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Unread 02-10-2010, 06:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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GFS pickups made by Artec

I've seen some speculation as to who makes GFS pickups (Chinese, Korean, etc), but I appear to have the answer. I have a GFS Classic II neck pickup that I decided to brighten up by swapping in an Alnico III magnet. At the same time I decided to use the GFS Classic II's Alnico II magnet in a Giovanni GVH-2 bridge pickup to warm it up. So I did the swap (haven't wired up the guitars yet, so I can't comment on the results yet).

Here's a photo of the GFS Classic II (neck) with the cover removed, base plate off and magnet out...



If you look closely at the GFS pickup you can clearly see the ARTEC label on the upper part of each bobbin. Artec are a Korean company and also make Giovanni pickups as their high-end line as well (excellent pickups, by the way).

Here's the GFS Classic II with the Giovanni GVH-2 (the Giovanni is the upper pickup, GFS the lower)...



Notice that the Giovanni has a yellowish paraffin-beeswax potting, whereas the GFS has white paraffin-only potting. The GFS potting was much more brittle and crumbly without the beeswax. The beeswax in the Giovanni's potting softens the wax mixture and makes it much more pliable.

Here are both pickups reassembled after the magnet swap...



Incidentally, both pickups had the "long" magnets used in the original PAFs - 2.5 inches (probably because Alnico II and III don't take as high a gauss as Alnico V's and need the full length).
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Unread 02-10-2010, 09:09 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

First Edwards vs. Gibson, now GFS versus everything else. Thank you sir for the intelligent, informative posts
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Unread 02-10-2010, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

Man thats a lot of wax. Great post.
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Unread 02-10-2010, 09:50 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

I'd always figured Chinese. Good detective work. I rather enjoy my Dream and Mean 90's.
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Unread 02-10-2010, 11:59 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

I don't think GFS has ever denied that Artec makes some of their pickups. I recall seeing a post on another forum where someone who said he was from GFS said that Artec was one of the companies that made pickups for them but not the only one. However, I don't remember where I saw it, and I have no way of verifying that this person is who they say they are.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 10:12 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

Actually, I turned up this comment on another forum from Jay at Guitar Fetish...

Quote:
"Sure we buy from 9 different manufacturing houses in Korea.

Unfortunately for us- AFTER we have started some cool new lines they show up in these generic catalogs- Artec makes some of the plastic and metalware for us- there are other houses in Korea that make stuff for us that I'm sure you can find with some clever googling- BUT- the generic versions that are sold in these catalogs are about what we sell in our clearance section- They sound fine, they look cool- they're a little bit cheaper than GFS- So for people who are not as concerned with specific tone- buying these generic Artecs or Woosungs or Samsungs or Daehungs or Booheungs are a good deal.

But we do design our pickups with specific wire, specific magnets, specific polepiece metals and specific wind patterns- some based on my own hand. And i think the difference is fairly obvious if an objective- objective mind you- ear hears them both.

As I keep saying- we're not reinventing the wheel here. And the catalogs of Korean stuff look an AWFUl lot like Duncan, Dimarzio, Gibson etc too- don't they?? Very tough to judge this kind of book by its cover. Even the little onboard circuits we have Artec make for us have from 7 to 12 component changes on the board- You can't tell that by perusing ebay auctions but if you've actually bought one from another source- you know what I mean.

Jay"
So it appears that according to Jay, ARTEC makes some of the GFS pickups, but not necessarily all.
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Unread 02-11-2010, 09:07 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

Incidentally, I wired up the Gibson LP Studio with the Giovanni GVH-2 + Alnico II magnet tonight and it sounds superb. The GVH-2 was wound to 8.32k with plain enamel 42g wire and the coils slightly mismatched with one at 4.28k and the other 4.04k (like Gibson does with Burstbuckers). The result was a nice, warm growly pickup with good treble response and bite - classic late '50s PAF. I was planning on a Burstbucker III to go in the LP bridge, but really don't see the need for it now.

