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GFS Professional Alnico II KMZ *ARE* Potted

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by seedlings, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. seedlings

    seedlings TDPRI Member

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    FYI- I purchased the PRO_KMZIINI_BR GFS professional Series Alnico II Humbucker Nickel Case Bridge Pickup from Guitar Fetish:

    http://www.guitarfetish.com/GFS-pro...mbucker-Nickel-Case-Bridge-Pickup_p_4150.html


    On August 4, 2014. Here is a screen shot of the description, where it says, "These are as straight-up vintage as you can get- UNPOTTED for the true vintage "air" and transparency!":
    [​IMG]

    Well, there is wax in the pole screws and wax around the underneath edges of the cover. Here is a screenshot of their reply:

    [​IMG]

    "Unfortunately, unknown to us, our manufacturer changed these pickups and they are now potted. We will change the listing to reflect this."

    So, I wanted to let anyone know before you also make a purchase that you will want to return.

    The pickup sounds OK, pretty similar to, but slightly brighter than the 57CH that came in the G-400. In a live setting there would be no difference between the pickups, even though the GFS is 8.55k and the 57CH is 14.5k.

    CHAD
     
  2. seedlings

    seedlings TDPRI Member

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    Just an update, for future reference. GFS updated their site overnight on August 14, 2014 and the line about UNPOTTED has been removed, so they are now marketed accurately.


    Side note, GFS instructed me to their return policy which explicitly says that the customer returns an item at the customer's shipping expense. I did that, and then requested that GFS reimburse my shipping cost because I would not have purchased the item had there been clear representation by the company (their fault). As of this morning they are quite insistent that they cannot reimburse me. After I requested for reimbursement, they said I could have asked for a return shipping label from them; information which was not mentioned in the return instructions. Perhaps they will come to a proper conclusion after all. Who knows.

    CHAD
     
  3. emisilly

    emisilly Tele-Afflicted

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    Sounds like any judge in America would rule in your favor here. Bottom line - they misrepresented their product (clearly in print). Not a big deal, I know, but it's a matter of principal.
     
  4. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    "...unknown to us, our manufacturer changed these pickups, and they are now potted."

    Well, Jay, who's in charge here? Don't these folks make YOUR pickups to YOUR specs, or do you just take what you get? Makes me wonder about all of the supposed R&D you talk about on the website.
     
  5. seedlings

    seedlings TDPRI Member

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    GFS decided to only reimburse me for the original purchase price and original shipping. I am out the $5.75 to return-ship the pickup.

    The last 3 (of 13) emails exchanged were:

    Then within an hour I had Paypal refund of my original price and shipping, but not return shipping. I will not recommend GFS as a company. I will not recommend GFS products. Period. I may make extra effort to discourage people from buying them, but that's sort of malicious, I guess.

    CHAD
     
  6. Greg.Coal

    Greg.Coal Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    GFS is still a good company to buy things from

    If every company that had a dispute not settled to the on-line customer's satisfaction was put on some kind of "DO-NOT-BUY-FROM-THEM" list, there would be nobody left to buy from ..... with 0% chance of hiccup, that is.

    I know you're hurt, but you and we are operating in the relatively low-cost, online world and we're all in a partnership with overseas manufacturers and their continent based retailers and I think this is part of that reality. I've been treated both worse and also much better by GFS and I just go along with it. If they have something I want for a good price, I will still buy from them.

    Also, they do reimburse return shipping for defective things and it sounds like they offered it too late to you. Somebody else took a shot and mocked their QC: well, that person has - obviously - no idea what managing a supply chain from China and some other places in SE Asia. GFS has (nearly :p) mastered it. Surprising and weird things can happen during manufacturing and signing contracts there is not for newbs.

    I would urge you to keep an open mind and you might want something from them again - I bet you can get a credit for your charge because they would probably eat that charge too just for good will ... also, I think they lose money on paypal, too.

    Anyway, sorry it happened, Greg
     
  7. seedlings

    seedlings TDPRI Member

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    Nope. In every email Larry placed the blame on me. Maybe OK for you, but not my kind if company, no matter how much surplus they offer. There are too many other retailers to patron a bad one. I appreciate your sentiment though Greg.

    CHAD
     
  8. poolshark

    poolshark Tele-Holic

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    Bummer about the bad experience. Guitarfetish is fair to buy from if you know what you're getting and everything goes well, but it can be a battle when things go sideways. I'll still buy a few things from them if I've got positive experience with the product - mainly pickguards or pickguard material - but given the burdensome return attitude, I'm no longer comfortable with a roll of the dice. Luckily, better parts can be had for a minimal upcharge.
     
  9. Doug 54

    Doug 54 Poster Extraordinaire

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    "...unknown to us, our manufacturer changed these pickups, and they are now potted."

    Well, Jay, who's in charge here? Don't these folks make YOUR pickups to YOUR specs, or do you just take what you get? Makes me wonder about all of the supposed R&D you talk about on the website.
    ------------------------------

    Good points

    .
     
