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I literally just finished installing this rig on my beloved 2013 Ocean Blue MiM Standard Strat. (T'was a FSR, with satin finish on body and neck. A real beauty!)It came stock with a fantastic set of ceramic pups that IMHO sound better than the AlNiCo's on the 'Player Series' which supplanted the MiM Standard Series.I originally planned to install this rig on a Squier Strat that had previously been upgraded with an HSS 'Player Series' but decided my Fender was a better candidate; faster neck and a superior tremolo (VIBRATO!) assembly.Simply put, it took me longer to restring the guitar than it did to install the pickguard.The screw holes lined up perfectly with the body and there is ample room to place the 9v battery in the lower corner. And the black pearloid color is a beautiful compliment to the guitar's ocean blue finish.WHAT ABOUT THE SOUND, MARK?!Okay, I'm getting to that.The sound is fantastic, sorta. Using a Marshall VS15R & an Orange Crush 20 combo amp, and a Randall RG100 head into a Marshall MG4x12 I tested it using both clean and dirty channels. The tone and responsiveness are remarkable if distortion is your goal. Every little nuance is captured and amplified by the active electronics. (The 2013 era Strats didn't have a tone control for the bridge pickup so having a true master tone is a nice option.)There is only one drawback to this rig and it is considerable. There is no really clean sound in any of the five pickup settings. Even on the amp's clean settings the tone is hot and distorted. That's unfortunate as it limits the sounds you can coax out of it. I usually play with distortion but I liked being able to have a bright clean tone when I wanted it. I'm seriously thinking about installing this rig on the Squier and returning my Fender to its stock configuration.Yes, this is a killer piece of gear but it is somewhat limited due to the inability to deliver any truly clean and undistorted sounds.Think seriously about that before ordering it.
Former semi-pro now a stay-at-home jammer.
Rock, rock and rock.
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