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  1. #1
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:16 PM
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    Default Alnico Fat Pat Humbucker Review

    Hi guys. So, my wife bought me a Les Paul Standard kit from BYO guitars for Christmas. I finally got it all put together and had a chance to play through it. Of course, the pickups and electronics that came with the kit were crap, and had to be dumped.

    I bought two Alnico Fat Pat Humbuckers for the guitar, and thought I'd let you guys know about them.

    I thought they would be just okay, but I have to say I'm very impressed with them. The sound, at least to my ear is very close to an EVH Frankenstein Humbucker. If I had to describe it another way, I would say it's a good combination of a Seymour Duncan JB, and a Dimarzio Super Distortion. Pinch harmonics jump off the neck. Great pickup.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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    07.04.16 @ 08:03 PM
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    I love GFS pickups. I put a set of the Fat Pats in an ash Strat project and have been thoroughly impressed with them. The bridge pickup definitely has some EVH-like characteristics.

  3. #3
    Top Of The World cpusolutions2001's Avatar
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    12.13.17 @ 02:57 PM
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    Wow, I am trying to decide between the Fat Pat and the VEH to replace some EMG's in the ESP Eclipse II. Any thoughts? The body and neck are Mahogany and the fretboard is Ebony.

    Also, would anyone on here have any experience install a N-Tune? I am wondering if I could use this pot, which is a pull/push pot and then make it a split coil so I could get a single coil option.

    Thanks for any advice.

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    12.05.17 @ 03:19 AM
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    I've been a fan of GFS pickups for a while now, but I've got to admit, I've been cooling on them lately. I've had various sets that I've been initially impressed with, but then replaced with something else.

    I still really love the VEH humbucker, it's in my early 80's MIJ Squier Strat that serves as my VHI guitar, but I think that's the only GFS pup still actively played in any of my guitars. I have two more GFS sets installed in other guitars, but I think their days are numbered...

    My custom Tele got a pair of Neovin "Hard Vintage" pups a year or two ago. The bridge pickup sounds pretty good, but lacks high end presence, which I can forgive of a higher output stacked pickup. The neck pup is the real problem, though. The tone is nice, but because the Neovin pups have to be wound up to a hair's breadth from the string, the flatter profile of my fingerboard means a big drop in output from the two E strings. It makes the neck position almost unusable, so this set is going to have to go. I think a good quality set of straight Tele single coils is the ticket.

    The other set soon-to-be-changed is in my modified Epiphone Dot - it was a bare carcass I got hold of and brought back to life - called the Deco Dot. At the time I was building it, I fancied a twangier sound to go with the Bigsby I was installing, so I opted for a set of GFS Mean 90's. I really don't like these pups. They're neither fish nor fowl, if you see what I mean. They lack the snarl of P90s, and the girth of humbuckers, meaning a sort of spongy no-man's-land in between. BUT - I have a set of GFS Fat Pats I took off my Tokai SG in favour of some Bare Knuckles, so I think I'll be able to revert the guitar to proper 335 duties. Those FP's did sound good in my SG, so I hope they'll cut it in the Dot.

    The most frustrating experience I had was with pickups for my Squier Deluxe Strat. I wanted noise-cancelling pickups for Jeff Beck-style warbly stuff, but the Fender Noiseless didn't appeal. I took out the Duncan Designed stock set (which sounded pretty good, I have to say) for a set of GFS Neovins. From the start, something wasn't right. Not enough sparkle, not enough punch in the 1-3-5 positions, not enough spank in the 2-4. Next, I tried the GFS True-Coil - they brought all the zing the Neovins were missing, but they lost all the body.

    In the end, I tried a set of Lace Sensor Holy Grails on my Strat, and they're exactly what I was looking for. The GFS sets just couldn't do it. Fair enough, they're about a quarter or a third of the price of the Lace set, but if they don't perform, the money doesn't matter.

    For me, the final nail in the coffin for GFS pups is the recent hike in delivery prices outside the US. It used to be that buying a set was worth a gamble, even with UK import duty etc. But the last time I went to order anything, the cost of delivery was higher than the goods. Which is a shame, because it means the pups that I really like, e.g. the VEH, are too expensive to buy as single items,

    Anyway, sorry, I hadn't meant such a long reply to the OP. In short, I do like the Fat Pats, and plan to re-install a pair to my 335 soon. I just wish the rest of the line was as satisfying.
    HERE AND GONE by Haylen Beck (Stuart Neville writing as...) - "It doesn't get better than this." - Lee Child, "Highly recommended." - Harlan Coben, "Cancel all your plans and settle in for the ride." - Ruth Ware, "This is a book that lives up to the buzz." - Alafair Burke

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  5. #5
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    12.12.17 @ 03:16 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by cpusolutions2001 View Post
    Wow, I am trying to decide between the Fat Pat and the VEH to replace some EMG's in the ESP Eclipse II. Any thoughts? The body and neck are Mahogany and the fretboard is Ebony.

