In an SG Standard: 490's or '61's ?

Jumpin Joe

Member
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
59
Reaction score
27
Opine Time SG Players.....

Not that this matters to anyone but I am getting rid of an SG Special w/'61 Burst-Bucker pickup's...and I just got a SG Standard w/490 R&T Pickup's. IMO Gibson has nerve putting 490's in a Standard... I'm not a big fan of the 490's or the '61's and if I had an extra set of '57 Classic's layin around I would put them in the new SG Standard, BUT...I do not.

So, if you could only have 490 R&T's or '61 Burst-Buckers, with or without Covers, which would you choose for your SG Standard ? Why ?

any opinions or suggesttions are welcomed (excepting things like: 'Go jump off a bridge JJ' or 'Go rob a bank..' etc etc.....as been there, done all that...TTYT it was Boring.) and appreciated.
 

pancake81

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,478
Location
British Columbia, Canada
Honestly the 490’s have never been my sound. For that reason I would take the 61 BB. Those are pretty descent pick ups in my opinion.
If you have the 61 BB and you don’t like them you should be able to sell/swap with someone. A lot of folks like them.

The 57’s have always been fantastic to me.
 

MR D

Well-Known Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
1,048
Reaction score
477
Location
RIKER'S ISLAND,NYC
Honestly the 490’s have never been my sound. For that reason I would take the 61 BB. Those are pretty descent pick ups in my opinion.
If you have the 61 BB and you don’t like them you should be able to sell/swap with someone. A lot of folks like them.

The 57’s have always been fantastic to me.

Oh Yes, I agree, 490's are Poop-Butts ! the '57's are the **** ! Get my vote every time.

Hmmm, a set of '57's for a set of '61's Burst-Bombers, interesting........there is one born every minute or so, said PT Barnum-Bailey ?

...why Gibson reversed the Alnico 5 poles, or whatever it is they reversed on the '61's, beats me but I've heard the '61's are reversed BB Pro's ?I could be wrong but whatever was reversed,if they actually were reversed, ruined 'em as there is no clarity at all on the ones I have heard/played in 2 SG Standard 61's. Oh, I can see the bottles flyin' in my direction now....
 

Ballads

New Member
Joined
May 9, 2021
Messages
7
Reaction score
3
I like the 61s a lot more. I played all three options that rotated each year (until 2018) before purchasing the 2018 that I did (which is now on sale in the classifieds).
 

cerebral gasket

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jan 13, 2017
Messages
4,244
Reaction score
5,176
My ears notice a more drastic change in sound when I use a different amp vs swapping pickups of the same type, (Humbuckers, Mini Humbuckers, P-90s).

I've had various guitars with 490R / 490T, 496R / 500T, 57 Classics, 61s, BB3, P-90s, Mini Humbuckers. None of them caused any discomfort to my ears after adjusting the pup height and tone controls on the amp.

My favorite pup combo is a P-90 at the neck for cleans and a P-90 size stacked humbucker at the bridge for hi gain use.
 
Last edited:

SGBreadfan

Active Member
Joined
Jun 3, 2010
Messages
162
Reaction score
147
I like the 61s a lot more. I played all three options that rotated each year (until 2018) before purchasing the 2018 that I did (which is now on sale in the classifieds).
Same, I’ve had the 57’s and 490’s in other SG’s and prefer the ‘61’s by a long shot.
 

pancake81

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 3, 2009
Messages
1,903
Reaction score
1,478
Location
British Columbia, Canada
My ears notice a more drastic change in sound when I use a different amp vs swapping pickups of the same type, (Humbuckers, Mini Humbuckers, P-90s).

I've had various guitars with 490R / 490T, 496R / 500T, 57 Classics, 61s, BB3, P-90s, Mini Humbuckers. None of them caused any discomfort to my ears after adjusting the pup height and tone controls on the amp.

My favorite pup combo is a P-90 at the neck for cleans and a P-90 size stacked humbucker at the bridge for hi gain use.


Can’t disagree with this comment. Pickups and pots, strings... they all play a role, but your amp should be able to dial in the sound your wanting with any luck.

at the end of the day, if I had to choose between a Gibson and a **** amp, or a chibson and a marshal stack I would take the Gibson and **** amp.

But... with any Gibson with quality pick ups, you should be able to get sweet sound with a good amp
 

Sootio

Well-Known Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2013
Messages
701
Reaction score
339
Location
North Carolina
490’s DO have their place for sure, and I guess it depends on your music influence. When I hear players doing metal, grunge, or heavier rock the 490 do it fantastic.

I know nothing about metal or grunge but heavier rock comes into play at times.
 

