Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

For discussion of Ibanez, other guitars, and general guitar topics.
Message
Author
dc27
Member
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 am

Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#1 Post by dc27 » Fri May 22, 2015 8:14 am

I've been GASsing for a JEM for quite a while, and have the opportunity to buy an 2006 7vwh for just over £1k. Thing is, I've never played a JEM (or indeed any other Ibanez) since I'm a devout Fender guy and play a Jaguar 99% of the time. So I have a few questions.

I made my mind up a while ago I didn't want to go for the premium models, and wanted a 7v.
Is it worth it? Really? Not interested in people's bias or trolling of the JEM, especially if you don't have one. I want honest opinions. Good points, bad points, things to look out for etc. Lets not lie, its a lot of money to spend on a guitar so I'd want to be sure before doing anything - especially since I'm equally considering buying and modifying a Jaguar for a Floyd and different pickup routing.

I'm interested to see what you say about the JEM! :)

Jeries
Member
Member
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:18 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#2 Post by Jeries » Sat May 23, 2015 2:04 am

I have a JEM
and I've owned several JEMs that I've sold (the others I only had a day or two- because I bought one to flip and I bought one with neck issues and sold it quick for what I was in it)

I also had a super expensive Fender Jaguar
62 vintage reissue
and have had numerous MIM/USA Strats/Teles

(The only one i still have is a MIM Strat)

-If you're a Fender/Jag guy- a JEM probably isn't for you

I didn't want the jaguar I had- it was worth $1500+ and someone offered to trade me a $500 amp for it- so I couldn't say no.

I hated the tone- hated the sound
then i played beach boys and nirvana songs and "got it" it was that sound

Jem isn't anything like it

In fact- I feel that JEM's and high end guitars have unique tone on their own
meaning
I'd say most $300-500 Ibanez RG's made in the same place around the same time with the same set up like pickups or bridge- sound pretty much the same.

I think each JEM sounds like their own instruments- in fact- I prefer the cutting-ness of my cheaper RG's than the jem- they are more my sound, something I'm more used to- HOWEVER- I can't resist my awesome ability now to STAY IN TUNE!!! the JEM holds up

Jaguars aren't shredder guitars and crazy whammy bar guitars- most people with jags don't use the whammy bar- and some have weird tremolos- or they change the trems to mustangs blah blah blah

My point is- you're going to go from solid tuning ability to all over the place floyd rose pain-
it's not something you'll be able to do on your own- it will need constant professional set ups/adjusting etc

The sound they create is so different.
A JEM is like a solo/lead thing
Jag more rhythm

but the necks are so so so different

Like- the jems are wider and thinner super thin to the point where I think you'll HATE it

Some jags have a nice soft c shape and are comfy and easy and even the vintage ones aren't baseball bats- they're coazy. I think a JEM neck will change the way you play guitar- you might hate it

Strats/Tele's vary a lot- I"ve found plenty of strat/tele necks i hated

But jaguars all seem to be a little smaller and easy- so it will be different to a jem

if you throw in some super distortions you're not getting warmth or Vai shred out of a jag/fender- you're going to get Kurt Cobain.

If you can get your hands on an Ibanez RG- or an older made in japan ibanez RG- JEM's aren't far off from that shape- just imagine that but a little more refined.

Another example- i hate finishes on necks- so i sand them off- fenders tend to be more glossy esp when it comes to some of the JAPAN jaguars-

Jems are more satiny and you can sand the finish off easy

If you said
"i have an ESP/LTD like a Kirk Hammett"
or "I have an ibanez RG"
I'd say GET A JEM

if you're into fenders and jaguars-
go buy a $2000 master built custom shop fender and you'll get all the benefits of a good instrument and it be your thing.

The 7V is the way to go though
You're smart for overlooking the premiums.

Buy a $1000 used guitar and if you don't like it its worth $1000
if you spend a little less than that on a premium/indonesian you're going to loose some money selling it

also i did see some cool new jem jr's that were super cheap that might be an option- but you'll never be able to probably get the damn thing in tune and you will hate going from fenders to those EDGE tremolos.

dc27
Member
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 am

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#3 Post by dc27 » Sat May 23, 2015 2:49 am

Interesting stuff!

I modified my USA Jaguar for a hot humbucker in the bridge, then fiddled around with the tremolo to get it to dive bomb so the strings are almost like a strat tremolo being fully down. I have to say, the myths about Jaguar's ability to hold tune is complete and utter BS. I could do ANYTHING to mine and it would always zero perfectly. Floyds would understandably be a little trickier - they're not exactly known for stability.

The main reason for wanting a JEM is becaise I need the tremolo ability of a floyd, for all the pulling up and little flutters. Also for the 24 frets. But Im not big on buying signature models either.
Its a shame that the only guitars with those specs are horrible pointy monstrosities for teh metulz \m/
Because of that, I think the JEM would be the only option Id be likely to explore since they dont just scream "look at me I lyk teh metul'.
I grew up playing Jaguars, so the shape and scale always felt like a 'home zone' to me, yet they're the complete opposite of what I need for my style. It does most things very very well, but I need 24 frets and a Floyd.

