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Comments about Fishman Fluence Greg Koch "Gristle-Tone" Single Width Telecaster Set Pickup:
I've owned my FSR Tele for 2+ years. There's a review on this site- fantastic. My only issue with the guitar was the buzz.
Installation was easy. You remove all the electronics, pots, switches, wire, and plate [keep your knobs]. The control unit and battery are connected directly to the plate. The control unit has a 5 post circuit board; 2 posts for each pickup and 1 for ground. The plate would have dropped right in if I wanted to continue with the reverse control plate of the FSR, but wanted to go back to the standard switch on top, volume/tone below. So, it took 5 minutes with a router to clean out the opening in the body. Very easy.
The improvement in sound was immediate. I could not believe the balance, articulation and clarity as compared to the stock pickups. I like the stock set, but they had a more RAW, unrefined tone. The bass was huge and a bit over powering. When I hit big chords with overdrive, the tone would get muddy which I initially attributed to the speaker in my Deluxe Reverb. After the pickup swap, the chords were clear and the clarity between strings was amazing. The two voices, at first, seem more like "standard" and "boosted." But, after a few months with them, you can hear both a 6-8 DB boost, but a tonal change as well. The Tim Pierce OD and KLON [clone] work great with the pickups, but my favorite is the Lovepedal Tchula. Give a listen to Josh Smith. The Fishman pickups sound a lot like the pickups in Josh's custom Chapin Tele. Of course, there are hundreds of Greg Koch vids for reference as well.
A single charge of the battery lasts 1 month, playing the guitar daily. At that point, the red light starts flashing indicating 5 hours left.
Overall, my experience with the GC FSR Ash Tele has been outstanding. It is the best guitar purchase I've made. With these pickups, is it now the least expensive and best sounding guitar I own. The GK Fishmans are the absolute best thing you could do to an inexpensive "player" guitar.