Dangerhouse77

Member
Joined
May 3, 2020
Messages
47
Reaction score
55
My favorite pickup is P90s. That said I have a 19 SG Standard with 490s and I have no reason to complain about them. Very similar to P90s, even my Wolfetone P90s, just with out the noise. They work perfectly for what I play. Which is old punk, some metal and rock.
 

sgguitarzz

Member
Joined
Mar 14, 2021
Messages
47
Reaction score
42
I have never loved the 57's. Just too blah. The 61's are way better. Actually if I was changing the pickups I would put in a set of Dimarzio Super Distortions or an SD in the bridge and 36th Anniversary in the neck.
 

trypeus

Member
Joined
Mar 19, 2016
Messages
36
Reaction score
25
I love 57's but if you want something with more 'bite' 61 zebras.
 

Jumpin Joe

Member
Joined
May 2, 2021
Messages
59
Reaction score
27
OK, sounds like its gonna be the '61 Zebra's w/out covers, based on what I have heard here and the availability.
Waited a while to see what ETSG players had to say....Maybe its me, but IMO seems both of those sets could use a li'l more clarity compared to BB Pro's/'57's. the '61's do seem to have a bit more 'UMPFF', IDK if that is even a word....tried a treble boost and a regular boost before and after the signal to attempt to get the notes to ring/screech a bit more.....there's is one real annoyance ...cops w/decibel meters enforcing 'Noise Statuttes'....so there are decibel level limitations involved that could really be affectting things like clarity.
N E Way, the comments/opinions are appreciated.
....Keep ROCK ROCK ROCKIN' !
 

KelvinS1965

Member
Joined
Nov 6, 2019
Messages
44
Reaction score
84
I have never loved the 57's. Just too blah. The 61's are way better. Actually if I was changing the pickups I would put in a set of Dimarzio Super Distortions or an SD in the bridge and 36th Anniversary in the neck.

I actually did put a set of 36th in my 2019 SG Standard, but ended up putting the '61T/R back in as it didn't sound as good to me. I did change out the PCB, but same value pots, except for a 0.015uF neck tone cap (as I always seem to do on my humbucker guitars).
 

madhermit

Member
Joined
Mar 16, 2019
Messages
59
Reaction score
65
I had 61s in a Les Paul and loved them. Got my SG Standard (2018) with 61s. I really didn’t like them in the SG.
Eventually, I spent some time (about a weekend) dialing in the heights of the SG pickups and found a great spot. I love them now. The bridge in much higher than I expected, with the treble side higher than the bass side.
I LOVE those pickups in the SG. Killer sound.
As for the Les Paul, I traded it for one with Burstbuckers, but I also got the chance to by my original pickups back. They will likely go back in my current Les Paul. I like them more.
My bottom line is I like 61s A LOT.
 

Kirk Dahnke

Member
Joined
Aug 2, 2021
Messages
59
Reaction score
20
I got a BB2 and a 61R in a trade. I put them in a low level Gulid semi hollow. Both really bassy and muddy to my ears. Messed around with heights etc but im just not thrilled. Wrong choice for a semi??
 

Decadent Dan

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jun 15, 2021
Messages
838
Reaction score
660
I got a BB2 and a 61R in a trade. I put them in a low level Gulid semi hollow. Both really bassy and muddy to my ears. Messed around with heights etc but im just not thrilled. Wrong choice for a semi??
If it has a 200k tone pot and a .047 cap, it’s going to sound like mud.
Try a 500k pot and .022 cap and you’ll be in Gibson territory with your Guild.
The 200k and .047 is a Fender thing for single coil pickups.
Humbuckers need to breathe.
 
Last edited:

Col Mustard

Well-Known Member
Joined
Sep 29, 2009
Messages
8,294
Reaction score
8,474
Location
Oscoda Michigan
lots of Sturm und drang, but not much clarity...
covers make no difference in 2022... (they may have in 1965, but not now).
they are aesthetic. like them or not. remove them or install them.
your tone is the same.

IMHO (of course) the pickups are all accurate.
Gibson P-90s are accurate, so are '57s, and so are the '61s...
So are p'ups made by Seymour Duncan, Fralin, Rio Grande
Bare Knuckles, Steward MacDonald, and even Fishman...
It's up to you to create the tone you want.

Your amp and your tone controls will make most of the difference.
So will your pick and your cables and whatever pedals you favor.
So will the age of your strings. Also the quality and the gauge...
Yanking one "PAF clone" pickup out and inserting another "PAF clone" pickup
seems like an exercise in futility to me.

Saying that one pickup sounds like mud and another one sounds shtrill
is nonsense. It's all in how you set your pole pieces, and in how high
or low the pickup is screwed to. It's all in the tone functions of your
instrument and your amp.... and the P.A. you play through.
The player has control over all of that.

Personally I favor the '57 Classic and the '57 Classic plus.
Anybody who can't get great tone out of those pickups just doesn't
know how to EQ their signal IMHO.

It isn't that hard... it's just highs, mids and lows.
Sorry to seem arrogant, I'm not really.

But I do feel that we live in kind of a golden age of great tone...
We have so many excellent choices... they are all excellent.
All we have to do is turn our control knobs (or move our graphic EQ sliders)
until we like what we hear.
It's not that hard, really...
 
Last edited:


Latest posts

Top