#1
Hey guys, I have a quadrilemma or something of that sort right now. i'm in hunt for a new pickup set (maybe individual pickups) that would be superior to my taste in music.

I have a '05 Made in Mexico Fender Stratocaster, with new high quality electronics, and a blocked tremolo. The pickup set thats in right now are the Fender Hot Noiseless Pickup set. At the time, I wasn't too much into shielding, so i went for the noiseless. Now i have the full knowledge to just get my strat hum-free, so i'm looking for better pickups tone-wise. i won't care if it's noiseless or anything, don't care if it's not reverse wound middle pickup or anything. I just want the pickup set that's the best fit for me, at relatively decent price.

The two amps I plug my guitar through are: Fender Blues Jr. and a Marshall JCM2000 DSL401 Combos. The Blues Jr. is equipped with Weber Vintage speaker producing a late '50s tweed-ish tone, and new Tungsol 12AX7 preamp tubes providing fatter, crisper, bit more gainy sound.

I have two pedals right now, which are:
-Dunlop Crybaby Original wah-wah, with some modifications from hell, which nails any vintage wah tone. three knobs, two switches. what can i say.
-BYOC TubeScreamer Clone, quite a few modifications including TS808 specs, RC4558 chip, higher input impedance, high quality components delivering spectacular sound.

I'll be getting a Phaser, Delay, and a vintage Rat Clone very soon too. all pedals are True-Bypass.

I play mid gain blues exclusively, sometimes going a bit more for some Van Halen, Guns N Roses, and Deep Purple. Those more gain tones aren't too big on me. Im considering much more for my mid gain blues tone. The bands/guitarists tone that i chase are:
Eric Clapton - stuff from the '05 Cream Reunion tone i REALLY dig. also, the Layla album's overdrive i dig too. both have great sustain and edge. i can get the creamy overdrive from my amp.
Stevie Ray Vaughan - tone from his live versions of Voodoo Child. Sustainy, edgy, not too middy sounding. I also like his tone from Live at Carnegie Hall. Tone from the studio version of "Cold Shot" is a great tone i want to play with too.
Jimi Hendrix - Kind of an extra, but if i can get this tone, i'd love it.
David Gilmour - iono if its possible, but i want his kind of tone too. but it would be something extra that wouldn't be too important.

I've looked into following companies/pickups:
GFS Alnico Premium Overwound Set
GFS '60s Repro Overwound Alnico Hot Strat Pickup Set
GFS '64 staggered Overwound Grey-Bottom Rock Pickup Set
Fender Custom Shop '57/'62 pickups *
Fender Custom Shop '69 pickups *
Dimarzio YJM pickups**
Seymour Duncan?**

*means very expensive...
**means just a bit expensive...

as you can see, i'm leaning towards the GFS pickups. Alnico Premium Overwound in particular. I want the Alnico warmth, and kinda believe that can help me get to my tone that i want from my rig.

Also, I don't really want a "Texas Wound" pickup set with really hot bridge pickups, since I like to use all my pickups and don't want to have too much output from just the bridge position. i sort of need equal output when put into each position.

I want more pick dynamics from my pickups. currently, my pickups sound too hot in any way i pick. if i pick hard, it does sound hard... but when i pick soft, it's pretty hot still. i need pickups that can handle my dynamics.

and cheaper is a plus. i'm a poor in-coming college student wanting awesome tone. i don't know if it's possible, but i got the guitar (i think its okay...), i got the pedals, i got the amps. And i concluded my guitar needs the pickup upgrade next.

any comment, post, criticizm is awesome. i'd highly appreciate if you can keep this thread alive for a bit. i need knowledgeable people to come by and help me too. if anybody want to offer for my Hot Noiseless pickup set after i get my new ones, that would be awesome too.

Thanks In Advance.
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
Last edited by ECistheBest at Sep 1, 2007,
#2
Custom shop '69 for the woodstock jimi/gilmour tone. i hear theyre highly sought after
#3
Give CorduroyEW a ring. He speaks strongly against GFS.
FOR AWESOME HANDWOUND PICKUPS, CONTACT CorduroyEW
BOOBS
Quote by ratmblink123
Good for you. Have a cookie.


