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Post new topic GFI Ultra PSGs verses others?
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Author Topic:  GFI Ultra PSGs verses others?
William Johnson


From:
Statesboro, Georgia, USA
Post Posted 25 Nov 2017 9:53 pm     Reply with quote

Considering a GFI DB E9 10 String Ultra. Lighter weight good but this worries me as well. Does it feel shifty or unsettled? Cabinet drop or tuning issues? Smooth pedal movement? I would like to play one but in SE Georgia, I know of none around. Opinions on the Ultra?

I loved my DB ZUM and the DB Derby I once owned.

How are the very pricey G2?

Opinions welcome.

Cheers,

Billy
_________________
William Johnson (Billy)
Statesboro, GA

Sho Bud Student / Emmons DB E9
Sierra DB E9 / ZUM DB E9 / Derby DB E9 Marlen E9 / BMI E9

Mosrite Ventures '69 / Gibson Cherry ES345 / Custom 'Billie-Tele' Telecaster / Gibson '78 J45 / Custom 'P-Strat' Squire Stratocaster / Epi Parlor

Fender '69 Deluxe Reverb / Peavey NV400 + Peavey TubeFex + Goodrich 7A MatchBox & Pedal
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Bobby D. Jones


From:
West Virginia, USA
Post Posted 25 Nov 2017 10:47 pm     GFI Ultra PSG verses others Reply with quote

I have been playing a GFI Ultra 12S U Since Dec. 2015. I will admit it seemed a little different at first, After 15 years playing a 1964 MSA which is heavy. I have done quit a bit of work under the hood. Changed it from Emmons to Day set up and changed the knee levers to Jeff Newman's knee lever set up. Very easy to move and adjust bell cranks and such.
With the solid welded extruded aluminum frame on the body, And the die board top makes for one solid SG Body.
Check You Tube, Mike Sigler playing Alabama Jubilee that is some wild picking with no guitar movement. Good Luck in your choice and Happy Steelin.
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 25 Nov 2017 11:55 pm     Reply with quote

Billy,I have a GFI Ultra and recently loaned it to a friend in Nashville who had to sell his Zum,Mine is a D-10 8+5and it's a great guitar well made nothing flimsy about it,These are well built guitars and they sound great easy to rearrange rods on and very smooth.
_________________
Desert Rose S-10 4+5,any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since the mid 50's
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Stu Schulman


From:
Ulster Park New Yawk
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 12:11 am     Reply with quote

As Bobby D Jones said check out Mike Sigler on YouTube.
_________________
Desert Rose S-10 4+5,any amp that isn't broken.Steel Seat.Com seats...Licking paint chips off of Chinese toys continously since the mid 50's
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 1:34 am     Reply with quote

if I was out there on the road, new S10 or SD10 GFI Ultra would most likely be my guitar of choice... very solid guitars, easy to work on, and they sound and play great...
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www.steelguitarsonline.com
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K Maul


From:
Mechanicville NY/Hobe Sound FL
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 7:48 am     Reply with quote

I agree. I have an early keyless Ultra S10 and like it a lot. Maybe I am gentler than others but never had an issue with it walking away from me while playing.
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Kevin Maul uses GFI,Sho-Bud,Emmons,Fender,Supro,Rickenbacher,Clinesmith,RAM steels. Beard & Fluger Resophonics.Fender,Evans,Quilter amps.
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Brian Gattis


From:
Georgia, USA
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 9:04 am     Reply with quote

I owned one a couple years back. They are very solid and play easy. Great guitars just not very pretty.
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Leo Grassl


From:
Nashville TN
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 1:46 pm     Reply with quote

For the money they are a solid guitar. The first guitar I ever owned was an S-10 GFI and I have to say that, the guitar did shift around some while playing. Especially when lowering the second string a whole tone which for me is RKR. This however is characteristic of any lightweight guitar. That said some heavier legs would give it more stability. Out of the factory all GFIs come with light weight aluminum legs. The pedal and lever action is very positive which is a huge plus for any guitar.
Tone wise I've played ones I liked and ones that I didn't. Like all manufacturers not all guitars are created equal. Some just sound better then others. I would recommend trying one before buying. Other people's opinions are just that.
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David Higginbotham


