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#1
I'm currently building a project Strat using an HH mahogany body I got from another member here. I planned from the start to make this guitar loud, heavy, and mean sounding.

I'm not a big fan of the heavily scooped metal tone. I prefer a good PAF tone with a lot of distortion on it. However, sometimes I want to go a little bit further than that and have it really scream. Since my main guitar has dual PAF's in it. I decided to go with some open pickups, possibly rails on this one.

I was looking for more info on the GFS Power Rails and couldn't find much except a few good reviews on Harmony Central. You never can tell, though... as these could be written by people at GFS. (it seems everyone does that with new products these days)

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For the $36 I decided "what the hell?" you know? I pulled the trigger on the black GFS Power Rails for the bridge position.

I installed this pickup with nothing in the neck for now. It gives me a chance to weigh out what I want the neck pickup to do for me. After putting it in, I can see I need to find something for the cleans. They aren't lying when they say this pickup is built for distortion!

It has a searing top end that is pretty incredible. It's ear piercing when you play it loud on the high notes. The bottom end is all there.. very loud and heavy. It booms when playing with a lot of bass. The mids, as I had hoped, are all there too!

The tone is something like a PAF without the vintage sound. It screams like a metal pickup, but feels warm like a classic.

It's a very noiseless humbucker... even in front of my computer screen, it kills the 60hz with ease. It reacts to the strings with insane attack, and silences when you mute it no problem. It picks up nuances in my playing... pointing out how much I need to work on my accuracy! Note to note clarity is beautiful... no drowning in distortion or muddy tone.

GFS hit the nail on the head when they said "From hard-edged classic rock to the most hard core metal, the Power Rails deliver."

I'm impressed, and will fill the neck with something from them as well. I highly recommend this pickup to anyone who plays really heavy and still likes a warm tone.

Now I need to decide on what to put in the neck... it has to be loud and clean to work well with this thing.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#2
i suggest a coil splittable HB for the neck IMO they handle cleans great on a strat neck
Get off this damn forum and play your damn guitar.
#3
Oh yeah, this one is splittable... but I didn't wire up the split and try it yet.

If you crank the volume down, it sounds good clean... but the 15.8K is too harsh for cleans when turned up all the way.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#4
wow i really had no idea they were that good !
i'd get some but the prices plus delivery over here could get me some duncans.
sorry i have no info about a neck pickup for you, but i seriously might look into these.
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#5
I've bought GFS pickups before, didnt have to pay import tax, and the dollar to pound conversion rate is mighty tempting.


They are quality though, use them in 2 of my guitars at the moment.
#6
Nice! I was looking at these last night when deciding on some replacements for my little project. I think I'll pull the trigger once I finish painting, thanks for the heads up!
#7
I've got one for the guitar I'm building. It's a SSH jackson style body and I've got 10k lil killers for the middle and neck. Can't wait to finish the damn thing and get it going. I've got other gfs p/us and they all sound great.
82 Ibanez artist ar105
94 Fender MIJ 72 tele custom reissue
04 prs se soapbar singlecut
97 Simon & Patrick pro flame maple
05 Art & Lutherie cedar 12
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#8
thanks to your mini review on this thing, im going to order one !
it sounds pretty much exactly what i need from a bridge pickup, and im now in the same predicament as you, a GFS neck pickup.

go on people recommend this guy some neck pickups i need this info too lol

edit: ive been looking at 'GFS Crunchy Pat- High Output PAF Neck ' as im searching for a neck pickup thats clean but kinda warm sounding, something good for shred pretty much as i only use neck pup for soloing?
EPIPHONE LES PAUL
IBANEZ S SERIES CUSTOM
VOX AD30VT
Last edited by admbwr at Mar 1, 2008,
#9
Yo, that looks awesome
Would GFS pups be worth putting into your main axe? I want some duncans but GFS pups are SO much cheaper.
#10
admbwr - I was also looking at the Crunchy PAF. That may be a nice compliment to the Power Rails. I do know some guys using that pickup and they all like it. (but not in conjunction with a rail bridge pickup)

hell monkey - Pickups are all a matter of opinion. In my main axe, I use the cheapest set of pickups I own. I have an SSS Strat with 3 seymour duncans in it, and it sees little playing time... because the cheap oem PAF's deliver the tone I want better.

