One of my Strats was produced in September, 2005. It's a vintage blonde with maple neck. To my ears, the stock pups sound real bright, almost too bright. When I roll the tone off, It doesn't add any bass and sounds better. Do you think that Fender put some of the out there with the "greasebucket circuit" before they recently announced the new upgraded Hwy 1 Strats with the large headstocks and jumbo frets ? I saw in a copy of Frontline, that they advertised the "greasebucket circuit" and that was printed and published way before the recent announcement of the upgraded (and up-priced) Hwy 1's.