Originally Posted by Pablo Jones
I own a Lefty Jem Jr 555. So do 299 others.
I have been gathering info on these for the last 2 years, and let me say it's not easy to find! PLEASE correct any miss-info, and please add to this list.
* Ibanez only made 300 of these. I have number 112 (check last 3 digits on serial number)
* It was a spot production in mid-late 1996
* Original retail in Australia was $2195!
* 7 of them are in Australia
* 5 in New Zealand
* 7 in Netherlands ( Thanks Patricia for that info!)
* REAL Evolution pickups, these are HOT HOT HOT!
* All lefties have pearloid pickguards and ALL are white!
* The first righties had ugly off white plain pickguards, I think the black ones had plain black too
* Yes, made in Korea.
* IBANEZ have said they will NEVER make a signature lefy again unless the endorsee is a lefty ( So lets get BUSY fellow lefties!)
A lot of people ignorantly slag these guitars off for similar reasons-
1. Made in Korea. It is very ARROGANT point to base criticism.
2. The vine inlays end at 12th fret. Even VAI himself has a few of these.
NOT ALL OF STEVE'S GUITARS HAVE INLAYS ALL THE WAY UP THE NECK!!!!
3. The righties were made for a LONG LONG LONG time, and MANY crap/ugly ones to begin with, so they didn't make a great impact to begin with.
4. The tremolo system is inferior to the EDGE system. I agree on this.
I saw one Lefty sell in the USA for $700, but then again one in Australia could fetch over $2,000.
The IBANEZ rep I spoke to said "Don't ever sell, hang on to it. If you don't play it, stick it under your bed as it will only increase in value".
I hope this is useful to some of my fellow Left handers.
I don't know who you got most of your info from, but don't listen to them anymore. They're rare, but there are more than 300 of them I'd almost bet money on, I've seen them brand new in store for no more money than a right handed 555. The last 3 digits in the serial number do not number the guitar, you don't have number 112, you don't have number anything, you have a lefty 555, that is all. The only "numbered" guitars they made are actually numbered, such as the DNA, they are stamped #???/300. The PMC's and stuff which were limited numbers weren't actually numbered, there are just very few of them. Don't know about the "spot production" as I've seen them in stores many more years than just one year. I believe they're in more than just the one catalogue as well, but I could be wrong on that. The Jemsite spec sheets say the lefty was from 97 to 2000. All 555's have REAL evolution pickups. As for Vai playing 555's, he's used the necks on a couple guitars, but I don't think he's ever actually played a production 555 on stage or in recordings, either way, who cares.
The lefties are more rare than the standard 555, but nothing as rare as you say about them, sorry, I suppose I could be wrong, but I don't think I am.
As for the prices, good luck getting $2000 USD for a 555 lefty in Australia, maybe $2000AUS but I would have a hard time believing that too. That would make it about $1500 USD, way over what they're worth.