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GFS Surf 90 Mini - Review!

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by castpolymer, Oct 10, 2010.

  1. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

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    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.
     

    Attached Files:

  2. Enaitz

    Enaitz Tele-Meister

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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.
     
  3. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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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/234245_vboko/Surf 90s.mp3
     
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  5. boneyguy

    boneyguy Doctor of Teleocity

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    Hey I was just about to ask how they might sound in a Strat!:D 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.
     
  6. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

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    I got an "access denied" message when I clicked on your link.
     
  7. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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    Sorry, I set it to private access. It is public now.
     
  8. tdu

    tdu Friend of Leo's

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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.
     
  9. tdu

    tdu Friend of Leo's

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    p.s. that soundclip sounds great! That's the type of low end tone I was hoping for.
     
  10. LoudTele

    LoudTele Tele-Meister

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    Thanks.

    I really like the tone, especially the dirt!
     
  11. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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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.


    [​IMG]
     
  12. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I have 500k volume and tone on both neck and bridge.
     
  13. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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    castpolymer, I'd love to hear that Eastwood with the Surf 90s. Heck, plug straight into your soundcard.
     
  14. castpolymer

    castpolymer Poster Extraordinaire

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    I literally have no idea how to do that. :oops:
     
  15. Dan German

    Dan German Poster Extraordinaire

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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.
     
  16. mtjo62

    mtjo62 Tele-Holic

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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.
     
  17. bluesoverdrive

    bluesoverdrive TDPRI Member

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    Here's my Fender Blacktop Tele, now with Surf 90's:

    [​IMG]

    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.
     
  18. Topbanana

    Topbanana Tele-Meister

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    How does the bridge sound? I have a Surf-90 in the neck of my fromer Esquire. Sounds amazing with the Loller ESQ bridge PU I've got paired with it.
     
  19. rigatele

    rigatele Tele-Meister

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    It works but it wouldn't really be good for a demo. Soundcard input impedance is too low - it will change the tone completely.
     
  20. vintage clubber

    vintage clubber Friend of Leo's

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    I love Surf 90's! I have two guitars equipped with them, both with 250k pots. One of the best pickups out there in any price range IMHO.
     
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