Actually considering letting my JEM go
I could really use some input from you guys. It's been troubling me over the last couple of weeks.
I have a 99 JEM7VWH with the ebony board. It was one of those guitars I just had to have, and I got one back in 2005 while I was still a poor college student. I skipped meals, outing with friends and scored a very good deal on it ($1330). It still had shrink wraps on the pick guard! I thought to myself "I'd never sell this". Ironic, considering the title of this thread.
I've begun to think that there just isn't a whole lot of personality in the sound of the JEM. It's a bit hard for me to say this, but these days it just sounds very generic to me. I really started thinking this way when I got my Lonestar Special 1x12 lately. I use to run my jem through a RK modded DS-1 -> Rocktron Chameleon -> return channel on a crappy ibanez bandit 1x12. There was a lot of stuff I could do to shape my sound because of the chameleon. The delay, chorus, and 2 stage EQ on it made it pretty versatile. I still think the Chameleon is the best sounding digital box ever made, but since my switch to a tube amp I'm really going for an all analog setup.
Since my switch to a tube amp though, I took out the chameleon and just run my DS-1 straight into the amp. Suddenly, I found that the raw sound of the JEM to be lackluster. There's nothing particularly wrong with it, but just flat.
To make a comparison here, I also have an 84 Japanese strat, rosewood board, with lace sensor gold PUs. I run it into the same setup, the sound is just has that extra personality to it. Then again, I always loved the strat's twangy sound. It was pretty much what I got out of it when I ran it through the chameleon but better.
Back to the Jem. It looks and plays like a dream. I love the feel of 6105 frets, slightly wider string spacing (compared to an RG550), and just the general feel of moving around the neck. The only other guitar I've played that gave me the buttery feeling was a custom shop strat with a birds eye maple neck.
I just can't seem to bring myself to enjoy the sound of it anymore. Is it the missing pedals I need in between? I have a delay, preamp, compressor units in mind, but is that really going to change anything? Maybe the JEM was suppose to be one of those guitars you need pedals for? What do you guys think?