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Old December 12th, 2009, 01:25 PM   #1 (permalink)
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GFS Dream 90s - A Quick Review (Now with a Demo)

I'd never tried out the Dream 90s until I had a set installed in my Squier Tele the other day. I've tried the Mean 90s in a Les Paul about a year ago, but never the Dream 90s.

The first impressions: I was actually really surprised. They seem to be noiseless and the tone is very warm and vintage, no harsh or muddy qualities about this set.

Are they like a P-90? Yes and no. They do not take on the traditional Gibson P-90 tone, however the closest pickup I can equate these to are the Rickenbacker Hi-Gain pickups, with less noise. You get a rounded, warmer and tad fatter singlecoil tone, somewhere between the Hi-Gains and regular Tele pickups (it does twang a bit). The closest soapbar I could relate these to are the Fender Black Doves.

Are these worth the price? Absolutely. I've had some great pickups (and some bad) from Guitarfetish before, but I'd say these were the most surprising and satisfying of them all. The Mean 90s are great but they are a different breed - singlecoil pickups with balls (these are perfect for thick mahogany bodies such as LPs).

I know there are a lot of questions in regards to these humbucker sized P-90s, so hopefully this review helps you guys decide. In a way, they feel a bit like the Duncan Phat Cats, though these improve on the "sterile" qualities I feel the Phat Cats retain. I'd compare the Mean 90s more to the Tonerider Rebel 90s as the Rebel 90s have a bit thicker bite to them.


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Old December 12th, 2009, 01:32 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Great review.

The GFS line is ideal for a lot of us out here because there's not a huge commitment on $$$.

I had the hot rails in an old Squier that I ended up selling and I wish I had the whole setup back!

Can you possibly post some audio?
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Old December 12th, 2009, 01:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Faraldi - finals are coming up this week so I'm a bit tied up. But I should be able to get something for you soon!
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Old December 12th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Noiseless? Aren't they true single coils anymore?
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Noiseless? Aren't they true single coils anymore?
Yes, they are single coils. Maybe they are quite because of that big grounded metal case. Whatever the reason, I had the same experience. They sound great and they are extremeley quiet. Nice review!
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:36 PM   #6 (permalink)
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I bought a pair used off the TDPRI classifieds and was hoping to see them this week. Looks like it's going to be next week instead.

Thanks for the review. I'm looking forward to getting them even more now.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 04:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I had a great experience with a GFS Dream 90 in the bridge of my strat earlier this year. I great choice, and really beefed up the bridge position.
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Old December 12th, 2009, 07:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Yes, they are single coils. Maybe they are quite because of that big grounded metal case. Whatever the reason, I had the same experience. They sound great and they are extremeley quiet. Nice review!
They are VERY quiet - whether or not they are supposed to be noiseless, I get absolutely no noise from it, at any volume and drive. It's incredible!
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Old December 12th, 2009, 07:44 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Here's a brief demo - pardon the sound quality, it's from a digital camera.

Used a Fender Frontman 25R.

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Old December 13th, 2009, 11:14 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I have a dream 90 in the bridge of my Squier '51 and absolutely love it. Quiet and sounds like a dream with a touch of overdrive. Also balances nicely with strat neck pickup.
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Old December 13th, 2009, 12:17 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Hey Boneyguy,

I was just going to send you a note to see if you got the pickups. They quoted 6-10 business days, but could be running a bit behind due to the Holidays. I'll track the package and will send you a PM.

Btw, I agree that the Dream 90s are great sounding pups. Very warm, articulate, clear like a warmed up single coil. I plan to try another set soon in a Paulownia body. Only reason I sold them was to get an SSS setup for my Ash SST. However, I think they would be amazing in a p-wood strat.

Lou
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Old December 14th, 2009, 12:37 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Here's a brief demo - pardon the sound quality, it's from a digital camera.

Used a Fender Frontman 25R.

Appreciate the Demo's! Good Job!.......................cheers! JIMO
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Old December 14th, 2009, 12:41 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Appreciate the Demo's! Good Job!.......................cheers! JIMO
Thanks JIMO!
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Old December 14th, 2009, 11:02 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Wow, that demo sounds pretty darn good. I have the Mean 90's in my Highland royal (335 copy) and really dig them. But that's a dark guitar by nature and I often wish for a little more bite. Perhaps the Dream 90's would do the trick? (Though I'd probably miss the warmth of the Mean 90's if I swapped them out!).
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Old December 14th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Hey Lou. Thanks for looking into it. Much appreciated. I'm sure they'll turn up this week. I've sent you a PM.

Thanks again.


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Hey Boneyguy,

I was just going to send you a note to see if you got the pickups. They quoted 6-10 business days, but could be running a bit behind due to the Holidays. I'll track the package and will send you a PM.

Btw, I agree that the Dream 90s are great sounding pups. Very warm, articulate, clear like a warmed up single coil. I plan to try another set soon in a Paulownia body. Only reason I sold them was to get an SSS setup for my Ash SST. However, I think they would be amazing in a p-wood strat.

Lou
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Old December 14th, 2009, 12:59 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Here's a brief demo - pardon the sound quality, it's from a digital camera.

Used a Fender Frontman 25R.

Hey those sound great!! Nice job. I'm going to try mine in a couple of different guitars probably but the first will be a small semi-hollow guitar. I've watched a YouTube clip of the D90's in a semi-hollow guitar and they sounded really great for doing westcoast jump style blues.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 02:13 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Wow, that demo sounds pretty darn good. I have the Mean 90's in my Highland royal (335 copy) and really dig them. But that's a dark guitar by nature and I often wish for a little more bite. Perhaps the Dream 90's would do the trick? (Though I'd probably miss the warmth of the Mean 90's if I swapped them out!).
I got a LOT of bite out of the Mean 90s in a dark guitar. If you want to swap - go with the Tonerider Rebel 90s. It'll give you the bite of the Dreams but the warmth of the Means.



Boneyguy - those demos on Youtube sold me.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 02:21 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Chrismo I agree that the Dream 90s are great pups, I've got a set in an Agile Cool Cat prestige (big archtop hollowbody). I've toyed with the idea of putting a Mean 90 in the bridge of that guitar, for more grind. whaddya think? I have no personal experience with the Mean90. thanks.
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Old December 14th, 2009, 02:51 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Boneyguy - those demos on Youtube sold me.
This is the video in particular that got me thinkin'. I think that's a pretty decent tone for that style of music and may be what I'm looking for in my semi-hollow. We'll see. Even if it doesn't work out it's hard to feel bad about trying these pickups at those prices. I got my pair used which is even sweeter!! (Thanks Lou)

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Old December 14th, 2009, 03:23 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Chrismo I agree that the Dream 90s are great pups, I've got a set in an Agile Cool Cat prestige (big archtop hollowbody). I've toyed with the idea of putting a Mean 90 in the bridge of that guitar, for more grind. whaddya think? I have no personal experience with the Mean90. thanks.
Yep! Dream 90 neck would be great with a Mean 90 for a fatter grind.
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