So early last year, I bought a '96 American Standard stratocaster. It's almost perfect as far as I'm concerned, but there were two issues. One is something - stainless steel frets - that will be installed in the future as needed. But the other is something I wanted to take care of right now, namely the bridge pickup. Having a tone control on the bridge pickup helps control it, but it's still a bit thin. So, a few weeks ago, I bought this:

Finally got to install it in my guitar.

Only had it a day, so definitely still the honeymoon stage, but so far I'm very happy with it. It's a weird, wonderful middleground where it can bark and punch like a humbucker if you roll down the tone and put some dirt on, but it still sounds like a single-coil clean, and mixes nicely with the middle pickup. And of course, silence is golden. It is so wonderful to be able to pile gain onto it and not get that awful hum.

Two notes for anyone considering it:

1. This thing is loud. It's not as loud as a high-gain humbucker, but it has to be a lot lower than the pickup it replaced in order to keep the pickups balanced. Just remember that it's not the same output level as most strat pickups, so when you put it in and hook it up, make sure it's turned down from wherever you had it before.
2. It is still a strat bridge pickup. There's a reason Paul uses mahogany and rosewood on the Fireman, this thing is still very trebly with the tone at 10. Not as bad as a normal pickup, but still harsh. The bridge tone control is one of the best mods you can do to your strat, and as long as you're modding it with this thing, make sure you do that, because this thing can be difficult to work with when there's no tone control/the tone's at ten and it's clean.

But wait, there's more! I come bearing audio clips! I thought it'd be cool to record the same part before and after the swap so I could do an A/B comparison, especially because, as I found out when I was thinking about buying it, good demoes of it are hard to find. So here is one! Forgive the sloppy playing - especially on the stock pickup, I was really tired recording those - as I normally use .11s, but had a pack of .10s I wanted to get rid of, so my muscle memory was a hair off:


Remember that this is just to compare the differences, so nothing was adjusted at all; the fact that the clean amp distorted with the Injector doesn't mean cleans are impossible, just that it needs more headroom/the gain stage set lower. Also remember that pick attack makes all the difference in the world; all of these were picked hard, and the pick was right over the bridge pickup. The harsher tones would be a lot more tolerable if, for example, I played lighter and moved between the neck and middle pickups!

Also did something to use it in a song setting. Rhythm guitar was bridge-middle, and both leads were bridge only. Used the same preset for all three, and except for the rhythm track, which I turned down to 7 on the guitar, the only things I changed were the bridge tone control. Paul talks a lot about how it's very sensitive to the tone control, and it really is. Everything was done in one take per track, and the .10s are still on, so again, forgive some sloppiness:


So yeah, it's not without some getting used to, but I'm very happy with it so far. It's more expensive than other DiMarzio strat pickups, but only by about $5, which from my experiences is very well worth it.

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Last edited by necrosis1193 at Nov 27, 2013,
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

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Et tu, br00tz?
Very nice!
I got one in my American Standard strat as well, and I love it.
My strat is probably around the same age as yours as well for that matter.
I agree with everything you said above, and I heavily recommend this to anyone that are looking for a new bridge pickup with a bit more kick to it.
The tone knob certainly works wonders as well with this pickup.
Things with strings:
Ibanez J.Custom, Prestiges, RG8, SR5 bass etc
LP's, Strat, Tele
ENGL Retro Tube 50
5150 III 50W
Orange Terror Bass