I've got an Epiphone Les Paul 7 and need some pickup advice. This guitar currently has the stock pickups in it which, in all honesty, really aren't that bad. They sound fantastic clean and with a little bit of dirt, but they are just way too dark and muddy when there is any amount of distortion. This guitar is a huge thick slab of mahog (and a fairly muddy sounding piece at that since it's not a super expensive guitar) and I'm looking for a pickup that will brighten and clear it up. The problem I'm finding is that most 7 string pickups that are really bright are also super high output. I'm looking for something not any hotter than like a JB or something else in the "vintage-hot" range. BKPs are also out of the question because I just can't afford them.
Duncan Custom-7 in the bridge and Jazz-7 in the neck.
If you can, get the Custom-7's magnet swapped out for Alnico 8. (The Custom is ceramic in its stock form.)
I've tried a bunch of different pickup combos in my Dean Evo (similar to your Epi) and this combination is magic.