I have a '92 American Standard Strat i've owned since new, and it's THE guitar by which I judge all others. Anyway, stupid me - I ditched the factory pickups and installed some Fender Samarium Cobalts when they first came out, but the old girl has never been the same. Whilst they got rave reviews at the time, the SCN sound has never really pushed my buttons - the tone is a bit sterile and lacking that indefinable mojo it once had in the chime and jangle department.

I'm looking at the GFS options for replacement, as far as I can see I have three main alternatives to suit what i'm chasing - the 1959 or 1963 'pro series', or 1964 'grey bottoms'. Does anyone out there have experience with any of these sets? If it's possible to explain - what are the audible differences between these options? Any info or enlightenment is much appreciated

As the radius on my Am Std is quite flat, i'm wondering if a staggered pole piece layout should be avoided, or if it's a non-issue (and maybe adds sonic charm)? I play in the vein of Brian Setzer, Danny Gatton or Chet Atkins so I want an even response from each string. Also not sure which 'gain' option I should go for in the bridge.

I've installed a few sets of GFS pickups now and am yet to be disappointed, but this will be my first strat set. If you want to tell me Fralins or Dimarzios are better, or just want to bash the GFS brand - save it for another thread so we can keep this on topic
i'm not a fan of the samarium's either and personally prefer the Lace Sensors they had in the Strat Plus series way more. they don't have the vintage sound if that is what you are after.

as for the pups you mentioned there will only be slight differences. the 64's will have a tiny bit more output and a little less chime to them. either set will give you a vintage sound if that is what you want.
I bought the SCN's on Ebay on the back of great reviews at the time. I've given myself 5 years to warm to them, but i've never been happy with their vibe... i'm on a quest to get my old chime and jangle back. My #1 guitar needs a sound as pretty as it looks:

I can't lie - i'm most interested in GFS pickups. I've tried all the main p/u makers over the years, but my favourite tone weapons both have GFS p/u's installed (Flying V with Mean 90s, Fender Strat with Crunchy PAT and Dream 180)... add a good-to-go 60s Strat sound and i'll be in heaven.

Here is my Strat w/ GFS p/u's.... it rules:

Last edited by ravenhaller at Feb 4, 2012,
I've ended up going with the 63 Pro Series GFS pickups. I guess time will tell if i've made the right choice.