Author Topic: Gibson 490/498 vs boutique ThroBak Pickups on Gibson Les Paul Zakk Wylde  (Read 628 times)

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Offline Belensky

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https://youtu.be/DlvlTfCtF3Y

Trying some other pickups for my Zakk Wylde Les Paul, still can't decide which I like more, gibson or ThroBak.
basically I'm very happy with 490/498, but as far as Clarity and openness ThroBak Is whole other league, but because it's PAF repro, im not sure if it's right fit for my Gibson Les Paul Zakk Wylde, this guitar intended to be most for metal and hard rock.
which one do you like more?
Gibson 490R, 498T Ė were taken from old Les Paul Custom from 90's
Neck Ė A2 magnet, 7.8K
Bridge Ė A5 magnet, 13.8K
ThroBak Diсk Wagner Signature Set
Neck Ė 8.3K (long A5 Unoriented),
Bridge 9.2K (short A5)
« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 10:19:22 am by Belensky »

Offline DarthPhineas

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What are your goals?

Are those the only 2 options you are considering?
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Offline gtrjunior

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They both sounded good but Iíd have to lean toward the Throback set.

But like Darth said...some context as to what you want to hear out of the rig would be helpful.

Offline Belensky

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What are your goals?

Are those the only 2 options you are considering?

basically something in between these two pickups tightness and clarity of ThroBack and big tone of 498, but I kind of happy with both, just though to share video, maybe somebody will have some input, or having same question as I did

Offline HarlowTheFish

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If you want to keep this as a guitar more for rock and metal but have a very "gibsony" sound, the 500T/495R combo are pretty good for that. A decent bit hotter than the ones you've got though.

Offline BluesJam

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Iím not sure about Throback pickups, but you cannot go wrong with low power PAFís.  The Gibson Classics are great, and sometimes only a Gibson will do.  Also companies like DiMarzio and Duncan allow  you to exchange  pickups, too.  Obviously Duncan Alnico IIís and DiMarzio 36 anniversary would work great too.   The DiMarzio EJ is the sleeper of the bunch.  Very articulate with single coil characteristics.

Donít get caught up with marketing words like boutique.  Itís just snake oil words.  Buy with your ears and not your eyes.

« Last Edit: July 17, 2019, 06:13:39 pm by BluesJam »

Offline Belensky

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Also companies like DiMarzio and Duncan allow  you to exchange  pickups, too. 
to bad im living in EU, so this policy doesnt really applies here.

Offline Belensky

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Donít get caught up with marketing words like boutique.  Itís just snake oil words.  Buy with your ears and not your eyes.

this is what im doing. for example BKP is considered to be boutique pickups, I tried quite few models, and didn't like any. Dimarzio, Duncan, Gibson makers great stuff.

Offline Belensky

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If you want to keep this as a guitar more for rock and metal but have a very "gibsony" sound, the 500T/495R combo are pretty good for that. A decent bit hotter than the ones you've got though.
tried 500t, didn't like it, more mud, more low end, more dirt than 498.

Offline DarthPhineas

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What are your goals?

Are those the only 2 options you are considering?

basically something in between these two pickups tightness and clarity of ThroBack and big tone of 498, but I kind of happy with both, just though to share video, maybe somebody will have some input, or having same question as I did



it sounds as if you're wanting suggestions.  but you're saying you options are limited by being in the EU.

here are a few suggestions that might be just as accessible:  look at your amp, your cabs, and your speakers.


and I'm solidly with BluesJam on the hype of "boutique" pickups, which I'd consider ThroBak, Lollar, Fralin, and others that I won't name because I'm not a huge fan of the ludicrous prices some places ask (which could include ThroBak, for example).

I think BKP can't be compartmentalized into the "boutique" moniker any more.  I think they've become part of the "establishment".  and even so, I cannot really think of anything they carry that might fit your goals... maybe the Abraxas.  but I'd look for a pre-owned one as I'd not want anyone to pay that much for a pickup.

since you are in the EU, look at Hathor Pickups, out of Poland.  let him know I referred you.

it's hard to suggest a DiMarzio, as I think it's fair to suggest they aren't leading the pack with their PAF style options.  look to them for the more contemporary possibilities.

the one that comes to mind would be the Duncan Antiquity humbucker set, but there are possible limitation with the long mounting legs and vintage-style braided wire connectors.  they have all the ear candy that people generally think of when considering vintage style humbuckers, but I also find them to perform well under higher gain... which is a consideration for me when some classic PAF style (like the BKP Mule or the Duncan Seth Lover) can generally need just a little more gain out of the amp to keep up.

the Mojotone 59 Clone set with the Hot '59 Clone Bridge option is another cool option.  you can ask for them with whatever baseplate and lead wire options without getting in to a big custom shop sort of situation.
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Offline BluesJam

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Believe it or not, Schaller Golden 50ís is a nice pickup.  I had them on a Heritage Guitar.  My main guitar uses an inexpensive $40 DiMarzio FS1ís.  So does the Edge, and he can afford anything or custom made.  Sometimes, I think manufacturers should put mirrors in pickup packaging, 80% of sound issues are with the user.  Ebay and You Tube filled with boutique builders.  I saw a Beatles tribute band and they did their shows with Epiphones and Gretschs through Vox amps with very little guitar effects.  Itís sounded great.  Gear choices are key in getting a great sound. 

Offline DarthPhineas

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Believe it or not, Schaller Golden 50ís is a nice pickup.  I had them on a Heritage Guitar.  My main guitar uses an inexpensive $40 DiMarzio FS1ís.  So does the Edge, and he can afford anything or custom made.  Sometimes, I think manufacturers should put mirrors in pickup packaging, 80% of sound issues are with the user.  Ebay and You Tube filled with boutique builders.  I saw a Beatles tribute band and they did their shows with Epiphones and Gretschs through Vox amps with very little guitar effects.  Itís sounded great.  Gear choices are key in getting a great sound.


It was a genuine eye-opener when I was engineering a session in the 90s. The guy came in with a Rickenback, a Vox, and no pedals, going into a Neve via a SM57. Holy cow!

And most of the old albums and songs that we refer to as classic tones, a lot were done with bone stock gear. 
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Offline Belensky

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back then there wasn't such thing a boutique builders, and vintage gear was called Used gear.

Offline BluesJam

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Yes.....there were no replacement pickups and you had to work with what you got.  No excuse for underperforming or poor sounds from instruments.  People worked through the problem.  Thatís why lots of older artists have numerous amps to color the sounds.  A guitar will react differently when using a vox, Marshall. Fender or a pignose

Offline DarthPhineas

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Gibson 490/498 vs boutique ThroBak Pickups on Gibson Les Paul Zakk Wylde
« Reply #14 on: July 19, 2019, 07:17:14 am »
Thatís why lots of older artists have numerous amps to color the sounds.


SRVís #1 was a mutt with a body from one year, a neck from another, and a 1959 pick guard with stock Fender pickups. He used a combination of 3-4 different amps and an assortment of pedals. Homeboys tone was huge and was coming out of relatively low output single coils.
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