I have a QuickSilver (yes, I know how hated Ed Roman is in most circles, but I do really love this guitar, so please bear with me). It's got an alder body, a maple top, a maple neck and a rosewood fingerboard. Vintage tremolo. Two humbucking pickups. In short, it has the construction of an early PRS Classic Electric (before 1995 they were made of alder, not mahogany). It is currently strung with Dean Markley Blue Steel strings, though I am considering switching to nickel-wound D'addarios.
I've decided I don't care for the stock pickups, which are referred to as Black/Back ND pickups. The Black/Backs might sound better on a darker wood like korina or mahogany, but on my alder body they're awfully sharp to my ears. Having had a pair of PRS pickups (HFS and VIntage Bass) installed for a time, I preferred the PRS pickups. The problem is, the PRS pickups can't be bolted directly to the wood, at least not without altering the construction of the guitar. So I'm considering switching to a different model of Duncans.
When I run the specifics of my guitar's construction through the Tone Wizard, I invariably get the same results for all three of the playing styles I'm interested in (Classic Rock, Rock/Pop, and Hard Rock/Metal) -- 59's or Alnico II Pros. The only deviation from this is if I choose "Hard Rock/Metal" for playing style... then one of the suggestions for the bridge pickup is a Custom 5, which I am thinking is more for heavier work than what I do.
So the suggestions from the Tone Wizard are pretty straightforward -- either 59's, or Alnico II Pros, or a combination of those two. But I'm still not quite convinced, so I was hoping to get some opinions from this forum.
I play almost entirely with the tone and volume knobs all the way up, and with the pickup selector switch in the center (both pickups active). This gives me a fuller tone than the bridge pickup, but a brighter tone than the neck pickup, so I like this compromise. I mostly play spacy progressive rock, in the style of classic bands like Rush, Pink Floyd, and Yes, as well as newer bands like Porcupine Tree, and ethereal artists like Eric Johnson (particularly on Venus Isle). I tend to use a lot of chorus, and often similar effects like flange and phase, along with delay for that spacy effect. I want a smooth, sweet dirty lead tone with a soft attack and not too much crunch. It should also be noted that I play without a pick, and mostly pick with my fingers (not my fingernails, unless strumming).
Given my playing style, and the construction of the guitar, what would you recommend for pickups? If you think the Tone Wizard is on the money, should I go with '59s, Alnico II Pros, or some combination thereof? Any advice you guys can give me is greatly appreciated.