In a perfect world, I would include the comments in the Guitar Gallery. The entire gallery would load in a few tenths of a second as well. We would have clear video of some of us playing these works of art also. Something to look forward to, but for now I've put the comments for each JEM and Universe guitar on this separate page.
Jemsite has listed commentary for each JEM and Universe guitar. Also featured are second opions from friends of Jemsite. To see how everyone ranks their favorites go to the "Visitor Guitar Ranking" page. If you submit a full suite of collector comments they will be added if suitable.
Last update: 4/24/2000 updated commentary by Jemsite.com
JEM 777 Series
JEM777DY - Desert Sun Yellow
My first JEM. This is the JEM that everyone is familiar with. You know... the bright, bright, bright yellow JEM that looks really bad compared to guitars being played today. OK, I know the guitar is not bad, but did I mention that it is bright. Unfortunately Ibanez had the dimwitted idea to take the desert sun yellow color and make it available on every line of guitars in the late 80's... the RG's, the S-series, Frank Gambale models, basses, etc. I firmly believe that Ibanez hurt the DSY forever by overexposing this bright color... but you'll see how this can have it's benefits. Worse yet for collectability, the DSY had a nine year production run, often where the DSY was the least expensive JEM. One real benefit is that the DSY is now widely available in the used market thru dealers and private buyers. Another significant benefit is that used DSY JEMs sell for cheap. For someone on a limited budget who wants a real JEM (no 555s) you can get a DSY for such a great price that you will overlook it's brightness. The fact that the DSY has a maple fretboard with pyramid inlays... a feature not currently found in any new JEMs, makes owning a DSY more palatable. The bottom line is that this JEM plays as well as it's siblings, has dated looks and makes for a great inexpensive JEM, practice guitar, or even better... a swirl project.
- If this guitar is good enough for C.C. DeVille, then it's good enough for me damn it! - by Larry Larsen
- The one from the beginning. I love this classic bright finish, but it is not a favorite of many. Now that they're gone, finding a brand new one would be wise. - by Dave Weiner
- Yes I know its yellow [referring to having it ranked as #8). But you never forget your first JEM. Still has the maple board and has that "child of the 80's" vibe to it. - by Jono Dale
- I know, I know, they're all over the place, but this is my fourth or fifth favorite in just appearance, tied with the LNG. Yellow's my favorite color :) - by Kyle Clark
- Umm - three words - kill me now. I hate this guitar. The only reason I can stand it cause I had it swirled. I like the maple neck. I can't figure out why they made this ugly bastard so long. - by Worth Davis
- Gotta love the originals... although I rank this #3 of the 3 originals. - by Larry Menshouse
- The ambassador of old school to the new generation of Jems. A great fluoroescent Jem with a lo-pro - by Mike Haug
JEM777LNG - Loch Ness Green
The first JEM, designed after Vai's very personalized "Green Meanie". Honorable mention in the Jemsite Top-5. Click here to read the commentary from the Hits & Miss pages.
- GREEN JEM.. imagine that! [referring to Larry having the LNG ranked as his favorite JEM/UV] - by Larry Larsen
- The one that started it all. What can I say, they're cool, a trend started; they're numbered and signed. Hold on to this one. - by Dave Weiner
- Where would Larry be without it? These are quite cheap in England considering, but finding one? Usually when you've seen the add the guitar was sold years ago. I like them because they have a maple board and they are a cool colour. - by Jono Dale
- Not the best player, but still very very cool due to the signature and the pyramid neck, which I prefer over the vine (I get lost sometimes with the vine). - by Kyle Clark
- Well this is one the best IMHO. I just love that puke green color. I got lucky mine is dead mint and has the handrest - what a deal! Oh yea, and that funky looking chinese manuscript under the signature. - by Worth Davis
- The original Collector's JEM. A must for any JEM collector. That green, killer and annoying. - by Larry Menshouse
- Possible tie for 1st (with 777VBK) - my first impression of Jems. Reminds me of when I first started playing - by Mike Haug
JEM777SK - Shocking Pink
One of the first three JEMs. Included in the Jemsite Worst-5. Click here to read the commentary from the Hits & Miss pages.
