#1
So, I've got a Fender Deluxe Player's Strat. Its the nicest Fender I've ever played. I think it kicks the ass of even a custom shop. But its got that single coil screech that doesn't sound anywhere near as sweet and smooth as my Schecter's Humbucker. I even popped a DiMarzio ToneZone mini in the bridge, but it still doesn't sound as awesome. It may just be my amp, 'cause guys like Eric Johnson get tones that kick the hell out of a humbucker from single coils. Either way, I'm pretty sure I'm not going to get a humbucker because there's only one place on the internet I can find that has the exact same color pickguard I like (a red and black and orange tortoise shell sort of thing that looks awesome with the 3-tone desert sunburst and gold), and it costs $30, which, along with the ToneZone humbucker (which I LOVE the sound of), would cost over $105, along with the $30 it costs me to have the guy at the shop install it.

Since I'm not looking to spend that much, what do you guys think the most awesome-sounding single coil pickup is? Provide a link to an audio sample if you can.

Note that I use the bridge pickup for rock tones that get from a very mild Pink Floyd distortion to the level of distortion Neal Schon gets. I like a medium amount of treble, as much bass as is sensible (I'm not about to plug my guitar into a bass cabinet, though), and fairly high mids.
Fender Deluxe Player's Strat (modded)
Schecter Tempest Custom (modded)
ZOOM FIRE-18
Dunlop Crybaby Wah (=D! Iz very nice)
#2
I love Tone Zone but can't tell you that the single coil version will be great. I'd suggest a DiMarzio Blue Velvet.
No man is your friend, no man is your enemy, but every man is your teacher.

When he asked for John Myung, John Myung said:"Who the hell is John Myung?"

Proud User of Ibanez, Korg, Rocktron, ENGL
#3
From what I've heard, the Blue Velvet will be better as a neck pickup. I'm into the very high-output pickups, and I absolutely love the ToneZone mini except that instead of the bluesy-twang that most single-coil pickups have, it has a... hm... screechy twang, I suppose. Its hard to describe, but the tone on the higher frets gets too, well, crappy-sounding.
Fender Deluxe Player's Strat (modded)
Schecter Tempest Custom (modded)
ZOOM FIRE-18
Dunlop Crybaby Wah (=D! Iz very nice)
#4
Lace Red? God I hate the Silver ones but the Red one didn't dissappoint!
No man is your friend, no man is your enemy, but every man is your teacher.

When he asked for John Myung, John Myung said:"Who the hell is John Myung?"

Proud User of Ibanez, Korg, Rocktron, ENGL
#6
eric johnson uses sweet amps
90 percent of tone is your amp so get a nice tube amp and then think about p/us if you even need them
#7
@SQ: I remeber Clapton using Lace pickups. It was an alright tone, but I wasn't too horribly impressed, though those were the gold ones. The guy who fixes up my guitar all the time says they're nowhere near as good as the ToneZone mini, either, and I tend to trust him seeing as he's worked in the shop for about 20 years. But I'll look into it.

@Stephen: Yeah. I'm getting a LoneStar 2x12 sometime this summer in all likelihood, so I'm going to wait until after I get that to decide whether I should actually do this or not, but it never hurts to have the information beforehand.

@Casey: That's a pretty generic thing. =P Companies that make them? I'm guessing Seymour Duncan.
Fender Deluxe Player's Strat (modded)
Schecter Tempest Custom (modded)
ZOOM FIRE-18
Dunlop Crybaby Wah (=D! Iz very nice)