So why are the GFS pickups so inexpensive?

Discussion in 'Pickups' started by GerryL98, Jan 31, 2009.

  1. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Senior Member

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    I do not like bashing a competitor and usually don't. There is no way in hell you can tell me that the parts they use are close to what most if not all boutique guys use. Shit parts. I could use poly wire 50 cent bobbins and the cheapest parts available get them wound in china and sell them that cheap but I don't. The product description is my biggest issue with them. But for what they are they are a good deal. Just remember you often get what you pay for.
     
  2. OG_SG

    OG_SG Junior Member

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    Hi all ,
    Longtime reader with a first time question. I used to play mostly Les Paul's but as I have gotten older that extra weight has taken its tole on my shoulders.
    I bought an SG a few years back and have really grown to appreciate the slimmer profile and lighter weight when gigging.
    I have never really been into Strats, something about the neck profile, I suppose it is because I grew up on flat necked acoustics.
    But I never say never, and so the other day when walking through the music store I was tempted and I tasted the forbidden fruit.
    Not sure what has changed but I think part of it was the price. I picked up a light Ash Start and with case I spent about 350.00.
    Now here is my question. Being my first Start I want it to sound like a Strat and whoever had it before me has switched the singles for a Bill Lawrence Humbucker and 2 BL Noiseless singles.
    Now they do sound good, but I think the noiseless PU sound a bit sterile and the Humbucker is way to metal.I want that true old school quack and glassy punch Strats are famous for.
    I am anxious to switch it back to normal singles but don't want to spend more for pickups then I did for the Guitar.
    I was about to get a set of the GFS Boston Blues but then in trying to find real world reviews I started reading.
    I don't want to spend much more then the 72.00 for the GFS but the last few posts in this thread have me thinking I might not be happy unless I do.
    I also saw a guy selling the Artec Giovanni GCS-1 on Ebay and read a few reviews in these Forums of guys comparing them to Fralins.
    Now I know I won't get a set that truly rivals Fralin singles for $60.00, I do live in the real world. But if the GCS-1 come closer to the real Strat sound then the GFS BB I would certainly rather spend the 60.00 then the 80.00 to try them.
    Does anyone have any experience with the Boston blues or the Giovanni's?
    Any preferences or am I simply being foolish thinking I can get a decent set of singles for under $100.00 ?
    Thanks for any help and sorry to be so long winded.
     
  3. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Senior Member

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    Check Manlius. He always has a few sets on clearance and a great guy to deal with in general. Before doing the GFS thing look at his. Also as far as the Giovannis go I know very little about them but the neck pups really sing in the 3 clips I have seen.
     
  4. blamo

    blamo Senior Member

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    you should start your own thread....
     
  5. snaredrum

    snaredrum V.I.P. Member

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    i'm no fan of GFS humbuckers, but i got a set of the Surf 90s recently and am very happy with them - my epi SG now sounds like a gretsch. yay!
     
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  6. OG_SG

    OG_SG Junior Member

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    Thanks, His description on the vintage pups sounds just what I am looking for. The price is higher then I wanted to spend but I didn't email him about clearance pups. Have you tried his pups ? Do they meet his descriptions?


    I will try to start a new one, Thanks.
     
  7. LaroldC

    LaroldC Junior Member

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    Old thread, I know, but if anyone is still monitoring it...

    As an experiment I spent $92 and put a set of GFS '63 Overwounds (set of 3 matched single-coils with the R/W middle) in a mid-90's MIM Strat and - WOW! It became my #1 gig axe. The tone and output of the pickups is nothing short of impressive, especially the neck pup, which is so vocal and expressive that I hardly use the other two. They also really shine in the out-of-phase positions. Lots of snarl and bell-chime in 'em, especially through my old Dean Markley tube combos.

    I also dropped a GFS Crunchy PAT in the bridge position of my Fat Strat (MIM) and it has much tighter tone now, though I can't really tell whether it gained much more output.

    I'm now installing GFS Alnico V's in my Greg Bennett TR4, which came stock with those unremarkable "Duncan Designed" HB pups. I have actual Duncans, SH-2 & SH-4, in my Samick RL3 and they sound great. I figure that, since the two axes are of basically similar design and quality except for one being semi-hollow, it'll be a good comparison study of GFS vs Duncan.
     
  8. freefrog

    freefrog Senior Member

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    Really good feeling here with a Minitron style hb that I've mounted instead of a dead PU, for a friend without money, in his Rickenbacker. The GFS (neck) was on par with the bridge original PU, if not better... :slash:
     
  9. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Senior Member

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    The FS custom singles are a nice pup. The buckers are just cheaply made. If you like the tone then that is fine.
     
