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Old June 14th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #1 (permalink)
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need "brighter" pickups for my sg standard...

I recently joined a new band and our sound requires me to have a much cleaner/chime sound. We rarely use distortion, and the 490R and 498T are simply too "muddy" and "hot" for me these days, especially since I started playing with an Orange AD30 (known for their gritty sound). No matter how I set the knobs and switches on both the SG and Orange, I can't get a bright enough tone. My father's Strat can get a bright sound on the amp so I know it's not entirely the amp, and I also know the SG will never have the tone of a Strat or Tele no matter what pickups are used, but a Strat tone is not necessarily what I want, either, but I still need something more trebly and bright. So I am just wondering if anyone could recommend me some good quality pickups for my situation (price isn't really a factor at this point). I am MUCH more concerned with a pickup that gets a great CLEAN tone, I really couldn't care about the distortion.

Thank you, and sorry if there are any other threads exactly on this topic. I wasn't able to find them...

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Old June 14th, 2010, 01:47 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Hi and welcome to this place.

Many people, me included, find the 490R and 498T combination to be a tad muddy. I used to have a 70s SG and sold it just because they were muddy, to me.

You could try some Burstbuckers or 57 Classics in there, or even one with P90s in. However, I would try and find an SG that has some fitted to try before you go out and buy.

I believe an SG Custom has 57 Classics, albeit 3 of them fitted. The SG Special Raw Power and Robby Krieger SG also have 57 Classics. The Raw Power has some sound samples on the Gibson site

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Elec...Raw-Power.aspx

Good luck
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Old June 14th, 2010, 02:46 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You might try some of the humbucker sized P-90 pickups-they are quite a bit brighter than standard humbuckers.
I have a set of P-90's on my Les Paul and they are a nice change from the standard 'buckers.
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Old June 14th, 2010, 02:59 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Try change the volume pot from 300K Audio to 500K. That should brighten them up
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Old June 14th, 2010, 05:33 PM   #5 (permalink)
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If you are intent on getting new pickups, I recently replaced some humbuckers in a Gretsch solid with a GFS Liverpool neck, and a GFS Nashville bridge, for more top end crunch, clean or with pedals. I couldn't be happier. They are standard humbucker-sized, and my next set will be Liverpool and Nashville, neck and bridge reversed. That is if I get the Gretsch I'm watching. Good luck...raise the individual poles to your liking, and enjoy! The price is right...

Addendum: The Nashvilles are ceramic, and the Liverpools are alnico. Otherwise, same pickup...Overwounds also offered.

http://store.guitarfetish.com/vintagestyle.html

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Old June 14th, 2010, 08:34 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I'd recommend looking at the specs on pickup maker websites. Here's Seymour Duncan's tone chart:

http://www.seymourduncan.com/comparetones
look under the EQ column and you'll find B/M/T ratings.

Note the EQ ratings for the Model 59 and Pearly Gates pickups. They might be what you're looking for. Pearly Gates are 4 conductor pickups which means that the coils can be split (you have to add a push-pull pot to the circuit). If you can't get enough treble in the humbucker setting, you can split the coils and get even more high-end. Sadly, you'll loose a little bit of volume and will have to put up with a little more noise/hum. Most humbuckers will be at least a little brighter when their coils are split.

Try Dimarzio's pickup picker. Dimarzio is known for sparkle and clarity.
http://www.dimarzio.com/site/#/pickups/

I rag on Gibson sometimes, but they do make a great pickup. Check their specs out.
http://www.gibson.com/en-us/Division...0Gear/Pickups/

Good luck on your tone quest.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 05:28 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Strange, my SG is bright

Quote:
Originally Posted by joru100 View Post
I recently joined a new band and our sound requires me to have a much cleaner/chime sound. We rarely use distortion, and the 490R and 498T are simply too "muddy" and "hot" for me these days, especially since I started playing with an Orange AD30 (known for their gritty sound). No matter how I set the knobs and switches on both the SG and Orange, I can't get a bright enough tone. My father's Strat can get a bright sound on the amp so I know it's not entirely the amp, and I also know the SG will never have the tone of a Strat or Tele no matter what pickups are used, but a Strat tone is not necessarily what I want, either, but I still need something more trebly and bright. So I am just wondering if anyone could recommend me some good quality pickups for my situation (price isn't really a factor at this point). I am MUCH more concerned with a pickup that gets a great CLEAN tone, I really couldn't care about the distortion.

Thank you, and sorry if there are any other threads exactly on this topic. I wasn't able to find them...
Or is it a question of amp? I have a humble VOX VT30 and my SG Faded WB (2009-01-23) is very bright both clean and distorted. I believe it`s pups are 490 type, don`t remember exactly what letter. If they`re different from yours, changing to those can be a solution for you. They`re not thin either, midrange tone is fat.

Edit: my SG faded pups are 4190R and 490T.

Last edited by savofenno; June 15th, 2010 at 05:32 PM. Reason: pups
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Old June 15th, 2010, 05:52 PM   #8 (permalink)
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joru, in you rsituation I would try soem other things first. The suggestion by tazz boy is a good one, and the change to 500K's is needed no matter if you change pickups or not, imho.
The first thing to try costs nothing. Back those pickups away from the strings. You will lose power, but the tone will brighten and the arrangement will yiled more articulate sonics, ime.
IF these inexpensive things dont' change things enough for you, then by all means go for a different pickup. Anything in the vintage PAF approach will help.
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Old June 15th, 2010, 09:06 PM   #9 (permalink)
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IMHO -- If you think the 490R/498T set is "muddy" then the problem is not with the pickups.
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Old June 16th, 2010, 12:57 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Joe-Bob,

I can see what you're saying since we both have the Les Paul Studio Premium Plus (God they are amazing!!!) which have the same pickups joru100's SG has in it. But we have maple tops with chambered bodies. I think that the maple top allows the highs to cut more in the tone. The SG is just a chunk of mahogany, which is highlights the middle-range frequencies more. The same pickups in too different body styles with different wood combinations are gonna have some differences in tone. Not necessarily a whole lot, but its noticeable.

Joru100,

Have you looked a the position of your pickups? Are the strings right over the pole pieces? That can create issues in tone. If the pickups aren't set at the right height, that could be an issue too, especially with volume. Also, make sure you have a capacitor (usually a little orange looking thingy) soldered between your tone and volume pots. Are you playing through low grade cables (both speaker and instrument) or are you playing through high grade cables? Those can make a big difference. High grade cables are usually the way to go. Check out the link, it's for a redeemer which can add much more clarity to your tone. It's an easy install too.

http://www.creationaudiolabs.com/redeemer This is the redeemer, which can give you the brightness you are looking for.
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