How is a JEM build?

For discussion of Ibanez, other guitars, and general guitar topics.
Jeries
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a new ibanez even an expensive one is ususally unplayable out of the box and requires setting up. i had such difficulty with one i had to have it set up 2-3 times and blocked before it would get in tune.

Gibson is not afraid to toss a guitar out at any stage of its production if its not perfect. Although they charge $3000+ for a guitar that costs a few hundred (no more than $400) to make.

i would say prs is starting to take the route gibson/ibanez is taking gradualy toward lesser quality/ect...

i'd say most guitars suck today- also i'm very hard on my guitars and i'm struggling to find a new guitar/brand/company that suits me.
j.arledge
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I have played, seen, felt and setup enough Gibsons to say they are one of worst companies out there as far as consistency between guitars. Most of the ones I have played have had issues with fret dressing and leveling. They also have a problem with the neck joints bubbling causing the action to have to be raised significantly in order to even be playable.

They are selling a name not a product, much like marshall or cadillac, or Harley Davidson. It is a status symbol to many. You'll say the artists endorsee their products but again the amp they play and the amp they say they play aren't the same. Paul Gilbert can play a vintage modern and get that tone, the vintage modern makes KT66 sound like a solid state. You want paul gilbert or jimi hendrix, or slash get a mesa lone star or Fulton-Webb.

Either way I know others will say different, hey that is my opinion you dont have to like it or agree with it.

Anyways Ibanez is the exact same way they are selling the JEM/Vai name, and that carries a premium
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boswell
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Signature models are always gonna be over priced poo to 99% of the guitar playing population!

I've not seen one yet I would consider buying.
Patill
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j.arledge wrote: They are selling a name not a product, much like marshall or cadillac, or Harley Davidson. It is a status symbol to many. You'll say the artists endorsee their products but again the amp they play and the amp they say they play aren't the same. Paul Gilbert can play a vintage modern and get that tone, the vintage modern makes KT66 sound like a solid state. You want paul gilbert or jimi hendrix, or slash get a mesa lone star or Fulton-Webb.

I have a Vintage Modern and it absolutely rocks. You know this amp will take you several days to get just close to a nice sound. The best Marshall ever made. It sounds a tiny little bit close to my Boogie Mark II C+, but that´s the KT66. I also changed the pre-amp tubes which gave it even more of its beauty.

But you´re right about the Gibson guitars ;). Ibanez doesn´t make that kind of mistakes like raising frets etc, but if the guitar is "un"playable it makes no diffrence^^. I think checking the guitars before they release them would help us a lot. The Gibson ship has sailed years ago :x



@boswell: If you look at the Carvin Legacy (which is no guitar, I know :mrgreen:) you´ll have that 1% that´s left.
ocuj
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Jeries wrote:i'd say most guitars suck today- also i'm very hard on my guitars and i'm struggling to find a new guitar/brand/company that suits me.
A new guitarcompany, at least to the US, is Mayones. I got one last year. This is the first guitar that played and sounded great out of the box. I was really ammazed. My JEM 7 BSB wasn't so sweet on me when I got it in '98. Although I don't want to sound as an advertisement, I advise anyone to check them out. http://www.mayones.com" onclick="window.open(this.href);return false;.
I don't know of any new builders in the US, but I'm sure there are a lot.
Dynna
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There have been a lot of negative adjectives thrown around in this thread without so much as a single thought given to personal preferences. Sure, at some point it easy to tell if a guitar is built well or not, but a 'buzzy' JEM means nothing if you've got some hack bashing away when the person who's name is on the heastock is far from what I would a basher. Seems to me there has to be some parity between players before they can each use the same instrument with reasonable success.

No guitar will suit every player, and this thread occasionally reads like people expect the JEM to be the exception.
Patill
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I´m for sure not talking about personal preferences here. I´m talking about quality issues ;).

But if you talk about that, the JEM is a guitar like a KH-2 from ESP. Most people buy it because of the name of their idol and don´t even know how to handle a floating trem.