    Also, would anyone on here have any experience install a N-Tune? I am wondering if I could use this pot, which is a pull/push pot and then make it a split coil so I could get a single coil option.

    Thanks for any advice.
    I've owned the VEH pickups, and if I'm being honest, I like the Fat Pats better. They could even be more Van Haleny than the VEH pickups.

    My VEH pickups were in a Mexi-Strat with an Alder body and a Floyd Rose 2. Sounded really good. The Fat Pats are in my BYO Les Paul kit guitar. Even though the frets, hardware and electronics suck balls, the wood is actually pretty good. Mahogany body and neck, and an actual Maple cap, not just a thin veneer. Let me restate that. The maple cap is thick, the figuring is a veneer. The Fat Pats sound great in the Les Paul.
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

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    I should clarify I've been quite impressed with GFS humbucker pickups. I've also tried several of their Strat and Tele pickups with varying degrees of success (Tele bridge pickups = awesome, Strat pickups = meh). I installed their Jazz bass set in a custom project (alder/maple) and have so far been unimpressed. I have a set of covered Vintage 59s in a semi-hollow custom Strat (alder/maple), and it is easily my favorite GFS humbucker pairing with a guitar thus far. I put a covered pair of Fat Pats in a custom ash Strat and am quite pleased with the result. I have a set of uncovered VEHs in another custom ash Strat, and for a week or two after I first installed them it was the only guitar I played. (The neck pickup is actually quite great.) I tried a set of uncovered Vintage 59s in a flame top Wolfgang Special and didn't find the same magic as the covered ones in the custom semi-hollow Strat. I can't yet find a single coil Tele neck pickup of theirs I actually like. The Brighton Rock single coils that were supposed to capture the Brian May Tri-Sonic tones in part--while a very cool studio option when installed with various switching options--don't resemble Tri-Sonic pups to my ears much at all.

    Covered Vintage 59s:


    Covered Fat Pats:


    Uncovered VEHs:


    Jazz Bass Single Coils:


    Brighton Rock Single Coils:

  7. #7
    Good Enough nobozos's Avatar
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    Thanks for the detailed breakdown of the pickups AT. I've always wondered about the Brighton pickups. Thought about doing up one of my strats with a Brian May setup, but was worried that after I did all that wiring and soldering, I would be disappointed. That would have pissed me off, so I didn't order the kit. Now I'm glad I didn't.

    You sound like a good person to ask this question. I usually don't play covered Pickups. In fact, I can't remember the last guitar I had with a covered pickup. Anyway, given that you have a covered, and uncovered version of the same pickup, what are the major differences that you notice? I know that the covered disperses the magnetic field a little differently than an open coil, but how does that translate to the tone of the pickup? Does it have the same tone characteristics, but just more mellow? Does it boost, or reduce certain frequency ranges? Does a covered pickup work better with 250K or 500K pots? Does a covered pickup sound better or worse when coil split?

    Just curious.

    Thanks
    "Having an opinion that people disagree with doesn't make you a Douche, arguing with the people who disagree with your opinion and calling them stupid does!" -Me.

  8. #8
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    10.26.16 @ 03:37 PM
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    Quote Originally Posted by AT View Post
    I should clarify I've been quite impressed with GFS humbucker pickups. I've also tried several of their Strat and Tele pickups with varying degrees of success (Tele bridge pickups = awesome, Strat pickups = meh). I installed their Jazz bass set in a custom project (alder/maple) and have so far been unimpressed. I have a set of covered Vintage 59s in a semi-hollow custom Strat (alder/maple), and it is easily my favorite GFS humbucker pairing with a guitar thus far. I put a covered pair of Fat Pats in a custom ash Strat and am quite pleased with the result. I have a set of uncovered VEHs in another custom ash Strat, and for a week or two after I first installed them it was the only guitar I played. (The neck pickup is actually quite great.) I tried a set of uncovered Vintage 59s in a flame top Wolfgang Special and didn't find the same magic as the covered ones in the custom semi-hollow Strat. I can't yet find a single coil Tele neck pickup of theirs I actually like. The Brighton Rock single coils that were supposed to capture the Brian May Tri-Sonic tones in part--while a very cool studio option when installed with various switching options--don't resemble Tri-Sonic pups to my ears much at all.
    Which Tele pickups from them have you tried (and liked)? I just bought the parts to make a Tele from them (it was a blowout sale, and I got Pickguard, control plate, neck, and SOLID ASH Tele body for well under $100!)

    I haven't ordered any pickups yet.... I was thinking the regular wound Neovin Tele pickups would be great... now with these reviews I'm wondering... I don't have the greatest power coming from the City, so I have buzz/hum/noise issues with most of my guitars... even the humbuckers. I'd really like to have the zero-noise Neovins just for that property, but if the tone is buzz free and sucks, that doesn't work any better than good tone with a lot of buzz. Hmmm.

 

 

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