If you're a serious traditional Strat player, you probably won't want to know about pickups with side-by-side coils. But if you're the player who's up for something more modern with no 60-cycle hum, string drop-outs or sustain-killing magnet pull, the DiMarzio DP186 The Cruiser Neck Single Coil Pickup was designed for you.
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; this is an excellent pickup to combine with medium-output humbuckers, and it maintains its tonal identity with high-gain amps and multiple effects.
- Treble: 8.0
- Mid: 4.5
- Bass: 5.0
The obvious question about The Cruiser is ‘How does it compare to a single-coil sound?’ Dimarzio's feeling is that the unwound strings (‘E’, ‘B’, and ‘G’) are very close, and the wound strings (‘D’, ‘A’, and low ‘E’) are a little fatter-sounding than a true single-coil. This is really effective for getting open-sounding chords, because high and low strings sound more spread out from each other. Having a total magnet pull that's about 40% less than standard single-coils also means The Cruiser can be adjusted much closer to the strings for more power than stock pickups can achieve.