I can say that because I was one of those buying the KH-2 back in the days :mrgreen: (though this was the most tuning stable FR I ever had in my hands - 100%), and because you see that over and over and over again if you walk through music stores seeing some guys buying those signature guitars without being able to play a single note with passion. I think that´s a big reason why the JEM is one of the most sold guitars ever. It is as it is with many things. The stuff around the actual meaning of something is by far more important than the thing itself. Means merchandising, a good live performance at a concert etc. is the reason why things/people keep selling over years and years. People need a background when they buy things. The bigger the background, the higher the chance they buy this particular instead of another.

So the reason why people buy that guitar is mainly the name Steve Vai, not the quality of the instrument. Of course, if you´re experienced, you want a boner playing that guitar.
EVO by the way is also a very good one. No buzz, great feel. I don´t think Steve just picked the first one, if it wasn´t great.


So if it comes to personal preference, I can assure you that what I´ve had in my hands had nothing to do with that.
Jeries
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about the ESP Kirk hammett thing above...

I have an esp M-Something- i got it in 1999 when i was 14- i was told it was a defect from the custom shop factory because it had 2 chips in it (both were on the back and shown to me)- it had "USED" stamped on the back of the headstock and was like $400. I was just getting into metallica and my friend worshiped Kirk at the time who was my best guitar buddys so i was happy to get it...

it was like an M body (its basically a USA M-III with a stock LTD neck, with LTD on the 12 fret) seymour duncan pups... great guitar. really thing fast neck (better than a jem) and nothing like what esp makes today- even the M guitars have a much bulkier neck....

anyway about the guitar and tuning stability.

i would tune it ONCE A WEEK
i never had a guitar keep better in tune, be more reliable and sound better- i love that guitar and consider it the greatest guitar in existence.

i still have it- i 'retired it' because i worn down the frets to absolutely nothing and its not playable, so either i fork out $300 for a fretjeb or buy a cheap Ibanez RG...
i went the ibanez route, but the ESP i got is the best in the world.
Patill
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Jeries wrote: i would tune it ONCE A WEEK

haha mine was even better, I´ve had to tune it once a month :mrgreen:. I was getting lessons back then and before every lesson I had of course to tune my guitar. After a couple of times when I got the ESP my teacher just knew and didn´t ask me for it anymore^^.

And that included excessive whammy usage and playing 2 hours a day minimum. I could go up and down and it stayed so perfectly in tune, then I sold it and introduced myself to the usual floyd roses :|.


It´s pretty interesting to know that other ESP users have the same experience. I´ve never played an ESP again.
Jeries
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i probably played the ESP 3-8 hours a day for 5 yrs- until the frets worn down to nothing and is unplayable.

tune it weekly- and go whammy bar crazy.

ive beaten that guitar senselessly too- beer bottles.. tossing it around...

after the guitar was made ESP stoped making esp and only made LTDs for a while (except for artists) and i think went a bad direction with the quality/product
also the neck on mine is unlike any of them today- its so much thinner and comfortable.
the KH's and M-'s are very wide and thick and uncomfortable.

its the best guitar in the world- but to get it up to par i'd need the price of a new nice guitar...

it feels amazing- best guitar on earth
Patill
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hmm, I think I´ll have to go to a store the next days and see what ESP is up to these days :mrgreen:. If I can really find something close to the KH, but with no signature name this time, I´ll get me one.
anuj
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Heh, I only have to tune my Jem when I change strings .. and since I'm lazy/busy and run through too much on my board to be a tone purist, this only happens couple or three times a year ..

(:

~A
Patill
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Changing strings three times a year...what brand is that?

Mine lasted a month maximum until I´ve discovered a way to extend it to maximum three month, but this is maxmaxmax. How long do you play the guitar a day?
Jeries
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i used to break strings daily- and never had a pack last more than a week/month- ever.

for the last few years- i haven't broke one string lately- i don't know whats matured or improved of my playing but i never break strings anymore..
i only change strings because they're old not broken now...
Patill
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a good trick is, if you have several guitars, to renew the strings, tune it up to E# and let it rest for some days. That way the strings will get used to the tension for some time and they will last much longer.
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