GFS pickups made by Artec

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by Brynner, Feb 11, 2010.

  1. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    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...

    [​IMG]

    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)...

    [​IMG]

    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...

    [​IMG]

    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).
     
  2. JackofAllTrades53

    JackofAllTrades53 Senior Member

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    First Edwards vs. Gibson, now GFS versus everything else. Thank you sir for the intelligent, informative posts :thumb:
     
  3. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Senior Member

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    Man thats a lot of wax. Great post.
     
  4. diceman

    diceman V.I.P. Member

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    I'd always figured Chinese. Good detective work. I rather enjoy my Dream and Mean 90's.
     
  5. exactopposite

    exactopposite Member

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    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.
     
  6. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    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.
     
  7. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    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).
     
  8. exactopposite

    exactopposite Member

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    That's exactly the one i was speaking of
     
  9. Udonitron

    Udonitron Psychedelic Stoner Rock Premium Member

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    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. :hmm: Or should I try out these new Entwistles by ARTEC with the neodymium magnets and scatterwound wiring? Oh choices...
     
  10. exactopposite

    exactopposite Member

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    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.
     
  11. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    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. :D
     
  12. MrRhoads

    MrRhoads Senior Member

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    That´s alot of wax.
    How do theese pickups sounds compared to more expensive ones?
    I´ve found that Tonerider are great sounding for being cheap pickups:)
     
  13. Brynner

    Brynner Senior Member

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    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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