EMG 81/85 vs Gibson 498/490,on Les Paul Zakk Wylde

Discussion in 'Pickups, Electronics & General Tech' started by Belensky, Apr 28, 2019.

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  1. Belensky

    Belensky SS.org Regular

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    Active pickups were never my thing so Finally I took off EMG pickups from my Zakk Wylde Les Paul and put Gibson 490R/498T combo. Same guitar recorded through same chain with same amp settings.


     
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  2. AkiraSpectrum

    AkiraSpectrum SS.org Regular

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    Nice comparison video!
    How do you feel about the pickup change?

    EMG's are definitely cool pickups but aren't my thing either--they just don't have the depth and organic sound I have grown to prefer. However, they definitely do some cool sounds (high gain and clean-wise) and tend to sit well in a mix without much fiddling.

    I have a 498/490 set in a my Les Paul Menace, but the set is a small derivation from the normal pickups because it features dual slug coils. Based on my experience with this slightly modified set, I definitely like the 490r for mid and high gain leads as it has a nice depth and organic quality (as long as you don't have the 490r too close to the strings, where it can make things muddy). The 498T is a cool pickup and sounds pretty good, but there is too much of a mid-scoop for me and it can get a little harsh at times and is a touch too powerful for my tastes--but that's just my experience and preference.

    You really made the 498 sound good!
     
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  3. Belensky

    Belensky SS.org Regular

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    for me I really feel that 490/498 big is improvement over EMG. same a you said, more organic open sound, where EMG has that thing like you have layer of clean sound over your distortion(some dirt on high frequencies especially when you hitting hard on palm mutes).

    I also tried gibson 500t and bare knuckle crawler.
    500t was to boomy and more harsh in top end, crawler had to much of soft mids(I think it is pickup that will make your Strat sound more like LP and does't really work on LP itself)

    for me 498 is really good, maybe I would like it to have a little tighter low end and more high mids, but it's really good pickup (I know some people like to bash it for some reason), next pickups im looking to try is suhr aldrich

    I was a little afraid that Zakk Wylde Les Paul with 490/498 will became just ordinary LP custom, but it's not the case, to me it still sounds like his guitar if you want so, otherwise it sounds like ideal hard rock metal Les Paul. i'm happy that swapped pickups.
     
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  4. Flappydoodle

    Flappydoodle SS.org Regular

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    This is why I keep two Les Pauls.

    One with the stock humbuckers (Classic 57) which sound perfect for Guns n Roses, Gary Moore etc

    And the other with EMG81/60, which sounds perfect for standard tuning riffing - Metallica, Trivium etc

    I don't think there's such a thing as "better" because those two are so different. You're going to struggle to sound like Trivium with a 490, and you're definitely going to struggle to sound like Slash with EMGs.
     

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