So I walked into my local Guitar Center two weeks ago just to buy strings when I noticed a NOS 2011 American Standard Strat hanging on the wall. Since I haven't seen one in a while I decided to plug it in and holy smokes the sound was amazing! I then plugged in a 2015 American Standard with Fat 50s and to my ears the 2011 blew it away no contest. I didn't buy the guitar because I don't like 3 Tone Sunburst and I didn't like the high gloss maple fingerboard but I sure fell in love with it's sound. At home I have a 2015 American Special Strat which I purchased last year. Price was not an issue when purchasing a Strat last year but I chose the American Special over the American Standard because I preferred the vintage tremolo and block over the modern tremolo, and I also preferred the satin maple fingerboard, the jumbo frets, and CBS headstock and to put icing on the cake I got it in my favorite all time Strat color which is Surf Green. I originally liked the Texas Special pickups that came with it but about after a month I started to dislike them in a big way. I found them very nasty and offensive. They were pure midrange but in a non musical way. However I never got a chance to try other pickups in it because I was busy with my business and didn't want to open up a can of worms by getting involved in pickups OCD lol. All I kept thinking about when I left Guitar Center two weeks ago was how if my American Special had the sound of that 2011 American Standard that I would have my dream guitar. So I finally took to eBay and sold my American Special loaded pickguard with greasebucket tone circuit and purchased a 2011 American Standard loaded pickguard with Alnico V and Delta Tone. I Installed and plugged in and I was in ecstacy . They are very versatile pickups. They can be clean and bell like when you need but also have a lot of balls if you want to drive an amp. They definitely have a midrange presence but in a sweet musical way not in an offensive way like the TS. I have to say they are VERY sensitive to pickup height and angle and to saddle height as well but after a while of dialing in I hit the sweet spot. These pickups are really special I think Fender should have never discontinued them. I now have my dream guitar. Anyone else out there loving their pre Fat 50s American Standard?