  10. codamedia

    codamedia Poster Extraordinaire

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    If the emails are accurate - then Chad was very reasonable in outlining his position. GFS has made a clear cut decision to lose a customer over the matter of $5.75. What GFS does not know is how many more customers they will lose as Chad tells people of his experience. Why a business would take a stand and lost a customer(s) over $5.75 is beyond me.

    This doesn't even begin to touch on the fact that they market a product as "their own" when in reality it is a knock-off in which they have no control over the specs. Misleading is not the right word I would use for that type of marketing.

    Just my 2 cents.
     
  11. waparker4

    waparker4 Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    Yep Guitar Fetish is pretty silly. Bear this in mind when ignoring their inflated ad copy.
     
  12. seedlings

    seedlings TDPRI Member

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    There were very many caveats like this one that put me off:

    Which is to put the customer at fault, while emphasizing that generally they are not so gracious as this email appears.

    CHAD
     
  13. Tele-phone man

    Tele-phone man Tele-Afflicted

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    per Greg " Somebody else took a shot and mocked their QC: well, that person has - obviously - no idea what managing a supply chain from China and some other places in SE Asia."

    You're right. I have no idea about managing a supply chain from China. However, I think that is irrelevant to the discussion. GFS is this (unnamed) manufacturer's customer. The customer dictates the manufacturing specs to the builder, not the other way around. That's true everywhere, even in China.

    The funny thing is, I will still likely buy some products from GFS. I've found their Classic II to be one of the best humbucker values anywhere. Those pickups made me keep a guitar I was trying to sell, and I use it now more than all of my others.

    Like seedlings, I was hoping to score a set of the unpotted humbuckers (for a hollowbody jazz guitar), but unlike him I will likely just accept the potted pickup anyway. That is, unless they change other crucial aspects (wind, baseplate material, magnets, etc.)
     
  14. Greg.Coal

    Greg.Coal Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I have that pickup, too, in a neck position on a 335 copy! After Chad's post I made a note that I should check to see if it has wax. Probably.

    I still say China (I go there a lot) represents an enormous opportunity for us
    to get parts and finished instruments inexpensively but will always challenge the buyer to not get cheated - so, in a way, I am supporting your point that, if it's the retailer's chosen profession to source their manufacturing in China, then it is solely their responsibility to QC. But, if you knew how ingrained the cheating is there and how they will exploit every opportunity, you would understand that even the best will get cheated. You can hire people to be your watchdog and even they get bribed by the supplier.

    In this case, though, the manufacturer shipped something that had extra input added to it - definitely a costly mistake on their part; you would predict the opposite: after spec'ing wax-impregnated pickups they would short you on the wax.

    I don't know why GFS did not offer to pay the return immediately - rather than after the fact - their business may be doing well. Maybe this is how it has to go before they re-examine their policy when they have declining sales.

    I bought a new Behringer product off of eBay which was defective and they told me too bad because I bought it on eBay and they don't authorize any sellers on eBay (how was I supposed to know?). I got an incredibly defective power supply with a new BBE pedal and they told me I would have to buy one of their specialized no-noise power bricks if I didn't want a loud hum dominating my guitar sound. What? "Mil-Spec" BBE?!

    In those examples (of defective products from their factories that I had to eat) I knew these customer service people hadn't got the memo about how you actually work with the customer. I would still buy a BBE pedal - Behringer's ... not so sure. But, I only warn people not to buy Behringer off of eBay - but I know I am shopping in the low end and that crap will get through.

    That's just me, I know. Actually, somebody should start a thread about better/cheaper alternatives to GFS, esp for parts. I would be very interested in that.

    Greg
     
  15. wildschwein

    wildschwein Tele-Afflicted

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    GFS is a store front for Asian-made guitar parts. A lot of those pickups are made by Artec which is a Korean manufacturer -- they make some okay stuff. I know there is the "custom wind" marketing hype used as a way to differentiate it from the stock factory items but I'm dubious about that. Check out the Giovanni range by Artec. With GFS you're really paying for the service of someone bringing all that stuff together under the one "roof". I've bought stuff from them before and it went fine. Sometimes things can go bad. This can happen at the lower and higher end of the markets. If you do some research you can find most of those items GFS sells with other people's brand names on them scattered across eBay stores worldwide. Some of the hardware is Wilkinson license.

    Anyone looking for unpotted humbuckers should look for S/H Japanese Maxon pickups like the U-1000 or the Ibanez Super 70 from the 1970s and early 1980s -- these went into Lawsuit guitars of the time and are pretty close to PAFs in terms of tone (magnets were reputedly Alnico 8s though). They sound amazing in terms of chime and jangle but at higher gain settings you can talk into them like a microphone and hear yourself.
     
  16. dhuber

    dhuber Tele-Meister

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    This is off subject but I have a set of these GFS Professional Alnico II KMZ. I tried them in a Hamer Studio. I played the Studio side by side with my Hamer Artist loaded with SD Seth Lover's. The Studio and Artist sounded identical to my ears. I don't know if mine are potted or not. I've never cranked them up being I was in my home just doing an A/B test. I myself would prefer potted pickups. Great pickups!
     
  17. Phelonious Ponk

    Phelonious Ponk Tele-Afflicted

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    I've bought a few pickups from them. They were all really good-sounding for the money. Never returned anything though.

    P
     
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