correct me if I am wrong (i am sure that you will) the original Les Paul Customs

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by SW33THAND5, Jan 30, 2012.

  1. SW33THAND5

    SW33THAND5 Member

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    you know... the "fretless wonders" with humbuckers. They were designed in the 50s and I am certain that they had PAFs. When did Gibson start loading them with the hotter and more modern sounding 490 and 498 pick-ups?


    anybody know when they started dropping the 490, 498, and 500 pickups? was this a norlin thing?

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  2. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    Real PAF's ended in 62/63. The very early patent # Gibson pickups (with the sticker on the bottom, not the stamp) are sonically identical.

    T-Tops came out in 67, they had a patent # sticker on them.

    All of the rest of the pickups you mention have come out as "PAF" variants by Gibson in the last 25-35 years.

    None are the same tone/construction as the original PAF's to my ears and IMO. I have five original PAF's and an early patent # in my pile of guitars to compare them to, which is what I'm basing my opinion on.
     
  3. SW33THAND5

    SW33THAND5 Member

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    what do you mean by t-tops?

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  4. Bob Pollock

    Bob Pollock Supporting Member

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  5. Scumback Speakers

    Scumback Speakers Gold Supporting Member

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    You can get the most detailed info about this over at the LesPaulForum.org (com?), aka the LPF.
     
  6. SW33THAND5

    SW33THAND5 Member

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    i have submitted requests for membership at least a couple of times. they never activate my account :huh i don't think that they want me there.
     
  7. Patrick2

    Patrick2 Member

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    There were some gold cover PAFs installed in Super 400s and other non solid body guitars after 1963. I'm not sure if that also applied to the gold hardware LP Customs, but I imagine it would have. I have personally seen a 1964 florentine cut away Super 400 with 2 gold PAFs on it. When I researched the "why" of it, the explanation I got was . . . Gibson ran out of stock on the nickle covered ones earlier because they used far more of them. The gold covered ones were less often used due to the lower number of guitars requiring gold cover pups. While I'm sure that Gibson also started out with far fewer gold than nickle, it still sounded plausible to me. It was not important enough for me to research further. However, when I talked with several people who were with Gibson "back in the day" they all had the same answer . . . "we just usually grabbed what we had in the box that was on the shelf. We never checked to see which ones we got. we just put them in". That would explain the inconsistency of the same guitar sometimes getting double whites, zebras and double blacks or in fact one of each. It also explains why some got a PAF in the neck position and a patent # in the bridge, while other were vis-a-versa. The people I've spoken with abount this included Marv Lamm, Jim Deurloo, Ren Wall, Walter Carter and Aaron Cowles.

    Oddly enough . . . (or naturally enough, depending upon your position) that's still how Heritage does it today in their hardware installation room. Unless there is a specification (which there usually is, because Heritage is just one big custom shop) what ever ol' Charlie grabs is what he installs. However, because heritage is a MUCH smaller operation that Gibson was even all the way back then . . . there is usually more consistency of what's in stock at any given time.
     
  8. DRS

    DRS Member

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    Why do they load hot pickups in the LP Customs? Probably because kids were into guys like Frampton, Frehley, Rhoads, etc playing loud rock with a Custom. Hot pups gave them that instant kerrrannnggg. Plus they knew that if you really wanted the 50s accurate LP Custom pickups, you'd pony up an additional $1000 for a 57 Historic les Paul Custom. Kacchhinnnggg.
    Savvy?
     
  9. SW33THAND5

    SW33THAND5 Member

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    i am sure that you are probably right
     
  10. BobPoomba

    BobPoomba Member

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    What do the numbers in the 490, 496, 500 stand for? I know "R" is the neck and "T" is the bridge, but what are the numbers?

    Ohms? Hot meters? HEBuddy points?
     
  11. 27sauce

    27sauce Supporting Member

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    [​IMG]

    They are just model numbers.

    The original PAF's ARE 490's, the official model # was PU-490. So to the OP, they started in '57.
     
  12. BobPoomba

    BobPoomba Member

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    Oh ok.

    I'm just confused with all the types of pups Gibson has and their non existent hierarchy. Like the 490/498 being in the Studio and Custom.

    But, I might be misinformed, I thought the 490/498 and esp 500 are ceramic models and I thought PAF's were Alnico something or another?

    I'm no expert but the number config sounds futuristic or scientific next to "Classic 57" or "Burstbucker"

    Maybe the "sterile" sounding name of the pickup model colors the mental perception?

    btw,

    thanks for the explanation on T tops. I done learned something new.
     
  13. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    Alternate take on why they load hotter pickups in the "regular" LP Custom? These days the "regular" LP Custom is basically an LP Standard with the 1990s/early 2000s construction specs (meaning the swiss cheese hole weight relief and the 490/496 pickups) with LP Custom features and cosmetics even though it is built alongside the Historics these days and not in the production shop. The "regular" LP Customs have more in common with current LP Traditionals (the Plus model, not the Pro that is sold by GC/MF) than to the Historic series LP Customs.
     
  14. Funkwire

    Funkwire Member

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    The 490R is an Alnico II, 498T Alnico V, 500 is ceramic.

    Seth Lover told Tim Mills of Bare Knuckle pickups that Alnico IV magnets were most commonly used in the original PAFs.
     
  15. DRS

    DRS Member

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    Yet, oddily enough, my Les Paul Traditional came with 57/57+ pickups.
     
  16. John C

    John C Supporting Member

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    True - I mentioned the LP Traditional since it seems to be closest in basic construction (weight relieved, etc.) to the LP Standards prior to Gibson chambering them. You know I just can't remember if Gibson had replaced the the 490R/498T set with some kind of Burstbuckers prior to the first chambered model in late 2006 or early 2007 (prior to the complete revamp in mid-2008 to the current LP Standard model specs).
     
  17. Tim Plains

    Tim Plains Member

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    Don't use gmail/hotmail/etc email addresses.
     
  18. vortexxxx

    vortexxxx Member

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    Many sites these days have rules to protect them from spambots. one such rule is not to use a free email account when you try to register. They let me in with a free account but I think it was because I knew some of the members.
     
  19. Phoenix59

    Phoenix59 Member

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    What if Gmail is all you have?
     
  20. Dashface

    Dashface Member

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    That happens to me too! I can't figure it out. And I really badly want some info from them. If anyone has a LPF account and they could ask a question for me, please PM me! :D
     

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