I recently bought one of the Historic Makeovers R8 guitars and man I could NOT be more tickled with the guitar! It is LIVE all over, rings for days, is very loud and well balanced acoustically, you strap it on and walk into a room playing it unplugged, and it FILLS the room! Wonderful guitar! This said, it is so live and bright, it tells on pickups and hardware in an instant. You hear every little nuance of the wood, the tune-o-matic, the pickups, it's crazy how good of a job Kim LaFleur and crew do on these.. Not long after it arrived here, I began noticing a harshness in the high end, and also some grungy muddy tones in the wound strings played down in the 2nd-4th fret area. I had already planned on swapping in some more vintage tapered pots so I did this, and no change to the artifacts I was hearing. As soon as I rolled off the volume or the tone knob, the harsh trebly artifacts went away. OR they were better hidden from my ears.. I used some 50s nickel PAF covers that I had, and also swapped out the pole screws for 50s P90 screws which impart a nice edgy tone of their own, and I was still hearing this harshness. I swapped the A3 magnets out of the Custom Buckers and used some A2 in the neck and A4 in the bridge. Still hearing these annoying artifacts especially in the high end of the bridge pickup. The last thing left to try was removing the slug coil from the baseplate and very carefully tapping out the stock 416 grade Stainless Steel slugs, and replacing them with some carbon steel slugs that came from Bill at Electric City. GUESS WHAT? The artifacts disappeared completely! The high end smoothed out, the low strings gained back a bunch of clarity, and the "bug" I had been chasing has been caught! This wasn't something they did at HM in the makeover, this was the stock Custom Bucker pickup that came on this guitar from the Gibson Custom Shop in 2014. Has anyone else noticed a harshness with a Custom Bucker pickup or is this a case of maybe some have some impurities in the tone because of the stainless used and others don't? Maybe the artifacts are there but other Les Pauls are not as bright and resonant as this HM guitar and you wouldn't necessarily notice something as subtle as this harsh edgy tone in the high end?