I've looked at getting one made, but it gets complicated and expensive to combine the best of both models. Also looked at the custom shop, but thats ridiculously expensive and a super long waiting time

dc27
Member
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 am

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#4 Post by dc27 » Sat May 23, 2015 11:23 am

And another point - its established the premiums good, but not great.
But I'm curious about how the other JEMs are rated (7DBKs, FPs etc).

Opinions?

Jeries
Member
Member
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:18 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#5 Post by Jeries » Sat May 23, 2015 8:34 pm

The FP- floral prints are all super cool/amazing/nice I'd love one.

The DKB- I had but sold because the neck wasn't good on it-
the DKB in fact has a much thinner neck than the usual jem's its the only one that goes that far/extreme of all the JEM series
get one if you can- just don't pay near for it what you can get a white 7v for

If you like the idea of 24 frets floyd rose look into a 7 string universe- whatever- it's an option.


I'd try to track down a used Made In Japan late 90s early 2000's Ibanez RG

and then see how that goes

dc27
Member
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 am

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#6 Post by dc27 » Sun May 24, 2015 6:50 am

Interesting about the DBK.. They're always up on ebay, always. I could pick one up from about £700, but it seems like people struggle to sell them for some reason.
Decided I'll probably save a little extra and go for the 7v since it'd be easy to sell without much/any loss if I don't like it!

paulh123
Member
Member
Posts: 192
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2011 12:16 pm
Location: reading,england

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#7 Post by paulh123 » Sun May 24, 2015 7:21 am

i would agree just buy used and sell if you dont like.

ive had 2 jems a `89 floral and a 2008 7vw there both great guitars.
to me neck profile is very important and the older the jem the more i like them.the older ones have a narrower thicker profile whereas the newer jems have really wide thin necks which i hate,the profiles even vary from model to model so you really need to get your hands on one to get a feel for the guitar.

Jeries
Member
Member
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:18 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#8 Post by Jeries » Sun May 24, 2015 12:58 pm

dc27 wrote:Interesting about the DBK.. They're always up on ebay, always. I could pick one up from about £700, but it seems like people struggle to sell them for some reason.
Decided I'll probably save a little extra and go for the 7v since it'd be easy to sell without much/any loss if I don't like it!
that's part of my point
the DBK's have lower resale and can be TOUGH to sell- better spending a little more and having better resale value.

I've seen DBK's sell in Arizona as low as $600
I think i got mine for $700 dollars

dc27
Member
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 am

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#9 Post by dc27 » Sun May 24, 2015 1:16 pm

Jeries wrote:
dc27 wrote:Interesting about the DBK.. They're always up on ebay, always. I could pick one up from about £700, but it seems like people struggle to sell them for some reason.
Decided I'll probably save a little extra and go for the 7v since it'd be easy to sell without much/any loss if I don't like it!
that's part of my point
the DBK's have lower resale and can be TOUGH to sell- better spending a little more and having better resale value.

I've seen DBK's sell in Arizona as low as $600
I think i got mine for $700 dollars
I don't get why they're so difficult to shift. The 7VSBL's too for that matter. It seems like the only one that can actually sell is the 7Vwh.. and I can see why. After all, that's the one everybody wants!

How are the Evolutions by the way? I was considering getting a set and putting them in my Jaguar, but cant decide if I need the middle and neck - Im pretty much sold on the bridge, just deciding which colour to get! I liked the Super Distortions I have in another guitar. Its crazy how much the pickups change the overall feel of the guitar! Later put in a Slash Alnico II.

Curious to see how they interact with a Legacy head too..

dc27
Member
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 am

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#10 Post by dc27 » Mon May 25, 2015 7:55 am

Just seen this whilst scouring Japanese websites..
http://translate.google.co.uk/translate ... rev=search" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;

comes out at around £1400GBP. Seems like a good deal, no?

Jeries
Member
Member
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:18 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#11 Post by Jeries » Tue May 26, 2015 12:31 am

dc27 wrote: How are the Evolutions by the way? I was considering getting a set and putting them in my Jaguar, but cant decide if I need the middle and neck - Im pretty much sold on the bridge, just deciding which colour to get!
I bet $100 it will sound like absolute shit

I know evolution pickups VERY WELL

I know Fenders/Jags well

Every bad high/mid frequency the jags naturally put out more of- will be exagerated by the evolution and it will be the most painful shrill garbage that can come out of a guitar

HOWEVER- I would strongly recommend an EVO2 in the bridge- I bet that would sound great
And team it with one of the Satriani pickups in the neck.

I think the evolution pickup is the best pickup out there
however- in the wrong guitarists hands it can be the worst pickup ever
Also- in the wrong guitars- it doesn't work- and just would magnify certain nuances that would be terrible.

But who cares- no one listens to me anyway- so go for it.

But I think the EVO2 would be a better choice.

And I'm not a Legacy fan- its good on its own, good cleans- but it's not INSTANT VAI

Like a Rectifier or Mark series Mesa Boogie amp IS instant metallica and stuff... if that makes sense.

