It's all about matching the pickup to the individual guitar. Some pickups work great in one guitar and not so well in another. Then again what one person thinks sounds great may be just the opposite of someone else. I too have bought countless boutique pickups over the years trying to find that "magic" tone. What I found is the boutique pickups may get you 10-15% closer than an off the shelf. Refer back to the 1st paragraph. Just my .02.