I compared the SS with an Am Pro and and Am Deluxe. I looove the necks Fender is making these days. They felt like a warm hug. The SS neck was instantly uncomfortable for me (which is completely personal preference), but the tone blew away both the Fenders. I couldn't imagine changing those pickups. I think they're a big part of the package. I could see maybe throwing in a more powerful bridge pickup, but neck/middle are perfect to me. Unrelated: I recently saw Dodgem Blue and Moc Sand in person. Dodgem Blue I surprisingly liked less; it's almost like a blue/green flip/flop color. Also surprisingly, I really dug Moc Sand. I thought it seemed boring in pics, but in person I think it's my new fave.