Re: I tried a jem jr at guitar center
Even Steve Vai has 4 Jem Jr’s in his personal collection. One old black one and 3 of the newer white ones. I assume all heavily modded, but still.
Most guitars are fine if you have setup skills, I think the issue is that the target audience for a Jem Jr is really the younger more inexperienced player that doesn't have the skills to do a setup, and of course you could pay for a setup and to have the frets worked on if needed but you're looking at close to 1/4 the price of what the guitar costs for that work. The Jem JR's I tried and inspected at stores looked and felt pretty bad to me, and while I'm sure a few tweaks would have them playing really nice I'd soon want to replace that bridge for something with more stability, I think if I was spending on a guitar in that price bracket a Jem Jr would not be a consideration.
That said I think Steve's are probably stock and they never leave the stand, he has a million guitars so I very much doubt he's going to pick one up and play it, he has one like he has one of probably every Jem that was ever released.