I'm currently in a Southern-Alternative Rock band that gigs frequently and is recording our first demo. I also dabble in many other styles on my own, including other genres of rock, some metal, and because of the godliness that is Guthrie Govan, I'm beginning to develop interest in a jazz-rock fusion kind of stuff.

I'm looking at two options to improve my overall guitar situation/set up for not only my current band but also just for my own tastes as well. I'm wouldn't say I'm dissatisfied with my current guitars or rig at all, but I'm looking to improve it as well. Here's a brief list of what I'm using:

Agile AL-2900 (Chambered Body LP). Stock
Hamer Standard XT Flametop (Explorer Shape, Alder body) Grover locking tuners installed.

Legend Rock N Roll 50 - (Hybrid. Full tube pre. Very nice, tube-like mofset power section). Ran into a 4X12

I'm currently happy with my pedalboard, so I'll save the time of listing that.

The options I'm looking into are:

a) Buying a new guitar. $300 to ~$550 price range (US). That's also a pretty hard cap on the 550 as well, unless something really impresses me. Looking into guitars in that range, I'd probably end up going with another Agile, most likely one of the PRS-like models which I'd consider waiting for since they only have one out ATM. I've also been looking into a couple different Godin models.

b) Modding the guitars I currently have. The Agile is great. It's been my workhorse for
over 6 years with hundreds of gigs under it's belt. I do realize, however, I could find a nicer set of pickups for it though the stock ones don't sound too bad. The Hamer still has some minor tuning issues even though I installed Grover locking tuners on it. In specific, after strings stay on the guitar for more than three weeks or so, I'll notice slipping in tuning stability. I think the guitar would benefit from a better nut, as I'm starting to believe it could be the culprit. Sound-wise, the Hamer sounds somewhat comparable to a Fat Strat, given the Alder body. I've also considered a pickup swap in it as well, but tuning stability would be my first priority on that guitar.

Some other notes about the above options:
-- For pickup swaps, I've been looking into GFS pickups on recommendations of multiple people who use/have used them. Seem inexpensive and quality.
-- I don't really want a guitar with a Floyd Rose. I've had them in the past, and since I don't use it that often it just becomes more of a hassle than anything because of string changing.
-- I prefer a either a more classy, elegant look out of a guitar or a more classic vibe. Colors aren't really a deterrent, unless it's something fugly.

EDIT: TL;DR: Should I shell out the money for a new guitar, or make mods to my current ones, which I'm pretty happy with, leave for the exceptions of a couple smaller things that could be improved upon?
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Last edited by sjones at Sep 9, 2011,
If you're happy with the sound and playability of your existing guitars, i see no reason to get another guitar. id say fix the tuning instability issue your having and go for a pickup change if you feel its worth the cost, otherwise, if it aint broke, don't fix it.
Unless you're planning on going for a better class of guitar, I wouldn't bother buying another one since the ones you have are likely decent.

GFS pickups are great, but their selection for humbuckers leaves a lot to be desired. Your Hamer may just have a bur or a poorly cut nut. That's an easy fix.