I reckon epiphone largely keeps Gibson afloat. Their historic lines my dry up when people aren’t trying to to relive their heydays, but by then I’ll be old and jonesing for an $10,000 84 Les Paul reissue.
Nostalgia isn’t going away
Of the sets mentioned, and the artists mentioned, I would go with the antiquities. My personal favorites are Wolfetone legends for the “PAF” thing.
While I agree with others saying that adjusting the pickup heights might be all you need, I also think swapping pickups is a lot of fun and a great...
490s are my favorite Gibson buckers for sure. If there is an exact sound you are after, boutique may be the way to go, but they aren’t always “better sounding”
They aren’t always more expensive either. Companies like Manlius put out wonderful pickups for “non boutique” prices
I completely see guitars, and amps, as tools. I'm a tradesman in real life. I don't care if the rubber dipping on my hammer is crooked, or if my 6in1 has a spot of rust on it inside the package. I care if it performs the function it is intended for.
The boutique market has made people think...