Looking for some advice. Bought my first strat 6 months ago and the tone it achieves is incredible! However, i am getting some hum issues when using distortion. I've been looking at replacing the pick ups with the fender-made hot/vintage noiseless pickups, but don't want to ruin the beautiful tone, only improve it if possible! FYI, i play alternative rock music similar to artic monkeys, foo fighters and biffy clyro. Thanks for your help.
If you want to have what you have now but less noise issues, I do recommend the noiseless pickups as I feel they don't takeaway from the great strat sound we know and love but solves all your problems at the same time. It will make your MIM strat sound great.
Single coils and distortion will always hum, regardless. And Fender Noiseless are anything but noiseless. If you're going to chunk the money at those, I'd look at theses, true single coils with very very little hum.

Have you tried putting more shielding under the pickguard? I know David Gilmour does that and it seems to work for him.
2001 Fender Tom Delonge Stratocaster

2004 PRS SE EG with SD JB in bridge and staggered single coils in middle and neck position

2011 Epiphone Tom Delonge ES-333

2010 Fender Frontman 212R

2011 Vox Tonelab ST
It is worth trying what PRSeg5150 suggested however if you are set on a new set of pups I would recommend a Dimarzio Area set or some Lace Sensors
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Blackstar HT40
People actually like the tone from stock MIM pickups?

You probably wont find a noisless solution to achieve the same tone. The Vintage Noisless pickups suck, they sound ok at best, very thin and sterile. They are noisless (well as noisless as a humbucker). Stock MIM pickups dont really sound that much like the classic/normal strat chime or bell like sound. DiMarzio Areas are good, but they shoot for that bell sound also.
shielding in the pickup cavity is what should be first on ur list. then you should consider ignoring the hum when ur playing (you can barely hear it when ur playing something) and turn the guitar's volume down when ur not playing.

if it hums with the guitar's volume is down, it's not the pickup's problem.
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