This is my kind of pickup change: the easy kind!
I got my hands on the new Seymour Duncan Everything Axe pickguard, which comes with three pre-installed Strat-format humbuckers (JB Jr., Duckbucker, and Little ’59). I’ve always avoided humbuckerized Strats because they remind of really bad ’80s bands. But I love the JB and ’59, so I figured, why not confront my prejudices?
I slapped the pickguard onto your basic Mexican Strat, and voilà! Instant coolness.
Here’s a little demo featuring all five pickup combinations. As the product name implies, this particular pickup trio yields many high-contrast colors. But I’m struck most by how much Strat flavor remains—there’s certainly no lack of shimmer and twang. I favored clean tones in the demo, just to deep-six my outdated stereotypes about harsh, compressed, over-distorted Strat humbucker sounds.
And it really did take about five minutes.