I have an HSS Stratocaster (alder body, vintage trem in dive-only) equipped with a pair of hot-wound BG V60 single coils and a BG Hellabucker in the bridge. Sadly I'm not very happy with the Hella. It's a fairly bright pickup with a lot of bite and definition, and combined with the Strat's natural bright tone and my signal chain, higher notes go distinctly into ice pick territory. There's no body to the sound, which make leads kind of a sad affair.
I need an alternative. I am playing straight into a JCA22h and matching cab. Strings are 9s most of the time but occasionally 10s. Standard and drop D both. Here are my basic thoughts:
- High output splittable. The Hella actually splits very well and I love the Strat position 2 quack. I don't want to lose that, but I would not mind gaining more body in that setting.
- Defined, clear sound. I don't want fat high output mud, particularly in D tunings. The amp is already very mid heavy...
- I have a bridge no-load tone control, so I can dial out some treble and I do like that flexibility. Don't want to go TOO dark. Just find more body and thickness in the tone.
- Less than $100, ideally closer to $50. Used is probably fine.
The Dimarzio Crunch Lab and Super 3 caught my eye so far. Maybe an L500XL type also?