Surprised the wife when she was coming home with this, she snagged it used after she overheard me talking about wanted to grab it and was planning on having her parents hide it at their place... wound up just giving it to me a couple months early, haha. She also gave me the rest of the gift early, a great t-shirt and a mahogany pick that's got lyrics from our first dance song and our wedding date and initials woodburned into it.
I haven't put this thing down in over a week, playing nothing but Blind Guardian. 2002 MiK ESP LTD M-102. Lower end for sure, but sounds alright and plays pretty damn well. The trem's blocked off (just how I like it) and it must have gotten a recent fret dressing because they're damn near spotless. The whole thing's in great shape, a bit rusty on a couple screws but no dings or scratches.
And a family photo, or at least most of the family:
Got some upgrade plans for it, gonna commit fully to "cheesy 80s shreddy axe" and put an EMG 81/60 set in there, and while I'm at it stick a tremol-no in too. It's already blocked to dive-only and since the last owner (or the shop) stuck five springs in there it's as good as blocked, but I'd rather get something less hacky. Considering upgrading the saddles, but I might pick up gold ones (along with a gold trem arm, nut pads, and tuner keys) just to make it even cheesier.