Trying to pin down a good upgrade set of pickups for my daily driver. she’s a 2002 Santana SE All mahogany body/neck Rosewood fretboard Stoptail Bridge Tuning : she lives in E Standard & Drop D 40/60 of the time, for all playing styles. I never tune it below Drop D, as I have a Strat that lives permanently in Drop-C for those needs. I’ve always loved the sound of my Santana acoustically. It has plenty of warm sustain, and want my pickups to work with that natural tone rather than against it. Currently my stock pickups just don’t do it ALL the way for me, especially in the neck. The neck pickup is very bassy/boomy no matter how I adjust it. The stock bridge is decent, but leans slightly towards a thin/trebly sound. Currently I find myself playing mostly in the middle position to blend the two and compensate for them, and stick to the bridge for rock/prog/metal tones. I have a 7-band eq pedal coming in the mail to play with and see different sounds my ear gravitates towards to help make this pickup hunt easier in the end by physically hearing/seeing what is added/taken away to achieve those sounds. At first I was set on finding a winning combination between 57/08, 59/09, and metals. (57/08 neck with 59/09 bridge, or 59/09 neck with Metal Bridge.) -I loved how clear the 57/08 was whether it was snappy single notes, or full chords. But in the bridge with high gains it lacked that low end punch and oomph you get from the metals. The 59/09 seemed like a good middle ground between the two as a set to cover all types of music. The metal bridge scared me a bit for retaining that clear clean sound when NOT playing metal and rock. THEN I fell into a new tunnel in the pickup rabbit hole, by the name of Bare Knuckle Pickups. being my playing styles range from instrumental/ambient/shoe gaze , blues, rock, while still having the guilty pleasure in metal/prog with some chugging, I knew I was asking a lot from whatever pickup I would settle on. I don’t play with a band or gig, a majority of the time it’s by myself jamming in the basement. If not, I jam with a buddy at his house once a week, so I don’t need to “cut through a band mix” or compete with other walls of sound. Back to Bare Knuckle Pickups. I’ve always loved Rabea Masaad and his style, as he can bring you from brain melting ambient , to smoothe crunchy leads, over to massive thick metal tones. When I learned he helped create a signature set of PUPS with bare knuckle, the more I researched them, the more I was convinced these were the winning ticket for my Santana SE. THEN! The Polymaths dropped…. Now like many, I was in love after watching the demo video with Nolly, and the tones he was getting were my favorite shades of distortion. I tend to like a juicy, saturated, fat tone over a “dry” or scooped tone for distortion. I also prefer when the pickups are running clean, that they don’t have that “raspy/pushed sound” a lot of “metal” pickups have when trying to clean them up. Having the ability to sound very clear on cleans, with a balanced sound across the strings is vital for what I want out of my pickups. Not to sharp/ice picky, and keeping note separation strong so it doesn’t sound like everything is mooshed together in chaos. I also want them to bring the thunder when I play dirty. I can get a pretty nasty tone with a perfectly dialed in Metal Zone, but when plugging directly into my amp and throwing the gain to 10, I want to still achieve a nice “dirty sound”. Not that I CANT, but it’s not nearly as juicy. I need the pickups to be very versatile, and not just a “one trick pony”. If I’m playing really heavy stuff, I have the Strat for that. If I want SUPER-BLUES , I have a Gibson Blueshawk with P90’s. And if I want some low output twang and snap, I have a Gretsch Chet Atkins Nashville for that sound. My PRS is my favorite guitar that is “home” to me , and i would love for it to cover all bases equally well as my #1 daily-driver. So NOW, In a nut shell, I’m stuck between the Polymath and the Silos. From everything I’ve read, they are pretty similar in general, with the silos having more bottom end where as the polymath is slightly rolled off on the bottom for a “punchier” sound. I also have read the silos have a fairly neutral EQ across the board without any cuts for a less compressed sound and a wider frequency range as a bridge/neck set. As of now, I feel the Silos are slightly more versatile than the Polymaths overall, and could cover any style you could throw at it. The Polymaths have the best sounding dirty tone I’ve heard though, but trying to factor how much of that was Nollys Rig perfectly dialed in makes this decision tough. If I was only ever playing in drop D 24/7, the Polymaths would win for me, as I’m in love with that tone he was getting in the demo videos. But likewise I’m curious to know how the polymath and silo sound in E standard or drop D? Do they excel best with these lower tunings where I would have better options in the E/DropD realm somewhere else? At this point, I’m at a “information overload” point and have a million things running through my head. If someone could shed some light, advice, information, personal experiences & trials, etc. I would appreciate it greatly! Even if it’s not using any of the pickups listed above, all input is welcome here. I haven’t found much online of anyone talking about my particular Santana SE, and it’s tough to take opinions of what worked for others in a totally different type of guitar and use it in my situation. Apologies if this post is confusing or all over the place, I’m just trying to get as many of my thoughts out initially as I can. Someone save me from this rabbit hole…..