Firstly, the new guitar.
Grabbed a Jackson SLAT3-6. This is actually the first one I've ever seen for sale second hand in the UK, they do not come up often at all. I've always loved Jacksons; the look, the thrash iconography, the feel and tone... owned many over the years but nothing quite like this. Plenty of MIJ but none this high spec.
(excuse smudgy finger marks, played a show with it Friday night and haven't wiped it down yet)
This is the most flawless fretwork I've experienced on a production guitar. It's just silly. The action can go insanely low, and there aren't any chokes even with a 3-semitone bend. I had to ask the previous owner if he'd given it a fret dress, and he said "nope, came like that from new, I couldn't believe it either".
It feels great. Neck profile is similar to my old DK2m, a nice D that fills your hand but still has a very flat and shreddable playing surface.
I'll eventually throw a TB-6/SH-2n combo in, but as of now it even sounds incredible with the EMG's. Thick and full, but zero mud. I received it Thursday, restrung it and gave the neck a minor tweak, and gigged with it the very next night, so it's had a real crash-test right off the bat. The whole night it was solid, sounded huge, and was very responsive and lively.
Next up... the RGT. I've had this idea for a long time to throw on a pickguard and turn it into a 1-hum, and saw a guard on eBay from Perle that caught my eye. It was matte black, which wasn't the original intention, but it's one of those things where you don't think about it until you see it. I figured it'd look cool against the black sparkle of the RGT's finish, and I wasn't wrong...
I also grabbed a Dimarzio D'Activator-X off 7DT, as I've been on a bit of a pickup-binge with this guitar lately. It's my drop-B guitar, so getting the right pickup that blends high output, clarity, but without being sterile was really difficult. It originally had a D'Activator in there, which I found really bland. I changed that out to a SD Full Shred. That was very clear, and a great pickup all round, but lacked output, so I tried an SD Distortion in there. I love that pickup in practically every guitar I've tried it in but it just wasn't working in here, but the D'A-X seems to be the right fit. It is stupidly hot, but that means you can sink it away from the strings and gain awesome clarity, but without neutering the output.