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Thread: Gibson 490 magnet swap

  1. #1
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    Default Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Unlike a lot of people I actually like the sound of the 490T in my SG Special...for the most part. I want to add a little bass and output, so I'm thinking of putting in a long rough cast UOA5. I also have short rough UOA5, rough A5, long and short A4, A3, A8, and ceramic mags at my disposal. As for the 490R, I'd like to make it less full / broad / corpulent sounding. Would a short rough UOA5 make much of a difference, or would I be better off with another magnet? Thanks

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    Ultimate Kitten Puncher King IzzO)))'s Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    A4 in the R, UOA5 in the T, try that, sounds like what you're looking for.

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    Mojo's Minions ItsaBass's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Raise the T; lower the R.

    That's Gibson's best stock humbucker set IMO. They're the prefect pickups for an SG.
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by toneseeker74 View Post
    Unlike a lot of people I actually like the sound of the 490T in my SG Special...for the most part. I want to add a little bass and output, so I'm thinking of putting in a long rough cast UOA5. I also have short rough UOA5, rough A5, long and short A4, A3, A8, and ceramic mags at my disposal. As for the 490R, I'd like to make it less full / broad / corpulent sounding. Would a short rough UOA5 make much of a difference, or would I be better off with another magnet? Thanks
    This advice applies to SGs ONLY.

    For vibrant, modern, all-arounder tone, I think a good mag combo could be an A5neck/A8bridge.

    For harmonic complexity, clarity, most vintage-y tone, UOA5 for both p'ups could work great.

    Special care must be given to set the p'ups height in relationship to the strings, specially if UOA5 mags are used.

    HTH,
    Last edited by LtKojak; 05-23-2013 at 11:55 AM.

  5. #5
    Mojo's Minions blueman335's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    For vibrant, modern, all-arounder tone, I think a good mag combo could be an A5neck/A8bridge.

    For harmonic complexity, clarity, most vintage-y tone, UOA5 for both p'ups could work great.

    Special care must be given to set the p'ups height in relationship to the strings, specially if UOA5 mags are used.

    HTH,
    +1. Couldn't have said it better.
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    This advice applies to SGs ONLY.

    For vibrant, modern, all-arounder tone, I think a good mag combo could be an A5neck/A8bridge.

    For harmonic complexity, clarity, most vintage-y tone, UOA5 for both p'ups could work great.

    Special care must be given to set the p'ups height in relationship to the strings, specially if UOA5 mags are used.

    HTH,
    LtKojak, what special care should I take with pickup height when using UOA5's? I have tweaked the pickup height a good bit so far with the stock pickups. I'd like to set the 490R a little lower, but when I get it close to flush with the pickguard it starts to wobble. Maybe I need stiffer springs or switch the springs to surgical tubing. Thoughts?

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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by toneseeker74 View Post
    LtKojak, what special care should I take with pickup height when using UOA5's? I have tweaked the pickup height a good bit so far with the stock pickups. I'd like to set the 490R a little lower, but when I get it close to flush with the pickguard it starts to wobble. Maybe I need stiffer springs or switch the springs to surgical tubing. Thoughts?
    WHY do you wanna set'em so low?

    In p'ups like yours, usually the starting point of the search for the "sweet spot" is (for the bridge p'up) is 3/64", and IME, most times than not, you hit it within a couple of turns of that measure...

    Care to explain?

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    The neck seriously overpowers the bridge pickup unless I set it very low. Then again, my 490T seems to be underwound because it only meters out at 7.7k whereas my 490R meters at 7.8k.

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    Senior Member fwr1982's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Try a ceramic mag; I had excellent results!

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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by toneseeker74 View Post
    The neck seriously overpowers the bridge pickup unless I set it very low. Then again, my 490T seems to be underwound because it only meters out at 7.7k whereas my 490R meters at 7.8k.
    That's... erm... weird?

    Measure you 490T polepiece spread and confirm it's ca. 52mm, and please let me know.

