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Somebody explain the Gibson pickup types to me?

bahklava

Senior Member
Messages
534
I've heard of the Burstbuckers, the '57 Classics, the Dirty Fingers, the 490s and the 498Ts, but don't really know much of anything about them - though I have noticed that the 490R/498T pair seems to go for about as much as a single '57.

Anybody care to give me a brief primer on any/all/some/one of them?
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
57 Classics are vintage, smooth and potted. Burstbucker 1 and 2 are vintage, edgy and unpotted. BB3 is hotter than the BB2. Dirty Fingers are hotter than any of those. BB Pros are like BBs but a little more modern sounding... a little more highs and mids and they are potted.

490s are like the 57 Classics with slightly more top end and VERY slightly more mids and they are potted. I've never had a 498 but I've had two sets of 490s. They sound very similar to my 57 Classics. I just can't understand the love for the 57s and the hate for the 490s. They are in different guitars, but to my ears, the 57s sound like the 490s with the tone control on the guitar turned down to 8 or 9... extremely similar.
 

marshall2288

Member
Messages
1,113
I just can't understand the love for the 57s and the hate for the 490s. They are in different guitars, but to my ears, the 57s sound like the 490s with the tone control on the guitar turned down to 8 or 9... extremely similar.
I honestly think the bad rep for 490s is because they come stock in so many Gibsons. You know how many people hate stock.

I love 490s though.
 

kirkw

Member
Messages
345
I agree. The 57's and 490's do sound alike to me also. I don't care for either of them. I have an old set of tarbacks right now and I like them pretty good.

I would like to try some bb1 and 2's in my SG.
 

rabbuhl

Member
Messages
2,920
Burstbucker 1 and 2 are vintage, edgy and unpotted. BB3 is hotter than the BB2.
Burstbuckers 1, 2, and 3 are wax potted when they come in a guitar. You can also buy them aftermarket unpotted or wax potted.
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
Burstbuckers 1, 2, and 3 are wax potted when they come in a guitar. You can also buy them aftermarket unpotted or wax potted.
Interesting. I've been wanting to get a set of BB 1/2s but was afraid of the 2 being unpotted. I have the Seth Lovers in my 335 type but very rarely play that loud or with much gain.

I have a friend that has a ~2002 LP with the BB 1/2 combo and man is that a great sounding guitar! That neck pickup... awesome!
 

rabbuhl

Member
Messages
2,920
Interesting. I've been wanting to get a set of BB 1/2s but was afraid of the 2 being unpotted. I have the Seth Lovers in my 335 type but very rarely play that loud or with much gain.

I have a friend that has a ~2002 LP with the BB 1/2 combo and man is that a great sounding guitar! That neck pickup... awesome!
Gibson offers the aftermarket Burstbucker 1, 2, and 3 pickups unpotted and the Burstbucker 2 and 3 pickups wax potted. So, it is not possible to buy an aftermarket Burstbucker 1 which is wax potted.
 

speedemon

Member
Messages
2,623
In addition, there are diff. magnet materials,

BBs and 57s, 490s are Alnico 2, 500t and Dirty Fingers are ceramic, the BB Pro is Alnico 5

57s come in their most expensive models, the BB is their "vintage spec" comes in a lot of LPs, and the others are "modern" voiced. You see a lot of 490s, because a lot of their offerings have them, and is pretty standard fare in their low end stuff, so people sell them to buy aftermarket pickups.

How they sound is the ear of the listener, but watching live vids (eg what the audience hears) of the various pickups I had in my explorer, the difference was negligible.

Have fun!
 

cratz2

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,301
Gibson offers the aftermarket Burstbucker 1, 2, and 3 pickups unpotted and the Burstbucker 2 and 3 pickups wax potted. So, it is not possible to buy an aftermarket Burstbucker 1 which is wax potted.
Right on... I'd be more worried about the 2 in the bridge being potted than the 1 in the neck.
 






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