Re: Is it the pickups or the wood?
What's the stock neck humbucker on the Ibanez? My old V1 / V2 pickups that used to be on my 570 are pretty naff on clean or distortion, way too overwound for my liking. I measured the dc resistance on the V2 and it was 8K per coil. I'm guessing it uses 44 AWG wire to get that high a dc reading, and I would think the pacifica single coil will be 42 / possibly 43 AWG, lower turn count, lower inductance, wider spacing between turns, which is likely to give a better clean single coil sound. Plus split humbuckers never sound exactly like a true single coil due to the differences in construction anyway.
In the end though, I feel that overwound pickups never sound that great clean, they're not really designed for that, so it's no surprise to me that the pacifica wins.