Hi everyone, I am interested in getting a gibson explorer, and I would like to remove the pickguard. I find them so ugly to look at! Also I am interested in getting something other than the stock 496R/500T pickups on the guitar for something like Seymour Duncan blackouts or something like that. I have an Epiphone Les Paul with SD Alnico II pro pickups and I am very happy with them, so I would like something like those pickups, but hotter, better suited for metal. I would love suggestions, stories, advice on how to accomplish that. Thank you very much.