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  Describe the GFI tone?

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Author Topic:   Describe the GFI tone?
Andy Greatrix
Member

From: Edmonton Alberta

posted 27 June 2002 02:42 AM     profile     
For those who know, how would you describe the GFI tone? Is it bright, mellow, mid_rangy, or all of the above. I realize I will get the usual comedic replies, but I would seriously like to know. The price is right and I'm not so hung up on appearence as some are. I need a guitar that stays in tune, sounds good and is easy to play. Everything else is negotiable. Also, a lighter guitar than my MSA would be nice. I'm thinking of a single ten with no loafer pad in a keyless version.
Thanks in advance.
Andy Greatrix

[This message was edited by Andy Greatrix on 27 June 2002 at 02:45 AM.]

[This message was edited by Andy Greatrix on 27 June 2002 at 02:47 AM.]

Stephen O'Brien
Member

From: Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA

posted 27 June 2002 04:09 AM     profile     
I got mine about two months ago with the standard GFI-II pickups. Compared to say an MCI or Sho-Bud, the sound is fat and full. But you can get it with other pickups if you like.

You might guess that I don't find them ugly, just because they don't look like every other steel guitar. Here are some pics.
http://www.skobrien.com/gfi/

Andy Greatrix
Member

From: Edmonton Alberta

posted 27 June 2002 04:27 AM     profile     
Thanks for the pictures. Yours looks pretty good to me. I like the clean underside and the mechinism looks tidy and functional. How much does it weigh?
Earl Foote
Member

From: Houston, Tx, USA

posted 27 June 2002 04:47 AM     profile     
I don't get the ugly part, that's a fine looking steel.
Stephen Gambrell
Member

From: Ware Shoals, South Carolina, USA

posted 27 June 2002 05:44 AM     profile     
And if you'd get some black legs from MSA--Just kidding, that black on black look is beautiful. Kinda like a '40 Ford. I'm gonna have one, someday.
KENNY KRUPNICK
Member

From: Grove City,Ohio

posted 27 June 2002 07:49 AM     profile     
Hi, your GFI looks great. I have seen Fred Newell playing one of these on the Opry here awhile back.The tone is pretty comparible to that of a Sho~Bud.Nice. I have a couple of questions concerning the GFI,first, are the legs ajustable for height? They look like the legs on a Maverick that aren't adjustable.So if I wanted a GFI, what would I do about longer legs? My second question is, I understand that the body is made out of a laminated type maple{ply} that is supposed to be stronger,and that it is used to be a backing on punch presses for stamping out steel,is this a plus? And how's the sustain,that GFI has a 24" scale? Thanks.
Michael Holland
Member

From: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

posted 27 June 2002 08:50 AM     profile     
I just happened to be at a world famous steel guitar dealer on the day two brand new guitars arrived and I was able to set up and compare both. One was a GFI and the other a LeGrande III SD10. The Emmons sounded like a hot Krispy Kreme and the GFI sounded like a stale Zesta.
BobbeSeymour
Member

From: Hendersonville TN USA

posted 27 June 2002 09:18 AM     profile     
Well Mike, you should have taken some of the coffee I offered you to go with the Zesta. The Budwieser did go great with the Emmons though! Just remember, as good as the GFI may sound, nothing , I SAID NOTHING, sounds like Emmons, yes, almost an unfair comparison to compare anything to Emmons guitars. We all know this, but the GFI? It really is a great guitar that sounds great too, Lots of clairity,rich bottom, no zingyness that most guitars of today have. The Fessenden? An unbelieveable guitar that we (Steel Guitar Nashville) believe in so much that we have thirteen on order now and some are already sold.
I , as a dealer, insist on only selling the greatest guitars possible to make my customers as happy as possible for as long a period of time as possible. These brands seem to do this. Nothing against Zum other great guitars though.
(Good Lord,what can I ever do about this horrifing sense on humor?)

I. Verry Konciencious III

Stephen O'Brien
Member

From: Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA

posted 27 June 2002 10:09 AM     profile     
OK, i'll try to answer all your questions.

1. The front legs are not adjustable, there rear ones can be adjusted a few inches up or down. If you need a "non-standard" height, you need to tell Gene Fields before hand. >>But, the big advantage is that these legs are super light, and nice looking too.

2. Gene has opted to use maple die-board, which is a kind of high-tech plywood. It won't warp the way rock maple can (my MCI suffers from warpage but it doesn't affect playabilty or sound). Does the maple die-board make a difference in sound? Maybe. I don't know. It sounds good to me.

3. The mechanics are outstanding. This is the easiest steel I know of for changing setups, though others (like Fessendon) are probably equally easy. Everything is very smooth.

Bobby Lee
Sysop

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 27 June 2002 11:14 AM     profile     
Every GFI I've heard has sounded very bright, almost Fender-ish. Ralph Mooney's, for example, will poke holes in your ear. It might be related to the choice of pickup, though.