I call it being a "guitar snob" when you consider something solely on the basis of what brand name is on it. The sad thing is, a lot of times people will overlook great gear because of the lack of a name. GFS puts themselves in an interesting niche of a market... high quality for half the price. I've heard that there could be more variance from pickup to pickup than you would get with Seymour Duncan or Dimarzio. I've also heard naysayers claim various other weird things. However, I've heard tons of people give excellent reviews on these pickups. Check Harmony Central to see what I mean.

Short answer - Yes. I would put GFS in my main axe. If you don't like it later on... it only cost you $36. (or whatever the price is for the individual pickup you chose - half or less than the competition)

Chances are you will be happy with it. If not, try a different one or sell it and use the money you recoup towards those Duncans you want.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#11
what about putting a hot rail and a crunchy rail together? how would it sound? i could settle for a normal pair if that would sorta clash. i cant pass up that deal though. new pickups here i come
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#12
Omg I just got that exact same pickup! I also got the the Crunchy PAF for the neck so I can tell you how it sounds (will play it through a Traynor YCV50). But I have no idea how to wire it lol Can you help me out there? The diagrams they gave dont really help since I'm not making it into a Les Paul style guitar :P Basically mine is HH with 1 tone and vol.
Last edited by Steel8909 at Mar 1, 2008,
#13
Well... two rail pickups will leave you with little clarity for playing clean. It should make a mean metal sound with plenty of distortion, though.

I don't see them clashing at all... the different locations on the body make the two pickups sound pretty unique from each other, anyway.

I would put in one rail and one standard humbucker... but thats just my taste. I like to have the option to play clean sometimes.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#14
I'm considering the Alnico Fat Pat neck humbucker... it says its 10K, just like the neck Power Rails is. I hope that means its power output should match pretty well.

They claim loud and bluesy. That could be just the match for this rail pickup.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#15
Quote by zeroyon
Well... two rail pickups will leave you with little clarity for playing clean. It should make a mean metal sound with plenty of distortion, though.

I don't see them clashing at all... the different locations on the body make the two pickups sound pretty unique from each other, anyway.

I would put in one rail and one standard humbucker... but thats just my taste. I like to have the option to play clean sometimes.

i was thinking about getting the hot rail and maybe a loudmouth. i dont want to go ultra clean on the other pickup but would like some cleans. quick dumb question too...the bridge is the treble position on a les paul type guitar right? i know...dumb question but i guess i should ask now.
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#16
Zeroyon,

Try wiring the power rails in PARALLEL and load it in the Neck position. This will reduce it's output and make it sound more smooth and clean. You'll get more signal at the Neck position anyway, because the string deflection is greater there. You might like it as a complement to one wired in series at the bridge.
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#17
Now that is an interesting concept. I could even put a series/parallel switch on a push pull or something.

I've been trying to decide where to go with this wiring scheme.. I think Les Paul style would be sweet. (separate volumes, separate tones)

I'm pretty sure a master tone won't go over well... it would be nice to mix this one with the neck and have some control.

So, its a rear-routed Strat body with some space to play with. I could forgo the strat style switch and use a les paul toggle... then add another pot to the end of the strat switch slot.

Or... I could do a concentric tone pot and two volumes with push pulls... one to series/parallel the neck and one to split the bridge or something. Or with 4 pots, I could split and series/parallel both!

Oh hell, the possibilities are endless, and it always leaves me having trouble deciding what to do. On my last project, I never wired it back up. I drew a killer schematic and had it planned out... never settled on what I wanted. So that guitar sits. I love this one so much right now, its getting my undivided attention for a while.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#18
Quote by a4lrocker
i was thinking about getting the hot rail and maybe a loudmouth. i dont want to go ultra clean on the other pickup but would like some cleans. quick dumb question too...the bridge is the treble position on a les paul type guitar right? i know...dumb question but i guess i should ask now.



Hot Rails from Seymour Duncan? Or the Power Rails for GFS? (I assume you were using the wrong name)

Yes, the bridge is the "treble" position. Think about string movements at that location VS the neck location... then imagine the strings are like a speaker. Bass moves a speaker farther than treble does. (those are some gumby style terms right there)
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#19
Quote by Steel8909
Omg I just got that exact same pickup! I also got the the Crunchy PAF for the neck so I can tell you how it sounds (will play it through a Traynor YCV50). But I have no idea how to wire it lol Can you help me out there? The diagrams they gave dont really help since I'm not making it into a Les Paul style guitar :P Basically mine is HH with 1 tone and vol.



