well, the upside to the constant bootstrap talk is that there are soooo many choices out there. might help people have a place to start. ive heard the name a zillion times but didnt actually know it was a member here. plus maybe its deserved to be talked about a lot if theyre decent.....
im not overly happy with the 1/4 pounder strat pup. i mean its good if u use gain a lot. kinda dark and a bitty muddy. and that was on a 500k pot. ot did sound pretty full, especially with fuzz. definitely not a good pup for clean. imho.
It's come to the point where I can usually find high quality pickups for under $50, from one source or another, Donlis or "Guitar Madness" or various vendors on AliExpress, and the nice thing is that they're usually pretty liberal with the specs, which I find to be accurate most of the time. If you don't know what to look for, Tonerider is a safe bet. I used to like BYO, but they took like ten weeks to ship the sets I ordered, and I found that their gold PAF covers were inferior to Tonerider's, who's were fine, so I've soured on BYO, but I might give them another shot in the future, because their price to quality ratio is still very high. I don't like to get too emotional about gear, because objectivity goes out the window, but I put a set of gold cover Tonerider AlNiCo II Classics in a Les Paul copy, and it really sounds heavenly.
Bootstrap is good too, the white Strat pickup covers seemed cheap, though. To be honest, I just have a bit of an aversion to buying from vendors on the forums, it's just a little unsettling to think that another user on here has my name, credit card number and home address, and I feel like I can't be honest about their product without it becoming forum drama.
I bought Quarter Pounds for Strat and Tele and used them for about a year, with tapping in order to get cleans. I ended up concluding that rails humbuckers are far superior, and can be bought on Amazon for as little as $12 per pickup. The SSL-4 buzzes loud, as single coils will, but especially loud given that it's a hot pickup, probably having in the area of ten thousands turns of fine magnet wire around some large antennas, I mean "pole pieces". A rail pickup, like Seymour Duncan Hot or Cool Rails, can be used in series for a good overdrive tone, or in parallel for a decent clean Strat tone. The SSL-4T was useful as a learning tool though, because of how it contrasts with traditional Strat and Tele bridge pickups. The Quarter Pound Tele Neck model uses the standard sized pole pieces, which I thought was kind of cheap. Some other pickup makers managed to squeeze 1/4" pole pieces into a Tele neck.