But really... there's no cookie. And if there was, you wouldn't get one.
#5
^hm... thats some expensive pickups. are those lindy fralins worth more than three times the cost of a set of GFSs?

^^and yea. i know corduroy. hes making handwound pickups and all... i will contact him.

Quote by Sun-burst
Custom shop '69 for the woodstock jimi/gilmour tone. i hear theyre highly sought after

yea. but that's not my main thing.
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
Last edited by ECistheBest at Sep 1, 2007,
#7
^i e-mailed him. i want to know bout that too.

what would u say forsaknazrael?

btw, i was at san diego like two days ago
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#8
Quote by forsaknazrael
Is that so? What does he say?

He says that what the website says, in terms of what materials they use, contradicts their actual product.
FOR AWESOME HANDWOUND PICKUPS, CONTACT CorduroyEW
BOOBS
Quote by ratmblink123
Good for you. Have a cookie.


But really... there's no cookie. And if there was, you wouldn't get one.
#11
^yea it sounds like it haha.
I e-mailed cord. i'm waiting for response. does anybody have decent experience with GFS pickups?
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#13
hm... i'm currently reading harmony-central's reviews on GFS pickups. the I28 one that i posted up there says it loses magnetic pull after 2 months or something... wierd.

now i really don't know... i need Cord to convince the crap out of me to get out of the GFS pickups... it seems like they're excellent pickups...

waht do you think of these? http://store.guitarfetish.com/19reovalhots.html
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#14
Quote by ECistheBest
hm... i'm currently reading harmony-central's reviews on GFS pickups. the I28 one that i posted up there says it loses magnetic pull after 2 months or something... wierd.

now i really don't know... i need Cord to convince the crap out of me to get out of the GFS pickups... it seems like they're excellent pickups...

waht do you think of these? http://store.guitarfetish.com/19reovalhots.html

I'm not a big fan of overly overwound single coils, especially for the neck. I have my neck at 6-ishK, I think. Maybe 7. I need my single coil cleans to be sparkly and clean.
I'd only buy the Greybottoms, if I went GFS single coils.
#15
why the greybottoms? what would be the difference or do you have experience?
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#17
hm... i see. do you think it'd be an upgrade or a downgrade form my stacked humbucker (Fender Hot Noiseless)?

somebody stated that the magnet loses attraction over the years. so would getting an overwound bright pickup end up with a slightly mellow vintagey overwound pickup after the magnet attraction loss?
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
Last edited by ECistheBest at Sep 1, 2007,
#19
^duh. im gonna do all the shielding that i don't have. i have star ground so i think im fine.
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard
#20
Deffinetly lower output pups

Maybe try the Malmsteen combo like a YJM in the neck and an HS-3 in the bridge. There nice and low output and sound great for what your playing too. They really retain the dynamics and the sound of your guitar.
#21
ECristheBest, I sent you an email.

CORT noob is right about my complaint with GFS. They make all sorts of promises about their pickups that they don't keep. They will say formvar but then give you poly. They will say Plane enamel, but then give you poly. They say it's a "hot" pickup but it's only wound to 5.3K. Truth is, they sell the same exact pickup under several names with several different descriptions about the tone you will get. Sometimes you get lucky with GFS and you get exactly what you thought they were selling you. When you don't get lucky then people don't get upset because they were only in $60. On the other hand, that is $60 they could have saved so that they could get the right pickups to begin with.

Take a look at this web page.
http://store.guitarfetish.com/gfspiialiiha.html

Notice the color of the pickups. That is what poly looks like. Plane Enamel is black! Notice the sloppy winding on his pickup. That is coil to loosen over time and it'll get microphonic. He says he is using Alnico 2 magnets and plane enamel wire for vintage 50's tone but in the 50's they used Alnico 5 magnets and formvar wire. He talks about doing things to vintage specs but nothing about those pickups meat vintage specs. He uses the wrong wire, the wrong DC resistance, and the wrong magnets. The only thing that is vintage about these is the forbon bobbins. Those pickups will not Give you a vintage tone! Makes me wonder if he knows what vintage tone is or if he knows what vintage specs are.

