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Which GFS pups for full clear sss strat?

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by Festofish, Apr 19, 2021.

  1. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I’m not new to GfS but I haven’t had any of their pickups in a strat. I’m thinking Boston Blues Overwound. Like I said, I would like a nice full, clear singles. Any suggestions? Other budget brands welcome. I’m looking forward to the quick plug system.
     
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2021
  2. charlie chitlin

    charlie chitlin Doctor of Teleocity Silver Supporter

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    I had a set called 59 Professional, or something like that, I found them to have a really nice, clear traditional Strat sound
     
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  3. medownsouth

    medownsouth Tele-Holic Gold Supporter

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    I like GFS lipstick pickups, but haven't really found another set in their lineup that's a keeper. For similar sounds: Look @ Guitar Madness 62'z, Donlis Alnico Hot Wound, or Bootstrap SCS as well. All around 40 or 50 bux, all sound great.
     
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  4. bgmacaw

    bgmacaw Poster Extraordinaire

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    I think you can find as good or even better pickups for less in most cases when it comes to GFS. Not that their pickups are bad, just a bit overpriced, especially when you include their hefty shipping charges.

    Guitar Madness: http://rover.ebay.com/rover/1/711-5...0001&campid=5338148343&icep_item=282557038327

    Tone Hatch: https://www.tonehatch.com/collections/stratocaster-pickups/products/2-5-union-s

    I bought a set of these cheap single rail single coil pickups that were surprisingly good. I bought them originally for use in cigar box guitars and put them in my SX Hawk just to test them out. I ended up liking them so much I left them in there.
     
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  5. That Cal Webway

    That Cal Webway Friend of Leo's Silver Supporter

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    and donut forget Ohio made
    Bootstaps!

    < $60 for a set.
     
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  6. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    I would seriously consider the BootStrap Sun City Selects for what you describe. I have a few sets of BootStrap pickups that I can describe to you, but since you are looking for GFS pickups specifically, I don't want to derail the thread. Let me know if you want more info. I tried the GFS Alnico 5 Premium set when they first came out. They were fine, good sounding generic Alnico 5 Strat pickups similar to what you would have found in many US made Strats at the time (at least 15 years ago). I can't say they were anything special, though. BootStrap is my go to now, by far.
     
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  7. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a set of Neovins (2 Strat, 1Tele) in a Nashville type with 500k pots and they are clear as a bell and hum cancelling, which was the point.
    Knowing what I know now, if 60 cycle is not an issue, I would go with Bootstraps based on member's reviews.
    I did have a set of GFS Strat singles: grey bottom 60's, I think, that I gave to my nephew. He loves them.
     
  8. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Never tried the Neovins. I did try the Tru Coils and I thought they were excellent sounding Strat pickups - and hum cancelling. GFS got these ones right. The problem is they do not match with other pickups well because they are very low output, but they sound amazing as a set. I've tried a couple of different Fender noiseless sets, a few Lace Sensors, Duncan stacks and Dimarzio Area pickups. The most authentic by far were the GFS Tru Coils and the Dimarzios - the Tru Coils I tried were the version "1" ones (no longer made) and were more traditional than the Dimarzios - I tried the hotter, modern output Dimarzios and they did what they were advertised to do.
     
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  9. Jay Jernigan

    Jay Jernigan Tele-Afflicted

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    I am a long time DiMarzio user. Never been disappointed.
     
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  10. Festofish

    Festofish Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    I’m not tied to GFS I just really like their qwik connect as I don’t care to solder. I’m open to suggestions
     
  11. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    Well okay then ;) Here are my thoughts on the BootStraps I have, in relation to what you requested (clear, full tone). But they do not have any kind of quick connect system.

    BootStrap Golden Ale set: These are cool. The neck and middle pickups are "vintage" output and use Alnico II magnets. This gives them that vintage sound right out of the box - that kinda "hollow in the middle" tone when a bit of overdrive is used is the best way I describe it, but somehow without lacking mids. Think Hendrix neck tones or they can even get a little SRV vibe going on. The Bridge pickup in this set is clear and articulate. It is an overwound Alnico 5 pickup, unlike the middle and neck pickups. It drives the amp a little harder and is a bit thicker sounding with less "ice pick" than a regular Strat pickup. The set I have is custom wound by Ryan with the neck and middle pickups a bit hotter to give a little extra thickness, and the bridge pickup is very overwound to give me a very modern, hot and thick bridge sound. I'm thinking the standard wind would be better for you if you want full, articulate, clear bridge tones and a vintage, clean neck and middle tone. This is my favorite full set of Strat pickups I've ever had, although the Oatmeal Stouts come close.