Yes, I can help you out there.

What type of switch are you using?

Let's get this thing wired up so you can give me your review!
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#20
i've been looking at the vintage 59 for the neck, it sounds like just what i need.
as soon as these bloody paypal payments come through im getting a set.
EPIPHONE LES PAUL
IBANEZ S SERIES CUSTOM
VOX AD30VT
#21
Quote by zeroyon
Yes, I can help you out there.

What type of switch are you using?

Let's get this thing wired up so you can give me your review!


3 way switch, 2 humbuckers, 1 vol 1 tone

Heres the switch
http://store.guitarfetish.com/3wayswwifrti.html

I`ll try to do it right now cuz I`m bored lol

Oh and I have guitar lessons next Sunday, so I`m gonna tell my teacher their SD of Dimarzio or something and see what he says lmao
#22
A little off topic, I know, but have you guys had good experiences with GFS pickups? They seem to be much more affordable, but is their quality good?
RIP Terry Kath (1978)
#23


Want to give that a go?
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#24
Quote by zeroyon
Oh hell, the possibilities are endless, and it always leaves me having trouble deciding what to do. On my last project, I never wired it back up. I drew a killer schematic and had it planned out... never settled on what I wanted. So that guitar sits. I love this one so much right now, its getting my undivided attention for a while.
hahaha Spoken like a true maniac.
I know, because I suffer from the same insanity.
Meadows
Quote by Jackal58
I release my inner liberal every morning when I take a shit.
Quote by SK8RDUDE411
I wont be like those jerks who dedicate their beliefs to logic and reaosn.
#25
Quote by the_random_hero


Want to give that a go?


What is it doing? You can select which single coil you want from each humbucker... I assume. Then you have a balance control? I suppose thats one less knob than individual volumes for each, but probably won't completely silence in either position... will it? Like on a Les Paul you can turn a humbucker off completely.

Without spending too much time on it... I can't figure out what is going on in the push-pull pot area... That diagram could really use some labels.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#26
Quote by Steel8909
3 way switch, 2 humbuckers, 1 vol 1 tone

Heres the switch
http://store.guitarfetish.com/3wayswwifrti.html

I`ll try to do it right now cuz I`m bored lol

Oh and I have guitar lessons next Sunday, so I`m gonna tell my teacher their SD of Dimarzio or something and see what he says lmao



Don't tell him anything, just tell him to play it and he will see the light. Seeing is believing.

I have no clue how to wire that switch without seeing the diagram for it. They say its included with the switch when you buy it... so can you scan it or at least post a picture of it? Or draw it in MSpaint and post it here?

The pickups, volume and tone are simple. The only difficult part will be getting that switch wired right.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#27
Actually I figured it out. Actually there was another peice of paper in the box that I over looked, sure enough it was the diagram
#28
I've got a Loudmouth in my Steinberger at the moment... it's pretty godlike. Made me realize that my squealies were good all along and that the **** EMG Select was just kinda low output xD
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#29
Quote by zeroyon
What is it doing? You can select which single coil you want from each humbucker... I assume. Then you have a balance control? I suppose thats one less knob than individual volumes for each, but probably won't completely silence in either position... will it? Like on a Les Paul you can turn a humbucker off completely.

Without spending too much time on it... I can't figure out what is going on in the push-pull pot area... That diagram could really use some labels.


A blend control, master tone and volume (changed by pulling the push-pull pot), taps for north and south coils and a killswitch. I basically wanted to see how versatile I could get with the least number of parts.
At the moment I've got a two humbucker guitar with two pots and a 3 way blade switch. I'm tempted to do some rewiring once I get a decent amp happening.
"Everybody, one day will die and be forgotten. Act and behave in a way that will make life interesting and fun. Find a passion, form relationships, don't be afraid to get out there and fuck what everyone else thinks."
#30
Quote by zeroyon
Hot Rails from Seymour Duncan? Or the Power Rails for GFS? (I assume you were using the wrong name)

Yes, the bridge is the "treble" position. Think about string movements at that location VS the neck location... then imagine the strings are like a speaker. Bass moves a speaker farther than treble does. (those are some gumby style terms right there)

yeh...power rails i do the name switching thing a lot when they are soo close. lol. ok sweet. thanks for reassuring me of that im pretty sure i will be ordering one within the next week or so.
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#31
Quote by Mo Jiggity
I've got a Loudmouth in my Steinberger at the moment... it's pretty godlike. Made me realize that my squealies were good all along and that the **** EMG Select was just kinda low output xD



Oh, I'm jealous on both accounts. I know Ned Steinberger through family, but have yet to buy one of his guitars. It's on the long list of stuff I'll get eventually.

