I'm about to mod my current strat copy into a HSS. Eventually I want to upgrade to MIM HSS strat when I have the money. Since I'm going to swap the pickups in the MIM sooner or later, I might as well get them now and use them. My plan is to sell my other guitar and use the money for the pickups. It works for me because I'll upgrade the electronics now and the body later.

Anyways, I was planning on going with a JB in the bridge, Vintage Rails in the middle, and Cool Rails in the neck. I am picking these pickups based on how they will sound in the MIM.

Do you think this is a good set-up? Are there any better deals for $200-$250? What do you think of the electronics then body plan?

I play through a Vox AD30VT. I play everything from hard rock, to pop rock, to church worship music. I don't play metal.
Of course, there's the arguement that you're better off selling the AD30VT and putting that $250 into a Fender Pro Junior, or other small tube combo. Then upgrade the pups later.

If you just want to swap out the pups...well, I'm not a fan of those single-coil sized humbuckers. I think you could get a nicer setup, for less, just converting the strat to an HH config, with some coil taps. OR, you could go HSS, but put real single coil pups for the S and other S. GFS makes some decent cheap pups, and DiMarzio makes better single coils than Duncan (in my silly little opinion).
I need a new guitar more than I need a new amp.

I've looked at some Dimarzio's as well. Right now I'm thinking PAF Pro - HS-3 - YJM

How would that sound in Alder?
Last edited by kirschman13 at Oct 18, 2007,
I wouldn't put the JB in the bridge. That would be really bright...Plus I find the JB to be a poor match, most of the time, for alder guitars.

I'd stick an SH-11 Custom Custom in the bridge. That would really kick ass for hard rock, rock and roll - and still clean up well for softer stuff.

Why did you choose single coil sized humbuckers for the neck and middle positions? I think that the greatest tone in a Strat is true single coil tones in the neck position...
I kinda liked the hotter sound from the rails. I was kinda afraid that the true singles would sound too dull. Since then, I've been thinking about the Dimarzio's. I read on the site they reccomend the HS-3 and a PAF to go with the Malmstein in the neck. I listened to the clips and those singles sounded pretty lifelike so I may just go with them. Hopefully I get a good trade on my B.C. Rich Acrylic Series. I think those pickups are gonna cost around $200. Do you think I could get that much for it?
...Dull? I dunno, man. I love single coil sparkle and shimmer. You don't get that from rail humbucker pickups. I don't have much experience with Dimarzio, but I do know that the YJM (the "Malmsteen" you're referring to) is a humbucking single coil pickup. It has a dummy coil underneath the single coil, wired in parallel. It doesn't have the same shimmer and sparkle that a true single coil does.

And I don't know how much that B.C. Rich costs, sorry.