------------------
Bobby Lee - email: quasar@b0b.com - gigs - CDs
Sierra Session 12 (E9), Williams 400X (Emaj9, D6), Sierra Olympic 12 (F Diatonic) Sierra Laptop 8 (D13), Fender Stringmaster (E13, A6)

Jim Smith
Member

From: Plano, TX, USA

posted 27 June 2002 11:15 AM     profile     
Ronnie Miller, Charlie Pride's steel player, plays all of Lloyd Green's licks on his GFI and gets the exact tone and feel that Lloyd did when he recorded them with his Sho-Bud.
Stephen O'Brien
Member

From: Cortlandt Manor, NY, USA

posted 27 June 2002 01:54 PM     profile     
b0b and Jim, thanks for your comments. It's so hard to describe the tone since you have the pickup and the amp and the way the amp is setup and the way the player picks, etc. etc. etc. I've heard others compare the GFI to the Fender sound, so who am I to argue? To me it sounds good. I'll leave it at that.
Brian Herder
Member

From: Philadelphia, Pa. USA

posted 27 June 2002 07:40 PM     profile     
Wow, I haven't played a GFI, but if it sounds like a Fender, I might have to save some money for Bobbe S... "I SAID NOTHING, sounds like Emmons, yes, almost an unfair comparison to compare anything to Emmons guitars." It probably would be unfair to compare an Emmons to a ZB.........
BobbeSeymour
Member

From: Hendersonville TN USA

posted 27 June 2002 08:37 PM     profile     
Hey, I never, I SAY NEVER, ever heard a bad sounding ZB!! (Ha! Ha!) Seriously, I do like this guitars tone. Ever hear Tom Brumley with buck owens or Ricky Nelson? Great tone!
As far as the GFI being treble sounding bOb-, It was undoubtedly the way the amp was set, or how the PA might have been picking it up. I have never noticed this guitar having any more treble than any other guitar, unless , as you say, It had some custom wound pickups and a player that took advantage of the thinner sound. Never know as I wasen't there,
Bobby Lee
Sysop

From: Cloverdale, North California, USA

posted 27 June 2002 11:03 PM     profile     
I'm not saying they sound bad. If you're after that Bakerfield sound, bright is a good thing! I've heard Mooney sound just great on his GFI.

------------------
Bobby Lee - email: quasar@b0b.com - gigs - CDs
Sierra Session 12 (E9), Williams 400X (Emaj9, D6), Sierra Olympic 12 (F Diatonic) Sierra Laptop 8 (D13), Fender Stringmaster (E13, A6)

Rex Thomas
Member

From: Thompson's Station, TN

posted 28 June 2002 09:26 PM     profile     
Ok, here goes: Bobbe allowed me to test drive a GFI D-10, keyed, regular model, both necks with GFI 2's maybe a yr. ago. I had it on a 2 day session with plenty of down time so I got to know it fairly well. At the time, my ears were used to my Emmons p/p of 23 yrs. My 1st impression of its tone was "IN YOUR FACE!!!!!!!!!" Unbelievably responsive gtr. Goodness NO it doesn't sound like an Emmons, it sounds like a GFI which can lend itself to being bright, (now the GFI 1 is a bright pickup in comparison with the 2. I prefer the 2, & I'm trying to say that the 2 is VERY workable & can be made to sound bright if you want, but not undesirably harsh or zingy) but the best word I can think of to describe it is "clear". It has its own distinct frequency responses like most players can tell Sho-Buds, Emmons, the old Fenders, etc. which is what I like about the gtr. because it to me it doesn't imitate other gtrs., it has its own distinct sound. I'll say this; while fooling around with the "boowah" C6 pedal, the C to A note was so clear, clean & low I got scared because it relaxed my colon & I was afraid I was going to have an accident.
Here's another thought: I don't know how many of you pay attention to Fred Newell, but I've listened to him a good bit with Porter on the Opry. He can get frighteningly close to that same sound Buck Trent used to get on that Sho-Bud electric banjo in the '60's with his GFI. Now I know it's the gunner, but knowing the GFI like I do now, it wouldn't be hard to get that sound as it does indeed have those frequencies. In my opinion, that's REAL cool.
Although I'm very happy with what I have now, I REALLY would like to have a D-10 Ultra keyless as a 2nd gtr. someday.
(FWIW to other readers as well as Andy; other than Bobbe, I think Stephen O'Brien has the BEST take on the GFI, JMHO.)

[This message was edited by Rex Thomas on 29 June 2002 at 07:25 AM.]

[This message was edited by Rex Thomas on 29 June 2002 at 07:30 AM.]

[This message was edited by Rex Thomas on 29 June 2002 at 07:32 AM.]