That loudmouth... I was seriously considering that as well. Does it have more magnetic pull than a regular pickup.... ie: does it kills some sustain by pulling too hard on the strings?

This Power Rails sustains for days... its really pretty incredible. My buddy played it yesterday and point that out as well. It will just hold a note forever, it seems. It's really sweet for slides and stuff... you know when you do the big rocker slide all the way up the neck? It kicks butt for that.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
Last edited by zeroyon at Mar 3, 2008,
#32
Hi!

Here are some clips recorded with my Jackson KE3 (tuned to B standard!) equipped with Power Rails + Fat PAF/PAT.

Neck (Fat PAF): http://folk.ntnu.no/andrerav/div/np_neck_wank.mp3
Bridge (Power Rails): http://folk.ntnu.no/andrerav/div/np_bridge_wank.mp3
More bridge (Power Rails): http://folk.ntnu.no/andrerav/div/np_dark_eternal.mp3
Even more bridge (Power Rails), from a song of mine: http://printf.no/music/Space%20Time%20Matter%20War%20clip.mp3

I love them both. For my Yamaha RGX 621D I ordered a pair of Power Rails (neck+bridge) and a lipstick for middle pos

GFS is a well-kept secret. Don't tell anyone.
Last edited by andrerav at Mar 3, 2008,
#33
The cats outta the bag, sorry. I keep hearing good things about them everywhere.

Would you say the Fat PAF is a nice compliment to the Power Rails? Or should I consider something stronger like the Loud Mouth?

Oh, and I was digging that song.

How does the neck pickup sound clean?
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#34
I don't play clean he-he! It sounds good, but very loud. I haven't tried coil tapping it though.

Edit: how rude, I didn't answer your other question Yes I think it's a very good combo. I'm eager to see how a pair of Power Rails works though. The guy at GFS said a Power Rails in the neck is even fatter than a Fat PAF. I'm all in with that!
Last edited by andrerav at Mar 3, 2008,
#35
Hey, sorry to pull a thread hijack here, but I've been looking at this for a friend's birthday.

http://store.guitarfetish.com/hueqhssblpra.html

He's got a Johnson Strat knock-off, and the electronics are all about to die, so I'm thinking of getting this for him and just dropping it in. I know enough as far as soldering goes to do it. This WOULD be an improvement for him, right?
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

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#36
Yeah, that should be great. However, it is backordered currently.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#37
Quote by andrerav
I don't play clean he-he! It sounds good, but very loud. I haven't tried coil tapping it though.

Edit: how rude, I didn't answer your other question Yes I think it's a very good combo. I'm eager to see how a pair of Power Rails works though. The guy at GFS said a Power Rails in the neck is even fatter than a Fat PAF. I'm all in with that!



Damn, the choices!!!

Now you got me thinking another one of these would be sweet... plus it would match, and the aesthetics of two of these pickups would be very nice.
All my photobucket pics are dead so no links to my guitar build threads.
My Music
#38
I'm guessing that is like the X2N, but I'm going purely on looks here. I;ve split an X2N and it isn;t very good. But maybe this is different. That sounds like an excellent pickup, may have to pick one up for my Squire.
#39
Quote by zeroyon
Yeah, that should be great. However, it is backordered currently.


I noticed that. might have to e-mail them and check out when they plan to have another shipment.....

Still, as long as it's a tonal improvement, I think he wouldn't mind an SSS one, if they don't get a SSH in.....it's what he's already got, after all....
Do YOU know who Les Paul is?

Guitars:
-Epiphone Dot Studio
Amps:
-Fender Stage 112 SE
Effects:
-BBE Soul Vibe
-Boss OD-1 Overdrive
-Ibanez DE-7 Delay
#40
You guys have me interested in a Power Rail/Fat Pat combo now!

Thanks for the sounds clips posted above, excellent! Does anyone else have some clips of the Power Rail maybe chug tuned to E Standard or Drop D?

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