Posted this in the wrong forum yesterday so I'm reposting where I was directed to go, made a couple changes though after I did some looking around.

So here's my deal here. Just recently upgraded my amp from a horrible rogue 30R practice amp to a hot rod deluxe about a month ago and I've been using a really good MIM Fat Strat (before they changed to HSS) for the past 2 years. It seems to play great, even when held up to the american hss i played in the store here when I was amp shopping, so with that I've decided it's time to give my guitar a facelift. I played an American HSS at the guitar store here but I wasn't too impressed with the feel of the guitar, mine felt almost the same, plus I really don't want to thrash around with a $1200-1300 guitar. I'd feel more comfortable with an already great sounding $400 guitar with some work put into it. It just doesn't seem like a great investment to me. I love the guitar I have right now, it's just it needs a little work to be the best it could be.

I'm currently jamming with some friends to some jam band type stuff, but I like to add some heavy distortion type flair to it sometimes, but I generally use the overdrive side on my Jeckyll and Hyde more than the distortion side due to the weak sounding distortion I'm getting out of it, it just seems to work better as a solo boost. Basically I play a lot of classic rock type stuff with an indie sound to it and then some blues on top of it all. On occasion I play some metalish type stuff but really what I'm looking for is a good rock distortion, metal isn't really my thing anymore.

Even though I'm fine with the sound right now, I'm still looking to add something extra to my tone. It seems I could probably use some better humbuckers for my strat because despite what pedal I run it through (yes I know the HRD distortion is crap) it seems to lack some sustain and it's missing something. But at the same time I love the cleans the humbucker gets when it comes to stuff with lots of upstrokes, and picking really hard on it gets an awesome twang to it through my amp. Basically I'm looking for something that can throw out a beefier distortion but can still retain that clean twang. I've heard lots about the Seymour Duncan Super Distortion but I read some reviews that the cleans on it really suck hard. Are there any humbuckers that still get a pretty decent distortion out of it that retain a good sounding clean without having to switch modes or whatever it is you have to do? I'm really bad about pickup knowledge btw.

I'm also looking at replacing the single coils in the neck and middle position just to kind of add the finishing touches to it all, but really I have no idea where to start looking. I figure possibly getting the cobalt noisless pickups that are in the american version but I can't find any place to buy them seperate, and I have no need for the bridge one, seeing how I'm going with the HSS setup, so that kind of sticks a stick in the spokes of that idea there. So is there anywhere I could start looking there? I generally use the neck pickup for a lot of open chording and generally cleanish rythym playing unless I'm playing a lot of upstrokes, then its the bridge for me. As far as the bridge position goes, I usually use the neck/middle or bridge/middle to reduce the feedback and on the bridge side I use it to get a little more of a bassy sound out of my humbucker. So I'm really not too sure what I'd be looking for in the middle pickup.

I was also looking at replacing my tuners so I can play around with my tremelo a little bit more, since even the slightest touch will throw my guitar out of tune, and I read that the fender locking tuners just slide right in, so that seems to be a pretty decent idea. I'm also looking at throwing one of those copper sheets under my pickguard to reduce the hum. (i'm getting a ton of it especially at the neck and bridge settings)

Any suggestions would be great because I'm really at a loss when it comes to pickup shopping. I just really don't know where to start. The Dimarzio website never seems to work, and the seymour duncan pickup finder isn't really cutting it for me since I generally try to pull out a bunch of different sounds from my guitar, and "rock" doesn't really seem to be the right thing I'm looking for. So yeah you guys's help would be much appreciated.
Big post.

Seymour Duncan will recommend you the same pickups for everything. I would recommend some sort of Alnico humbucker for the bridge position, something like a supercharged PAF. I myself rarely use the bridge pickup for clean, but a lot for lead distortion. I'd go for something like a Custom Custom (which I think is based on Van Halen's pickup) or a Screamin' Demon. From DiMarzio, try Joe Satriani's Fred and Mo Joe pickups. They cut through pretty well, and have a great harmonic response with more gain.

JB is also good, but it's used by EVERYONE, and it's not the best clean.
Quote by pugnapugnapugna
To get a better distorted sound, use the pedal to drive your tubes. So get your amp on distortion, then kick in the pedal and that's where it'll really shine.

I tried using my OD as a boost for the dist channel on the amp and it was ok, might have been using a bit too much OD though, I'll give it a shot tomorrow morning when I can actually turn my amp on.

But uh...any more pickup ideas? and also are the locking tuners a good idea?
"Upgrading my fatty"

My first reaction is that this was going to be a thread about finding a new girlfriend.
Quote by The devil at the crossroads

Just move it around the fretboard