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Old October 10th, 2010, 11:47 AM   #1 (permalink)
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GFS Surf 90 Mini - Review!

I installed the set of GFS Surf 90 pups in my Eastwood Coronado yesterday morning ( strung with 11's if that makes any difference to anyone ). Very easy to install, well built and pretty cool looking. The Coronado is a chambered mahogany guitar that came stock with a pair of uber - hot alnico humbuckers. I felt the tone was a bit muddy for my tastes, so I pulled the trigger on a set Surf 90's. I ran the guitar thru multiple head and amp combos ( PRRI combo, Vox AC4 / 12" cab, Epi Valve Jr with Bitmo mods / 12" cab, Bronco combo and old Newcomb converted head / 12" cab ) and came away with the following conclusions.

1) Very twangy, but with more low end than a typical Tele bridge.
2) Tone control makes a huge difference on the bridge pup. You can really dial back the twang. I used it dialed back to about 60% - 70% most of the time.
3) Nice match with a chambered body.
4) Neck pickup has a very nice rhythm tone, but a bit on the nasal side with some amps ( Vox especially ).
5) Great pups for playing surf and 60's instrumentals. It kills on " Walk Don't Run ", " Pipeline " etc. type songs. I used the onboard reverb on the PRRI and my Boss FRV-1 set at pretty low reverb for the other amps.
6) Pairs very well with the Danecho pedal for a delay / echo sound.
7) You can play some OD rock with these pups. I played a host of AC/DC with these pups yesterday and they sounded very good. In fact, much better than I had anticipated.

In closing, if you are looking for a nice middle ground between the Tele twang and the humbucker growl, this is a good pickup. Definately brighter than the GFS Dream 90 ( I had those a while back in a solid body mahogany Tele ). If you want that surf tone, these will deliver.

Sorry guys, but I do not have any recording equipment to post audio clips. Perhaps one of our other members can do this.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 12:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Thanks for your review.

After hearing the clips from Umafloresta I think that a Lipstick neck pickup with a GFS Surf bridge would be a killing set. One of this days I'm gonna have to try it.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 03:38 PM   #3 (permalink)
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I have the Surf 90s installed in the bridge of my Strat. I wanted more of a lanky tone than the HB and I gave it a try. I am linking a soundclip I made when I first installed the pickup. The clips are around a min or so of clean, dirt and finally full on overdrive. I am not much of a lead player, so this is mostly rhythm stuff.

http://www.upload-mp3.com/files/2342...Surf%2090s.mp3
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Old October 10th, 2010, 03:40 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtjo62 View Post
I have the Surf 90s installed in the bridge of my Strat. I wanted more of a lanky tone than the HB and I gave it a try. I am linking a soundclip I made when I first installed the pickup. The clips are around a min or so of clean, dirt and finally full on overdrive.

http://www.upload-mp3.com/files/2342...Surf%2090s.mp3
Hey I was just about to ask how they might sound in a Strat! I've got a Strat w/ 2 humbuckers and I'm looking for a different sound for this guitar and the Surf 90's are one of the choices I'm looking at. Anyway, I'll have a listen to your clip.

EDIT: When I clicked on the link to your clip above it says access denied. Are you able to fix the link? I'd love to hear it. There's probably a setting that allows public access to the file that needs to be activated.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 03:43 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mtjo62 View Post
I have the Surf 90s installed in the bridge of my Strat. I wanted more of a lanky tone than the HB and I gave it a try. I am linking a soundclip I made when I first installed the pickup. The clips are around a min or so of clean, dirt and finally full on overdrive.

http://www.upload-mp3.com/files/2342...Surf%2090s.mp3
I got an "access denied" message when I clicked on your link.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 03:46 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Sorry, I set it to private access. It is public now.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 03:56 PM   #7 (permalink)
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What value pots are you guys using with these? I have one here to put in a guitar I just got. I have an old premade harness sitting around as well that has 500k pots. I was wondering if it would be good to use.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 03:57 PM   #8 (permalink)
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p.s. that soundclip sounds great! That's the type of low end tone I was hoping for.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 04:04 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Sorry, I set it to private access. It is public now.
Thanks.

I really like the tone, especially the dirt!
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Old October 10th, 2010, 04:40 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have 500K pots in the Strat. I ditched one of the tone pots and now use a single volume and tone for all PUs. Those clips were run direct via a RP250 using the DR head and Bassman cab settings with some reverb. I dialed the gain in for each setting.


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Old October 10th, 2010, 05:31 PM   #11 (permalink)
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What value pots are you guys using with these? I have one here to put in a guitar I just got. I have an old premade harness sitting around as well that has 500k pots. I was wondering if it would be good to use.
I have 500k volume and tone on both neck and bridge.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 05:42 PM   #12 (permalink)
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castpolymer, I'd love to hear that Eastwood with the Surf 90s. Heck, plug straight into your soundcard.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 05:46 PM   #13 (permalink)
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castpolymer, I'd love to hear that Eastwood with the Surf 90s. Heck, plug straight into your soundcard.
I literally have no idea how to do that.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Very cool. I have been wondering about these pickups. Not that this is the most important consideration, castpolymer, but they really look like they belong in that Coronado. mtjo62's clip sounds nice, so I'll bet they are a good match for that guitar.
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Old October 10th, 2010, 06:09 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Download and install Audacity

Go to you sound properties and make sure the mic input isn't muted and the level is set to mid or so.

Use a 1/4 to 1/8 adapter and plug you guitar cord into the pink jack on your soundcard.

Open Audacity and hit record and wail away.

Export from File as a wav file.

If you don't have the means to convert to an MP3 and upload it, contact me and I'll host it for you.
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Old December 20th, 2013, 12:28 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Here's my Fender Blacktop Tele, now with Surf 90's:



I like those a lot, I recommend using 250k pots, I had 500k before and it was too much treble. Also I did shielded all cavities with cooper foil, it's kinda hard to do and takes a lot of time (in my case) but worthed.
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