All that said, they might sound great, they just won't sound vintage.

In my opinion, GFS is a great company for people that have little money and their guitar doesn't sound at all they way they want it to, but a set of Vintage GFS pickups probably won't sound much different than your stock pickups. For the people that need higher output GFS can be a very good choice. For people that have high output and need low output GFS can be a very good choice. For people that Have low to moderate output and they want vintage tone, GFS is not a good choice.
Not taking any online orders.
#22
when I had a MIM strat years ago, I had a Dimarzio Blue Velvet in the bridge and I thought that was a pretty killer bluesy tone. the only downfall is that it has the 60 cycle hum.
My Gear
Guitars:
-Gibson Les Paul Tribute (Bare Knuckle Nailbombs)
-Ibanez "lawsuit" Les Paul (Seymour Duncan Pegasus and Sentinent)
-Ibanez S470 (Dimarzio D-sonic and Humbucker from Hell)
-PRS SE Custom (Guitarforce Black Diamond and Lord of the Blues)

Amp:
Marshall TSL100
EVH 5150III EL-34 50w
Marshall 1960a cab

Effects:
Dunlop 535q wah
Boss Super Chorus
Bogner Uberschall
Ibanez DE7 Delay
Electro-Harmonix Power Booster
Fender PT100 Pedal Tuner

Strings:
Ernie Ball Skinny Top/Heavy Bottom 10-52
#23
now i really don't know... i need Cord to convince the crap out of me to get out of the GFS pickups... it seems like they're excellent pickups...


If you can find what you are looking for than they are good for the price. A bigmac value meal is good for the price too, but it's not as a T bone steak from the outback. The difference can be that big. Still, sometimes you just feel like a Bigmac value meal. If you can find what you want from GFS then go for it, the problem is finding it. The hardest thing about finding what you want from them is their inaccurate product descriptions.



If you want high output single coils then they are probably pretty good for the price, but they wouldn't sound vintage. I know they say that the pickups will sound vintage and they make them look great, but they say a lot of things that are not true.

Here are some contradiction in the link you gave us

Picked up an incredible 1967 Strat- Been prejudiced against these for so long- you know- CBS Headstock... Corporate Mismanagement...but didn't Jimi play one of these??


Jimi played a lot of guitars, most of which were post CBS so he is wrong about that.

With the whole world chasing the 1957 Strat sound- I HAD TO figure out what was in these pickups


So was it a 1967 guitar or a 1957 guitar? He says both.

nothing special- just good old fashioned Formvar plain enamel wire, bevelled Alnico V polepieces, real fiber bobbins and white/black cloth wires


There is no such thing as Formvar plain enamel. You have formvar and you have plane enamel. It can’t be both. Formvar is what fender used until 1964 when CBS got the company. If this is from a post CBS guitar like he said then it would not have formvar. If this is a pre CBS 1957 guitar then it would have formvar but not plane enamel. This guy covers both bases by contradicting himself and saying that he is giving you both. This makes me wonder if he is deliberately lying or if he just doesn’t know what he is talking about.
This is our overwound set- dialed in quite a bit hotter than the stock pickups- I think you'll love them- The bridge is a screaming 10K, Mid 9.4K, Neck 9.0K
Even matched the black/white cloth leads- get yourself some tan masking tape and create a near-perfect 60's install!


The name of these pickups is 60’s repro. Can you tell me one 60’s pickup that wound pickups to 10K? It’s impossible to wind a strat pickup to 10K with 42awg wire. With formvar you can get the pickup up to about 6.5K or 7K. With PE you can get it up to about 7K as well. Even if he used 43awg wire it would still be impossible to get 10K with formvar and I doubt you could do it with PE. This means he is going to be using 43awg poly which is not vintage at all and wont sound vintage. Check out the soundclip to my swingin’ hot. Does it sound vintage? NO! So why the hell would I pretend that it did? It doesn’t and his 10K poly pickup won’t sound vintage either.