Andy Greatrix
Member

From: Edmonton Alberta

posted 28 June 2002 09:50 PM     profile     
This getting more and more encouraging. I am a big fan of Buck Trent and Ralph Mooney. However, I am looking for my own sound, and if it's as clear as you say it is(and I don't doubt you), I can roll off some top and still have a clear sound.

I have some serious sucking up to do to the little Woman. I would like a single ten ultra keyless. I'm going to be working a lot of overtime next month.

Thanks for your reply. (Excuse me, I have to wipe the drool from my mouth!)
Rex Thomas
Member

From: Thompson's Station, TN

posted 28 June 2002 10:08 PM     profile     
Yes, Andy. You CAN roll off some top & still have a CLEAR sound. It seems to have a VERY wide frequency response to my ears. The one thing I couldn't dial out was its responsiveness. Yeeha! It lets you know it's alive & well, my take on this great gtr., FWIW. Anyway, drool on, brother!
Andy Greatrix
Member

From: Edmonton Alberta

posted 29 June 2002 03:32 AM     profile     
Thanks again, Rex.
Michael Holland
Member

From: Nashville, Tennessee, USA

posted 29 June 2002 10:33 AM     profile     
quote:
He can get frighteningly close to that same sound Buck Trent used to get on that Sho-Bud electric banjo in the '60's

Gotcha covered.


Rex Thomas
Member

From: Thompson's Station, TN

posted 29 June 2002 11:25 AM     profile     
James Winwood
Member

From: New York, New York

posted 29 June 2002 03:10 PM     profile     
I really like what Rex said...seems dead on. There is a clear difference in dynamics depending where you pick on the neck. There are spots that yield bouyant, round tones that bounce right out of the speaker. On country changes in the E timbre by the pickup, it snaps like a slim jim. Add sparkle. The higher frequencies and overtones it emphasizes makes it sound real good with distortion and aggressive lead playing. Distinctly better than my previous mullen. I've had friends I play with tell me the same. On these guitars you can change pulls amazingly quick and easy. That has helped motivate me to do so and in turn has taught me a lot.

[This message was edited by James Winwood on 29 June 2002 at 03:18 PM.]

Chuck Norris
Member

From: Mesquite, TX, USA

posted 01 July 2002 08:21 AM     profile     
Classic contempoary, contradiction? not at all.
Gene was the man at Fender, but his guitar is totally modern Millie. It has a tone although remenessent of Fender is it`s own, perfectly suited for today`s music,country or otherwise or go to town on Mooney,Brumley,Rhodes,etc. there is no ME TOO in this guitar. Compare it to a Emmons, Show-Bud, Mullen, etc would be like comparing Gibson`s to Fender.AWSOME INSTRUMENT!
Chuck Norris NFM
Rex Thomas
Member

From: Thompson's Station, TN

posted 01 July 2002 01:42 PM     profile     
Well said, Chuck! Also in line with Jim Smith, I could hear Gene O'Neal coming in loud & clear through Ronnie's live performances with Charlie Pride, & I've heard Gene with Charlie quite a few times live yrs. ago. Wasn't anything thin about Gene's tone, & Ronnie handles the chores just fine & dandy with his GFI. Gene Fields was kind to come on & post awhile back explaining that the GFI 1 & 2 pickups aren't "ME TOOS" either, that they are of a different design. Seems to explain the responsiveness & clarity, to my ears anyway. Classic contemporary is right, Chuck. It's a unique, innovative, & enjoyable instrument.

[This message was edited by Rex Thomas on 01 July 2002 at 01:44 PM.]

Steven Knapper
Member

From: Temecula Ca USA

posted 01 July 2002 04:40 PM     profile     
Geeez, well put to everyone, I would only stess one point, GO KEYLESS!!!
Rex Thomas
Member

From: Thompson's Station, TN

posted 01 July 2002 05:28 PM     profile     
Oh no! Here come the "KEYLESS" jokes. (But I DEFINITELY want a keyless Ultra D-10. That is one slick piece of machinery!)
Andy Alford
Member

From: Alabama

posted 30 April 2004 04:01 AM     profile     
Do you play a GFI?
Rex Thomas
Member

From: Thompson's Station, TN

posted 30 April 2004 07:13 AM     profile     
Hi, Andy. A lot of water (& other matter ) has flowed under the bridge since this thread & presently, I don't. But I don't like them any less & would still like to have one as a 2nd gtr. someday. I would probably go back to wanting a keyed GFI. That's what I tried & that's what I liked then.
No, they're not my 1st choice anymore, but I still like 'em, a LOT.

[This message was edited by Rex Thomas on 30 April 2004 at 07:15 AM.]

John Billings
Member

From: Northfield Center, Ohio, USA

posted 30 April 2004 08:00 AM     profile     
I have a pre-Ultra D-10. It has Barcus Berry pickups. The previous owner installed a volume and a tone pot. I was thinking that it might be better if I converted the wiring to two tone pots. What say youse?
JB

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