I currently use a 1-year-old American strat with 3 basic single coils but am planning on changing the bridge pickup to a DiMarzio D sonic (same bridge pickups as petrucci). I'm not sure if its a good choice cuz I like playing music like Alterbridge, liquid tension experiment, malmsteen... kinda shreddy and heavy stuff.

Also I'm not very sure about the procedure in switching a bridge single coil to a bridge humbucker. Will it require sawing out wood and destroying the woodwork? cuz I'll really hate to do that.

Will appreciate any advice and comments.
American Strat
Jekyll and Hyde pedal
Crybaby Wah pedal
Fender 15R frontman
You'll need a new pickguard (unless you want to cut a space out).

I think that's an okay choice, I think Malmsteen uses his neck pickup anyway. Those other bands (I think) use humbuckers. It should be fine.

Can you unscrew your pickguard and take a photo of the cavity under it?
If theres any uncertainty (and I know there is): TAKE IT TO A PRO

You have a nice guitar, man. And Id hate for you to fork it all up.

ANYWAYS: A lot of Strat's body cavities are big enough to house a humbucker in at least the bridge. Buying a new pickguard set up for HSS is the easiest way for the conversion.
But also these days theres a lot of new pickups, humbuckers actually, that are made to fit single coil slots. Good ones being the Dimarzio Distiortion or the Sey-Dunc Hotrails (I have one in the bridge of my Strat-see sig-and its so awesome!) to name just a couple.
Go for the Sey-Duncan Hot Rails, fits straight into the single coil slot. Just about everyone I know that has a strat and plays heavy rock has put one of these in and you will not regret it.
bleh i have a hotrail in my strat... doesent live up to the hype good distortion humbucking feel as advertised but kinda crap tone its not that bad its just really sterile sounding
^ probably because theyre one of the highest output pickups made. Theyre not really sterile, just really mid-range oriented. So theres not a lot of low end punch or high end clarity...just lots of mids.

And yes, you can keep all your current electronics.
you should go for some hotrails. it'd be a crime to saw a fender.
you could go for some duncans. iron maiden players use em
well it might me already routed. if it is, ur just swappng the pickguard. u can always put it back in.

hot rails dont sound exactly like full sized humbuckers. they sound like really hot singles.

i like the tone in my dimarzio Virtual Vintage heavy blues stacked single coil better than my hot rails.

but with the right amp u can probably get either to sound the way u want.

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thx all for the feedback hmmm so everybody kinda thinks hotrails are good...
guess u'll never know wat u really want until u install the pickups in your guitar.
American Strat
Jekyll and Hyde pedal
Crybaby Wah pedal
Fender 15R frontman
I think the American Strat is made so you can change the bridge pickup to a humbucker. Have you unscrewed the pickguard?
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nah cuz I dun wanna unstring everything. maybe the next time I restring I'll check it out.
American Strat
Jekyll and Hyde pedal
Crybaby Wah pedal
Fender 15R frontman