From:
Lake Charles, Louisiana, USA
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 4:41 pm     Reply with quote

I've owned more steels than I can count over the years and my GFI is still here and always will be. With the quality, tone, playability, and the best customer service in the industry you can't go wrong!
Dave
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Ron Pruter


From:
Arizona, USA
Post Posted 26 Nov 2017 8:51 pm     Reply with quote

To me, the stainless steel finger rollers are very unique to the GFI. A very nice reliable, long lasting feature. RP
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Emmons Le Grande,SteelKing,'69 tele,'73 P bass,Tick tack bass, Alvarez nylon A/E and a Coral Sitar.
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Norbert Dengler


From:
germany
Post Posted 27 Nov 2017 11:32 am     Reply with quote

i chime in, GFI is a great and very reliable guitar.watch the forum over the years, hardly ever someone comes up with an issue.
i have a GFI ultra S10 in use now for 10 years, never had a single problem and the guitar sounds really good.
customer service, as mentioned before is unbeatable.
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Billy Carr


From:
Seminary, Mississippi USA
Post Posted 29 Nov 2017 12:01 pm     Psg Reply with quote

I've had three or four GFI's. All were Ultra's. I didn't care for the GFI pu's. I replaced those with GL 10-1's and no other issues ever came up. I've been wanting a GFI Expo D-10 for a long time but just never bought one yet. GFI has an interesting website also.
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Kevin Quick


From:
Roseville, California, USA
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 3:37 pm     Reply with quote

Love my ultra d10!
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GFI ULTRA D-10, Evans FET 500, Eastman AR371CESB
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John Haspert


From:
Illinois, USA
Post Posted 30 Nov 2017 4:03 pm     GFI Ultra Reply with quote

I too sing the praises of GFI. Mine is a D 10; solid as a rock, but light enough. No cabinet drop. Gene Fields was a Genius and Bob (his son-in-law) is stellar to deal with. Sound is great. As for looks, I like it, clean and slick. You won't be disappointed.
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Pedal Steel Guitar is "Music from Heaven"
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Jim Morris


From:
Cincinnati Ohio, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 9:32 am     Reply with quote

GFI makes a fine guitar. It doesn't have all the chrome and the looks as some other makes, but mysically, they are great!
Ronnie Miller who plays for Charlie Pride loves them. He told me he has had like 5 of them and loves them...
I asked him about his Mullen, which he had sold, but he speaks very VERY highly.of GFI. And the man can play!

I had a GFI student model and it sounded great and I played an Ultra which I loved!
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Justice Pro Lite 4x5. Nashville 112 w/ Eminence EPS-12C
Goodrich 120 volume pedal & BJS bar
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Damir Besic


From:
Nashville,TN.
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 10:15 am     Reply with quote

Ronnie plays a Show Pro now I believe.... I don’t think we have “which one is better “ problem here, all of the modern steel guitars made today are top of the line instruments, and each and every single one of them is high quality well engineered instrument... it just depends what you like, and which one is your favorite .... I love my ‘ 66 Emmons, but if I was on the road , and on the different stage every night , GFI would definitely be there before ‘66 ... for many different reasons...
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Paul Sutherland


From:
Placerville, California
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 10:29 am     Reply with quote

Do the keyless models have a shorter body than the keyed models?
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"I learned long ago, never wrestle with a pig. You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it." George Bernard Shaw
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 11:42 am     Reply with quote

I trade a really nice clean Bud for a GFI ultra keyless.. worst deal I ever made.. It played ok I guess, about average,but sounded dull and lifeless, and the tuning stability wasn't especially good... That GFI wasn't here long.. The pickups were awful.... I know mine is a minority opinion, but that steel just sounded blah...bob
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I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Bob Carlucci


From:
Candor, New York, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 11:43 am     Reply with quote

Paul Sutherland wrote:
Do the keyless models have a shorter body than the keyed models?

