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Has anyone else tried the GFS rails?

Discussion in 'Just Pickups' started by drmordo, Sep 21, 2020.

  1. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I've been playing since the 80s but but I have never been interested in pickup with "rails" before, but I picked up a set of GFS Lil Punchers for the Tele to mess around with.

    I have not yet wired them for coil tapping, but my initial reaction is: HOT!

    I got the hottest bridge pickup GFS offers mostly because I figure when I coil tap it will drop down to 7.5k so should be a nice Tele-ish pickup. But at the full 15k, it sounds great. The neck version is not nearly as hot, but also sounds very good, just bright and muscular enough to rock. I had high output humbuckers in my Les Paul and I just hated them, but these things a nice and crisp and sound very much like a Tele on meth. I swear there's a little bit of octave content in them, so them seem almost hysterical, for lack of a better term.

    Once I get the coil tap wired in, I think that guitar is going to become a fav. I may and up putting them in an extra strat as well!

    Anyone else messed with these?
     
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  2. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    I had one a couple years ago. I had the 7.5k version ('cool vintage', no Kwik-plug version).
    I wired it to run humbucker mode only (no split coil).

    Summary: It was 'ok'; maybe a bit heavy in the mids than I liked, but I should have expected that given the type of pickup, the way I had it wired and existing pots+wiring (I didn't change any of that at the time). I felt it was fairly high output IIRC. If you're after a more rock sound with some crunch, these may work ok for you. I was really after a more Tele 'twang' so eventually I took it out and swapped in a DiMarzio TwangKing which I'm much happier with. I figured at about $30-$32 each, it was worth picking one up to check it out.

    Good Luck!
     
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  3. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    DSC_0068.JPG DSC_0069.JPG

    That's what these are (I built the guitar with a GFS body and a no-name Chinese $35 neck). They do not sound like a telecaster, but more like a P90. A truly gnarly rock and roll pickup. I can recommend them if you are not looking for a vintage telecaster sound.
     
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  4. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    That's a good point about the existing pots. The 250k pots in my guitar definitely darken these pickups quite a bit when I roll them back enough to tame them. I have some 500k pots I'm going to install when I wire them for coil tapping.

    Lovely guitar! I'm currently working on a GFS based Esquire that will look quite similar. I actually bought the GFS rail bridge pickup for that Esquire-in-progress, but then decided to get a matching neck PU and try them in my main Tele. I'm still thinking I'll put a GFS rail in the Esquire with a three way switch - humbucker, tapped coil, humbucker with tone rolled down.

    I have never had a P90 guitar, but I agree that the bridge PU is definitely too hot to be "Tele-ish". It reminds me of my SG but brighter and just a bit twangier than a full size humbucker. Hopefully the coil tap will get me closer to classic Tele tones, then I can pop it into overload as desired.

    I've never bothered to coil tap a guitar, so I'm looking forward to messing with this.
     
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  5. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    When I first built this one I used a gfs rail and another tele neck pu that were in my box of stuff... not sure where I got them.. I think I bought some pickups off a local ebay guy and he threw in a few spares he wasn't using...

    so I put them in and did a split switch for the coil.... and overall it sounded pretty good, the neck sounded pretty good, the splits were a bit thin by themselves, thought they mixed well in the mid positions...

    I left them in there for a few years until this year when I also had a set of tele noiseless pu's I got off a friend... then for something to do as well as hear what they sounded like I put the noiseless ones in......

    I had a friend here over the weekend playing the noiseless while I played bass.. and he fell in love with them and the guitar's neck... he's got two other good teles, now he wants this one...:rolleyes:

    Cream Tele pu and switch.jpg
     
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  6. oldfish

    oldfish Tele-Holic

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    trev333 love the white/blonde tele can you tell us what colour/type of paint was used
     
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  7. trev333

    trev333 Telefied Ad Free Member

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    BSB Tele 2-16 sm.jpg

    OK,, the body is a centre joined DF rafter from the scrap yard.. it was 5 or 6 metres long, so it made many bodies for me...
    BG end grain1.jpg BG1.jpg

    paired with a rather nice qtr sawn Squier neck I bought on local ebay for a steal..... not even knowing it was qtr sawn,,,,
    sq3.JPG

    paint was duplicolor car paint and acrylic clear,

    , duplicolor bahama beige.jpg

    atm, it has a fender noiseless set in there.... sounds good.. :)
     
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  8. JIMMY JAZZMAN

    JIMMY JAZZMAN Tele-Meister

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    Rails don't look right on a Telecaster guitar, I'm sorry if I offended anyone.
     
