I am inherently a cynic when it comes to most of the snake oil stuff about guitar tone, but while I'll begrudingly accept that the piece of mahogany used in a $300 guitar is perhaps not as tone worthy as one found in a $3000 guitar, I don't get the whole thing about cheaper pickups being less tone worthy than the big brands.
When it comes to something as primiative as wrapped wires and magnets, surely a Chinese factory can bust out a million clones of Duncan JBs and call it a day? Surely a Jackson own-brand pickup sounds just as great as anything Bare Knuckles or Dimarzio sells?
And what about Duncan Designed? If you read the Seymour Duncan web page about them it makes them sound like there is zero difference from the true SDs aside from the country of origin.
Am I being a sucker to pay more for brand name pickups?