JEM 555 (is great)
Just thought I'd throw in my $.02 Canadian (about $.01 US) If the 555 works for you and you like it great!!!
As for the trem systems,
I haven't had a TRS for years so I can't do a true test for you guys but, All the the TRS trems I've seen are chrome plated with what appears to be a true chrome plating. *Now to be fair, I've never see a LPE in Chrome, just cosmo black, black, and gold. *It seems to me that the chrome on the TRS is quite thick (I had one that peeled). *Chrome is a chromium nickel alloy and by nature is incredibly hard. *Much more so than the alodining done to the LPE's or the electroplating done on the VWH trems. *If you were to Rockwell test both a TRS and a LPE plated with the same alloy, I think you would find pretty similar results, probably about a 66RC hardness. *The LPE's that are Alodined are probably only about a 35RC (bigger the number the harder the material) *In fact, if you took both of the trems unplated, you might find that the LPE is actually harder than the TRS as it is a cast piece were the TRS is pressed. *The bottom line is that if the entire TRS trem was as hard as the chrome plating on it, you would probably crack the saddle blocks when you tightened up the retaining bolt.
Kevan, as far as your comment about the harder material being stronger, not really. *A harder material is often no where near as tough as the softer material. *As metals get harder they become much more brittle. *Hardness adds wear resistance to metals. *This is partly why bumpers and such are plated chrome. *It is very hard and will not dent as easily as unplated metal. *It will fracture if hit to hard and a proper bond is not made with the material.
Anyway, that's kind of neither here nor there in this post, just though you might like to know about it. *What qualifies me to say this, I'm a tool and die maker/machinist by trade and I deal with hardness and plating everyday.
One thing I will say about the TRS, when I did have one I disliked it. *It never seemed to centre quite right. *I have a friend who has a TRS in a JS100 that doesn't centre as well as he'd like either. *Here was my fix to it, very easy to do if you've got a $55000 die sinker edm machine (electo discharge machine) *I made up a "Knife edge" for the TRS out of inconel (very high nickel alloy used in turbines) to put in place of the edges on the TRS. *Then I made up a dummy electrode that was exactly the same dimensions as the knife edges I built
-.0025" out of copper to be used as the electrode on the edm. *After setting up the TRS vertically in the edm the copper electrode is plunged into the piece. *(an electric field similar to a plasma cutter, slowly erodes the material around the electrode to extreme accuracy)
to an accurate depth.
Once the 2 slots were done I pressed the new knife edges in place. *
With this mod to the tail piece and a new set of posts in the guitar his TRS now feels very much like a LPE.
The downside to this modification. *It shows you all just how bored I can get sometimes as it required about 8 hours of edm work never mind set up and finishing. *So that would put the cost of the mod right around $500 Canadian based on shop time (glad I work there and can use the equipment whenever I want)
I think next time I'll just tell him to buy a LPE. *LOL
Well enough of blah blah blah.
Enjoy your 555, I think they are an alright guitar though a little spendy for a Korean axe but that's just my opinion.