Originally Posted by James
It does, actually.
They're Gold Lace Sensors - voiced for a pretty "traditional" single coil tone.
Lace Sensors aren't wildly popular with the vintage crowd, who insist they don't sound as "natural" or "chimey" as "real" singlecoils. I think part of that must be they're just more exposed to the other models (Red, for example, is basically a hot humbucker in terms of tone and output), part of it is probably based in fact (I'm sure that a really good botique singlecoil will have a little more airiness to it, so it's a question of tradeoff), and part of it is just knee-jerk dogmatism.
Personally, I think that while there may be a certain amount of truth to that, they're a fair tradeoff for a couple of reasons. First, they're dead quiet, and if you play with anything approaching frequency in neon-illuminated bars with any gain at all (I used to
), you'll come to appreciate that REALLY quickly. Second, and more subtly, they have essentially no magnetic pull on the strings. This is great since you can run them as close to the strings as you want for added output, and that (unless you're into the sound, which to be honest I kind of like the option), your strings won't snap onto the magnets while doing bar dives.
Anyway, I think in a blind playing test, most of the vintage snobs wouldn't be able to tell the difference between my Strat with Lace Sensors, and another strat with stock Fender pickups. To be fair, I AM curious to pull them and put something else in there, but that has less to do with my dissatisfaction with the pickups (which I like, a lot) and more to do with the fact that I've owned the guitar for ten years, and it's had the same pickups for eight of those ten years.