Originally Posted by jem7vwh
I'd be the last one to dissuade you from buying a JEM but, considering your budget, I think you might want to consider a cheaper model right now.
My advice, find a used RG570 for $200-300 and spend the rest on a great amp. Then, later you can upgrade your guitar without sacraficing tone in the long run.
I'm afraid I'm leaning towards this sort of advice, but I might take a slightly different tack on it.
If you have $1500 for a complete rig, it's a lot different than having $1500 for a guitar. If you don't expect to be able to replace EITHER the guitar or the amp soon, I personally would try to split it about 50/50.or maybe even 40/40/20 with a little bit left over for stuff like a decent tuner, some decent cables, maybe even a pedal or two.
That would allow you to play in a band, not maybe much more than a few party/club gigs, but it'll get you started. As for specific equipment, I'd say try for a roughly 50watt amp a Second hand Boogie Nomad or DC 5 or a used Marshall should be just about within half your budget and should be versatile enough for all your chosen styles. If you want a bit more gain, buy a Boss DS1 or similar from the 20% for miscellaneous stuff.
Guitar wise. *IF* you do want an Ibanez I'd advise looking for a cheap old JEM if you can find/afford one (remember to stay away from the JEM555
that's a site guideline here, they're great guitars, but you can do better for the cash. I'd advise trying to get an RG700 series, or a newer RG500 series and then maybe you could look into some new pickups when you work out how you want to sound, and how your guitar interacts with your amp.
If you have a big enough disposable income to get another $1500 in say 3 months, I say go out and buy the flashiest JEM you can find and play unplugged till late summer. But the time frame as to when you can upgrade your gear is something that you really need to consider, and let us know before we can offer the best advice for you