I love this guitar and the charcoal quilt! You wouldn't expect from the photos, but there are brown streaks from the wood grain that show up at various spots throughout the guitar. Everytime I look at it, I see something new. It almost looks 3D.
The best way I can describe the 57/08's are that they are warm, fat, but not muddy at all. Harmonic overtones jump out all over the place with these pickups, they really do have a great, complex tone. They clean up nice, and respond drastically do tone/volume adjustments. They could be a little hotter for my taste though, pinch harmonics take a little more work and they don't jump off the strings like they do with hotter pickups (I'm used to Dragon I's that are in my CE24 I'm trying to sell). I'd LOVE to give the 59/09's a shot, but I we'll see if they're hot enough. I currently have some Tremonti's that I want to drop in because I like hotter pickups, but now that I've heard the 57/08's first hand, I'm not sure I'm going to like the Tremonti's because I expect to lose those overtones. If I lose the overtones with the Tremonti's, I might sell everything and buy 59/09's.
The only bad thing is that it arrived with a small scuff on the front of the headstock... my fingernail doesn't catch it - so it might buff out. Do you guys have any suggestions??? See the last photo.