    BootStrap Oatmeal Stout Set: This is an extra hot, all around Alnico 5 set in all three positions, but still manages exceptional clarity. The bridge is incredible, and I may even like it better than my custom wound Golden Ale bridge pickup (again - very modern, hot and thick sounding). The neck and middle are quite dark sounding, but retain a decent amount of high end - they don't sound muddy or muffled. I use 500k pots with this set, though, even though they are single coils. I would describe the tones from this set more as Gilmour-ish or Keith Scott (Bryan Adams) sounding. That's what I mean by "modern". Overall, I like the Golden Age neck and middle positions better, but these have their place and I'm keeping them forever ;) There is an even hotter, darker set called Imperial Stout. I don't have them and will likely not try them.

    BootStrap Sun City Selects: Okay - I don't actually have these, but they have also been recommended by @medownsouth in a post above. These are a little hotter all the way around than a "normal" Strat set. BootStrap compares them to Fender Texas Specials, but the specs look very similar all the way around to Fender Tex Mex pickups, which I do have in yet another Strat. They are pretty much what you describe you are looking for - a bit more fullness without lacking in clarity. The bridge pickup is not as hot as my Oatmeal Stout bridge pickup or custom wound Golden Ale bridge pickup, but it's warm enough to not have that Strat "ice pick" sound, yet retain some nice presence. I'll probably try the Sun City Selects in a future project, at almost half the price of the Tex Mex pickups (which are indeed excellent pickups).

    Bootstrap '54 Vintage Pro Set: I have these on order, so I haven't tried them yet. This is a standard Strat set that I want for a more "traditional" sounding Strat. Probably not what you want right now, but I'm really looking forward to trying them.
     
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  12. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Any Fender low wind stock pups will likely be better and cheap. As long as they aren't the ceramics. I may have some here I'm not using. I'll check.
     
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  13. gkterry

    gkterry Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Forget the GFS foreign made stuff. Buy American and if you want inexpensive, get Bootstrap pickups - made in Ohio.
     
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  14. Leonardocoate

    Leonardocoate Tele-Meister

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    I really like their lipstick pups
     
  15. AJBaker

    AJBaker Friend of Leo's

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    Just to add another good budget option:
    Pribora Voodoo made in Russia is cheap, but well made and sounds great. Shipping is also surprisingly cheap.
     
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  16. schmee

    schmee Doctor of Teleocity

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    Later:
    I've got 3. Not sure what covers I have available. Do you have screws and covers?
    Neck: 6.1 k ohms (IIRC mid 80's Japanese Strat)
    Mid: 6.5k ohms (likely Tex Mex)
    Bridge: 7.1k ohms. (Tex Mex)
    All $65 shipped.

    No pressure, just trying to help.

    Bill Lawrence Keystones used to be cheap and exactly what you are asking for, but I dont see them on the site, only Tele ones...
     
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  17. mkdaws32

    mkdaws32 Friend of Leo's Gold Supporter

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    @Festofish FWIW, I bought some Tele pickups from @schmee last year. Those Tex Mex (with the MIJ neck) he has might do exactly what you want - as I described the Tex Mex pickups above, you can see the vibe is pretty close to what you describe you are looking for.
     
  18. jvin248

    jvin248 Doctor of Teleocity

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    .

    Aim for lower kohm range for classic Strat tones.
    Select pots 'n caps by measurement
    Set pickup heights low and then raise to the best tone. Tip bass/treble.

    See how low Hendrix set his pickups. If you get any ceramic magnet pickups then set them lower yet to compensate for their stronger output and you can get the tones too. I also like to see how he picks and strums as if there is no typical Strat volume knob in the way -- and gets all the tones. So don't be afraid to move the volume further away from the strings on your build.

     
  19. drmordo

    drmordo Tele-Afflicted

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    I have a set of the GFS Alnico Staggered PUs in a guitar, and they sound fantastic.
     
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  20. Ringo

    Ringo Poster Extraordinaire

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    Not knocking GFS but they don't make their pickups they have them made by Artec I believe? There are a lot of great Strat pickups to be had, especially if you go used then you can find Duncan, Dimarzio Fender and others pretty reasonable. I like a lot of the Fender Strat pickups, I had a set of Bootstrap Golden Ale IIRC and they were great, USA made and very reasonable. I've read good reviews of Rose pickups made here in the USA.
     
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