498T/490R vs Burst Bucker Pro Pickups

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by Austintone, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Austintone

    Austintone Member

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    Hey guys, can anyone shed some light on the differemce between these pickups? I have a 2001 Les Paul Standard that came stock with the 498T/490R pickups, and I know that in 2002 they started using the Burst Bucker Pro series. Just curious about the tonal differences. Thanks in advance!
     
  2. teletran1175

    teletran1175 Member

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    Burstbucker Pros are lower power with greatly enhanced highs and upper mids. A bit shrill to my ears.
    The 490's are a kind of middle of the road high output pickup. Fairly balanced sound, but not my favorite Gibson pup.
     
  3. Austintone

    Austintone Member

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    Thanks man. If you don't mind me asking what is your favorite Gibson pickup - also to anyone else, what is considered the "best" Les Paul pickup that gibson makes? (For blues/southern rock)
     
  4. teletran1175

    teletran1175 Member

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    My fav is the 57 Classic. All around great pickup.
    As for the best, that really depends on who your asking.
     
  5. Custom50

    Custom50 Member

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    Burstbuckers are lower output, a little more balanced sounding IMO. I have a set and love them, they are my fave gibson PU's, with the 57s very close behind
     
  6. Austintone

    Austintone Member

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    Bump on this one fellas. I have a 335 with 57's - great pickups.

    Would it be considered an upgrade to go from 490R/498T to the Burstbucker's? Or is it really just a matter of tatste?
     
  7. guitarfish

    guitarfish Member

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    Personal taste.
     
  8. fuzz_factor

    fuzz_factor Supporting Member

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    Not to hijack this thread, but I have 498T/490R pickups in my Les Paul Standard and I've been thinking about upgrading to the '57s.

    My criticism of the 498T/490Rs and reason for wanting a change is that the 498T/490Rs are a little too 'hot.' They seems to have a very strong, almost 'boingy' type of midrange. Cleaning to just slightly overdriven tones are not very pleasant. It's like the pickups are a little too overpowering.

    I'd like something a little looser and more laid back. Something where I could play more complex chords with a little more clarity (e.g. jazzy blues type of things). Of course, I'd want a pickup that still sounds good when overdriven.

    Would the '57s give me what I'm looking for, and more importantly, be worth the $$$!

    Thanks,

    - jeff -
     
  9. shredtrash

    shredtrash Supporting Member

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    I've never tried the '57 Classics but I have used the 490R/498T's and I currently have Burstbuckers in my 2002 LP Standard. I personally really like my BB's. They maintain their clarity with high gain and have nice sparkle on the top end. I never really liked the 490R/498T combo. They lacked character and clarity IMO. The Burstbuckers are the first Gibson pickup that I haven't wanted to replace.
     
  10. Randaddy

    Randaddy Member

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    I'll chime in here.

    First, remember that Burstbucker Pros are different from Burstbuckers. They shouldn't even be called the same name IMO. The Pros use alnico 5s I believe, while the Burstbuckers use 2s, and that makes a huge difference.

    Also, the 498t/490r is a hotter pup combination because of the 498. I have a 490t/490r and it is not nearly as hot as the 498. I love the 490s...clear, detailed, but rich. Very similar to the '57 Classics but a more modern sound, hence the "modern classics" title from Gibson.

    Neither is better. Neither is an upgrade.

    I wouldn't trade my 490s for anything!
     
  11. Austintone

    Austintone Member

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    The new Les Paul I tried had BB's and man, it cleaned up so well. I just don't know if it was:

    A The pickups
    B the chambered body
    C The Suhr Badger I played it through!

    All else equal, I say the pickups...so do I drop the scratch and grab the BB's?
     
  12. Randaddy

    Randaddy Member

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    Also Austintone, you could keep the 490 in the neck and put a 490 or a '57 Classic in the bridge to save some money. This would bring the bridge pup output down into the true PAF territory.

    Fuzzfactor, I would suggest the same for you. Changing the bridge pup would make a big difference.

    Of course, this is so subjective and it's only my opinion! Please remember that!

    Good luck. :AOK

    Oh, I'll add that the 498 is alnico 5 while the 490 is alnico 2 like the '57 classics.
     
  13. sqadan

    sqadan Member

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    The BB pros I have tried on the new Standards have a very bright almost acoustic clean tone... I think it may be a combination of the chambered body / alnico V magnets. They are not warm enough to my ears - too sterile sounding.
     
  14. Digitalman

    Digitalman Member

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    I think that all 'upgradables' vary on a guitar to guitar basis.

    I've swapped 498T/490R for 57 Classics in an SG - I've swapped 498T/490R in a 335 for Seth Lovers - And I just got a Howard Roberts with 498T/490Rs...

    This time around I'm fine with them. At least for THIS guitar. And I thought the first thing I'd want to do is swap the pickups. Go figure.

    If it sounds good, I no longer feel the need to jack with it. I've spent far too long chasing my tail, doing 'supposed' upgrades just to find I could have left it as is.
     
  15. wilerty

    wilerty Member

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    None are better ... just personal taste. I like the BBPs the best.
     

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