This was the subject of a conversation a while ago:viewtopic.php?f=419&t=8911&p=85108
To get to the point, Waldo wrote that "ron wickersham, rick turner, and frank fuller all state he used stock fender single coil pickups and ALEMBIC did not wind or make jerry's pickups."
The background is that Jerry felt his pickups lost their wang dang doodle after a while, so apparently he was constantly replacing them with stock Fender pickups, presumably ones of recent manufacture. If that's true, and I tend to regard whatever Waldo says as virtual fact, it represents a great leap forward for we knights of the never-ending tone-quest, because stock Fender pickups from the early 70's are a lot easier to find/afford than vintage 1957 pickups.
So maybe the next question is "when did Fender switch from the grey-bottom pickups used in 1969 forward to the non-staggered pickups that appeared in ... well, either 1973, '74, or '75, depending who you talk to."
It makes a big difference. 1973-1974 was a high-water mark for tone, I think ... though I would also include '68-69, '70-'72, spring '77, and 78-95 ... so it means the choice between, say, Fender CS '69 pickups and non-staggered pickups like the kind that may or may not have appeared in '73 or '74, and thus may or may not have been in late Alligator and early Wolf.
The interesting implication is that if Jerry was indeed switching his pickups constantly, then the tone he was getting in '73-'74 was NOT due to some unique quality of a particular set of magical pickups. In theory, the basis of that tone should be in everyman's reach. In theory.
I am no expert on Strat pickups, mind, so if anyone wants to "chime" in on the enigma of strat pups c. 1973-74, please do!!