GFS Guitar Fetish '64 Stagger Overwound Grey-Bottom Pickups

Discussion in 'Pickup Joint' started by Madhermit, Mar 31, 2020.

  1. Madhermit

    Madhermit Squier Talker

    22
    Jul 8, 2019
    Canada
    I had a lot of trouble finding people with actual experience chiming in about GFS pickups when I was pickup shopping. So after using these for a while, I thought I would post my findings about a set of GFS Guitar Fetish '64 Stagger Overwound Grey-Bottom Pickups.

    These ones...
    https://www.guitarfetish.com/64-Stagger-Overwound-Grey-Bottom-Rock-Pickups--Kwikplug™-Ready_p_21998.html

    I got them a while back and I finally put them in a Partscaster a few months or so ago. I have an Original 60’s Strat with the Fender Pure Vintage '65 Gray-Bottom pickups to compare them to. The GFS pickups are modelled after grey-bottoms, and in my opinion they are VERY similar in practice. I would say 92%+ similar. The difference could be due to a couple of things. The GFS pickups are slightly overwound. The partscaster has a maple neck vs. rosewood. The partscaster has a slimmer Squier Bullet body. The Original 60’s has a really big unplugged tone, whereas the partscaster has a modern, snappy, scooped unplugged sound. It seems to translate the same when plugged in. The Original 60s is bigger sounding and a little smoother. The partscaster has less bottom end and comes off a little snappier. Again, it is not a big difference at all.

    These GFS pickups are VERY good. Great way to upgrade a Squier or entry level strat. I got them on a 20% off sale. Great buy!

    [​IMG]

    (P.S. I posted this on another forum a while back, but when I was searching for info for my 2 Squier upgrades, this forum was the best resource by far, so I wanted to contribute.)
     
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2020
  2. Mr Bones

    Mr Bones Squier-holic

    Age:
    58
    Oct 17, 2019
    Kansas Territory
    I, fer one, greatly appreciate yer contribution, amigo.:cool:
    I'm always listenin to different stuff, gleanin from that. Ain't we all?
    Do ya might happen to have any sound files posted up, anywhere?
    Cause that'd be a right treat, an help me decide more what I think, as well
     
  3. jnz84

    jnz84 Squier Talker

    Age:
    17
    51
    Feb 14, 2020
    New Zealand
    I second that @Mr Bones, a great resource to have is specific descriptions that are easily searchable for later reference.

    Money tight with everything going on but will keep this in mind for a later upgrade for sure. Thanks!
     
  4. Madhermit

    Madhermit Squier Talker

    22
    Jul 8, 2019
    Canada
    I’ll see what I can do. Thankfully, I am still working full time during this Covid19 outbreak with a 5 year old at home, so time is still sparse.
    I am no lead player, but maybe I’ll do a back to back comparison of the 2 sets of pickups.

    Suggestions for what to play? I was thinking...
    1. A clean tone, strum a D, then A, then E chord.
    2. A clean tone riff ala Just Got Paid
    3. A dirty tone riff ala Just Got Paid
    4. ?
     
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  5. strat_strummer

    strat_strummer Squier-holic

    Age:
    58
    Nov 24, 2018
    RC addiction....
    Great looking guitar. GFS makes some good pups..
     
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  6. dbrian66

    dbrian66 Dr. Squier

    Age:
    50
    Jul 14, 2017
    Maryland, USA
    Great review! Thanks. I have no experience with that particular pickup, but I have put a set of GFS Fat Pat’s I think they were called in an Ibanez and was really impressed by them.
     
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  7. archetype

    archetype Squier-holic

    I'm late to the party, but can add to the thread in some way. I thought about the overwounds, but skipped them and got a set of GFS '64 vintage wind grey-bottoms. In my basswood Squier Affinity Strat they don't have the characteristics of the average 60s pickup. IMO they sound a lot closer to a 70s Strat pickup with a defined low end, scooped mids, and snappy top end. OMMV in other guitars.
     
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  8. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-holic

    I have the non-staggered pole GFS overwound gray bottoms in my Strat. They are pretty nice.
     
  9. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Age:
    66
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    So, how would you describe the differences in the sound of a 60s pickup vs. a 70s one?
     
  10. zook

    zook Squier Talker

    12
    May 17, 2010
    Cochise, Arizona
    Has anyone used the GFS Boston Blues Strat set? I like blue.:)
     
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  11. Madhermit

    Madhermit Squier Talker

    22
    Jul 8, 2019
    Canada
    Took a while, but I made a comparison video today between my Squier partscaster with GFS Grey-bottom overwound pickups, and my Fender Original 60s Stratocaster with Fender Pure Vintage '65 pickups. Volumes were matched as best as I could. I just did a basic little riff on every pickup combination on both guitars. I edited them to be back to back. Then did the same with a basic strumming pattern.

     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  12. SubSailer671

    SubSailer671 Squier-holic

    Sounds pretty doggone close to my ears. Maybe a little more definition and tighter low end with the bridge pickup on the Fender pups, but it ain't much.

    Then again, this is played through Oontz Angle-3 speakers (paired in stereo over Bluetooth) from a compressed Internet file, and sourced from a Chromebook soundcard. The original may be loads different.
     
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2020
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  13. Madhermit

    Madhermit Squier Talker

    22
    Jul 8, 2019
    Canada
    Listening in my acoustically treated control room on quality studio monitors, they sound really close too.

    Considering the other variables - neck type, and body wood and thickness (thinner basswood Squier body), and the playing, they sound essentially the same.
     
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  14. Block Head Ike

    Block Head Ike Squier-holic

    Just curious - Same pots and caps in both? Sounds like more treble comes through on the partscaster which could be due to the other factors you have already mentioned, but could also easily be due to cap values.
     
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  15. Madhermit

    Madhermit Squier Talker

    22
    Jul 8, 2019
    Canada
    Both guitars have 250k CTS pots. Caps are a 0.1 uF in the 60s original, and 0.047 uF in the partscaster.
     
  16. strat81

    strat81 Squier-Meister

    Age:
    38
    216
    May 27, 2020
    Nebraska
    I hear a little more low-end on the Fender across the video. But, it's pretty minor and I wonder of a tweak of an EQ or raising the bass side of the pickup a smidge would even things out.

    Either way, the GFS pickups sound excellent.

    Video quality is excellent too, thanks for making it!
     
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  17. Madhermit

    Madhermit Squier Talker

    22
    Jul 8, 2019
    Canada
    Thanks!
    I find the bridge pickup on the American Original to be a bit beefier, and to stand out the most, but it's still not by much at all. I think you are right and fiddling with pickups heights and/or EQ would make up for it pretty easily I think.
     
  18. Block Head Ike

    Block Head Ike Squier-holic

    Makes sense that there is the difference I hear. My guess is that these pickups would otherwise sound virtually identical - they are already very close. High frequencies will pass through a cap, while lower frequencies are blocked. The value of the capacitor will determine the frequencies that pass:

    [​IMG]
     
  19. DougMen

    DougMen Squier-holic

    Age:
    66
    Jun 8, 2017
    Honolulu, HI
    Your chart is correct for a treble bleed across the volume pot, but backwards for a tone pot, because the tone pot passes the frequencies determined by the cap's value to ground as you turn the control down. So, a smaller value cap will cut fewer high frequencies as you turn the tone control down, and a bigger cap will cut more as you turn the control down.
     
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  20. STRAT-WHIPPED

    STRAT-WHIPPED New Member

    2
    Jun 8, 2015
    Arkansas
    Thanks so much for taking the time to do this comparison. Excellent
    information and very much appreciated!
     
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