$600 budget - mint Jem jr 555 or mint s470 + new pickups, or neither?
My goal was: To get a good Ibanez guitar for $600 with a double locking tremolo system, without having to go to ebay. I would go to ebay if I had to, but here is what is available locally.
A used, made in Korea, Jem Jr 555 in mint condition for $600 - or - A used, made in Indonesia s470 in mint condition for $450, with the saved $150, I could update the bridge and neck pickups on it, from infinitys to dimarzios ( a guy is selling 2 dimarzio pickups for $150)....or forget about them both, and look for something else for $600.
The Trs-II bridge on the 555 is kind of disappointing. It doesn't feel solid, although there is nothing physically wrong with it. The bridge I had in my older, late 80's RG550, and RG560 felt a heck of a lot better, but I don't own those any more. The TRS seems like a step down for Ibanez to me. Rather than a move forward ( just my opinion ).
The ZR bridge in the s470 seems fantastic, but the guitar is made in Indonesia, and comes with Infinity pickups. Taking the s470, over the 555 would save me $150, which I could use for pickup upgrades.
My last local option, just for food for thought, is to scrap both Ibanez guitars, and take a mint condition, made in Korea, ESP/LTD EC1000 Deluxe, with active 81/60 EMGs, Sperzel locking tuners, and a tone pros locking bridge, for $500. The ESP/LTD is probably the most bang for the buck, as it still sells for $700 US new, but it does not have double locking tremolo, which I hoped to get. My heart wants to get an Ibanez, with a double locking system, but maybe the 555, or s470 with updated pickups, are just not worth it in this case? What do you think? Or, what would you do? Thanks.