I’ve said this in other threads, but it might be worth considering a boost pedal instead of a hotter pickup, if you like the character of the 58/15 LTs but simply wish they had higher output for certain things.
Any pickup change is going to also be a character change. With a boost, you can instantly switch back to the original character of the guitar for the next song, something you obviously can’t do with a pickup.
There are plenty of options in the boost category, everything from very clean boosts, to highly colored boosts, to boosts that add a little grit and drive. Some boosts will also offer EQ for additional tone-shaping. Then there are treble boosts, something that the classic rockers used to shape their tone for many years, to drive single channel amps into singing sustain. There really aren’t limitations, but with a pickup, you’re stuck with whatever the tone is until you get out the screwdriver and soldering iron.
I have two boosts on my board; one is a very clean boost with the option of a mid-push, by Suhr; the second is one with dialable drive, dialable boost, EQ and coloration, the Chime side of the Pettyjohn Pettydrive 2. It can be gritty, but I use it mainly as a clean boost with a slight amount of grit, and a little bit of top-end push just to push a slightly clipping amp over the top. It also has an extremely transparent overdrive, and is built with studio grade components (which is why it’s pretty expensive!). Then there are classics like the Xotic EP, etc., to consider.
Pardon the bump...
Some of the best advice I've received on this forum, thanks again! There must be half a dozen threads in which I threatened to yank the LTs, but I took this approach and... wow.
Part of me was already devoted to putting in BKPs or similar, because I love playing high gain stuff and enjoy modding. In a previous life I was used to significantly hotter pickups (passive and active). The logic of adding a boost to the chain was undeniable though, and I found one which does precisely what I hoped for -- and now delivers the snarl I wanted, but without touching the stock electronics. The gravity of that just sank in, and I'm pretty tickled about being able to keep the instrument original, as well as still utilize the awesome split tones I love. Now I don't have to sacrifice the utility of the 58/15 LT's range, either, and it's solidly pleasing.
So, I'll just have to scratch my itch with 59/09s in a future core. That's a much happier dilemma!