Price paid: $ 45
Purchased from: Used
Sound — 9
Against my friend's suggestions, I had him install only this pickup in my Squier Stratocaster, leaving the stock single coils as is. The output difference is huge! This pickup is loud! Harmonics are so simple to hit, it's so rich! Compared to the stock singles this thing just jumps in volume. I need to change the singles eventually. It is an aggressive pickup. I like it, though it is brighter than the Crunchlab in my other guitar, and it have to roll back the treble on my amp but it is still bright. To my ears the Crunchlab is a little louder. I don't know if it's the cheaper wood in the Squier, or wiring, but that's my experience so far. My old strat now feels like a new guitar, it's great. Now I want to put something new in the neck and mid positions.
Reliability & Durability — 8
I'm not sure about the wiring, but my friend soldered it to the easiest way. Sorry if I know nothing about series/parallel etc. It was used like the last set I got. The tape wrapped around the coils looked a bit beat up, and reminds me of masking tape, though black in color. I don't know how the tape affects the pickup. Other than that no scratches, though I don't know how long the original owner had it. I was close to having my friend put a chrome cover on it and wire it to my PRS SE, but ended up putting it on my old Squier HSS Stratocaster. It's been on about 2 or 3 weeks and no issues, so reliable so far. It looks a lot tougher than those old rusty single coils next door.
Overall Impression — 9
I like this pickup. It is used and was at a great price. It's breathed new life into my first electric guitar. I'll admit at times I considered dumping the old Squier, but am now restoring it. If I could find another used one for a similar price I'd pick it up again for my other guitar, though brand new, I'd sway a little more toward the DiMarzio Crunchlab. This is a great pickup, and I imagine if I had installed it in my PRS SE I would probably like it more. I might just do that. I'm thinking it might sound a little warmer in that guitar.