Price paid: $ 38
Purchased from: www.guitarfetish.com
Sound — 9
I have this as a bridge only pickup because I'm a huge fan of mixing and matching pickups for different sounds. In the bridge, this pickup actually can do a pretty good job of carrying the tone of my strings and bringing clarity to the distortion I use. Being that this is a pickup I use in the bridge, it's fairly thin and very trebly, but with a nice crunch. I have a Vintage Extra HOT pickup from the same manufacturer in the neck position, which actually balances out the frequencies well. Distortion with this pickup is a must, I feel awkward trying to play clean with this pickup unless my friend wants me to come up with a Harmony or counter melody to what he plays. The tight ends that thing gets are pretty good and you can always sculpt out the tone more with the use of your wonderful EQ processing. GFS makes all of their humbuckers 4 wire which means coil splitting goodness! Splitting a rail yields an interesting result. The natural crunch intensifies but it loses a lot of tone to the point of and almost Sonic Youth type noise. I firmly recommend ignoring the possibility of coil tapping this guitar... Perhaps phase switching could prove to be much more fruitful than coil tapping? I'ts an idea and I'm always up for experimentation.
Overall Impression — 9
I love the way this thing handles distortion and the take on clean guitar playing. I have this installed in my Epiphone SG Special in combination with a Vintage Extra HOT installed in the neck. Overall, this pickup is a must-buy in my opinion. You can't go wrong with the low price tag, it comes to you factory fresh, and the 4 wire conductor makes it a great pickup to wire into some kind of maniacal position that you can think of. I'm considering buying another one of these to install into my Kramer as well.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Well it's not like the blade are going to fall out any time soon... Easy installation, as GFS tins and shields their wires and gently packs them into a box within a box. It split very clearly when I did manage to tap it. The Blades look, feel, and seem galvanized, so I don't expect them to rust anytime soon unlike my stock pickups... They've even handled multiple environmental changes from humid to dry to good old HOT shower steam (I've made that joke before on another review on here, 2 guesses as to what other review I am talking about).