The Best Gear Reviewed by a Geek for the Geeks


GFS Gold Foil Pickups – Custom Strat Wire Diagram

GFS Gold Foil PickupsGFS Gold Foil Pickups – Advanced HSH custom pickguard

GFS Gold Foil Pickups are the pickups powering this Partcaster. I made this beauty almost three years ago using parts from different places.

GFS Gold Foil Pickups

I bought the gold foil pickups on the guitar fetish website. The site is a great alternative to mods guitars cheaply without passing on quality. I think that Artec manufactures most of the electronic on sale at the site. I personally really like Artec pickups that I consider as good as better established brand such as Seymor Duncan and Dimarzio.

GFS Gold Foil Pickups are offered in different shapes. You can get them as humbuckers and single coil pickups. On this custom strat, I decided to make an HSH pickguard featuring my favorite wiring mods as well as an Artec VPS onboard booster.

About the Artec VTC booster

I already reviewed the Artec VTC booster in another Article on this site using the same custom strat. Check about it following this link if you’re… Continue reading

Artec PP-607 Transducer Ceramic PIEZO Pickup on a Harley Benton Custom Line ResoKing

New Piezo Transducer pickup – Artec PP-607 Ceramic PIEZO Pickup

This article is an update of the post I made about the mods I did to the Harley Benton Custom Line ResoKing guitar.

I was unhappy of the original piezo included in the guitar. Despite adding a custom JFET Tillman preamp, I add weird and unsolvable outcome.

The strings’ volume was unbalanced. The two lower strings were much louder that the remaining strings and the G string was dead.

I tried to play with the bridge placement to find a spot where the G string was louder, but the D string was losing volume, and the high E string was positioned too close to the edge of the fingerboard.

It was a lost battle. The problem was caused by the shape of the piezo. Each string has a section separated by a slot in the pickup, and it wasn’t possible to align it properly. They probably used a regular first price piezo made for acoustic guitars, and the resonator’s string… Continue reading

Artec Electronics Active EQ & Booster on a 24 Frets Custom Guitar – Artec MP3 & Artec QTB

artec electronicArtec Electronics Onboard Equalizer and Booster

Artec Electronic offers a great alternative to customize a guitar for a low price with high-quality components. The only hassle is to find or create a place to put the battery. Most of the passive electric guitars do not have such free spot, and on a Stratocaster type of instrument, it can be a PITA.

I have built this guitar using a kit from Aliexpress. I paid it 161$ shipping included. It’s a 24 frets hollow-body guitar that looks like a sort of PRS. I don’t know what the model of that guitar is. Normally, with kits, it’s always a copy of a known instrument such as; SG, Telecaster, Les Paul, etc…

This one I have no clue… But it’s a fantastic kit.

As I say in the video, I changed the hardware completely. I only kept the tuners, selector and jack plate. Everything else is new. The hardware included in any kit is first price quality.

If you only build a kit using… Continue reading

Electric Guitar Kit – Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit – Tonerider Rebel 90 pickups & Artec BCU

Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway

Electric Guitar Kit

This article is about my latest build. A Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit featuring two ToneRider Rebel 90 pickups and an Artec BCU.

The BCU is a Band Control Unit onboard frequency booster that I already reviewed on two different guitars in this article. Check it out if you want to have a deeper test of this unit.

The Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit

I bought this kit on AliExpress for the small price of $179, shipping included.

The regular Les Paul Junior Double Cutaway Kit features only one P90 pickup routing, an Adjustable Wraparound Bridge, and a tiny cavity for two potentiometers only. A Volume and a Tone pot.

I knew before ordering that I’d be installing a Stetsbar tremolo that requires a Tune-o-Matic support (4 holes), two humbuckers and a four potentiometer electronic with a 3 position Metric Toggle Switch.

So, before ordering, I contacted the seller to know if he could do those mods for me and at what cost.

About AliExpress… Continue reading

Artec VTC Review – Onboard Active Guitar Tone Control

Artec VTC TestArtec VTC review – Cheap and easy to install onboard booster

The Artec VTC is an effective onboard booster you can easily fit on any electric guitar or bass, sporting an active or passive electronic circuit. VTC stands for Active Tone Controller.

In the video included in this article, I demoed the Artec VTC using an HSH custom made Stratocaster featuring GFS Gold Foil pickups. The wiring I made for this pickguard is as follow:

  • Neck switch
  • Series-split-parallel for each humbucker
  • Solo switch
  • 0,010uF capacitor using a 50s wiring on a 250k potentiometer
  • A brass sustains block
  • A Fender LSR Roller Nut
  • Planet Wave locking tuners

The body is made out of zebra wood, hence the name of the guitar: Red Zebra. It’s an excellent guitar easy to play with a low action.

You can listen this guitar in action in a song called Red Zebra on Deezer:

Artec VTC in the video

The only effects used in the video are: the crunch sound of my amps, Ramhead handmade fuzz… Continue reading

Artec EXP Review – Artec Expand to Peak Controller – Onboard Booster

Artec EXPArtec EXP & EX3 Expand to Peak Controller review

Artec EXP is an excellent and affordable onboard booster that you can easily install on any electric guitar and bass.

It owns three functions in one device.

  • First: the frequency expander
  • Second: mid-band peak control
  • Third: flat booster

You can get two different version of the Artec EXP. The regular EXP model mounted on a push-pull potentiometer and the EX3.

The EX3 is the same circuit with a three positions toggle switch instead of a push-pull. It gives less control than the pot version, but if you lack room on your instrument, and you can’t add an extra potentiometer this is the way to go.

The frequency expander

When the potentiometer is on 10, it is a bass and treble boost. It gives a crystal-clear tone to the guitar.

Mid-Band peak control

When the pot is on 0, the EXP acts as a mid-boost.

Flat booster

When the pot is on middle position it is a neutral boost. It increases the… Continue reading

Artec BCU Test on Active And Passive Stratocaster Pickguard

Artec BCU On Board Active controllable parametric EQ

Artec BCUThe Artec BCU is an active parametric EQ coupled with a booster. BCU stands for Band Control Unit. It’s a small and cheap active circuit that you can install easily on any electric guitar or bass, owning an active or passive electronic wiring. It changes the natural sound of your pickups and expands the possibility from the tone of single coils to a fat and powerful tone of humbucker pickups.

In the video included in this article, I am testing the Artec BCU on two different pickguards installed on two separate Stratocaster.

I performed The first test on an active pickguard featuring two single coils and one humbucker from EMG. I installed it on my LabStrat before installing it on a custom strat.

The Humbucker is an EMG 81 and I have no info concerning the two single coils. I have them since 1988. They were installed on a custom Godin, and I didn’t like them much. I uninstalled them over 20… Continue reading

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