Nice LP! I love the finishes on the late 90's - early 2000's. I have a friend who's been playing LP's since 1977 when he bought his first. He mainly has/had countless 70's - 80's LP's. He just recently acquired an R7 and now an R8 and has been complaining both guitar are "soft" sounding with audibly less "bite" up high. Not the rock machines he's used to. I've myself have only been in the game since 1985 when I bought my first, a '74 GT Deluxe and have also noticed this phenomenon with the Historic line. For example, I recently changed out a heavy nickel tail piece to a light weight aluminum on a '92 prehistoric. Immediately the bite was diminished. I had a '95 Classic LP that I put '57 Classic/Classic + in and that guitar had tons of bite. So I don't think it's your pickups. My R8 (avatar) was really bad with less bite and no sustain up high. However since I had it re-fretted and a "maple flame mod" done it did a 180 and is very "bitey" up high with sustain for days? I think it's because Historic LP's tend to be more resonant, not focused. Somewhere along the way I think bite gets affected too. I've seen some guys confuse bite with high end. Not the same. Apparently these guitars tend to be less aggressive when compared their heavier USA, Norlin siblings. I think the lightweight aluminum tail piece has more high end but less bite. I also think if the studs for the bridge are not deep enough and touching wood on the other end then bite/sustain can be diminished. Just some observations. For giggles put a heavier tail piece on and report back with your findings.