Dealing with 495 mini humbuckers MOD

Musekatcher

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In my opinion the PCB is not necessary and obtrusive.

Just to provide some data, I don't know if my SG has a PCB or not. The volume and tone controls work better than any other guitar I own. Other than the assembly error and interference mentioned earlier that was binding the PCB (which could have bound against a push/pull pot similarly), I'm at a loss as to why a PCB would be functionally inferior? Is there a trend of PCB failures?
 

cheshiergrin

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Just to provide some data, I don't know if my SG has a PCB or not. The volume and tone controls work better than any other guitar I own. Other than the assembly error and interference mentioned earlier that was binding the PCB (which could have bound against a push/pull pot similarly), I'm at a loss as to why a PCB would be functionally inferior? Is there a trend of PCB failures?
For me failure was not the issue, I swapped out the pickups of the guitar I have that had a PCB attached to the pots and switch and wanted to have easier access to doing this and did not wish to spend more time than I needed to dealing with a silly PCB board in a place that makes no sense to me. It is too easy to just wire it conventionally and have a control cavity with easier access. For those who will never look to see whats under that cover, no it may not ever matter, until you have a pot or a switch go bad and you guitar tech will probably want to do the same thing. As a matter of fact I have for sale a perfectly good PCB board for sale 50$ starting bid :lol:.
 

Musekatcher

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I swapped out the pickups of the guitar I have that had a PCB attached to the pots and switch and wanted to have easier access to doing this and did not wish to spend more time than I needed.

I didn't realize the PCB wasn't serviceable. I do swap caps, pots, and pups. I may want to swap some P90's for the mini's sometime and will consider refitting a conventional harness.
 

cheshiergrin

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I didn't realize the PCB wasn't serviceable. I do swap caps, pots, and pups. I may want to swap some P90's for the mini's sometime and will consider refitting a conventional harness.
I'm not saying it can't be, I just did not want to deal with it and then still have it in there. No biggie either way.
 

VetPsychWars

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I like the quick connect feature of the circuit board. If I feel like swapping pickups, no soldering. I have screw adapters for pickups without connectors.

You remind me, I need to find those Wima tone caps I bought and replace the ceramics on the circuit boards I have.

Tom
 

FLAMENCO961

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View attachment 30682 [/QUOTE]
I have an 2016 sg special with the same firebird pickups, and I was thinking about doing exactly the same you did, but I thought I would have to buy another set of Hot mini hums with four conductors to do it. Did you do this with the stock pickups? Are they four conductors? I think my pickups are two conductors but are the same as yours and know I am not shure about it, please I would be very thankfull if you help me with this doubt.[/QUOTE]
 

Dale

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Hum. I have a 2018 special. Mine seem to be high output as well. I have them screwed down as low as I can go with them. I am a roll back the volume and tone to 1/2 or so and set an amp up from there. I switch back and forth between guitars, usually buckers, but not always. Pickups are of various outputs, volume etc. This allows the movement between them without having to do much, if anything to the amp when I do so.

I don't care about PCB or not, personally I do like the quick disconnects. I don't like that the way it was done put the cable in contact with the control cover, and I put a spacer in to address that on mine. The pickups seems to work well for me.

I get a workable clean tone that I like. Yes, I had the wrong year named in the video. Here is the video and soundclick if it helps.



http://sclk.co/r/s8930x
 
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Chuteboxehero

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I have an 2016 sg special with the same firebird pickups, and I was thinking about doing exactly the same you did, but I thought I would have to buy another set of Hot mini hums with four conductors to do it. Did you do this with the stock pickups? Are they four conductors? I think my pickups are two conductors but are the same as yours and know I am not shure about it, please I would be very thankfull if you help me with this doubt.

I was under the impression that the mini's in the SGs are not the same as what come in the Firebird V. I have a 2014 Firebird and the Mini's sound pretty awesome. They will bark if given the opportunity but also have a great clean tone. Has Gibson ever given the mini humbuckers a distinguishing name or model number or are they all just mini humbuckers?
 

AngelDeVille

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My 2018 is reading 16.3 and 16.4.

I’m getting good cleans on a tube Marshall and dirt with the volume up.

PCB or PB&J or whatever, I like her just the way she is.

I still have a 2017 standard I haven’t taken the cover off of to see if it has a PCB, but I think she is into S&M, cuz she got some spankin’ tone....

EF334BC4-42C5-4B8A-85E9-E69AC282F5AF.gif
 

FLAMENCO961

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I was under the impression that the mini's in the SGs are not the same as what come in the Firebird V. I have a 2014 Firebird and the Mini's sound pretty awesome. They will bark if given the opportunity but also have a great clean tone. Has Gibson ever given the mini humbuckers a distinguishing name or model number or are they all just mini humbuckers?
There are kinds of minis Just as you have kinds of humbuckers or singles, the traditional minis are lower output than 495r and t, wich are very Hot
 

FLAMENCO961

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My '18 special came with 495 mini humbuckers. People say this about minis : focused, clear, sharp, bright, like in between a p90 and humbucker, but there are actually many version of minis and these 495s do not fit the standard tonal description.

