Price paid: $ 35
Purchased from: GuitarFetish Website
Sound — 7
I bought this pickup to put in a Fender Mex. Standard Strat, and for my needs it's a perfect fit. However, I didn't buy it with the "EVH" sound in mind (at least not totally). I wanted to have the versatility of a humbucker in my formerly SSS strat, and when I saw this on the GFS website, it got my attention. I have a set of Fender CS '54 pickups in my strat, and I thought the Vintage Extra HOT would be a nice balance between Vintage tone and a boost in output compared to the single coil in the bridge position. After installing, I found this pickup to actually be very close to the 54's in output, and if you know anything about the 54's, they're some of the lowest output pickups around. There's a little bit of boost, but not nearly what I expected. That being said, it still balances very well and I've been happy with it despite it not being what I expected. It has a pronounced mid presence, which is something I prefer in a humbucker because it pushes an overdriven amp nicely. I found a 500K tone pot to make it too bright, so I switched it to a 250, but keep in mind this is a maple neck strat, so brightness is to be expected. After moving to the 250, it's got a great balance. I don't care for the super clean tones very much, but when you split this pickup it sounds almost exactly like a normal single coil. Very twangy, country-ish tele sound, which is perfect for cleans and light overdrive. Overall, I'm giving it a 7 because I feel that it doesn't sound exactly as advertised, especially in terms of output, but for what it is, it does sound very good.
Overall Impression — 8
Overall, I definitely think this pickup was worth the $35 I spent on it. The humbucker mode has a nice mid emphasis with added bass, and the split coil sound brings me right back to a Vintage single coil, so I still have all the classic strat sounds. If you have a super high gain amp, this might get you Eddie's sound, but it's not going to magically make you sound like him all by itself. Definitely worth a shot if you have a Vintage themed strat, but want humbucker versatility as well.
Reliability & Durability — 8
Seems to be decently well made, the cloth wrapping around the coils could be a little more dense, but overall I haven't had any problems. Then again I don't really focus on the build of the pickups, it's more about sound to me. It's survived several shows no problem, and I guess if something goes bad, it's only $35 to replace.