So if any of you can get a GVH-2 bridge pickup that's still available on ebay, and swap in the magnet from a GFS Classic II neck pickup you'll have a damn good, pretty authentic vintage PAF "replica" for under $70. I suspect the GVH-2 Alnico III magnet swapped into the GFS Classic II neck pickup will do a nice job of taking the mud out that as well (my main complaint with the Classic II neck).
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Unread 02-13-2010, 05:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brynner View Post
Actually, I turned up this comment on another forum from Jay at Guitar Fetish...



So it appears that according to Jay, ARTEC makes some of the GFS pickups, but not necessarily all.
That's exactly the one i was speaking of
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Unread 03-15-2010, 09:16 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

I just got my Giovanni's today so I am contemplating whether I should wait to mix and match with my soon to arrive GFS Fat Pat's or just do the GVH-1 in the neck and the GVH-2 in the bridge in my Chandler. Or should I try out these new Entwistles by ARTEC with the neodymium magnets and scatterwound wiring? Oh choices...
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Unread 03-15-2010, 10:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

Quote:
Originally Posted by Udonitron View Post
I just got my Giovanni's today so I am contemplating whether I should wait to mix and match with my soon to arrive GFS Fat Pat's or just do the GVH-1 in the neck and the GVH-2 in the bridge in my Chandler. Or should I try out these new Entwistles by ARTEC with the neodymium magnets and scatterwound wiring? Oh choices...
I really dig the combination of a GVH2 in the neck and a GVH1 in the bridge in my Santana SE. I used the GVH2 bridge pickup which has slightly unbalanced coils in the neck position. I think it's a great combo in that guitar. I prefer it to having the GVH1 in both positions on this particular guitar. According to the descriptions on the Artec site the GVH2 is supposed to be brighter than the GVH1 which is why I tried it in the neck.

I haven't tried the Entistles.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 08:27 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

Quote:
Originally Posted by Udonitron View Post
I just got my Giovanni's today so I am contemplating whether I should wait to mix and match with my soon to arrive GFS Fat Pat's or just do the GVH-1 in the neck and the GVH-2 in the bridge in my Chandler. Or should I try out these new Entwistles by ARTEC with the neodymium magnets and scatterwound wiring? Oh choices...
The GVH-2 is a fairly low output pickup (Alnico 3), and the GVH-1's tend to be a little overwound (at least in my experience), as well as being Alnico 5. So, unless you're going for a gentle bridge and punchier neck, I'd be more inclined to put a GVH-1 in the bridge and a GVH-2 in the neck. I found the GVH-2 neck pickup to be a clear and articulate neck pickup and the GVH-1 to be a little more ballsy than expected.

The GVH-2 bridge was much "tamer" in comparison - articulate and clear, but perhaps a little "light" for heavily distorted stuff. It's ideal for the clean or moderately overdriven sort of thing, but I ended up putting it in a bright sounding PAF'ed Strat and swapped in an Alnico II magnet to warm up the ash body and maple/maple neck. I don't know if the Alnico 2 made that much of a difference in warmth, but it sure as hell sounds good in that pickup and guitar. I put the GVH-2 neck in that guitar unchanged and it's an excellent combo.

The GVH-1's are an excellent set for everything from clean work, to old school rock, to classic metal ...they have a middle-of-the-road level of attack, smooth enough to work clean, punchy enough for distortion, but not as "gentle" as alnico 2 or 3. My GVH-1 bridge is 9.41k, which is about as overwound as a 42 gauge wire PAF-style pickup can get. Very brown when driven, but cleans up well too. Something similar can be said about the neck GVH-1 - but it's a bit "tamer".

I haven't tried the GFS Fat Pat or Entwistles yet - I need more guitars.
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Unread 03-16-2010, 04:23 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

Thatīs alot of wax.
How do theese pickups sounds compared to more expensive ones?
Iīve found that Tonerider are great sounding for being cheap pickups
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Unread 03-16-2010, 04:48 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: GFS pickups made by Artec

I've found the Giovannis excellent all 'round - certainly comparable to the big name Western makers and I wouldn't hesitate to put them on an equal level with them. I like Toneriders in the bridge but they lose clarity in the neck position. Ditto for GFS Classic II's, but they're even muddier in the neck - the bridge pickup was nice, but a good bit under spec so it was a little weak and bright.
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