Really Good Strat Pickups
I recently got a Warmoth Strat and it came with Fender "Abby" Custom Shop pickups. I pride myself on 30 years of Strat knowledge but I really didn't know much about them so I did some research:
"Abby" is for Abigail Ybarra, a woman who was hired into Fender in the late 1950's as one of many pickup winders. She evidentely developed her own procedures for winding and it became clear that her pickups sounded different. Through the "Holy Grail" years of the late 50's-early to '60's for Strats she made a name as THE pickup winder to create the single coil sound which became synonamous with Strats and which maufacturers like Duncan, Lawerence, Grande and Fralin have attempted to reproduce.
Abby is STILL working for Fender today in a limited role hand-winding a limited amount of sets of pickups. Each set is signed, numbered and dated by Abby with a white marker. I've read conflicting reports of 100 sets to 300 sets produced per year.
I thought I'd share this interesting tidbit - it amazes me that stories like this are still out there to be discovered by Strat idiots like me.