Gibson 498T

Gibson 498T Chrome

I purchased this hum bucker, a Gisbon 498T Chrome, to go into a custom Stratocaster copy, but after being stalled on that project for more than a year I decided to install it into a vintage Japanese Les Paul copy.

The guitar it went into is a mid-70′s Aria produced by Matsumoku.  The exact model number is unknown, but it’s a Les Paul copy.  Two humbuckers (Maxon), each with a volume and tone knob, and a three-way selector switch.  (due to a damaged potentiometer, the guitar had to be completely rewired to use a master volume and tone)  I originally thought that the original bridge pickup had gone dead, but I believe it may in fact be fine.  At any rate, I had decided to wire the Gibson 498T into the bridge position.

Gibson’s Product Description: “A high-output version of the 490T, Gibson’s 498T humbucker combines the more powerful response of an Alnico V magnet with additional matched windings on each coil, which puts the emphasis on the pickup’s upper midrange frequencies for enhanced crunch and sustain. The 498T is perfect for any hard rock application, easily overdriving amplifiers for a beefy, sizzling output that boosts any guitar’s power and presence. The pole pieces on the 498T are also aligned a little further apart to accommodate the spacing of the strings at the bridge, which is different than the spacing of the strings at the neck. This aids in producing powerful leads and thick rhythm without sacrificing single-note definition. The 498T features shielded, four-conductor wiring for series, parallel or split coil operation, and is fully wax potted to eliminate any chance of microphonic feedback.”

I’ll go on the record and say that I love the tone produced by the neck pickup.  It’s very warm and bluesy.  I would say that any decently made pickup acquires a beautiful tone after more than 30 years of aging.  For any “hot” tones the 498T certainly fits the bill.  Licks like ZZ Top’s La Grange come to life, and the grinding riffs from The Smashing Pumpkins’ Today are easily attainable.  Installation of the 498T was not very complicated, because Gibson makes the wiring diagrams available for download.  Also, I did not set it up for coil splitting, which aided in the ease of installation.

All in all, I would definitely recommend this humbucker to anyone looking to get a hotter tone out of their guitar.