If you’ve ever bought after market pickups, you’ve likely heard of GFS, or Guitarfetish.com’s name brand pickups. These have been a bit of a controversial pickup option in the sense that you either love them or hate them. Many guitar modification gurus claim they are the best pickups dollar for dollar, as they are incredibly cheap, usually coming in around $20-40 per pickup. Furthermore, you can usually buy pre-wired harnesses for a variety of pickup options making guitar modification extremely easy.
If soldering is really a no-go for you however, they have recently introduced their Kwikplug products, that allow you to install brand new pickups and wiring controls in minutes without soldering. Curious to see how easy they were AND how they sounded, I decided to mod my beloved (but not often used) 2011 Gibson Les Paul Special. While I’ve loved the design and playability of this double P90 LP, I often felt the pickups didn’t have the output or tone I was looking for. So can these kwikplugs be the cure? Let’s find out.
How Does Kwikplug Work?
Kwikplug is an option you can choose to add to any GFS pickups from their site. It doesn’t cost any more or less to add the kwikplug adaptability to your pickups, but if your wiring harness isn’t already kwikplug enabled, you can affordably get a new harness from them for an additional $30 or so. Overall, you can re-wire your whole guitar for well under $100.
With the new harness, simply remove all the wiring from your guitar, in this case a Les Paul Junior, and screw in your new pots and and input jack, no soldering required. Then, simply plug in your new pickup, after screwing it into place, making sure the headphone jack-style connection is in snuggly. The connection can be found running from the volume pot and fits into the input on the back of the pickup.
How Easy Is It?
Having done this myself, it literally took me more time to remove all the old wiring from guitar than it did to install the new kwikplug system and wiring. It was so easy, it all fit like a charm, and the quality of the GFS pre-wired harness was great. The wires are well insulated and the connections were well soldered and strong. It’s just as simple as putting headphones into an iphone!
So How Does It Sound?
While you’ll have to be patient and wait for a video demo, the dog ear P90 pickup I installed actually sounds great! I went for one with more output and bite than the soapbar’s that came stock on my Les Paul Special. The P90 is clear, punchy, and gets me way closer to the sounds of The Clash that inspired my love of Les Paul Juniors. While my guitar is certainly beat up, and now covered in holes from where electronics were, I can’t put it down and have been re-inspired by it every time I look at it and plug it in. This was easily the best $49 (total price I paid) I have spent in awhile.