Bear with me as you read this. I know little about swapping pickups; I've only ever done it once and just had incredibly dumb (good) luck. I recently picked up an Epiphone SG Les Paul custom fairly cheap. Looks like this, but not my actual guitar: I love how the guitar looks and plays, but the stock pickups are very muddy and quiet sounding. Since my total investment is pretty low, I'm wanting to swap in some new pickups and really don't know what to do. I'd like to spend an additional $100 or less, if possible. Yeah, I'm a cheapass. I play in a punk/garage rock band and like a tone that is really punchy and heavy on the mids/highs (tone heroes: New Bomb Turks, Humpers, Dead Boys). I want to stick with standard-appearing gold humbuckers to keep the guitar looking mostly-factory. Might consider a gold/black or gold/white humbucker. Just as long as it's hot. The Guitar Fetish pickups look nice but I don't know which ones would be good to go with. There are also some interesting eBay possibilities of Asian persuasion, but again, no idea which way to go. The other thing I wonder is, since the guitar has three pickups, what people might recommend I do about the middle one? Leave it stock? I'm gonna use the bridge one 90% of the time, and the neck probably 10% of the time. Also, I'd like to lower the middle pickup as I find it getting in the way a little bit when I play. I've lowered it as far as I can without any modifications; wondering if I can either file down the pickup ring or buy a thinner one to help me accomplish this?