GFI Pedal Steel
...have high quality features, a number of
which are unique. All maple die board is used for steel guitar bodies.
Die board is normally used as a backing plate on punch presses to stamp
out parts of various materials, including steel. All plies are maple and
laminated with an epoxy base, which makes it stronger than solid maple.
Unlike ordinary plywood, die board has a natural resonance that is far
superior to solid maple and more consistent from piece to piece.
Frames and most metal body parts are epoxy-coated. This provides a
hard protective coating that eliminates the need for polishing. Frames,
pedal boards, key heads and necks are brush finished and coated with a
clear epoxy. Expo Models are coated with Hammer Tone Gray only, and
Student Models are coated with Wrinkle Black only. The frames are inlaid
and the body tops are covered with a long-lasting scratch-resistant mica
Pickups are George L double coil humbuckers made to G.F.I.
specifications. The GFI-II, standard on all models except 12 strings, is
comparable to a slightly heavier version of the E-66. They provide a
full frequency range with excellent clarity and note separation. 12
Strings are equipped with the E-66.
Grover keys are standard on Professional Models. 12 String Ultra
models are available with the Keyless Tuning System only. Student Models
have keys made by Ping.
All aluminum parts are extruded and machined. No castings are used.
GFI uses only stainless steel screws for assembly. Pull rods and pedal
rods are made from stainless steel.
Pro Model changers are all-pull, triple raise, double lower with
super hard aircraft aluminum bridge sections that support the changer
shaft between every finger. The changer finger is where the ball end of
the string is anchored and is the main point of contact for the string's
vibration to resonate into the wood body. Most steel guitar companies,
as well as GFI, use aluminum for this part.
GFI’s stainless steel finger is manufactured by a unique process by
which powdered metal is formed under extreme pressure and high heat to
create a part much harder than its original starting material. The end
result is a finger with much less internal friction, less internal
undesired movement in the changer, and a harder bridge surface which is
much more resistant to scratching and indentations by the strings. There
are sound benefits as well, including an increase in overall volume and
better note separation in chords while adding a brightness without
sacrificing overall fullness of tone. Stainless steel fingers are
standard on new Ultra steels, and available as an option on new Expo
Student Model changers are single finger and limited to the standard
Nashville E9th tuning and setup.
Bell cranks have 7 positions with only 1/8" between hole centers to
allow for better balance of string pulls.
Lower string profile (1" above the body), combined with an aluminum
support rib on double necks and models with a pad, provide much greater
stability and minimum detuning.
Fretboards are silk screened on Mylar with a non reflective finish.
24-inch scale is standard.
The pedal board and pedals are unmatched by any other model on the
market today. All pedals are mounted on Delrin bearings and attached to
an extruded pedal board. Pedal to pedal rod connectors attach to Delrin
shafts on the pedals eliminating metal to metal contact. A small
thumbscrew rides in a channel on the shaft to hold the rod in place.
Pedal numbers are stamped on the connectors.
Knee levers are rounded for comfort. Adjustable knee lever "Wing" is
standard on D-10 Right Knee Right. Knee lever stops are mounted on their
own brackets to eliminate crossrod eflection. All pedal and knee lever
movement is smooth and accurate. All stops are solid and positive.
Our legs are also an extrusion of 3/16" thick aluminum wall. When
assembled, the steel stands at a standard height of 26 1/4" from floor
to the bottom of the back rail. Taller or lower heights are available.
Front legs are fixed in length while back legs can be adjusted plus or
minus about 1/2 inch for leveling. This leg assembly provides greater
stability at about 2/3 the weight of conventional steel legs.
"Ultra" models additionally feature one piece key heads, deflection
minimizing crossrod brackets with Teflon bushings, adjustable changer
springs, and an improved knee lever system.
"Expo" Models additionally feature classic wrap-around styling,
angled frame rails, and have all the mechanical features of the "Ultra"
except there are no deflection minimizing crossrod brackets on the D-10
The GFI Student Model has been highly underestimated. It has the same
tone environment as our Pro Models and more and more of our Pro Model
features have found their way into the Student Model as it becomes more
cost effective to keep fewer different parts on hand. It is capable of
the complete Standard Nashville E9 set up with 3 pedals and 4 knee
levers. The sound and performance is comparable to many Pro Model
steels. The GFI Student Model Steel is probably the best pedal steel
guitar value available today.