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Thread: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

  1. #1
    Tone Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    I’ve been wanting to try one. Figured I’d buy used and lessen the cost if I don’t like it.

    This is going into a 93 Les Paul Standard. Replacing the 498t. I may keep the 490r, which I love with a UOA5 magnet. If I decide to replace it, though, what would y’all suggest?

    Thinking of a 59, Jazz or APH-2n. I have a Pearly (Custom Shop) in my other LP but I wouldn’t be horribly opposed to getting one for this one too.

  2. #2
    Ultimate Tone Member BeKindRewind's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    I'd go with either the 59' or the Jazz depends what you want. The Jazz would be the furthest thing away from the Pearly in your other guitar - unless you're married to the sound of the Pearly,maybe a Jazz would be a cool thing to try. I do love the 59 as well.

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    Toneologist JamesPaul's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    I think first try the JB with your 490R UOA5. You are already happy with it, so if it works with the JB you are set.

    If not, I am a fan of the Jazz in the neck. I do have one '59 neck, but had to use an A4 mag in it as it was on the boomy side in my '93 Classic.
    I miss the 80's (girls) !!!

    Seymour Duncans currently in use - In Les Pauls: Duncan Custom(b)/Jazz(n), Duncan Distortion(b)/Jazz(n), 59(b)/59(n) w/A4 mag, P-Rails(b)/P-Rails(n); In a Bullet S-3: P-Rails(b)/stock/Vintage Stack Tele(n); In a Dot: Seth Lover(b)/Seth Lover(n); In a Del Mar: Mag Mic; In a Lead II: Custom Shop Fender X-1(b)

  4. #4
    Tone Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    Quote Originally Posted by JamesPaul View Post
    I think first try the JB with your 490R UOA5. You are already happy with it, so if it works with the JB you are set.

    If not, I am a fan of the Jazz in the neck. I do have one '59 neck, but had to use an A4 mag in it as it was on the boomy side in my '93 Classic.
    Thanks -- I definitely plan do try the 490r first. I was impressed with the 498t with the UOA5, but I was downright floored by how good the 490r is with it. Assuming it works with the JB (which should be a touch hotter than the 498t/UOA5), I'll keep it.

  5. #5
    Tone Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    I found a 59n for $50 on Reverb. I went ahead and bought it because at that price I might as well find out. I’ll flip it if I don’t like it.

    Based on Andy’s Pro Guitar Shop demo here:

    https://youtu.be/FiGgWDbhUNY

    I also ordered a push/pull pot to split the JB. Because again, why not see?

  6. #6
    Tone Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    I will install the JB first to be sure I have a baseline for the 59. It’s easier to compare if I don’t change everything at once.

  7. #7
    Tone Member David Garner's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    Who was I kidding. Once I ordered the 59, I guess curiosity was just going to get the better of me. I installed them both last night. Got to unwind them through a proper tube amp this morning. They are amazing.

    The JB was right at 16.4, so right on spec, and the 59 was 7.4, which is I think a touch cooler than spec. I don't yet have the push/pull pot so I haven't gotten a chance to split the JB yet. I'll report back when that is done.

    I've seen people here say the Custom or Custom 5 is closer to the 498t, but honestly it sounds to me like they meant the 498t to copy the JB. The JB is a touch hotter and a touch clearer, probably because the 498t has this grit to the midrange that is ever-present, whereas the JB will smooth out if you get the height correct. But they have the same basic tonality. Very heavy in the upper mids, somewhat loose but not too loose bottom end, biting but not ice-pick highs. Lots of punch. They sound a lot alike. The 59 is glorious in the neck of this guitar. It, by contrast, is not all that much like the stock 490r, but it sounds a lot like MY 490r with a UOA5 magnet in it. Lots of bite and clarity. Not boomy or muddy at all, pretty much the opposite of what its detractors say it is.

    Perhaps I'm lucky and I just got one of those Les Pauls that this set works in, but I am very pleased. It's exactly what I wanted -- sort of like the pickups I had in it, but a little better. The JB has more punch and bite in the bridge and harmonics just jump off of it, probably due to the extra windings compared to the 498t. The 59 has just a touch more clarity and bite in the neck while still giving that flutey beautiful LP neck tone. They balance well together. I'll report back when I can split that JB.

  8. #8
    Mojo's Minions Masta' C's Avatar
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    Default Re: Just scored a mid-80s JB-L

    Yup, the 498T is essentially Gibson's JB, but, as you said, a little lower output and a little grainier.

    My favorite JB was also an '80s JB-"L"...good ol' Lydia Daniels

    Glad you're digging the new set!

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