Re: Pickup advice for J Custom
I'm confused, Mahogany is a type of hardwood, a guitar pickup is an electromechanical device, the two things are not related, the pickup cannot 'hear' the wood.
If you can't get your tone out of that guitar then it doesn't suit you and you should change it for a different instrument or you should play it until you're used to it.
I have dozens of different guitars made from many different materials and I sound like me on every single one of them irrespective of pickups, timber or hardware.
There are basic ergonomic essentials for me, things that I'm used to, like trems that stay in tune, string gauges I prefer, slimmer neck profiles, low actions and larger frets, all these things should come as standard with better quality guitars but build quality is variable, some of my old guitars were difficult to set up perfectly but their inherent quality means they stay setup without further intervention. Other old guitars just dropped straight in and stayed put. Still others just don't behave no matter how much attention they receive, these I move on.
So this is where timber comes in, many of my old Japanese guitars have quartersawn maple necks, these necks do not move at all any more, they're set and forget.
The body is simply an anchor for the other half of the string tension, as long as it is rigid and doesn't move then the guitar will stay in tune and stay set-up.
The pickups and controls dictate the tonal characteristics but not as much as the length of the instrument cable you use.
As long as the pickups are well-made from good quality materials it really doesn't matter that much and the controls are even less important.
Pick an instrument that makes you want to play it, don't pick one that puts up a fight and makes you want to give up.