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  9. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Tele-Afflicted Gold Supporter

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    I’ve used the medium rails in the bridge of Strats (Lil killer) and Teles (Lil puncher) 10k and I think they sound excellent. Very balanced with some light crunch or “on the edge of breakup” amp settings but powerful enough to drive a tube amp into classic metal territory if you want it.

    I’ve never tried them in the neck position. The 10k versions are very similar in tone to Dimarzio Chopper rail pickups.

    I think these GFS rails are one of the best pickups they produce, and I’ve tried quite a few.
     
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  10. kennl

    kennl Tele-Afflicted

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    You can get over that looks thing when the sound is right.
    The Joe Bardens are incredible and the GFS are very good.
     
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  11. Hounded Dog

    Hounded Dog TDPRI Member

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    I built up a tele with a Mexican neck and GFS body (paulownia). I wanted a slide specific piece. I used vintage rails from GF. They seem quite adequate. I'm used to Lawrence, so they aren't in my long term plans but they've been in there for years.
     
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  12. Michael A.

    Michael A. Tele-Afflicted Ad Free Member

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    Then put them on a non-Fender T-type and feel good about yourself in the morning!

    $100 1995 Peavey Reactor here, with Artec HeroNeo alnico bridge and Strat neck. The pair of pickups was $32 when I bought them. Killer!

    IMG_20170222_150557845.jpg IMG_20170222_150538559.jpg
     
  13. memorex

    memorex Friend of Leo's

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    I have a set of Cool Vintage Lil Punchers plus the 6K Lil Killer middle pickup in one of my Nashvilles. They sound pretty good for cheap pickups. They're on the hot side, I have 'em dialed down low, and they sound brighter and clearer that way. I tried the Modern Vintage bridge pickup and found it too loud and midrangey to match the set, so went back to the Cool Vintage.
     
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  14. Weazel

    Weazel Tele-Holic

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    I have used GFS lil' punchers in 4 partscasters so far. Wired straight, no coil splits/taps. I love'em! I agree with the one saying they can sound like p-90s, and that's a pre for me.
    I also have one with a GFS puncher bridge PU and a generic low output neck PU - works great. It's all about adjusting PU height.
     
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  15. oldfish

    oldfish Tele-Holic

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    trev333 thanks for the info
     
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  16. PhredE

    PhredE Tele-Holic

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    Yup. Pot values + pickup height I think are the things to be mindful of as you proceed.
    I think they'll work fine for you.
     
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  17. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Holic

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    I'm glad I'm not the only one!

    Now I'm thinking I might get a set of the low output versions for a different Tele to see if they are more Tele-like than the screamers I currently have.
     
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  18. vanr

    vanr Tele-Afflicted

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    I had the 15K Lil Puncher in the bridge of a Tele I sold. I really liked that pickup.
     
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  19. 3-Chord-Genius

    3-Chord-Genius Poster Extraordinaire

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    That's a pretty sharp-looking axe (are they still saying "axe"?) I think it actually looks better with those rail pickups than a normal set would look.
     
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  20. Blackshadowrider

    Blackshadowrider TDPRI Member

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    I have to admit to being a pickup snob and tend to replace almost all manufacturer stock pickups unless they are the higher end custom shop (Fender) versions. I have a Tele with Duncan Hot-Rails that I like but prefer the JBE (Barden) I have built. Now on a whim, a bought new pair of Artec Filtertrons for $40 of eBay to put in a free MIM Cabronita body I got. I have to admit they are quite amazing even if I ignore the low price. I have a nicer build going with real TV Jones pickups and this will be an interesting comparison. I believe Artec had rail style pickups if you are looking to save some $$
     
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