I went for T-Top clones from Vineham Pickups.
He's a custom winder, for a fraction of the Boutique cost.
Two flavours to choose from
These recreate the classic T-Top tones of the late 60's and 70's and of course, all the modern tones you love so much. We use a custom short rough-cast Alnico 5 magnets and SPN magnet wire with matched coils to recreate the classic t-top tone in the neck position. The bridge pickup has a hot, heavy and punchy tone to push into overdrive more easily. Who doesn't like AC/DC or Black Sabbath crunch.
Bridge 8.8k - Neck 7.8k
During the 60’s & 70’s there was no difference in the T top neck or bridge pickup both position had the same output which was roughly 7.6k to 8k .the “6070 CLASSIC” is the pickup if you want truer tone from that era .It's a neck pickup that you use for either the neck or bridge position .
Bridge 7.8k - Neck 7.8k
I went for the 6070's and wired in a 50's style harness
Perfect for Hard Rock.
You should be able to find used low winds for that— or even less— made by any number of winders. I have a set of Rewinds that are really good- and voiced differently enough from my CBs. But it is all a matter of taste- and a PAF replica is just that.
Life is too short for Duncans or Gibsons - if you are shopping around.
Assuming its an older pre-Custombucker R9 I'm not a fan of those era BB's. Too compressed in the mids / lows and fizzy in the top from my experiences. CB's are definitely an improvement in the open / airy / chime quality though I have found later CB's to be tinny.
Lower winds can seem like the right option but output is not an absolute. I've had OX4, Wizz and CB's all with very similar specs but notable different results in the same guitar. Wizz were most aggressive, the OX4 the sweetest single-coil like chime and the CB's somewhere in between. All 3 sets had great clarity and dynamic response with the boutiques being a step up over the CB's in all respects.
You're spoiled for choice these days. The catch being PAF types can be quite finicky to the guitar they're in.
Bare Knuckles pickups (their more classic models) all have a sweetness to them. I have a couple from them, and my favorite is their Black Dog bridge PU. It's slightly aggressive, but not over the top. More like a SD Pearly Gates.
A set of Pearly Gates from the SD custom shop would be a really sweet sound, similar in vibe to Custom Buckers.
I also have a 58 historic with a Seymour Duncan Whole Lotta Humbucker in the bridge. Very nice. I replaced the original CB in that position because that particular guitar screamed out for a hotter pickup. The WLH in there is still not crazy hot, but it is more aggressive than a CB, for sure. It will kick in quickly feeding a tube amp. Still sweet, and not harsh.