Help me choose pickups for my SG.

KBN

Member
Messages
1,087
I have a 2007 SG with the 498t/490r set. Volume pots have been changed to 500k. I kind of hate the pickups. Sometimes I think I don't hate them, but then I find myself constantly tweaking amp (Reeves Custom 50 & Hitone 2x12) and pedals trying to get things to sound right. How can pickups be thin and overly bassy at the same time? They both sound hollow and comb filtered. Just when I'm pretty sure my amp needs to be serviced and that all my pedals are garbage I grab another guitar and the rig sounds awesome.

That other guitar is a mid 90s Epiphone Dot with Stewmac Golden Age humbuckers (nickle covers) . I mostly think they are good pickups. I like the output (9k/8k) and frequency response pretty well, but I'm sure there are better pickups. Another set of pickups that I have really enjoyed is the Dimarzio Air Classics. They look to be about the same DC resistance as the Golden Age. I had a set of uncovered ones in a Washburn HB35 semi-hollow and I never should have sold that guitar. Both sets are alnico 5. Might matter, might not.

So let's play apples to oranges. Based on the pickups that I like in one kind of guitar, what should I get for a totally different kind of guitar? Ha.

I tune down a full step, like moderate amounts of gain, and really like the musical stylings of bands like Russian Circles, Pelican, Elder, Truckfighters, and QOTSO, to name just a few.

Thanks for the help.
 

VHS analog

Member
Messages
5,002
It looks like you need a humbucker that does both clean and dirty equally well. I'd go with a vintage style low wind pickup, heavily potted.

BTW, did you swap out the pots yourself? Wire your main pickup straight to the jack and listen for changes, just to make sure the 498t/490r is what's behaving badly and not faulty pots or bad wiring.
 
Last edited:

KBN

Member
Messages
1,087
It looks like you need a humbucker that does both clean and dirty equally well. I'd go with a vintage style low wind pickup, heavily potted.

BTW, did you swap out the pots yourself? Wire your main pickup straight to the jack and listen for changes, just to make sure the 498t/490r is what's behaving badly and not faulty pots or bad wiring.
Wiring is good. I think it sounds weird because I'm trying to set everything up to work with two pickups that are very mismatched tonewise. Hadn't thought about the potting part. Come to think of it, my least favorite set ever was a set of Seth Lovers. What would you recommend as far as heavily potted PAFs?
 

guitarded_1

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,332
I researched pickups for a while and went with a set of Wolfetone Marshallheads in my 2002 SG. Honestly - clean or dirty they are positively wicked. Just stellar, detailed, and loads of character. Highly recommended.
 

Arcadia

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,824
Def get something low output. The 498T is hot for a Gibson humbucker.

Lollar Imperial Low Wind seem like a nice pickup.

 

Evan_R

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,296
I researched pickups for a while and went with a set of Wolfetone Marshallheads in my 2002 SG. Honestly - clean or dirty they are positively wicked. Just stellar, detailed, and loads of character. Highly recommended.
I’d like to hear this!
 

Binaural

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
1,830
A Duncan '59 in the neck and a Duncan Custom with an A8 magnet swap in the bridge.
 

Mincer

Member
Messages
4,542
On the more modern rock/higher gain spectrum, I'd go with a 59 in the neck, and Custom in the bridge. It should be great at all gain ranges but some power to hit the amp harder in the bridge.
 

Digidog

Member
Messages
2,619
Since I'm not too much of a humbucker fan, I'd put in a set of Lindy Fralin's HB-sized P90's. Clear, articulate and with nice overdrive qualities.

But that's me.
 

GenoVox

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
3,440
For an SG... plenty of great options without breaking the bank

Gibson 57s, Seth Lovers, Dimarzio 36th, just to name a few

On the more boutique end, I’d try to find something used... like a Lollar Imperial at the neck, and afralin Pure PAF at the bridge
 

FLYING V 83

Gibson Geezer
Messages
5,601
Lots of suggestions. Here's mine:
Check the wiring. The 490/498 pair should punch in an SG, never sound "hollow and comb filtered". Sounds like they're out of phase.
Also check pickup height & pole adjustment, and a trick I do is rotate the bridge pickup180 to move the poles farther away from the bridge.
Takes the 'ice pick' off the treble.
 




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