Sound — 10
The 498T is a 500T with an Alnico Magnet rather than the 500s Ceramic Magnet. It has a rounder tone without as much bite and edge. It's better suited to bodys that lack the Les Paul's maple cap. It's well balanced and VERY HOT. This is a bridge pickup best suited for Electric Blues and Hard Rock. I use one in my old Japanese Epiphone LP (mahogany, no maple) and have played it thru a wide variety of both tube and solid state Amps. It's always remained exceptionally distinctive. If you think the 5ooT is a little to harsh for what you want, TRY the 498T.
Overall Impression — 9
This is a pickup for the discerning and experienced player. It's got better articulation and more subtlty than the 500T with the same power and definition. About the only complaint I'd make is that it's expensive and hard to find. I demand exceptional sound from my equipment and this pickup delivers. It has qualitys that I have yet to find duplicated by any other pickup.
Reliability & Durability — 10
Gibson USA pickups are always depedable and last for decades. Their reputayion goes back to the beginning of the electric Guitar era and is about as good as it gets. I have enormous confidence in them and never have had one fail. They set the standard everyone else has to follow.