#1
I'm talking about passive pups

for example, epiphone pickups are so prone to getting muddy
strats have that picking/twangy sound about them
seymour duncan has clear sound
have better gain
etc

why do they sound different?
are they not just magnets with copper wrapped around them?
Shred Head
All that theory my guitar teacher tries to drill into my head just gets buried under piles of porn and I never manage to apply any of it
#2
different amounts of windings/ different types of magnets produce different sounds.
i used to be a mod, then i took an arrow in the knee.
#3
The strength/type of magnet differs from pickup to pickup as does the quality, size, and number of windings of copper wire. Combining different "mixes" of these things (ceramic magnets with large diameter copper wire and a low amount of windings for example), give those differences in tone that you hear.

I don't make pickups though, so I can't recall what each specific part plays in the overall tone.
~We Rock Out With Our Cocks Out!: UG Naked Club.~
Once in a blue moon, God reaches down from his lofty perch, points at an infant boy and proclaims, "This one shall have balls carved out of fucking granite."
#4
The "cheaper" guitars (no offense to those that have them) but corners to make them sound "decent".

NOTE: Your amp will make more of a difference in sound than your guitar.

- cheap guitar + great amp = decent tone
- cheap amp + great guitar = bad tone

Learn to FIND the good tones out of what you have now. If you're a great player and have cheap gear, you can sound decent when you find the right settings, etc. Take some time to find the best tones out of what you have.

- play with the EQ
- don't use too much gain
- try different picks
- take some time to play one thing "perfect" and note what you did for that
- Fender, Taylor, Martin, Ibanez, Ramirez, Marshall, Boss, Morley, Mesa/Boogie, Univox, Shure, Monster, Dunlop, Seymour Duncan, DiMarzio, Lace, Sperzel, DW, Tama, Zildjian, and a little Johnnie Walker