As I wrote before, I love strats, they play just so nice. But I also like different guitars, and different sounds.
The firs time I heard of the Blacktop Stratocaster, I was really intrigued: A Stratocaster with dual humbuckers, and ‘vintage’ humbuckers while we are are. The demos available online sounded great, but as the guitar is no longer in production, I could not find one to test. So I bought one second hand.
I loved it. It was so familiar, yet so different. It played like a Strat, yet is sounded like no strat I’ve heard before. So it became one of my go to guitars.
But the AlNiCo V vintage pickups, while they sound really good, they are quite a high output, and as a result, they tend to mud things a little, specially when you are after the “Tube amp just breaking” tone… you know, that super clean yet crunchy sound. It just doesn’t happen. the pickups are simply too hot for that.
Enter the P.A.F. pickup. The 58-60 Gibson sound. that’s exactly the pickup for that job. While I love the Les Paul sound, I just can’t feel confortable playing it… maybe is a combination of the neck scale and the radius… and the weight… or who know… its just not right for me.
So I had narrowed down to a few PAF reissues, including Gibson and DiMarzio, and then I was lucky to try a Suhr Standard with a Thornbucker neck pickup… and that was it. exactly the tone I was after.
So more internet research and heaps of online demos and review later, I think the thornbuckers are the way to go. I believe they will provide that clean-dirty super clean and warm tone.
I’ve decided on the raw nickel covered ones, as there will ‘age’ its looks quicker (they will develop a patina), and I think they will look cool.
I have also decided on the 53mm for the neck.
lets just hope these fit on the HH pickguard…