Thoughts on 490R/T

the29band

Supporting Member
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771
If you are familiar with these pickups what’s your take on these? Love em, hate em or are you in the they’re alright category?

I have them in an LP Tribute and they sound a little thin to me. Kinda like p90sh sounding. I can’t decide if I like them. Although they do have a bit of vintage-y vibe to them.
 

aynirar27

Notable Member
Platinum Supporting Member
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31,660
I love them in some guitars, others not so much. They sound killer in an SG faded I have, but are lacking in the SG standard that hangs next to it. Sound great in a Les Paul copy I have, and sounded lifeless in the Gibson LP I took them out of.
 
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3,866
I have a 498T/490R set in an LP Special, but I’ve played that same set as well as the 490T/R set in other guitars. First, I think I prefer them in guitars without a maple cap. In guitars with them, they had an unpleasant honk that I couldn’t get rid of. That same honk shows up in small, closed back combos. I think that the pickups are already mods-heavy, so anything that brings out more mid-frequencies doesn’t sound good to me.

The 490 and 498 bridge pickups, in particular, are capable of some very pleasing lead tones that can really cut through a dense mix live.
 

Oinkus

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4,554
Did not like them at all in a an SG build I was doing for a friend. After taking it to a luthier for a SS refret his final setup fixed everything. The poles had all been messed around with and he put them back into shape as well as the height , they like a little space don't crowd the strings. I swapped a set into a MK Patriot LP type and they sound great. Good pickups if you use them properly.
 

darkwaters

Member
Messages
881
I have them in my SG Special Faded. At first I found them to be too hot for my tastes, but lowering them and raising the pole pieces a bit fixed that and gave them a very nice PAF quality. I also snapped covers on them, which, to my ears, brought out a nice woody tone. They are middy, which, IMO, gives them a pleasing P90 sound that sets them apart from other humbuckers, but that may not be to everyone's tastes. All in all, I like'em !
 

sjruvolo

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212
I have a 2017 LP Tribute as well. Love the bridge P/U but the neck P/U is a little to bassy for my liking. I compromised by lowering the neck P/U and raising some of the treble side string pole pieces. Bridge P/U sounds awesome IMO,
 

DonP

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2,245
I've heard that if you put an A5 maget in a 490R it supposed to sound like a T-Top. I've not tried it myself. The 490T is wider spaced and hotter, so swapping in an A5 would make something other than a T-top.

I've not tried it myself.
 

-Hawk-

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658
I like them. Too dumb to know any better I suppose. Agree that the neck is pretty bassy.
 

AL30

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Messages
3,000
Had them in a Les Paul Custom. Hated them. Some of the worst sounding pickups I've ever heard.
 

zeffbeff

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2,024
I tend to judge the quality of any neck humbucker by playing it overdriven, wide open, through a Marshall type amp.

In this regard, the 490 excels. I have it in the neck position of my Les Paul special, which is an all mahogany Les Paul. No maple cap.

The 490 is very crisp and clear, with a good amount of power. I prefer it over all to the 57 classic, but it's a very close race.
 

gtrgene

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
725
Not a fan of the 498/490. IMO Gibson hasn’t made a great pickup since the Shawbuckers. I have had everyone they made because I’m a Gibson guitar junkie. 498/490, 57’s, burst buckers, MHS. Some better than others and most pretty good pickups but not great pickups.
 

Arewenotmen?

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1,626
The 490 series gets mixed reviewed, usually love or hate.
I just had a weird experience where I bought a 2017 Firebird Studio and didn't like them (super muddy and unclear, but decently hot), then played another 2017 Firebird Studio and loved them (clarity was excellent). The two guitars sound totally different when A/Bed with the same model of 490 series pickups. Go figure.
 

uab9253

Member
Messages
2,346
I have them in my LP Tribute and I'm still undecided. One time I think they sound great and the next no so much. It really depends on the context, the amp, and most importantly, my mood. I'm fickle AF with pickups, so I've learned to not be in such a rush to swap them out. It's one of the few rabbit holes that I've mainly steered clear of.
 

the29band

Supporting Member
Messages
771
I have them in my LP Tribute and I'm still undecided. One time I think they sound great and the next no so much. It really depends on the context, the amp, and most importantly, my mood. I'm fickle AF with pickups, so I've learned to not be in such a rush to swap them out. It's one of the few rabbit holes that I've mainly steered clear of.
You’re just like me. I go through the same cycle with these pickups.
 

Rob Eadgbe

Member
Messages
479
I had them in a Les Paul Studio quite a few years ago. I thought they worked fine after some adjustment, trial and error I certainly wasn’t rushing out to replace them anyway. I have 57 Classiscs in my current Les Paul and my SG, and while it’s hard to compare with ten years between Gibsons I think I prefer them over the 490/498 set.
 




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