Posted by: kubiakl | March 15, 2011

Road Tested

I finally had the chance to test out my Tele project in a full band situation.  A handful of guys got together at a warehouse to play a little.  I took my Tele and Strat, just in case the Tele didn’t cut it, as well as my Jet City amp and Guyatone Micro OD overdrive.

The Strat, my main guitar for a decade, didn’t leave its case.

The Tele just had such a great sound and played so well that I didn’t want to put it down.  The GFS pickups sounded really smooth through the cranked tube amp, without harsh overtones or ear-bleeding treble.  But they also sounded nice and dry, which is exactly what I wanted.

When using my ceramic Dunlop Moonshine slide it had just the right amount of bite without getting muddy.  Rhythm chords and riffs cut through without sticking out, and the lead tones were that perfect kind of overdrive you hear in your head.

There were a couple of downsides though.  The Tele body is so heavy that it’s a shoulder killer – I have ordered a Levy’s 2.5″ leather strap from Amazon that should be here soon to help alleviate that.  The little nylon strap I had laying around just didn’t have the support that a guitar of that weight requires.  I was also reminded of why I switched to rosewood fretboards – maple just doesn’t feel as good to my fingers.

All in all, problems I can live with for now.  Especially when the wider strap arrives.  Eventually I may pony up for a rosewood Tele neck but I kind of like the Strat headstock on there, and the maple gives it a nice look.  We’ll see what the future holds.  I’m already thinking about my next project that will be pretty far down the line – I’d like to do a surf green Strat, similar to the Jeff Beck signature model, or a double-bound sunburst Tele like the old ’62s.  Both would be amazing projects but will have to wait a while.  I don’t have the space or the need for anything else at the moment.

So, to recap:  GFS pickups sound good to me.  I don’t have access to a vintage ’52 Tele to compare but I am very happy with my sound right now.  If you’re considering trying them I’d recommend it – you’ll save quite a bit of money and hopefully feel as good about your tone as I do.

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