I’m swapping pickguards on my Stratocaster again next week (assuming my parts get in on time).  Pickguards are really very cheap (even custom ones), so it is fun to swap them out and try different pickup configurations.  This time I am going with an HSH configuration (a humbucker in the bridge position and neck position, and a single coil in between them).  I’m using the standard Ibanez wiring config with the 5-way switch, such that the first position is the bridge pickup, the 3rd position is the middle pickup, the 5th position is the neck pickup, and 2 and 4 each use the middle pickup in combination with one coil of either humbucker.  That way, all the positions cancel hum (except the middle), and you can get a huge variety of sounds.  At least that’s what I’ve heard.  I haven’t actually tried it before.

The pickups that I’m putting in are a pair that I’ve been wanting to try for a very long time.  The GFS pickup brand is a very popular budget pickup brand in the guitar world, and I’ve always wanted to try a pair of their Alnico II humbuckers.  I finally decided to give it a shot.  These pickups use Alnico II magnets, which are weaker than the more common Alnico V and Ceramic varieties.  This fact, coupled with fewer windings than most modern pickups, give these pickups a fairly low output level.  This means a lot of things for the sound you get out of them, in theory.  I’ll get more into that (and the associated science, such that I understand) after I get a chance to play them and compare them to my other pickups.

For the middle single coil, I’ll use the fender bridge pickup that was installed in the guitar when I got it, as its relatively higher output should balance well with the two humbuckers.