Next we addressed the windings. The reverse wound middle pickups have been a gift from God right? They make positions 2 and 4 totally humbucking. But as really experienced players are learning- NOTHING is free. Noiseless pickups lose tone, reverse wound mids tend to create a little less Quack and transparency in the 2 and 4 positions. Fact of life. So we wired up straight, just like my 67. WOW! Killer Quack- incredible walking-on-clouds SRV stuff- very impressive.


So here he is telling you that he can make a 10K pickup that sounds nothing like SRV sound just like SRV by simply not giving you a RWRP middle pickup. What magic hat does he pull that ability out of? If you have a middle pickup that sounds nothing like SRV and you have a neck pickup that sounds nothing like SRV then do you honestly believe that you can combine the two and magically get SRV tone? Also, if there was not a sound advantage to RWRP then nobody would do it. It’s more work and it’s another thing to keep track of. I don’t make my strat style pickups with RWRP because I don’t like the extra effort it takes to reverse the motor on my winder and because most people are buying into the stories that GFS is spitting out, nobody 2nd guesses the fact that I don’t rwrp my middle pickup. However, when somebody asks for it, I will give them a RWRP middle at no extra charge. It’s shear laziness that I don’t do it all the time, but at least I’m honest about that.

Besides the cool features, these are based on our finest Strat pickups- We've taken our popular vintage Alnico pickups and added real fiber bobbins, authentic Formvar plain enamel wire, cloth leads, even premium German alnico rod magnets


The word authentic is defined as this
“not counterfeit or copied”
He can’t be using authentic Formvar plain enamel wire. 1st, there is no such thing. 2nd, If he just meant authentic formvar or authentic plain enamel, it would be impossible to fit the wire on the bobbins.

We have spared no expense in designing these pickups-with all the vintage accoutrements:
• 50's style black fiberboard bobbin
• Beeswax potted for squeal-free performance
• Non-Reverse wound Middle pickup
• Alnico 5 Magnets
• Vintage style Beveled polepieces
• Cloth covered leads
• Wound quite hot to really drive an amp
• Accurate Formvar plain enamel wire

So here he says it’s all vintage accoutrements but then he winds them way hotter taking them out of the vintage relm. He also stats that it’s “accurate” Formvar plain enamel rather than saying “authentic.” So the question is, Which is it?

My biggest problem with the whole thing is that he says that it’s based on the 57/67 pickup but it doesn’t have anything in common with either of them. It would be like me saying my car is exactly like a candy apple red Ferrari except for the fact that it’s a ford F-150 truck. The ford truck is good and so is the Ferrari, but they are not good for the same thing.

There are more contradictions on that page than what I pointed out, but I think this gives you an idea of how much you can trust his descriptions.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying they are bad pickups I’m just saying you can’t trust a word they say. I’ve heard some great sounding GFS pickups and I’ve heard some horrible ones.
Not taking any online orders.
Last edited by CorduroyEW at Sep 1, 2007,
#24
Wow, CorduroyEW, thanks you very much. I had always considered getting pickups from them because of how low their prices are, and they have so many sets I feel like I could find one. Sadly, I know nothing about how pickups are made or work, so that just sounds like good stuff. Now I know that they are just taking advantage of people like me, and half of their description makes no sense.

I checked out your site, and I plan on getting a set in my strat...after I get a new strat.
Guitar:
Epiphone Les Paul Standard
Amplifier:
Fender Blues Junior - Eminence Red, White and Blues
Effects:
Fulltone OCD
Electro-Harmonix Nano Small Stone
Ibanez DE-7 Delay/Echo
Dunlop Crybaby
Electro-Harmonix Big Muff Pi
#25
^^thank you very much corduroyew, i appreciate your post very much. i got out of the GFS thing now. (after all that of course. and yes i read every bit of his posts.) i'll be off checking out RockMonkeyGuitars.com now!!! i'll go total boutique and no cheaping out!
Call me "Shot".

ShotRod Guitar Works

Custom Hand-wired Amplifiers and Effect Pedals.

Est. 2007


Source to everything I say about Guitars, Pedals, and Amplifiers: I make them.


UG's Best DIY PedalBoard