Re: Buying a JEM???
My favourite JEM other than my own was a 1999 7VWH. I've seen a brand new one recently that wasn't the same! Apart from the Ebony board and the Lo-Pro Edge (probably my favourite bridge) it had some serious weight. It felt like I could throw it across the room and it'd still be in one piece, sound great and most likely be in tune, whereas the new one was just a prestige like any other. The JEM, at some point in the not too distant past, stopped being a flagship guitar and just became another signature model.
If I'm buying a 7VWH, the older the better, condition pending.
Tbh, I'd also restore the hell out of it, I don't mind chips and marks, but I also like everything to work. My 91 FP has the pickups, strap buttons, trem arm and knobs somewhere safe until it becomes 'vintage', for now it's gotta be a serious player, and I like that it looks like it's just come out of the factory. I do however like the wear on the bridge, tuners, nut, neck plate, pickguard and screws, lol.