this matters to anyone but I am getting rid of an SG Special w/'61 Burst-Bucker pickup's...and I just got a SG Standard w/490 R&T Pickup's. IMO Gibson has nerve putting 490's in a Standard... I'm not a big fan of the 490's or the '61's and if I had an extra set of '57 Classic's layin around I would put them in the new SG Standard, BUT...I do not.

    So, if you could only have 490 R&T's or '61 Burst-Buckers, with or without Covers, which would you choose for your SG Standard ? Why ?

    any opinions or suggesttions are welcomed (excepting things like: 'Go jump off a bridge JJ' or 'Go rob a bank..' etc etc.....as been there, done all that...TTYT it was Boring.) and appreciated.
     
  2. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Honestly the 490’s have never been my sound. For that reason I would take the 61 BB. Those are pretty descent pick ups in my opinion.
    If you have the 61 BB and you don’t like them you should be able to sell/swap with someone. A lot of folks like them.

    The 57’s have always been fantastic to me.
     
  3. MR D

    MR D Member

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    Oh Yes, I agree, 490's are Poop-Butts ! the '57's are the **** ! Get my vote every time.

    Hmmm, a set of '57's for a set of '61's Burst-Bombers, interesting........there is one born every minute or so, said PT Barnum-Bailey ?

    ...why Gibson reversed the Alnico 5 poles, or whatever it is they reversed on the '61's, beats me but I've heard the '61's are reversed BB Pro's ?I could be wrong but whatever was reversed,if they actually were reversed, ruined 'em as there is no clarity at all on the ones I have heard/played in 2 SG Standard 61's. Oh, I can see the bottles flyin' in my direction now....
     
  4. Sootio

    Sootio Well-Known Member

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    I love 490s. They sound like an SG to me. 57 Classics sound too polite; they work well in a jazz box, though.
     
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  5. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    490’s DO have their place for sure, and I guess it depends on your music influence. When I hear players doing metal, grunge, or heavier rock the 490 do it fantastic.
     
  6. Ballads

    Ballads New Member

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    I like the 61s a lot more. I played all three options that rotated each year (until 2018) before purchasing the 2018 that I did (which is now on sale in the classifieds).
     
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  7. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    My ears notice a more drastic change in sound when I use a different amp vs swapping pickups of the same type, (Humbuckers, Mini Humbuckers, P-90s).

    I've had various guitars with 490R / 490T, 496R / 500T, 57 Classics, 61s, BB3, P-90s, Mini Humbuckers. None of them caused any discomfort to my ears after adjusting the pup height and tone controls on the amp.

    My favorite pup combo is a P-90 at the neck for cleans and a P-90 size stacked humbucker at the bridge for hi gain use.
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2021
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  8. SGBreadfan

    SGBreadfan Member

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    Same, I’ve had the 57’s and 490’s in other SG’s and prefer the ‘61’s by a long shot.
     
  9. pancake81

    pancake81 Well-Known Member

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    Can’t disagree with this comment. Pickups and pots, strings... they all play a role, but your amp should be able to dial in the sound your wanting with any luck.

    at the end of the day, if I had to choose between a Gibson and a **** amp, or a chibson and a marshal stack I would take the Gibson and **** amp.

    But... with any Gibson with quality pick ups, you should be able to get sweet sound with a good amp
     
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  10. Sootio

    Sootio Well-Known Member

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    I know nothing about metal or grunge but heavier rock comes into play at times.
     
  11. Dangerhouse77

    Dangerhouse77 Member

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    My favorite pickup is P90s. That said I have a 19 SG Standard with 490s and I have no reason to complain about them. Very similar to P90s, even my Wolfetone P90s, just with out the noise. They work perfectly for what I play. Which is old punk, some metal and rock.
     
  12. sgguitarzz

    sgguitarzz Member

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    I have never loved the 57's. Just too blah. The 61's are way better. Actually if I was changing the pickups I would put in a set of Dimarzio Super Distortions or an SD in the bridge and 36th Anniversary in the neck.
     
  13. trypeus

    trypeus New Member

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    I love 57's but if you want something with more 'bite' 61 zebras.
     
  14. Jumpin Joe

    Jumpin Joe Member

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    OK, sounds like its gonna be the '61 Zebra's w/out covers, based on what I have heard here and the availability.
    Waited a while to see what ETSG players had to say....Maybe its me, but IMO seems both of those sets could use a li'l more clarity compared to BB Pro's/'57's. the '61's do seem to have a bit more 'UMPFF', IDK if that is even a word....tried a treble boost and a regular boost before and after the signal to attempt to get the notes to ring/screech a bit more.....there's is one real annoyance ...cops w/decibel meters enforcing 'Noise Statuttes'....so there are decibel level limitations involved that could really be affectting things like clarity.
    N E Way, the comments/opinions are appreciated.
    ....Keep ROCK ROCK ROCKIN' !
     
  15. KelvinS1965

    KelvinS1965 Member

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    I actually did put a set of 36th in my 2019 SG Standard, but ended up putting the '61T/R back in as it didn't sound as good to me. I did change out the PCB, but same value pots, except for a 0.015uF neck tone cap (as I always seem to do on my humbucker guitars).
     
  16. madhermit

    madhermit Member

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    I had 61s in a Les Paul and loved them. Got my SG Standard (2018) with 61s. I really didn’t like them in the SG.
    Eventually, I spent some time (about a weekend) dialing in the heights of the SG pickups and found a great spot. I love them now. The bridge in much higher than I expected, with the treble side higher than the bass side.
    I LOVE those pickups in the SG. Killer sound.
    As for the Les Paul, I traded it for one with Burstbuckers, but I also got the chance to by my original pickups back. They will likely go back in my current Les Paul. I like them more.
    My bottom line is I like 61s A LOT.
     

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