Cheap Gfs Pups Vs Strat Pups

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by Tyrannocaster, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    For those who haven't seen this already.

     
  2. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Bump for 5 buck pups.
     
  3. Mikesr1963

    Mikesr1963 Well-Known Member

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    Those are clearance pickups on their site and not GFS pickups. Those pickups would be what comes in a Squier Affinity. Also, on the 3 Squier strats I have upgraded I used Fenders American strat pots, caps, resisters, and switch. The value from 250k to 500k on the pots and the difference in the caps will make a difference in the sound you get as is clearly demonstrated by his video.
     
    Last edited: Mar 13, 2018
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  4. littlebadboy

    littlebadboy Well-Known Member

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    Guitar Madness is worth trying too! Cheap enough, that you could try a bunch without breaking the bank!
     
  5. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    You could win a set of handwound strat pickups in the next contest we have. (prize donor hint hint).
    hv42awg.jpg
     
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  6. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    One of the best set of Strat pickups I own are a trio that came out of a late 90s Squier Affinity. They were low resistance (mid 5K). After I removed the ceramic bar magnets, knocked out the steel slugs, and replaced them with ALNiCo 3 magnets, they sound insanely good. Cost me around $12 for that mod.
     
  7. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Where do you get the magnets?
     
  8. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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  9. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Neat. I've never changed magnets before. I ordered one of those $14.95 sets from GFS to play around with. What would be the right choice if I wanted to do that like you did from their Ebay store (here)?
     
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  10. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    It really depends on what sound you're going for and prefer. I assume you're familiar with the tonal characteristics of the different ALNiCo magnets.

    I didn't have a clue what I was doing the first time I made this mod, but lots of the guys who know about pickups helped me out. @Buddha Pickups, @mozz, @andrewsrea all know their stuff and are generous with sharing the knowledge. Thanks again guys!

    What I did the first time was use a specific set I know and like as a goal to shoot for, which was the A3s in my Squier Classic Vibe 50s Strat. Lovely sounding pups.

    Here's my thread documenting the mod. Also note that it wasn't a late 90s Affinity set, but a set from a Squier SE that were the donors. Minor detail, as both fall under the category of cheap Asian pups that many people just toss into the trash can.

    https://www.aguitarforum.com/thread...ceramic-single-coil-pups-mod-has-begun.94904/
     
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  11. voodoorat

    voodoorat Well-Known Member

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    so... speaking of cheap pickups... now i kind of want to replace the swap out the stock ones in my agile 3010se to see what it sounds like with (somewhat) better pickups, but i don't want to spend a bunch on them so something like gfs or guitarmadness or whatever (or if someone's got a comparable set laying around they want to sell me) sound like the ticket. anybody have anything in particular they like on the low expense end (but still a noticeable upgrade from the current 3010 stock humbuckers)? i kinda like the look of the chrome covers it came with but i would rather have it sound better and look worse than the other way around.
     
  12. mozz

    mozz Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    Pretty sure the pickups in a 3010SE are Alnico 5. You can unsolder the covers for a noticeable difference.
     
  13. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    Can you treat humbuckers with ceramic magnets the same way? I have some of those that I've taken out of cheap guitars. They're just sitting there. How much effect does the wire/winding have on the sound. I always thought they were about equal, except that you can wind more or fewer turns...if you're setup to do that. Most of us aren't, though.
     
  14. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    Swapping out a ceramic bar magnet for ALNiCo in a humbucker is much easier than modifying single coil. It's a five minute mod.

    I should really let the experts chime in here, but it's my neophyte understanding that its not just the number of turns of wire, but the gauge of the wire, the pattern, the tension, and all other sorts of secret pickup winder voodoo. Having different resistance in a set of paired humbucker coils is also a heavenly thing.
     
  15. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    I've been watching Youtubes on this. It looks like a rabbit hole to me.
     
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  16. toomanycats

    toomanycats Well-Known Member

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    It certainly can be, but it's well worth the effort and minimal expense. The first time you make some cheap, otherwise throw away pickups sound awesome for the cost of Chinese take out, then trust me, you'll be grinning ear to ear. :)
     
  17. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Demos that immediately go in to distortion or overdrive really are worthless. Show the clean.
     
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  18. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    You DID watch the whole thing before saying that, didn't you? I agree about demos that don't let you hear clean, but he does.

    I thought the Fender bridge pickup sounded better with gain. Otherwise, it's a wash. they're both good.
     
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  19. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    I have done several magnet swaps from ceramics to A2 or A5 on humbuckers and P90's.
    The hardest part is getting covers off covered humbuckers. If wax potted it can get messy, and you just have to be careful you dont damage the windings.

    Huge difference.
    Made the stock pickups at least reasonable keepers, at least for now, 2 examples: Ibanez AS73, and Agile AL2000.

    I'm still not totally happy with the P90 swap (2 magnets per pickup)

    I get mine here:
    http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/search.php?search_query=magnets

    I have the Guitar Madness '62 staggered Al5 strat neck and middle in my beater Yammy Pacifica. I had all 3 in my SX Hawk and like them a lot better than the SX stock, and a set of cheapy Dragonfire, both ceramic.

    I agree you can find some decent cheapies and the improvement diminishes for the dollars spent on spendier named sets.

    But i have never played Gibson pickups, nor flown first class so maybe I dont know what I am missing.
     
  20. Tyrannocaster

    Tyrannocaster Well-Known Member

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    A solder sucker is really helpful for getting those off, and I like to use a gun rather than a small iron for this, too. You can also use soldering braid, which wicks the molten solder up. But basically, I HATE working on guitar electronics! :) I'd much rather play them.
     
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