I purchased a 3 month old used USA strat which I got a steal on. The only issue is the bridge pickup. It is a single coil and the sound isn't what I like. I play through a Peavey Valve King half stack and its way to bright and brittle sounding.

I play mostly classic and modern rock with some metal.

As far as I know, my options are replace the single coil with a rail or get a HSS pickgaurd and pop in a humbucker.

I'm looking for pros cons or any info which might be useful for getting a little warmer sound with a little more crunch. (The tone pot doesn't do the trick).

I think it is recommended that most humbuckers have a 500k pot. Anyone know what the bridge pot in a strat is?

Also, if you think I should go with a rail, which one?

I've always wanted an American strat and need to make an informed decission before I perform any surgery on this guitar.

Thank you.
strat pots are 250k, unless someone decided to mod it and drop in a different value.

a humbucker will probably get you a warmer tone than a rail.

this isnt the most cost effective approach, but you could buy both a humbucker and a rail and see which one you like more.
I may be wrong, but I don't think the modern strats have a swimming pool rout, which means you'll either have to get a single-coil-sized humbucker or a decent set of woodcarving tools. I've heard the stacked humbuckers aren't bad, but you'll be a little more limited on your options.

The Hot Rails might not be a bad idea. It really depends on what you like the best, so you might want to try a few different pups out.

I ended up really liking my Lace hold gold hot bridge. While it's not as modern as the rails, tt holds on to the Strat sound with a higher output sans feedback. It really screams when I switch to the drive channel. Of course, something like that isn't going to sound at all like a humbucker, it just happened to work really well for me.

There are a lot of great pickups out there, it just depends on what you like. I'm a fan of DiMarzio's, and they've got a bunch of different models. I hate to be vague, but I kind of like them all: different, but equally good.
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i'd look into Hot Rails or JB Jr. for bridge
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try out some guitars at a shop or a friend's house and get an idea for what you might like. you could probably buy a replacement pup and be happy with it, but you might be happier knowing you went for what you wanted.
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