Price paid: $ 200
Purchased from: online
Sound: *note, I'm from South Africa so the currency is in Rands.
This pickup is nice and punchy, with good definition. The output is quite high but more in the traditional sense, this is not a crazy violent metal pickup. The pickup is quite midrangey, and not very bight. It works very well with all the different drives I have tested it on. Standard rock tones are straight forward to accomplish. At unusually high levels of gain the sound becomes a bit fizzy. At very high volume I have gotten some microphonic squealing, but this can be cured by placing hard foam in the pickup cavity.
This pickup is more of an old-school beast. It responds great to my fuzzface, where some hotter and brighter humbuckers have been terrible. This pickup is a good choice if you play anything from low gain blues, through Led Zeppelin style music to indie rock and grunge. // 7
Reliability & Durability: The pickup is housed in a sturdy nickel cover, with no rattles or loose parts when shaken. The impression is that it is well built. In general Fender products seem to be well made, and this pickup has yet to break that rule. Due to vigorous playing (read: I pretending to be famous in my bedroom) it does scratch up a bit, and with time it will dull and become all worn looking. However I'm a fan of guitars that are worn by true playing hours, as opposed to factory "ageing," as it physically shows the time and effort you put into mastering your talent. // 7
Overall Impression: I got this pickup for a steal off of gumtree.com. And am I glad I made that impulsive purchase. Before installation I recorded my guitar with the stock bridge humbucker dry directly into my laptop doing repetitive chords and notes, and did the same after I put in the new pickup. There was a noticeable difference between the stock (Yamaha) unit and the Fender. The Fender seems to be a little clearer, with slight piano or bell like ringing to each note.
It is currently installed in a heavily modified guitar of mine with a solid maple body and a cheap low impedance single coil pickup (3 kilo ohm dc resistance) that sounds almost acoustic-like in the neck. My favourite sound is using a blend pot to find a balance between the sweet neck pickup and the meaty high impedance Fender (13 kilo ohm dc resistance) in the bridge. I have greatly enjoyed this pickup so far. // 9