Well, it's a bit guitar geeky so.. My mom gave me the money to buy it when I was in college so it's more sentimental that anything. I bought it in 2004, in some way it's what I learned to play on and I'm so used to where everything is. Now that I've had it completed and it turned mostly like I wanted, I figured that I could share what makes noise in my corner.
It's a Japanese Ibanez RG 470, in Black Pearl. I've had it completely redone, new pickups, new Emerson Pro switching system, new Emerson Pro pots and a new Switchcraft jack. It's now what it should've been when it left the factory in Japan. The craftsmanship is great, not J.Custom great (Ibanez's Japan Custom Shop) but it is very well crafted. But Ibanez is a company that builds a lot of guitars, some are one-off pieces of art and the rest are production line. Production line has to hit a certain price point determined by marketing gurus in any company, and where Ibanez skimped on this guitar was obviously readily available timbers as opposed to exotic timbers, polyurethane finish paint as opposed to the fabled nitrocellulose, and shoddy electronics, the neck is fantastic though, overall it always felt that it could "sing" a lot better.
The time I took to decide on pickups (the golden bits, basically the microphones) was a long one, if one doesn't play in a band to hear a "context" they would rely solely on fancy marketing words. Those words are very repetitive and designed to fit into any description; tight bottom end; loads of low end; focused mids; warm mids; shimmering high end; sparkling highs; great vintage tones for the modern player, whatever that means.. A market based on irrational musicians that will play whatever their favorite guitar player is playing, even if he/she played with a can of dog food. A lot of gear will sell folds and folds higher than their original price because (fill name here please) played it on (fill name here please) album. Well, I don't really subscribe to that as I believe there's two categories of musical instruments, a good one that a good musician can sing with, or a piece of junk that maybe some musician will find a hint of musicality in, which will elevate it instantly to the first category.
I finally settled on a set of Porter Pickups, I was told they make magic, and so we got in touch with Brian Porter, with a set list of songs that I thought had beautiful tones, and Brian came back with a recommendation. After few weeks of waiting, I was disappointed at first because of the new "noise", it wasn't the familiar noise I learned to play with for years. After few weeks, I think magic started to come out, the guitar sings now with honesty, no marketing words bullshit, it just sings.
By the way, the two mini toggle switches were added to open up possibilities of sounds, these added eight extra sounds to the guitar where it originally had only five, they were a great five but now I can have those and many more on top, basically anything from a single coil to all pickups on. The first one near the volume toggle engages the bridge pickup in whatever position the pickup selector is in, the second one splits the humbuckers into single coils. A lot of sounds that I've yet to explore.
The wooden knobs were changed too, they're made of cocobolo wood with brass marker inserts, they just removed all the "metal" from a supposedly metal guitar, what's more "unmetal" than wood?