I'll tell you right off that I sorta new to guitar so i don't know a lot about pickups and things like that. I have an epiphone les paul standard. It's a great guitar but i would like to give it a "heavier" sound. Would replacing my stock pickups with gibson or similar pickups do this for me? Or would it be better to just get a better amp? (I have a crate 15w flexwave who's price is reflected in its sound. I have a Boss me-50 multi affects pedal which improves its sound drasticly though) Also, I'm sooking for a new amp if anyone has any suggestions. So would i just be wasting my money to by gibson pickups?

Get a new amp first, since amp makes up more of your tone than the guitar. Pickup changes should be more used to 'tweak' the tone once you've got an amp you're happy with, not the other way around.
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sounds like you dont like humbuckers.

did you try turning up the guitar volumn all the way up then adjust your amp volumn?

15w amps are really lame.
^15w amps can be great. That is a stupid comment.

TS: Epiphone les paul standards are good guitars, and I believe the stock hardware etc is pretty decent. I would try out some new amps- as many as you can until you find one you like. What's your budget?
Its not that I don't like humbuckers. heck! I don't even know enough to know that i don't like them! i'ts just that i've heard Gibsons play with a heavier sound and I would like that. As for the amp, thats kinda what i was thinking. I'd like a 30w cause i just play in my room so there's really no need for anything bigger. My budget is about $250. I was looking at a Spider III 30w, although since i have a multieffects pedal i don't really NEED all the effects on the amp. I wanted to make sure i wasn't going to pay for the effects and sacrifice some quality.

thanks for the quick replies
Don't buy a Spider.

Play a Cort ?

Play with V-Picks ?

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I like the Vox Valvetronix amps.
I don't use the effects on the amp much though (just the reverb sometimes).
The reverb on it isn't that great (compared to my AC30, killer reverb).

Check pawn shops and try out some amps there. Sometimes you can find killer deals at pawn shops.

I've got a student (right now giving guitar lessons is my only source of income ATM) that has I think a Spider II. Its not bad, but my Valvetronix blows it away (IMO) sound quality wise. Although I did change the stock speaker to an Eminence Ragin Cajun.

30 watts should suit you fine.

I would recommend a Vox Valvetronix amp. They have the XL series which is aimed at the "heavy" market.
I'd get a Vox ADVT over a Spider.
The cleans are better, the effects are better and the distortion is crisper.
You may need a distortion pedal to get the "metal" tones, but I can get enough distortion to play Dethklok and Children of Bodom, so you shouldn't have a problem.

I think you'll be very happy with one, the only problem i've had was the jack falling into the amp, but it's an easy fix.
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Your pickups determine the sound of your guitar, not your sound in general, is the best way to look at it.
If you were gonna change your pickups for heavier kind, Gibsons would not really be adviseable at all. You'd want something specifically designed for heavy music, like a high output Dimarzio or a Duncan or, for really heavy stuff, EMGs.
But definitely get a good amp first. Preferably tube. Although, good SS will be cheaper than a good valve amp. Your call, really.
Check out a Crate V50 112 - it's a tube combo. They're $200 new, and with the leftover money you can invest in a distortion pedal like a metal muff. Grand total is around $300, but you'll have a decent tube amp and a great distortion pedal.

hope this helps.