Just something I realized yesterday. Picked up my ESP M-II and played it. Happy with the sound, happy with the feel, the playability, weight, neck profile etc. Got the thing used, only things I did was to toss the EMGs out it came with, put a set of Duncan Full Shreds in and block the Floyd. I have spent so much money on upgrading guitars over the years, sometimes trying to fix issues that would get a bit better but not go away in the end. Apart from the knowledge I earned in regards to setup and electronics I feel like it was a waste of time and money in a lot of cases. These days I am yearning for instruments I can pick up from the get go and that are already ticking the crucial boxes for me. Playability, tuning stability, core sound, feel, weight and looks as well. If I have to change out actives for passives that's no big deal, I have realized that if the guitar sounds good with a set of EMGs it will sound good with a set of passives of my choice as well. But man... trying to turn a guitar into one it could be... life is too short for that in most cases. I still dream about that Maybach DC JR. I played a month ago at my local music store. Plank of mahogany with a single P90, light as a feather, refused to go out of tune and felt amazing. 1700 Euros... if I count the money I spent on upgrading other guitars I could afford 2 of those. My point: finding a truly great guitar that just "has it" takes time. But when you do it'll end up being cheaper and less time consuming than trying to turn a so so instrument into something you think it could be. Just my 2 cents. Cheers!