#1
Going to buy myself a American special strat HSS, its a bargain and I love the little features it has, I'm a sucker for the 70s fender headstock too, (Black with black pick guard, sexy stuff!) just wondering what peoples experiences are with the atomic humbucker? I haven't had a chance to play one yet and I'm curious as to what it sounds like and if its got a real punch to it. I'm hoping that this will be a versatile instrument to add to my collection. Any input would be appreciated.
#2
It isn't the worst humbucker, but I really disliked it in my Strat (exactly the same as the one you are going to buy). It just sounds flat and uninspiring compared to the Texas Specials.
I swapped it for a Duncan Custom and changed the pots to 500K ones, now the singlecoils kind of lost their character though, the whole thing sounds a lot more modern and a bit more sterile, so I think I'm making it HSH or HH.

It reminded me a lot of the Duncan JB, which is a very popular pickup.
However I am not a huge fan of the JB either.

Try it yourself and find out if it does what you want.

Didn't do it for me unfortunately, but that's what replacement pickups are good for.
Fender American Special HSS Stratocaster
Ibanez 1987 Roadstar II Deluxe
Yamaha THR10X
Marshall JCM900 SL-X
Ibanez WD-7 Weeping Demon Wah
TC Electronic Polytune
Seymour Duncan Tweakfuzz
#3
Yeah I will have to see what it sounds like when I try it but I was thinking of maybe replacing it with pearly gates but I'll check out the Duncan Custom too. I've always liked the Texas Specials so I know I won't have an issue with them but any thanks for the advice.
#4
An option to consider as you go down this road: instead of trial & error, you could contact one of the small custom pickup makers. Some of them are quite reasonable.

I'm doing a pickup swap in a Dean Special Select EVO this year, and on the advice of another guitarist whom I respect, I decided to give Vintage Vibe a try. I described to the owner the guitar I was upgrading and what my goals were- I'm going from the guitar's muddy stock HH pickups to H/P90, with greater clarity- and we talked about his options in the humbucker-sized P90s. The pickups I will be getting will be custom wound, and not all that expensive. Just a couple hundred for the pair.
Sturgeon's 2nd Law, a.k.a. Sturgeon's Revelation: “Ninety percent of everything is crap.”

Why, yes, I am a lawyer- thanks for asking!

Log off and play yer guitar!

Strap on, tune up, rock out!
#5
I havent tried to Atomic humbucker, but the Diamondback Humbucker that is in my 2012 HSS stand strat is quite good.