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Author Topic:  ultra vs expo
Andrew Frost


From:
Toronto, Ontario
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 12:27 pm    
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Regarding the GFI D10s - Any thoughts on this? Particularly in terms of tone, sustain, playability. I imagine the differences are subtle but I could be wrong. I've heard both sound beautiful.

Also, equally important to me, in terms of working on them, adding pulls/reconfiguring etc, is perhaps one more mechanically intuitive than the other, or do they both come from a similar blueprint?

Any perspectives welcome.
Thanks
Andy
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Bob Carlucci

 

From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 12:34 pm    
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I always thought the Ultra was the "top of the line" GFI, and the Expo was more of a "no frills" type of arrangement.

If I had the choice, I would prefer the Ultra. To me it looks more refined, a little more "upscale".... bob
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Zach Turner

 

From:
Carmel Valley, California, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 12:55 pm    
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My understanding is that the Ultra and Expo have identical workings in terms of design, changer, pull rods etc. The difference is only in the finishes with the Ultra having polished exterior and neck and the Expo being covered in some sort of powder coating thing. I've heard this several places including, I believe, from Al Brisco of Steel Guitars Canada. He's in Ontario near you and he sells GFI.
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Jack Stoner


From:
New Port Richey Florida
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 12:57 pm    
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I've had three GFI's. An Expo S-10, an Ultra D-10 (both bought used) and the current (bought new) Ultra S-10 with pad keyless.

I don't hear any sound difference. The same changer and underneath. I added a LKV knee lever kit to the Expo and to the new Ultra S-10 with pad, and the same identical kit.

The big difference is cabinet construction.
The Ultra uses an extruded aluminum frame, the Expo has metal end plates similar to other conventional design steels (explained better on the GFI web site).

The keyless option is only available on the Ultra models.
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GFI Ultra Keyless S-10 with pad (Black of course), Quilter Travis Toy 12 Amp, NUX Atlantic Del/Reverb, MatchBro, Cakewalk Sonar and Studio One Pro V4.6 DAWs, MOTU Ultralite MK5 recording interface unit
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Patrick Edwards

 

From:
Port Orchard, Washington, USA
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 2:28 pm     Ultra vs expo
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The expo s10 and s10 with pad can be equipped with 3 pedals and 5 knee levers max, The ultra models can have more.
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Andrew Frost


From:
Toronto, Ontario
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 2:46 pm    
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Quote:
The expo s10 and s10 with pad can be equipped with 3 pedals and 5 knee levers max, The ultra models can have more.


I understand that is the case w/the S10's if ordered from the shop. Is it actually a physical hassle or impossibility to add changes to the Expo, or is this just GFI's way of arranging purchase options? Does the Ultra body more easily accommodate additional changes?
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 2:55 pm    
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I bought a used Expo for my grandson and reconfigured it somewhat to agree with mine so he doesn't get confused when he visits.

It was very easy to work on and customer service was great for extra cranks etc.
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Andrew Frost


From:
Toronto, Ontario
Post  Posted 14 Jan 2022 3:53 pm    
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Quote:

I bought a used Expo for my grandson and reconfigured it somewhat to agree with mine so he doesn't get confused when he visits.

It was very easy to work on and customer service was great for extra cranks etc.


Very cool Ian. I believe you mentioned that in another thread, that you set up a 10 string E9/B6 guitar for you grandson. I wonder if adding a couple more B6 type pedals or changes would hypothetically be possible w/ the S10 Expo...
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Jack Stoner


From:
New Port Richey Florida
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2022 3:26 am    
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The S-10 Expo, at least the 2004 era model I had was cramped for space. I had to relocate the LKL assembly to make room for the LKV and it only mounted in one spot and it had to span a crossrod.

The S-10 with pad (GFI's answer to an SD-10) model has more space underneath.

Along with knee lever limitations on the Expo model, as previously mentioned the keyless option is also unavailable. The Expo is sort of made to a price.
_________________
GFI Ultra Keyless S-10 with pad (Black of course), Quilter Travis Toy 12 Amp, NUX Atlantic Del/Reverb, MatchBro, Cakewalk Sonar and Studio One Pro V4.6 DAWs, MOTU Ultralite MK5 recording interface unit
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Andrew Frost


From:
Toronto, Ontario
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2022 3:07 pm    
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Thanks for the comments here, all.

Yes, Zach, Al Brisco is a GFI dealer up here. I get custom string sets from him. Might make sense to discuss it with him.
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Ian Rae


From:
Redditch, England
Post  Posted 15 Jan 2022 4:35 pm    
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Andrew, I looked at adding extra cross shafts and pedals but it wasn't going to be easy as their number is determined at birth. The guitar would have to be seriously dismantled, as I recall. I just did what I could easily, which was to mimic the E9 section of my uni.

The idea of a 10-string B6/E9 does lurk in my mind however, but I'm told I don't need more guitars.
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Homebuilt keyless U12 7x5, Excel keyless U12 8x8, Williams keyless U12 7x8, Telonics rack and 15" cabs
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Jack Wilson

 

From:
Marshfield, MO
Post  Posted 22 Jan 2022 6:28 pm     expo ultra
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The reason 3X5 is the limit on S-10 and SD-10 Expos is holes are not drilled in the front and rear rails at he factory. The S-10 and SD-10 Ultra rails are drilled the same as a D-10. A person can add more pedals or knee levers to S-10 SD-10 Expo if you drill more holes. The discontinued model X-1 had the same number of holes as a Ultra. Expo and Ultra have same materials and parts except Ultra D-10 has support clamps on the center rail of some of the cross shafts and Expo D-10 does not.
The top of the Expo is angled from the bottom where the Ultra is straight. Expo comes in gray, silver vein, and gold vein powder coating. Ultra is brushed finish with clear coat. We do have a new Chrome finish available and special orders on Ultras with the powder coating colors. Expo and Ultra frames are assembled the same way, but a lot more man hours are needed to sand the Ultra frames for clear coating. This is one reason for the extra cost on Ultras.


Last edited by Jack Wilson on 25 Jan 2022 12:44 am; edited 1 time in total
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Norbert Dengler


From:
germany
Post  Posted 23 Jan 2022 3:23 am    
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i`ve had both, they were equal in performance, i kept my ultra because it`s black and black sounds...
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