I still don't use guitar tone knobs but you can fix the mud problem by changing the tone cap. Typical we see .047, .033 or .022uf, but if I actually install a tone control I use a .01 or even a .001uf. While those stock cap values do produce mud tones, the .001uf does not make mud even with the pot rolled all the way off, and the .01 barely gets to mud, while both of those very small value caps only pass frequencies much higher than the highest note on the guitar so you only really lose very high frequencies because the cap only passes to ground frequencies up in the dog ears range. My feeling is that I get much better tone with the right toned pickup than I get using a pickup that I don't like with the guitar tone control full up. I get that some players base their playing style on setting the amp too loud and too bright, then using the guitars knobs to reign in the amp so they have extra treble and volume right on the guitar. But I so often read that players can't use the bridge pickup on a Strat or Tele without rolling back the guitars tone control. That is IMO a different situation! You do not need to keep using a bridge pickup that you don't like the basic tone of! Each player has different ears, styles and habits. There are pickups to suit every player, and you needn't use a bridge pickup that hurts your ear wide open! I actually get my final eq partly by speaker selection, or by matching speaker to amp so that any amp I use gets a good bridge pickup tone without having to shunt unwanted highs to ground at the guitar. That way I can use my whole pickup output, and get either brighter or darker tones with my picking and muting. I do often wonder when players buy basic classic gear combos and report that the bridge pickup has ice pick tone, when we know that other players using the same gear manage to get tone that is not ice pick shrill. Our hands are our best tone control, but it takes some time to develop those tone control skills!