[Perceived output level] This pickup was surprisingly loud in the neck. I
had to lower it as far as possible (tricky as the 6 adjustable poles really
protrude a long way below the pickup). From the volume point of view it
balanced much better with the other pickups when in the bridge position where
it sounded slightly less loud than the SD'59 (bridge version). The pickup is
a "normal" humbucker and definately not a screamer
[Tone] This humbucker was disappointing for me in the neck: the bass was much
muddier than I prefer and certainly far more so than either the PAFpro or the
SD '59 in the same position. Lowering the pickup and the 6 poles did improve
the tone but not completely to my satisfaction. The treble however was
beautifully warm, pure and clean - very vintage and very nice for jazz
chording. Tapping the Trubucker and switching it out of phase with the David
White Reunion ( a fine UK made slightly hotter classic strat single coil -
checkout Redwing guitars) gave a beautiful funky strat sound, warm and
notched. OK alone in the neck the mushiness of the bass annoyed me, (maybe
attributable to the 24 fret neck of the guitar) so I swapped it into the
bridge position. The bass immediately tightened. Response to both volume and
tone controls was much better than in the neck. With the tone rolled right
down the pickup "honked" quite musically. Full up with the tone and the
pickup was clear and bright (but certainly not overly so) with a very
pronounced scoop out of the mid-range. The output is such that the pickup
only noticeably distorts when the strings are attacked harder: the resulting
"barking" tone is very similar to that of the SD '59 but somewhat less
aggressive. The pickup generally sounds "purer" than the SD'59. The out of
phase sound with the single coil wasn't as nice as the SD'59 in the same
combination - not quite as "spanky" and reminiscient of a strat. On my guitar
the combination of the SD'59 in the neck and the VZ-TB in the bridge is the
best and the improvement over the DiMarzio derived tones is significant IMHO.
[Sonic evaluation] this is a very nice clean and balanced pure vintage
PAF type pickup with a clean scoop out of the mids.
[For which styles and positions is this pickup (un)suitable] very nice for
blues and rock and in the neck position jazz is on the cards too. This is not
one for the shredders and thrashers. It sounds very similar to the SD '59
with external distortion.
very happy with the pickup itself but I'm not quite sure whether I might not
find something more suited (slightly hotter and more "middy") for the bridge
on this particular guitar which hapens to be voiced like no other I've heard.
Being a self confessed tone junkie (an expensive addiction) I'll experiment
further - I may go back to the VZ afterwards or maybe it's just the humbucker
that my Tele needs in the neck !!!