There's a reason you don't see EVOLUTIONS in every guitar or Fenders/Jags

BUT there are a lot of people that put Super Distortions in them (and sold millions of albums with it)

P/S
when it comes to pickup colors
stick to black or white
don't go crazy- you'll regret it

User avatar
R1FSR
Member
Member
Posts: 1850
Joined: Fri May 14, 2004 3:45 am
Location: north west UK
Contact:

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#12 Post by R1FSR » Tue May 26, 2015 5:11 am

I bet $100 it will sound like absolute shit
BUT in the right hands it will sound far better than most
I know evolution pickups VERY WELL
I personally think they suck

I think the evolution pickup is the best pickup out there
for what ?
And I'm not a Legacy fan- its good on its own, good cleans- but it's not INSTANT VAI
why would you want it to be ?
Like a Rectifier or Mark series Mesa Boogie amp IS instant metallica and stuff... if that makes sense.
no it doesn't and none at all sorry.


I have played through Vais full stage set up (many moons ago) ...guess who I sounded like ?
so all the above comments are totally redundant as they are only his opinions like these are mine ..ideally you need to try out the Jem for yourself ..it might not be for you oh and for the record id swap a 7vwh for a Dbk every day of the week ...value or cost as got nothing to do with it , its what works for you :D

dc27
Member
Member
Posts: 61
Joined: Sat Jan 18, 2014 4:30 am

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#13 Post by dc27 » Tue May 26, 2015 6:55 am

R1FSR wrote:
I have played through Vais full stage set up (many moons ago) ...guess who I sounded like ?
I completely dismiss the whole idea of playing through somebody's rig and not sounding like them. The electric guitar, pedals, amplifiers etc form a closed circuit, so its impossible not to sound like them. The only thing a player can effect is dynamics and where you put your fingers on the instrument. Its not like drums where such a huge change in sound is made from player to player because it is an acoustic instrument.
Play through Vai's rig and you'll have Vai's sound, but you wont sound like Vai :wink:
I'd suggest anybody watch this before saying otherwise: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sJKP_uq6His" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;


The Legacy is definitely not instant Vai, but I totally agree, why would you want it to be? Its a damn good amplifier and has become my go-to. I just wish his name wasn't all over it! I'm not about trying to get his tone by any means, it just happens that a lot of the things he endorses are superb!

I think people forget that Vai's sound is a combination of amplifiers, mics and positions, and studio production. When I first bought my Legacy I was curious how similar it was to his sound, and the truth is it really isn't. For his live sound, its pretty damn close (live meaning as in, you're watching Vai live in the same room - not his 'live' sound on DVD's from mics, reamping and studio overdubbing)
Anyway, I went into the studio and did some recording after looking at some of Vai's production techniques and I managed to get 95% of his sound from a Legacy with a little bit of Marshall in the mix. I did all the same micing techniques (back of the cab, room etc), used all the same mics, and did all the same post production.
Yes the Legacy can sound like Vai, but simply buying one and expecting that tone instantly is completely naïve.



Anyway off that tangent and back to the point..

I never considered the Evo2 or the Breed, just the Evolution and Gravity Storm (from Vai's p/u's anyway - considered a JB and a few others) I'll look into it! Probably going to go ahead with the Evolution anyway and perhaps just sell it if I don't like it.

As for the JEM.. Im curious, why exactly do you prefer the DBK over the 7V?
Trying to track down a store that has one in that I can try out(7v)... proving to be a pain! :lol:

Jeries
Member
Member
Posts: 1550
Joined: Fri Jun 22, 2007 2:18 am
Location: Phoenix, Arizona
Contact:

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#14 Post by Jeries » Wed May 27, 2015 12:09 pm

R1FSR wrote:
I bet $100 it will sound like absolute shit
BUT in the right hands it will sound far better than most

In a fender jaguar- it will sound like shit
I know evolution pickups VERY WELL
I personally think they suck

congrats
I think the evolution pickup is the best pickup out there
for what ?
anything/everything - There isn't a tone I can't copy with an Evolution pickup and an axe fx
And I'm not a Legacy fan- its good on its own, good cleans- but it's not INSTANT VAI
why would you want it to be ?
because people want- when someone's name on something to do what they do with it- a Legacy isn't instant Vai- it's not even close to Vai's sound- once again- he's that good
Like a Rectifier or Mark series Mesa Boogie amp IS instant metallica and stuff... if that makes sense.
no it doesn't and none at all sorry.
Metallica's never used a Road King- and my Road King is instant Metallica- and with any mark series amp you scoop the eq it's metallica- same with a dual recto- it's easy

I have played through Vais full stage set up (many moons ago) ...guess who I sounded like ?
so all the above comments are totally redundant as they are only his opinions like these are mine ..ideally you need to try out the Jem for yourself ..it might not be for you oh and for the record id swap a 7vwh for a Dbk every day of the week ...value or cost as got nothing to do with it , its what works for you :D

addseo1118
Newcomer
Posts: 3
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2015 6:24 pm

Re: Help me decide.. in depth JEM discussion!

#15 Post by addseo1118 » Thu May 28, 2015 10:39 pm

Let's Rockk :guitar :peace

Post Reply