Originally Posted by smcd
Very interesting. I'll bet many people thought that dropping Fender pickups into a BXP would be a big improvement. You likely ended up saving a lot of people time and money.
Indeed, I was about to put Fender Noiseless into my SX jazz, and I saw people saying that aside from hum, there was no much of the improvement. I guess budget companies/guitar ranges are simply getting better at producing medium/good quality pickups. Either that or they've got better at instrument design so they make pickups that complement whatever the woods are, even if they are terrible (which is not a case in neither BXP nor SX basses). This leads to the idea that fender pickups have the most potential exactly with fender parts, which is logical. So I guess you can't say BXP pickups are better than Fender's, but they probably work better since they're designed to work with those woods and in that exact position.
All this being said, it doesn't mean that custom pickups are bad, a friend of mine bought a cheap Aria jazz copy and put quarter pounders into it. The action is too high since frets suck, tuners barely hold tune, nut is disintegrating, the bridge is rusty and two of three pots hiss when turned. But... does that thing sound KILLER. No, seriously, it seems there are pickups that can take a dead guitar and turn it into a monster, and that there are pickups that simply complement good parts. I have no clue how that works, but it is apparent that there's some truth to that.