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SG Standard and SG Special: What's the difference?
Two popular units from the Modern Classics series, Gibson's 490T and 490R pickups ("T" for treble, and "R" for rhythm) have the traditional characteristics of the original "Patent Applied For" pickups of the late 1950s, with a few upgrades. These pickups take advantage of wax potting, which does away with any air space inside the pickup, therefore lessening the chances of microphonic feedback.
The result is a humbucker with the tonal characteristics of an original PAF, with a slight increase in upper mid-range response. Used as a set, this pair is also calibrated for outstanding output balance, with the slightly overwound 490T in the bridge position easily matching the output of the 490R in the neck.
Gibson's 490R and 490T both use Alnico II bar magnets.
Used together, the 490R and 490T constitute an extremely versatile humbucking pickup set. In the neck position, the former yields juicy, warm vocal tones with outstanding clarity, while the latter in the bridge position excels at everything from bright jangle through a clean amp to wailing overdrive with outstanding sustain through a high-gain amp. Selected together, the pair gives you everything from funky to greasy, depending upon amp and effects settings.
The SG Special Faded uses an individual volume control for each pickup, which consists of a quality 300k linear potentiometer for a smooth, natural volume roll-off.
The SG Special Faded features individual tone controls for each pickup, comprised of 500k non-linear potentiometers with .022mF tone capacitors for a smooth transition from bright to warm.
The SG Special Faded features one three-way Switchcraft toggle switch. In the down position, only the bridge pickup is active. In the middle position, both pickups are active. In the up position, only the neck pickup is active.
The guitar features a 1⁄4" output jack made by Switchcraft. Its super heavy duty construction holds your guitar cable securely in place.