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Post subject: Pickup Suggestions for Monterey Strat
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:11 pm
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I need some suggestions. I am in the midst of building another Monterey Strat Tribute. This will be my third one. The first had 62 Reissue USA pups and the second Custom Shop 69's. I like the 69's because of their Hendrix vibe but the middle is not reverse wound so it can be noisey, or at least noisier than a set with a reverse wound middle pup.

I'm interested in keeping the Hendrix sound, as these guitars are all Fender USA parts excepting the body which is custom painted and gloss coated to a smooth factory type finish. I can't get crazy with boutique expensive pups because if the guitar gets too expensive, then it won't sell, or at least it won't for what I'll have put into it.

I recently read about these GFS (GuitarFetish) J.H. Exp reverse stagger pick up set. They are ridiculously inexpensive (will assume them to be made off shore) They are wound bridge 6.45K, Mid 6.0K, and neck 5.5K. They are designed with all the vintage parts. What's cool is that they are reverse staggered which makes them line up for a right handed player like the way Hendrix lined up playing his right handed guitar, played lefty and strung lefty. This makes that unusual line up of the polepieces upside down with the normal low E pole on the high E side. The middle pup in this set is RW/RP, so they should be quieter.

So, what I am looking for is;

Anyone with experience with these GFS's?

Any other suggestions that would "work" in a Hendrix themed Monterey Strat? or would the C/S 69's be the right choice?

Would the inclusion of those GFS pups in an otherwise higher end Fender USA build detract from the value if you were a buyer?

Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.


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Post subject: Re: Pickup Suggestions for Monterey Strat
Posted: Tue Jan 12, 2010 8:27 pm
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Chicagoblue wrote:
I need some suggestions. I am in the midst of building another Monterey Strat Tribute. This will be my third one. The first had 62 Reissue USA pups and the second Custom Shop 69's. I like the 69's because of their Hendrix vibe but the middle is not reverse wound so it can be noisey, or at least noisier than a set with a reverse wound middle pup.

I'm interested in keeping the Hendrix sound, as these guitars are all Fender USA parts excepting the body which is custom painted and gloss coated to a smooth factory type finish. I can't get crazy with boutique expensive pups because if the guitar gets too expensive, then it won't sell, or at least it won't for what I'll have put into it.

I recently read about these GFS (GuitarFetish) J.H. Exp reverse stagger pick up set. They are ridiculously inexpensive (will assume them to be made off shore) They are wound bridge 6.45K, Mid 6.0K, and neck 5.5K. They are designed with all the vintage parts. What's cool is that they are reverse staggered which makes them line up for a right handed player like the way Hendrix lined up playing his right handed guitar, played lefty and strung lefty. This makes that unusual line up of the polepieces upside down with the normal low E pole on the high E side. The middle pup in this set is RW/RP, so they should be quieter.

So, what I am looking for is;

Anyone with experience with these GFS's?

Any other suggestions that would "work" in a Hendrix themed Monterey Strat? or would the C/S 69's be the right choice?

Would the inclusion of those GFS pups in an otherwise higher end Fender USA build detract from the value if you were a buyer?

Any advice or help is greatly appreciated.


hell, if you're in no hurry, watch ebay carefully, and you may score a set of FCS '65s, from the older FCS '65 strats. my friend, who builds montys, has a set in his personal monty, and they sound AMAZING. definitely worth it if you have the cash and the patience.

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Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 8:27 pm
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I know this post is old but I wanted to report on what I did with this project in case anyone was interested in these Pickups.

I ordered the GFS JH Reverse Staggered and installed them into the Monty with a Blender pot assembly. Finsihed the set up today and plugged her in to hear how those pups sound. So before anyone hits me up for audio, I haven't ever done that yet, but I'm hoping to learn how to get a good sample of the sounds from a guitar. (then find someone who is really good to play it because I don't think my playing will pass the muster here)

Anyway considering the price I am super impressed with the sound and the quality of these pups. They came relatively quick from GFS and packed nicely. They had the cloth wiring and came with white covers. They have that really nice Strat quack tone and the sound is very present, very clear and fairly articulate. I was also impressed on the low hum that the pups had even in the neck position. (I copper shield my bodies so that helps) I'm digging the blender set up with these pups too because of the versatily in tone option you can get by blending in the bridge or neck pickup.

So in summary, if anyone is interested in looking for a nice set up replacement pups and is interested in that Hendrix vibe I would absolutely recommend these pickups, if not for the cost savings alone.

Here's a shot of the wired guard with the pups. Note they come marked with their outputs on each pup. This one is set up with a Blender in the bottom tone position, Oak Grigsby 5 way selector, master tone in the middle, master volume with volume mod, pots are CTS 250k, orange drop .047

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Posted: Sun Mar 07, 2010 9:00 pm
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great man! I have always followed your builds with great interest! your onty builds have always been top notch (came close to winning one once on ebay) and that SRV-inspired lipstick strat is really cool. if I had the cash I'd grab it for sure!

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Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 1:23 am
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Dave there is an ebay store called the Stratosphere I do not know if you ever heard of them but they carry a huge assortment of all parts from vintage to present.


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Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 8:46 am
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I have not tried them extensively, but ... it seems to me ... the GFS pups tend to get much more favorable feedback than negative.
And they are cheap, too ... less than the cost Fender Tex Mex which are notoriuosly inexpensive. Nice job with the guitar, man.

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Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:18 am
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Thanks very much for the nice comments. I finished the rest of the Monty this evening and she sounds great with these pups. Keep an eye out for that one soon.


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Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 9:28 am
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Yes, I have bought from the Stratosphere before. Typically they are pretty accurate in their descriptions and good on their shipping. When I am looking for something specific I do look there. Their Buy It Now stuff is usually fairly expensive but you can watch their auction items for a better price now and then. That helps when building a custom that is resold. But if it's for yourself, then sometimes you have to grab it while it available.

I shot some photos of the guard installed on the body late last night. :shock:

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Posted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:20 pm
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Awesome strat. Great job!!!


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