It's about time to overhaul my '73 Musicmaster. The tone pot is shot, the strings are probably from 1973 (rus-TAY), and the pickup isn't really cutting it. The Musicmaster sports a single Strat-style pickup with a black cover, hiding the 6 poles made to align with the strings of a guitar - not a bass. I'd like to keep the original pickguard and NOT route anything, so I'm going to put another Strat-style pickup in there... but which? I've decided I want a humbucking pickup. The single coil thats currently in the bass hums like there's no tomorrow. I want something with pretty high output, along with rails so that the strings are covered evenly (no "lets see how close to the poles the strings line up"). I hate the sterility of active pickups, so passive it is. I'd also like a 4-conductor pickup, which will allow for series/parallel switching (push/pull volume pot). Which pickups have other people tried? What were the results? Did you use a "bridge" pickup or a "neck" pickup? I've found several pickups that match my criteria and am curious which might be the best choice... SEYMOUR DUNCAN website SCR-1 Cool Rails EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 5 / 4 / 5 DC Resistance: Neck 9.4 k / Bridge 10.3 k Magnet: Ceramic Bar Description: "Smooth and bluesy single-coil-sized rails humbucker. Recommended for blues, classic rock, jazz-rock fusion, heavy rock and aggressive instrumental rock. Created by popular demand, Cool Rails use the same twin coil design as our Hot Rails, but are wound to produce a clearer, brighter, and more dynamic sound. Hotter and louder than both the Vintage Staggered (SSL-1) Hot Stack® (STK-S2) pickups, Cool Rails are for players who need a louder, punchier, and fatter single-coil sound." SHR-1 Hot Rails EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 5 / 7 / 4 DC Resistance: Neck 10.8 k / Bridge 16.9 k Magnet: Ceramic Bar Description: "High output single-coil-size rails humbucker. Great for classic rock, garage, punk, heavy rock, thrash, classic metal and nu-metal. One of the highest output and most popular pickups we make. The two thin blades, strong ceramic magnet and powerful coil windings give you the incredible sustain and a fat, full sound thats needed for playing heavier rock music. This pickup responds to the subtlest finger movements." SVR-1 Vintage Rails EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 6 / 3 / 9 DC Resistance: Neck 2.31 k / Bridge 2.67 k Magnet: Ceramic Bar Description: "Vintage output single-coil-sized rails humbucker with the sound of a vintage Strat®. Perfect for country, pop, surf, rockabilly, blues, ska and classic rock. Vintage Rails use a unique split rail, twin coil design and special (parallel) wiring to achieve true, vintage, single-coil tone without hum. The sound is clean, clear and bright, with all of the quack you love in the notch positions. Though tonally similar to Duckbuckers, the rails design eliminates any potential dropout in string bending." STK-S2 Hot Stack EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 4 / 5 / 6 DC Resistance: Neck 13.2 k / Bridge : 20.6 k Magnet: Ceramic Bar Description: "High output single-coil-sized Stack. Recommended for country, pop, blues, classic rock and heavy rock. The powerful ceramic bar magnet surrounded by two Stack® coils sends more current into your amp, so you get long sustain and super string sensitivity. Great for stage and studio." DIMARZIO website DP181 Fast Track 1 EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 5.5 / 5 / 7.5 DC Resistance: 5.72 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: "The Fast Track 1 is hotter and more muscular than The Cruiser®, but it's still very bright and clean sounding-not at all like a full-size humbucker. The dual-blade continuous magnetic field creates an even string balance with very little magnet-pull, eliminating the "out-of-tuneness" common to rod-magnet designs. The Fast Track 1 pickup's power double the output of a standard single-coil." DP182 Fast Track 2 EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 7.5 / 8 / 5 DC Resistance: 17.53 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: "It's got three times the output of an average single-coil, with a huge mid-range and bass punch and a strong resemblance to the Super Distortion® This is our hottest single-coil sized bridge pickupparticularly useful when you need a tightly focused jolt of power to crank your amplifier into rich overdrive. The dual-blade polepieces can handle all string-spacing options." DP184 Chopper EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 6 / 6 / 7 DC Resistance: 9.19 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: "The Chopper is the louder, punchier brother of the Fast Track 1. More power is concentrated in the mids and low end for a bigger sound with more crunch. It shares the same side-by-side coils and twin-blade construction as the Fast Track 1, so there are no misaligned poles or string-pull problems. Excellent choice to fatten tone and increase power of Strat bridge position." DP186 Cruiser Bridge EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 5.5 / 4.5 / 8 DC Resistance: 5.75 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: "Harmonic overtones are right where you expect them to be from a true single-coil, and the mid-range is open and vocal-sounding. It's hotter than the traditional single-coil, and the bass strings have a bit more chunk." DP187 Cruiser Neck EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 5 / 4.5 / 8 DC Resistance: 3.13 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: (same as DP186 Cruiser Bridge above) DP188 Pro Track EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 6.5 / 6.5 / 5.5 DC Resistance: 8.15 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: "It's warm, it's friendly, it sounds like a vintage PAF® and will drop right into your Strat®. The Pro Track has enough power for any pickup position, and the two nickel-plated blades mean there won't be any problems with string-alignment or dropouts. We've heard from several players who need to play some jazz numbers without switching guitars, and they say the Pro Track is an excellent neck pickup. If you install a push-pull pot, you can switch the coils from series to parallel, which will add a more single-coil type sound while still canceling hum. " DP189 Tone Zone S EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 8 / 8.5 / 5 DC Resistance: 12.39 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: "We've built in the tremendous mid-range and bass response of the original Tone Zone®, and the same patented dual-resonance design produces great harmonics. We also warmed up the higher frequencies and brightened the low notes a little." DP218 Super Distortion S EQ (Bass/Mid/Treb): 8 / 7.5 / 5 DC Resistance: 13.18 k Magnet: Ceramic Description: "We've built in the same blend of power and tone that made the original Super Distortion® the world-wide standard for high-output humbuckers."