finally got a set in my LP after months of talking & asking about 'em, backorders, etc. so far these appear to be a great replacement for the stock 498/490. more open, articulate, balanced and sweet - just like everyone said they'd be. yes, obviously a little less gain but so far i haven't missed it at all. i'm not a modern metal player but i do like hard rock and vintage heavy tones. these seem to fit the bill and the budget nicely. i haven't tried them with a band yet so have yet to see what they'll do at higher volumes, but i expect good things. thanks to all for the advice.