Hi All,
I have a MIM fat strat and a Fender FM212R and I'm looking to upgrade something to have a hotter, fatter drive sound. At the moment I'm considering changing the humbucker on the strat from stock to a SD Pearly Gates, but I'm not sure if im better to save up and go for a tube/valve amp for that better sound. Any thoughts?

I'd save for the valve/tube amplifier, but replacing the humbucker isn't that bad of an idea for a quick upgrade. My friend has that pickup on his strat and it sounds positively amazing.
A humbucker will give you a fatter drive soound but a tube amp will give you a much better sound and pretty much everything will be better.
I agree the tube amp is the way to go. Active pickups through a tube amp is the way to go.
proud american
As most have said here the best way to improve your sound will be to improve your amp. That being said when the time comes the SD pearly gates is a lovely pickup
Current Gear
Washburn WI66 Pro //
Ibanez Prestige SA1260 //
Schecter C1 Blackjack //
Fernandes Ravelle Elite //
Wahburn HB35 Semi-Hollowbody
Blackstar HT40
The stock pickup in a normal Fender MIM HSS Strat is already more powerful than an SD Pearly Gates. The PG is a fairly low-output and bright humbucker. So ''upgrading'' to that won't get you a thicker tone.

Your problem is you're using a solid state amp. Solid states are inherently much brighter and thinner-sounding than valve amps. Technically a solid state amp is more ''accurate'' than a valve amp, but it's that valve warmth that we're all used to hearing so that is what everything is made for. The fatness you're missing is that valve warmth.

You need to get a valve amp, plain and simple.
Yes, I know everything. No, I can't play worth a damn.
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