Guitars are my connection to the musical soul. With them I have traveled through time, discovered new colors, and shared my emotions with a lot of people. I'm not a collector of instruments, instead I prefer to stick with a few that feel really comfortable in my hands.
I still have my first real guitar; The Blue Bomber. I bought the body for $50 and the neck for $70. The body is a strat style without a pick guard and a sunburst finish that I kept that way for a few years before painting it True Blue. I bought new pickups from DiMarzio and eventually screwed them directly into the body. Doing that seemed to intensify the tone and sustain. I put that guitar through pure hell! It had a cheap tremolo system that would drop the low E down about 3 1/2 steps. I routed out the body using a hammer, a screwdriver, and a knife, and installed a Kahler tail piece in it. Gary Kahler designed a great bridge system. I still use his original tail piece in three of my guitars.
The original neck was blond. After more than five years of constant playing the frets were just gone. I purchased the fret wire and refretted the neck by hand. I really suggest you leave refretting up to a pro. One wrong move and you can ruin the neck. I've always been adventurous with my guitars. You see, I can't make music with a museum piece. My guitars take a pounding and I do all of my own work on them. That way when I break something I can fix it. After refretting the neck twice it was retired. These days I replace the necks on my guitars instead. The fourth and current neck is an Ibanez with an ebony fretboard. The Bomber has served me well for over 25 years. She doesn't see as much action as she used to but she has earned her respite.
In the mid 90's Kahler bridges were hard to find. I spotted a used guitar in a music store in Columbia, S.C. that had a Kahler on it. I bought the guitar for spare parts for $170. It's a cream Fender strat with a white pick guard. I brought it home and plugged it in and after 5 minutes I realized there was serious magic in it. I replaced the bridge pickup with a DiMarzio PAF Pro and the two front pickups with Carvin twinblade humbuckers. That's it. It instantly went into the rotation. It now has a Jackson neck on it. The tone has slightly less distortion than the Bomber but is pure gold.
During the years I was playing progressive rock I bought 2 Ibanez RG series guitars. I really have only good things to say about Ibanez. Both have Floyd Rose bridges and DiMarzio pickups. Every guitar I use has the DP-151 PAF Pro in it. There are some really nice newer pickups but if it ain't broke, don't fix it. I guess the guitar I use the most is the Ibanez RG-470. It's white with a pearlescent pick guard. It's a great all around instrument. For Speed my choice is the RG-540. I have the action so low on that guitar i can virtually sneeze and play a scale. All of the guitars have slightly different tonal characteristics so picking a favorite depends on my mood at the time, but they all sound great.
Those are my main guitars. I have a few others that I'll share with you soon.