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Help identifying old Gibson pickup (maybe 80's)

darkwave

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
364
Hello all,

I bought a modded guitar many years ago and was told the pickups were "a JB and a 59". When I eventually opened the guitar up it turned out to have a Duncan Distortion at the bridge and a high-output Gibson humbucker at the neck. I always assumed it was a 500T but now I'm not sure. I replaced it with a 57 classic with an A5 swap and was happier. Recently, I was trying to find images online that had similar slots and spacers on the baseplate like this particular pickup but realize now it might have been hacked together from parts. Looking closer I think someone put a vintage-spaced screw coil on the wide-spaced side of a modern baseplate (and cut clearance slots, rougher than I remember).

It is covered, with vintage pole-spacing (not wide like most 500Ts), single conductor cable, and it reads 15.6K. Not a great neck pickup, and kinda harsh. I haven't taken the cover off yet, so I don't know if it has the triple ceramic mag structure. Does this look familiar to anyone?

gibson_pickup.jpg
 

darkwave

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
364
Hello all,

I bought a modded guitar many years ago and was told the pickups were "a JB and a 59". When I eventually opened the guitar up it turned out to have a Duncan Distortion at the bridge and a high-output Gibson humbucker at the neck. I always assumed it was a 500T but now I'm not sure. I replaced it with a 57 classic with an A5 swap and was happier. Recently, I was trying to find images online that had similar slots and spacers on the baseplate like this particular pickup but realize now it might have been hacked together from parts. Looking closer I think someone put a vintage-spaced screw coil on the wide-spaced side of a modern baseplate (and cut clearance slots, rougher than I remember).

It is covered, with vintage pole-spacing (not wide like most 500Ts), single conductor cable, and it reads 15.6K. Not a great neck pickup, and kinda harsh. I haven't taken the cover off yet, so I don't know if it has the triple ceramic mag structure. Does this look familiar to anyone?

View attachment 25439
Well, curiosity got the best of me. Opened it up to find that this pickup had three black magnets under the coils, so it would seem to actually be a 500T. But... it is a standard zebra (screw coil is cream) while *every* photo I find of 500T zebras online has the reverse (the black coil is screw). With the narrow spacing, is it possible this is an early 500T that someone put on a new baseplate (they had to mod to fit)?

- Douglas C.
 

Big Al

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 24, 2002
Messages
14,547
A homebrew heavy modded basement job. That is not a Gibson pickup. The cream coil was grafted on and the base altered because it didn't line up with holes.
Quite possibly it once was a 500T.
 

darkwave

Member
Joined
Sep 17, 2001
Messages
364
Thanks for the reply Al. It became obvious this pickup had stories as soon as I looked closer at those cut slots, but I had already started the post…

I was looking for something with much higher output than I usually use to put in a middle slot and keep low (out of the way of my picking). Had this sitting around, might still give it a try unless I find another option handy…

- Douglas C.
 
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