Edit: SS.org blocked my imgur stuff so I'll upload it later. Hey guys, Since I'm such a self-indulgent know-it-all, I wanted to post a thread upon my return to talk about - strictly in terms of gear - where I was, where I'm at now, and where I want to be in the future. Not because I assume that people care and that they hang off my every word, but just on the off chance that some of you enjoy a story about nothing in particular. Unfortunately, being at work means that I can't post images of everything. Having said that, it would be hard enough trying to find pictures of everything I mention even on my home PC. I won't go back to the year dot and talk about my Ibanez AX30 in 2003, so I'm starting with my last 7-string guitar, which was a Korean B.C. Rich Stealth Marc Rizzo 7. Conceptually a "brutal" guitar with some pretty nice specs for 2010. Ping OFR-7, EMG 707's, ebony fingerboard, neck-thru construction. "Brutal" neck dive and "brutally" bad fretwork (poorly seated; not XJ). The time of my life when I owned this guitar is actually sort of a blur right now. It was 10 years ago. I was 20 and had no job and I loved Morbid Angel's Gateways to Annihilation and Cannibal Corpse's Evisceration Plague. By 2012 I was jamming those albums with that guitar with a local drummer and we sounded pretty good. My rig back then was my Randall RM100 MTS with the Ultra module, my Rivera Knucklehead K412T with British Vintage 30's, and just a Boss NS-2. Well, that amp and cabinet cranked sounded unreal. The guy's whole flat was shaking. Anyway long story short that didn't last. Fast forward to the end of 2012 and I had a friend in my ear telling me to buy an Ibanez RG550. Sold the Stealth and that's what I did. 2007 RG550RFRXX? Great guitar. I put a DiMarzio Super Distortion in the bridge and a PAF Pro in the neck. Strangely enough, the 550 didn't go into B-standard tuning or anything ridiculous like. I just wanted the guitar to be in standard tuning so I could learn a bunch of Paul Gilbert. I was sick of messing around with guitars in low tunings, so I put my first set of Elixirs on it and went to town. The Paul Gilbert stuff got a little boring so I took Judas Priest, Journey, Whitesnake, and Ratt to task for the next few years. Toward the end of my stint as owner of that particular guitar, I had it in C-standard for Arch Enemy & The Black Dahlia Murder, and drop-C# for playing a bit of Trivium's In Waves record (great riffs on that one). By then I was using an Ibanez TS-5 tubescreamer which had been modded by that Bodenhamer bloke. In hindsight, that TS-5 was unbelievable. It really stacks up incredibly to what I have now (will talk about that later). 2014 came and I sold the RG550 while I was at the tail-end of my degree in philosophy. I wanted something brand new and I wanted it to be the nicest guitar I'd ever owned. RG2820 Prestige. Pros: Petrucci-esque specs The best quilt veneer I've seen on a sub-2k guitar Cons: Edge Zero needs to be un-invented. Edge Zero rout means Edge LoPro isn't a shoe-in. The crazy part is, guitars were a LOT cheaper in December 2014. This cost me less than 1600 NZD. If I wanted something similar now from Ikebe-Gakki, they'd want 2800. So I made some pretty good strides while playing this guitar. Played a LOT of Dream Theater solos at x0.75 speed 50 times in a row lol. Then I discovered Toto. Man. I am SO thankful I discovered Toto. Some dude on my Facebook shared their performance of Africa from the Falling In Between Live DVD and oh man.... "THESE GUYS ARE GODS". Simon Philipps' percussion and Lee Sklar's (admittedly not a member of the band) bass playing are just incredible. If you guys haven't seen that DVD, watch it now. It was taken off YouTube but I think it's back up now either wholly or in split form. So anyway I bought an ESP Horizon FR BK. And I had to sell EVERYTHING except the RM100 in the process. I miss that Rivera Cabinet - God it was good. Didn't know just what I had until it was gone (I Mean, I did...but not you know...hindsight etc.). The guy who bought it said he only bought it to rip the British-made Celestions out. IDIOT - get off my planet. Anyway I replaced the hardware on it (Gotoh locking tuners & a black OFR, knobs, etc) and it received a fret level etc. Anyway long story short I bought a Fender Mustang III 100w 1x12" combo amp for 300 bucks to play my Horizon that I spent 2k on through. It's funny when you put it that way, but those Mustang III's are insane amps for the price. I dialled in the cheesiest, wettest, delay, reverb and chorus laden tone and spent three years playing 80's Toto, the Top Gun Theme song, 80's Stevie Nicks, Ratt, Winger...you name it. Maybe you thought I was going to buy an EBMM Luke I, but not yet... This guitar is amazing. If the pic doesn't work then it's probably because it's IMGUR (please fix this, Alex). I'll post all the pics in this thread later if they don't work. Anyway, I liked this guitar so much that I have a Snow White one on its way to me this week. Since this thread is getting long I'll cut to the chase: I re-commissioned the RM100 after it sat in the spare room for 3 years. I retubed it in 2014 and to this day it still works. When I got my new job one of the first things I bought was an EVH 2x12 in ivory I played that setup dry for quite awhile until I started building my pedalboard around Christmas 2019 Very messy and cobbled together but so far it works. New additions are Keeley Compressor Plus 4 knob and a TC Electronic Sentry (I'd only use it for metal). Sorry if this is in the wrong subforum.