Yes, very small, very light..
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I'm over the hill and hittin'rocks on the way down!

no gear list for me.. you don't have the time......
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Michael Schuppe


From:
Kent, Washington, USA
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 1:57 pm     Reply with quote

I bought an S10 Ultra from Damir about 8-9 months ago. Very happy with it, lightweight but not wobbly. Stays in tune and sounds good; for the record the pickup is a George L, don't know much about the stock GFI pickups. Also, I will agree with what others here have said, the customer service is absolutely top-notch.
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GFI S10 Ultra, Peavey Nashville 112, Goodrich L120, Keeley Aurora Reverb
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Leo Grassl


From:
Nashville TN
Post Posted 4 Dec 2017 9:28 pm     Reply with quote

In a thread like this, everyone who has owned and loved a GFI will be quick to let you know how much they like them. It may give you some idea but ultimately these kinds of decisions are better made first hand. Find someone in your area who owns one and try it. I'm sure someone does and would be willing.

Trying some other modern guitars would also be a good idea so you can compare it to something else.
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Georg Sørtun


From:
Mandal, VA, Norway & Weeki Wachee, FL, USA
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 5:50 am     Re: GFI Ultra PSGs verses others? Reply with quote

Point by point…

William Johnson wrote:
Considering a GFI DB E9 10 String Ultra. Lighter weight good but this worries me as well. Does it feel shifty or unsettled?
• No problems, a GFI SD 10 Ultra keyless is a perfectly stable instrument despite its low weight. Good frame and leg attachment.

William Johnson wrote:
Cabinet drop or tuning issues?
• Mine has enough "drop" and "hang" issues to irritate me. It is also quite sensitive to temperature variations compared to most other PSGs.

William Johnson wrote:
Smooth pedal movement?
• Yes, both pedals and levers move quite light and smooth, but the nylon in the pedal hook-up can produce a "squeaking" sound at times. No big deal, IMO.

William Johnson wrote:
I would like to play one but in SE Georgia, I know of none around. Opinions on the Ultra?
• I don't like the hight of the pad on mine. Half the height, or no pad, would suit me better.

• It sustains well enough, but at a much lower level than my other PSGs. That is: the GFI drops quickly from initial attack-level down to a much lower level that it holds well. No problem making the GFI sustain forever with its own amp/speaker close enough, because of how it picks up feedback vibrations.

• I like the keyless tuners, but the solid nut-bar causes audible "hang"/hysteresis. That's the thing that irritates me most when playing it. Should have nut-rollers.

• Mechanically the GFI is a dream to work on compared to any other PSG. Dropping a .022W 6th string a full note is a bit of a stretch for the changer, but mine has it.


I have "semi-retired" my GFI SD10 keyless, set it aside and use ut only occasionally as "lab rat" - to test tunings on. Reason being that in practice the only thing it beats my old Dekleys (S10 and SD10) on is that the GFI is quite a bit lighter and therefore easier to carry around.


The GFI pictured above is "just sitting there" down in Florida. I can probably find time to rig it back to standard tuning, if you're interested.
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Mark Eaton


From:
Sonoma County in The Great State Of Northern California
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 9:23 am     Reply with quote

Paul Sutherland wrote:
Do the keyless models have a shorter body than the keyed models?


Yes, the overall length is shorter than the keyed models.

I like my Ultra keyless, but then I'm a permanent hack on pedal steel since I haven't put the hours in compared to other instruments I play. Therefore, I don't have really strong opinions about GFI vs. other brands like I do regarding dobros/resonators, acoustic & electric guitars, or lap steels.

And I like the "modernistic" look. I also like the look of a classic Sho-Bud. There's room for both.

The GFI is lightweight professional level instrument that suits my needs.
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Mark
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Brint Hannay


From:
Maryland, USA
Post Posted 5 Dec 2017 10:22 am     Reply with quote

I find that my GFI Ultra keyless SD-10 wobbles a bit more than my other, heavier steels (Sho-Bud, Mullen). Just to be clear, by "wobble" I mean the body of the steel shifting sideways when a side knee lever is pushed, with the legs screwed in securely and all four firmly planted on the ground. The other steels do this, too ( and I've noticed in YouTube videos of excellent professional players--which I am not--that their steels do too), but the GFI does it a bit more. Also, the vertical lever must be used with caution to keep from lifting the guitar off the ground, especially when trying to hit both the vertical and a side lever simultaneously, which I do on occasion--a downside of the light weight.
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