So I wanted to get a really versatile guitar capable of playing jazz for my school's jazz band but also some of the heavier, higher gain stuff I play on my own time. I tried out a standard MIM Strat at the local guitar center and fell in love with its clean tone, but I'd definitely want to replace the bridge pickup with a hot rail so I could get better distorted sound.

My question is- what would the difference be between a SSS Strat with, say, a Blackout or a Super Distortion in the bridge, or just getting an HSS Strat?
get a strat with a humbucker in the bridge and coil tap it.
You wouldnt be able to put a Blackout in it anyway because active and passive mixing is not a good idea. A strat with a bucker in the bridge would be a good plan and you would get a lot of options for what to put in there
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get a strat with a humbucker in the bridge and coil tap it.

yeah, if you're willing to do this it would be best for you, i think. especially with something like a super distortion. they work great for high gains OR cleans i think. and if you didn't want a HSS setup dimarzio has a single sized super d too.
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For me, I see it like this:

If you value the bridge more as a single then put a stacked in and install a coil split.

If you value it more as a humbucker, then get a HSS with a split installed.

This is because I tend to find that stacked humbuckers (as in, single coil size) split a LOT better than humbuckers. My opinion, but worth considering.
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