    If the measure is ca. 52mm, so the culprit is the magnet, not holding the necessary charge.

    Anyway, with the A5/A8 mag swap I've recommended, the neck won't overpower the bridge, that much I can assure you!

    HTH,
    Last edited by LtKojak; 05-24-2013 at 12:58 PM.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by LtKojak View Post
    That's... erm... weird?

    Measure you 490T polepiece spread and confirm it's ca. 52mm, and please let me know.

    If the measure is ca. 52mm, so the culprit is the magnet, not holding the necessary charge.

    Anyway, with the A5/A8 mag swap I've recommended, the neck won't overpower the bridge, that much I can assure you!

    HTH,
    I measured the bridge pickup, and it is wider than the neck pickup. Time for a magnet swap!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    I have a stock 1993 les paul standard with 490 pickups. I am looking to increase the output of bridge pickup with A8 magnet. also purchased UOA5's in case don't like the sound of the A8's. swapping magnets so can keep looking original. I know this is old thread but curious to know any thoughts?

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Welcome to the forum!
    While I am not a fan of the 490s, I'd love to hear what you experience with the magnet swap. Let us know what happens.
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    thank you! happy to be a new member.
    I'll make vid showing before and after.

    likely make the swap this weekend.

  15. #15
    Tone Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    I know this is a necro thread, but I've tried the stock A2/A5 combo, a UOA5 bridge with an A2 neck, same with an A3 neck, and I've settled on UOA5 for both pickups. There are a lot of reasons, but the main ones are these.

    The UOA5 in the bridge gives it a nicer, warmer character, losing the shriller high end of the stock pickup and balancing out the tone to my ears. It sounds thicker, more balanced and somewhat warmer. It also reduces output, but only slightly, and therefore makes it a more vintage-sounding pickup, but still hot enough to be what it is -- a higher output humbucker.

    The UOA5 in the neck has somewhat of the opposite effect. It retains the A2 character, with nice midrange and a vocal quality, but it gives enough of an increase in the high end that it makes the pickup clearer. I've said before the UOA5 in the 490r does Slash better than the Slash APII does. Very, very nice pickup with this magnet. It also increases output, but only slightly, balancing the set much better than the stock A2/A5 combo.

    If you have this set in a Les Paul, I cannot recommend the UOA5 in both pickups highly enough.

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by David Garner View Post
    ...
    The UOA5 in the neck has somewhat of the opposite effect. It retains the A2 character, with nice midrange and a vocal quality, but it gives enough of an increase in the high end that it makes the pickup clearer. I've said before the UOA5 in the 490r does Slash better than the Slash APII does. Very, very nice pickup with this magnet. It also increases output, but only slightly, balancing the set much better than the stock A2/A5 combo.
    ...
    i have similiar experience but with a short A5 instead of a UOA5

  17. #17
    LoveMachineologist jeremy's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson 490 magnet swap

    Quote Originally Posted by David Garner View Post
    I know this is a necro thread, but I've tried the stock A2/A5 combo, a UOA5 bridge with an A2 neck, same with an A3 neck, and I've settled on UOA5 for both pickups. There are a lot of reasons, but the main ones are these.

    The UOA5 in the bridge gives it a nicer, warmer character, losing the shriller high end of the stock pickup and balancing out the tone to my ears. It sounds thicker, more balanced and somewhat warmer. It also reduces output, but only slightly, and therefore makes it a more vintage-sounding pickup, but still hot enough to be what it is -- a higher output humbucker.

    The UOA5 in the neck has somewhat of the opposite effect. It retains the A2 character, with nice midrange and a vocal quality, but it gives enough of an increase in the high end that it makes the pickup clearer. I've said before the UOA5 in the 490r does Slash better than the Slash APII does. Very, very nice pickup with this magnet. It also increases output, but only slightly, balancing the set much better than the stock A2/A5 combo.

    If you have this set in a Les Paul, I cannot recommend the UOA5 in both pickups highly enough.
    the stock 490r/490t set both have a2 as far as i know. the 498t has a5

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