The HS-4™ is the vintage magnet-stagger version of the HS-3™. While there is obviously a strong resemblance to the HS-3™, the vintage stagger recreates the string-balance of single-coils from the 50s, producing a unique sound in the neck and middle positions with both chords and single-note soloing. And there’s no 60-cycle hum.
The HS-4™ works very well with high-gain amps, but the classic setup is with an overdrive pedal and a Marshall® amp. The pedal boosts sustain and distortion, and the sound cleans up dramatically when the pedal is switched off. Works well in all 3 positions for slightly warmer than usual Strat® sound. The vintage 50s magnet stagger is a subtle change from the standard HS-3™. It alters the overall balance between the individual strings, resulting in a little more clarity and string definition. This is most obvious on the unwound strings, particularly higher up the neck.