- LOVE that pink. God I love it. I just want to chew the paint job right off it. . - by Larry Larsen
- Not a favorite of too many people. I personally like it though, exactly like the LNG and DSY. The color fades dramatically so look for one that is bright. - by Dave Weiner
- Close but no cigar. Why oh why do these have to fade??????????? I grew up with an RG550 (still got it 10 years later and BOY is that fretboard worn) and these original 3 different 777's remind me of home. - by Jono Dale
- Always thought it was SP. Huh. I like it -- the color on a mint one is incredibly vivid, and I dig the neck. Hard to find good specimens, though. - by Kyle Clark
- I almost buy one of these till I see the fade factor and decide against it. They seem to be very cheap on the market tho - maybe a swirl candidate. oh yea they even fade in the case under a bed since it was bought. I agree about the paint makes me hungry too! - by Worth Davis
- I LOVE PINK. I love THIS pink. One of my favourites as this thing just oooozes colour. Watch for the colour oozing off into never-neverland however.... Just look at mine in the JEM777SK gallery for the definition of faded (I bought it that way....) - by Larry Menshouse
- Mine hasn't really faded much, only noticed when rod cover is off a fine and beautifly gaudy representitive of the Genesis of Ibanez Jems - by Mike Haug
JEM777VBK - Vine Black
This is a non extraordinary JEM that lived in the shadows of it's siblings during it's entire five year production. It was never one of the better JEMs available and at it's time of release was even outmatched by the Floral Pattern. It might have been created to attract those who couldn't afford the more expensive 77FP, but wanted a green vine neck and more subtle look. "Boring" comes to mind when I think of this model as I always thought the vine neck required a wilder body scheme to carry it effectively, such as the florals. It does look much cooler in person than in photos where the green plastic vine tends to look cheap with the plain black body & WOW... it does fluoresce well! Notice Ibanez had the smarts to include a hybrid pearloid vine (and pickguard) in the classy 7VWH and went further with the JEM10 by using all abalone to really let that guitar shine. Overall the 7VBK's lengthy production run makes it one of the low tier JEMs in regard to desirability and collectability. For some reason, however, I've seen more LNGs than 7VBKs for sale recently! Like all JEMs, the 7VBK is an exceptional instrument to play so if it's style appeals to you or you find one at a great price it is certainly a worth considering. Mine plays unreal and in fact my bandmate who has mine on loan thinks he is gonna buy it from me... don't think so!
- This thing just looks a little cheap to me. - by Larry Larsen
- This one is nice. A little boring. A nice match for the Black/Green UV7BK. - by Dave Weiner
- This is the rhythm players JEM when the lead guitarist has a GMC. - by Jono Dale
- Well no one else seems to, but I like this one. Back In Black, you know! The green vine makes a nice contrast, like the GMC - by Kyle Clark
- Actually I dig this guitar. More of a player than a collector. Don't have to worry about scratches and rubbing signatures off. I wish it had the GMC 2 tone pickups tho. - by Worth Davis
- Another half baked JEM. Vine neck is killer, but the guitar is just too plain. - by Larry Menshouse
- Issued when I was a budding player, long deired and my companion - by Mike Haug
JEM777VDY - Vine Desert Sun Yellow
You just knew it was coming... Ibanez couldn't resist using the bright yellow paint on yet another guitar it built in the late 80's. Did they have a glut of this paint or something? Unfortunately, this combination of rosewood (dark) neck and yellow vine inlays was enough to nearly turn your stomach. Of course, this was always one of the inferior JEMs, even when it was new. It would have been difficult or impossible for Ibanez to come up with an uglier scheme for a JEM. Now, before you write nasty e-mail, I have some good news to report on the VDY that others will be jealous of. The guitar plays excellent, due to it's thin/narrow Wizard neck also found on the 7P. See the 7P review, but in short the awesome Wizard neck makes this guitar very playable, more so than all other older JEMs (except the 7P) if you have small hands. Make no mistake, even though this is one of the last models on the list that I want, it is a real JEM.
I'd like to add a consumer warning here. I've currently seen these for sale by on-line dealers for very high prices, that IMHO are a total rip off. Please don't overpay for one.
- I slammed this guitar for about a year on my web page. Yellow on yellow is outta line in anyone's book. Two great tastes that don't taste great together. I've never seen one for sale either. Hmmm.... - by Larry Larsen
- Like the VBK. I like it, but, where's the green? - by Dave Weiner
- The colour scheme here was just a little TOO garish. It needed the green to tone it down a little and not even the thin neck could save it (until some one had the idea of the swirly refinish). - by Jono Dale
- Not so fast, let me tell you why I want one -- the Wizard neck. It's actually thinner and I think narrower than the JEM neck. And unfinished, it should be incredibly fast. I like yellow, dammit! - by Kyle Clark
- See earlier comment on the other yellow dog except I don't have one swirled. - by Worth Davis
- Never cared for these. The ultra thin neck reduces my desire further. - by Larry Menshouse
- Sometimes I felt the yellow vine on the rosewood reminded me of a dying plant which contradicts the other vivacious models in the line. Other times it looks really wild, very mood dependent - by Mike Haug
JEM777VSK - Vine Shocking Pink
Included in the Jemsite Worst-5. Click here to read the commentary from the Hits & Miss pages.
- I was really surprised to hear about this. An undiscovered treasure. I like the pink, and I think it'd look good with a vine, but I still haven't seen a pic of it. - by Kyle Clark
- Can you say clueless? I wonder how rare this pup is. I might like it if its rare and I could hide it from my friends. - by Worth Davis
- I would love to have one of these due to my pink fetish alone. - by Larry Menshouse
- I just like fluoroescent colors, even if a pink vine is bit awkward looking - by Mike Haug