The Gibson vs Epiphone argument has been hashed and rehashed on this forum until many of us are impatient with it. But it is a valid discussion, and if we all remain civil, we can exchange ideas on this ever-relevant subject and not devolve into warring factions. New guys often come aboard here with prejudices that they've picked up on other fora perhaps. I'll answer the OP's very reasonable question with mine own humble opinion: First install new strings... old dead strings sound muddy and won't stay in tune. That may just solve your problem easy enough. Then experiment with pickup height. That too may surprise you pleasantly. Lower them a half turn at a time, or lower the neck p'up's bass side a half turn more. Then listen. Next install the best electronics harness you can afford... IMHO these parts are Epiphone's weakest link. I own two fine Epiphone guitars, and I like them a lot. Mine have been extensively modded, set up perfectly and they can take their places beside guitars costing eight to ten times as much, and not give up a thing. Epiphone pickups are serviceable as issued. Only when a guy begins to really develop a style might they come up short. I keep waiting for the day when Gibson admits that they make ALL their pickups in China now, which may unplug some of the snobbery. This is not true to my knowledge, but I'm cynical enough about what some guys assume is gospel, that I imagine the worst. *shrugs I believe that with good electronics (and a set of new strings), you might decide you like your stock p'ups well enough... if not, I recommend Golden Age hum bucker for the neck and Golden Age overwound hum bucker in the bridge. https://www.stewmac.com/Pickups_and_Electronics/Pickups/Electric_Guitar_Pickups/ These are not as prestigious as Seymour Duncans or Gibson '57s or Lindy Fralins or many of the other brands people recommend. But they sound great to my ear, and are reasonably priced, which goes with the Epiphone motif. I have the Golden Age overwound p'up in the bridge position of the white Epi Wilshire above, and really like the tone. Resistance is about 12 Ohms... lots of presence, no ice pick. IMHO a well setup Epi is a very serviceable instrument. I love my Gibsons too, for their elegance and grace, and for the brute snarl they can produce when provoked. Epiphones can wade fearlessly out into the swamp and get dirty, and Epiphones rock where Gibsons fear to tread.