View attachment 30678

These have output resistance of 25k and 16k. They have bar magnets inside of each coil. No string height screws. They are what people call 'firebird' style, but they are not what came in old birds.

Everything you play sounds like it's going through an overdrive. It's very hard to play a note that doesn't have a fuzzy halo. This is not a bad sound. They bloom and sizzle with aggressive pick attack, but it's always angry. You can take some bite off with volume roll, but you lose too much volume before you get anything clean and defined.

I've owned all kinds of guitars with all kinds of configs and my tastes have settled down to p90 and small tube amps with a natural dynamic tone. Get the amp on the edge of hot and use the guitar volume and a dirty boost for the range. I got bored with muddy humbuckers many years ago.

I knew it was a gamble on the mini buckers, but they use a p90 hole which is an excellent safety net! I would have no tears about putting in some p90s, but I do like some aspects of the minis.

I have a p100 sitting around that came in my '97 Les Paul special. I love the sound of a p100 in the neck of a mahogany slab. It's my go to noodle tone. It's got a dynamic like a bell or piano, a kind of round note. The p100 was a pickup Gibson made 20 or so years ago that is a stacked humbucker. It looks just like a p90, but in fact it's two coils. One main coil and one dummy coil under it. It's wired in parallel. It works great in the neck, but it does not have enough output for a bridge and everyone in the world swapped the bridge or both for p90s. It's probably the most hated Gibson pickup (because it looks like a p90 but doesn't sound like one), but I find it very useful and musical.

I thought I might put the p100 in the neck of the SG and put the lower output neck pickup into the bridge slot and see what that does. Then I remembered that the p100 is parallel coils and the mini 495 pickups are so hot that they would still have decent output in parallel. I ripped out some wires (had already replaced the POS PCB) and tested it out. It sounded ok, so I ordered the parts and did the mod.

I've wired buckers to toggle to single coil before and never really liked the sound, but these in parallel sound great to me. It's what I was missing. It's very fender, without the noise. It's very clean, but not limp. All the farty bass and sizzle halo goes away. Now I can take the guitar to where I like to go and also keep the angry series sizzle option in place. I'm calling it a win - for now!

Output at the Jack in Series (from my cheap meter)
T 25000
R 16000
Both 9800

In Parallel
T 6400
R 4100
Both 2500

I used 2 push/pull 500k audio pots from CTS. Those plastic can ones. They just fit in the SG. No room to spare. No room for a washer on the inside to lower the shaft. I had to drill my knobs a bit so they would seat a bit lower. I sanded down the lip of the PCB on the pot to insure it fits in the guitar.

View attachment 30681

View attachment 30680

I put the toggles on the volume because I use 500K no load tone pots and didn't want to lose those.

View attachment 30679

Wiring for CTS pots:
.4 bridges to .2
.C2 green, C1, white
.3 black (hot out), .1 red + ground

Reverse the black and red for one pickup (combine black with ground and make red hot) unless you want out of phase sounds when combined.

Here's the factory spec of the GIbson 495 mini humbuckers.

Pickups Rhythm Lead
Style: 495R 495T
Winds/Coil: Screw side/Slug side: 7,000 8,400
Material of Wire (gauge): Copper (44) Copper (45)
Coil Dimensions (per coil): 2.61" x 0.68" 2.61" x 0.68"
Coil Material: ABS ABS
Coil Winding Process: Machine Wound Machine Wound
Pole Piece Material: Nickel plated steel Nickel plated steel
Slug Material: Nickel plated steel Nickel plated steel
Slug Dimensions (diameter x length): 0.187 x 0.489" 0.187 x 0.489"
Magnet Material: Ceramic Ceramic
Magnet Position from Nut: 19" 23.125"
Magnet Dimensions: 2.5" x 0.5" 2.5" x 0.5"
Qfactor: 3.28 2.46
ResistanceDC: 14280.00 Ohms 25250.00 Ohms
Resonant Frequency: 3448.71 Hz 2482.71 Hz

Bonus Image : Off center holly that prevents me from ever having a sound nights sleep. Twitch.

View attachment 30682
Excelent post bro! I got a big question, were those pickups 4 conductor stock or were them single conductor and you modified them? I want to do exactly the same to my 2016 special with 495 minis, so this post is what I have been praying for haha
 

FLAMENCO961

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My 2018 is reading 16.3 and 16.4.

I’m getting good cleans on a tube Marshall and dirt with the volume up.

PCB or PB&J or whatever, I like her just the way she is.

I still have a 2017 standard I haven’t taken the cover off of to see if it has a PCB, but I think she is into S&M, cuz she got some spankin’ tone....

View attachment 36247
I also love the sound of her, but I noticed when I wanted to play some funky stuff and whatnot the pickups are way too hot, and as my go to guitar for gigs and recording I need a lot of versatility from her
 

Dale

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I just use the cord in the jack method to test output. I found ... 15.9 neck and 24.8 bridge

Multi1.jpg


Multi2.jpg
 

Huntroll

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Has anyone listened to mini-humbuckers in single coil mode ?
 
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brazilnut

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Speaking of P-90s, anybody here ever try a Harmonic Design VP-90? Wow!
 

Dale

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The HD z90 I had seems pretty even and hifi relative to a traditional p90.
 


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