  10. gspyda

    gspyda Senior Member

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    its hard to get a read on what to get imo. im a fairly visual person on top of wanting certain sounds.

    that being said GFS and Dragonfire have some very attractive looking pups to me. i love the multiple bobbin colorings and power rails looks.

    i think im too easily sold by liking pups called invader, hammerhead, steamhead, things like that.

    it seems like GFS reviews all say that they make cheap guitars sound great. i hope to find a review about power rails in les pauls. then again, i might just have to buy a set since they are fairly cheap. it has to be the overseas production that drives the price down and opens up lots of options.
     
  11. captcoolaid

    captcoolaid Senior Member

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    Crappy parts and made in China. That will drive the cost down every time. While some like the tone, which is fine, I just have a hard time pulling a crap parts pup for another crap parts pickup even before I started winding. I have a thing with quality parts. Even my ugly assss beater Tele has top notch parts on it.
     
  12. Campionx

    Campionx Member

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    They're cheap pickups. They don't blow SD out of the water. People like to affirm their choices that's all. If you don't skimp you won't regret.
     
  13. blamo

    blamo Senior Member

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    I'm going to play devil's advocate here. I don't own GFS pick ups. in fact, all i have are "boutique" pick ups. (Fralin, Lollar, Skatterbrain and JS Moore)

    for those saying that GFS uses poor quality components, please state which parts being used are poor and why they are inferior to a set of seymours (or similar). I am very curious.

    labour costs aside of course...
     
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  14. StratGT

    StratGT Senior Member

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    Answering the original question on why are GFS pickups so cheap....cause they're cheap imitations of the real deal and the end result is sub quality pickup. They didn't do any of the Guitar player research asking them what they are looking for...they simply copied other Pickup Companies designs and made them as cheap as possible.

    If you own a real USA made Gibson guitar then you couldn't possible get better pickups from cheap Chinese made GFS pickups. I once had a beater Mexican Strat and tried the GFS pickups and preferred the stock Mexican pickups.
     
  15. Pinkie

    Pinkie Senior Member

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    I would rather utilize the boutique builders here for pick ups.
    You are keeping the money here in the states and keeping people working.
    I have tried out guitars with GFS pick ups and really didn't care too much for them.
    The dream 180's I disliked the most.
     
  16. LtKojak

    LtKojak Senior Member

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    Baseplates: brass = attenuates highs = makes sound "muddy"
    Slugs: not the right alloy = makes sound "muddy"
    Screws: not the right alloy = makes sound "muddy"
    Keeper bar: not the right alloy = makes sound "muddy"
    Magnet: because of the use of all alloys that make the p'up sound muddy, they use very either Ceramic or very potent A5 mags, resulting in a harsh and muddy sound at the same time
    Bobbins: too many turns, wrong coil geometry = makes sound "muddy" and "harsh" at the same time.
    Covers: made of chrome-plated brass. = highs ASSASIN
    Wire: whatever poly nylon wire they can get for cheapest of the cheap.

    To be able to make a passable p'up with those materials is almost impossible.

    But, to be completely honest, the newest GFS designs are made with much better components and alloys and they will be GOOD ENOUGH for many players that are not able to hear the difference. It's like tasting wine: if you can't taste the difference between a $10 bottle and a $ 100 one, it's useless to get the $ 100 one. And there's absolutely NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

    A Duncan p'up is designed with materials made to spec for their designs. That's why the same p'up consistenly sound the same batch after batch after batch, year after year after year... and swapping magnets you can even fine-tune'em to you particular instrument and/or rig.

    Satisfied?
     
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  17. bzman

    bzman Junior Member

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    Hey, Chris. This is the other Chris - about the GVH1s and GCS1s. I don't know how to contact you here on mylespaul other than this. See if you can contact me and I'll keep trying. Thanks.
     
  18. slp

    slp Junior Member

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    Hi Happen to have any audio/video samples?

    I'm trying to get a danelectro hodad bairtone sound with my mmm1. I realize it will still be different but at the moment they are worlds away.
     
  19. SuiteAmpCo

    SuiteAmpCo Senior Member

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    Rant begins...WHY!?!? This thread is old dude, why revive it with a strange question like that? I only came here to say this cause my grandma called to ask wtf, why won't this die? Do you know this thread is older than my child, most of my shoes, most of my blue jeans, some of my guitars, some of my amps. Its older than my car, I've changed jobs twice since this started, this thing started right after Obama took office and now he's campaigning again! Let it go, read what's been posted and ask weird questions like that to your nieghbors cat. I mean come on yo, Moses spent less time in the desert then this. GFS pickups are great if you like them. If you don't no big loss, its $30 ea, give it wack and learn your lesson, or bask in your glory. Rant over.
     
  20. Sinster

    Sinster Senior Member

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    Because somebody actually used the search feature. So instead of starting a new thread they just responded to an old thread.
     
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