So I have an american fender stratocaster and want to make pickup upgrades to make it more accessible to all styles of music because I seem to end up playing anything from jazz to hardcore metal.

I was wondering if there are any good combinations I should look into.

I was also wondering whether anybody has an opinion on the new blackouts made for single coil size.
I would highly recommend Lindy Fralins. Their single coil sets are some of the best sounding for the money. I went with Fender Texas Specials in my strat, and Fralins in my Telecaster, but the Fralins were in a whole different class for very similar prices. If you're looking for versatility, though, I would stick with traditional single coils. With the right amp, it's going to be easier to get metal tones out of single coils than jazz cleans out of super high output actives.
Thanks, i'll definitely check those out. Do you know of any ways that would reduce the hum. That's really the only concern i have with sticking with the original pickups.
When you get your new pickups (regardless of what you go with), definitely take the time to shield your electronics cavity. Just take some of that foil tape stuff you get at the hardware store and line the inside of the cavity. Run a strip of it from the underside of one of your pots or something else that's grounded. Also try to cover the back of the pickguard. This'll basically create what's called a Faraday cage that will block noise and interference from outside the guitar. I did it first thing with my strat, and it made a big difference.
Sorry about the bump, but I also need to choose the pickups for a warmoth strat, and I also play anything from jazz to metal. Has anyone tried any of the GFS hum-canceling strat pickups, and if so are they versatile?
Last edited by I is be sexy at Aug 18, 2009,
I recommend Rio Grande pickups. I have a pair of vintage tallboys in my strat, and they are incredible. Punchy when on full, mellow when rolled back, can eb overdriven to great effect, overall just excellent pickups. I intend to change hte bridge pickup to a humbucker made by them because I was so impressed with the quality on these.

Note however that they are not exceptionally bright, and also are not noiseless.