I feel like I have been in a deep sleep and suddenly woke:
Glancing through the 2017 catalogue I notice the Japan JEM's had EDGE trems on, since when? Vai uses the LoPro Edge because he dislikes having the fine tuners close to his palm. So why has Ibanez adopted the "cheaper" trem? Looking back through the catalogue except a brief affair with the EdgePro Vai's JEMs both production an live have the LoPro Edge....
Only Satriani likes the original Edge and has consistently used that for decades. So it seems yet again Ibanez are moving the JEM flagship further away from what Vai actually uses. So his once true claim he could walk into any music shop take a JEM off the wall and gig with it is no longer true.
First we lost the ebony fingerboard, now the trem, then there was the vastly over priced farce that was the "bad horsie" JEM - a slightly modified 7DBK with a different top and paint which I cynically predicted would become the least collectible JEM...and now we have the "Premium" JEMs with only the 70V not having the Edge Zero II trem!!!
What is going on with Ibanez? There filling the fingerboards with weird woods like panga panga, cheap rosewood copies like baked maple, while Jackson/ESP/Schecter are producing JEM/RG550 (or should I say 655?) style guitars for less money with commonly ebony fingerboards proper floyd rose trems and even sustainers, yet Ibanez seems to be going backwards even the RG550 reissues don't have any real draw as better sounding old Rg550s can be bought for much less!
Even the signature artists number is shrinking and slowly more "less famous" people are getting "signature" guitars that are basically slightly modified S series and RG guitars.
Is this the end of the innovative Ibanez JEM/signature ranges? Even Kikos signature lost its scalloped frets..!
Ibanez HAD always been the only guitar company to sell a unique item from the artists design it was left too Jackson/Fender/Gibson et al to take a standard model change the pickups put the artists signature on the headstock and charge 3 times the price, maybe I should just go back to sleep and hope it is all just a bad dream...
Ibanez doesn't care, as any company, their main goal is to make money and they do this by building up the hype around these artists, overprice the items, use cheaper parts over the years to increase profits while the fanboys will eat it all up and they know they can get away with it. People DREAMMMMM of having these jems, if they only knew
Most fanboys have no clue of even what the jems steve vai use are really made of lol they probably think buying a $2500 jem will get them steves evo or flo lol
Of course, they came out with the evo replica for 10k? What idiot would pay 10k for that
If you buy a jem at $2500, you already know you're getting ripped off and mostly paying for the name, just like buying an Apple product, if you're ok with that, then go ahead, buy one, modify it, etc, that's why so many love these jem jrs and why ibanez produced them, even though they are RG450s in disguise and they modify them, basically spending hundreds only to still be inferior to a RG550-650 in the end
Ibanez is in it for the money. These jem jrs sell like candy because of all the fans who can't afford a real jem, they want so badly to be a copycat of Steve? I'd rather have the rg450 than a cheap copycat jem.
The real price without the Vai royalty tax for japanese jem is actually $1500
The real price for a jem premium is $800-900
I personally not such a fanboy to know I'm getting screwed in the ass and brag about it or even enjoy it lol
Of course, steve is a salesman after all, he will tell you what you want to hear, if you believed the "i can go to any store and gig with a jem off the wall" lol thats what he wants you to believe, you won't get what steve gets
an example of this is woody jem, in the making of woody they make you believe you will get that woody, when in reality, what you get is a cheap indonesian premium copy
I've watched a video where he talks about the green sea jem, made in indonesia, he claims he doesn't detect any difference lol of course not, his green sea jem is hand made in japan to his specs, the one you get is made in indonesia just as crappy as the woody jem
Bottom line is you won't get what steve gets and if you want, you will have to modify hard and seek out parts that may not be easily accessible to you as it is for steve, in the end, you still got screwed in the ass, you overpaid $2500 for a japense jem that was nowhere near what steve uses, then you spend hundreds if not thousands to add modifications, sustainer, and other stuff steve added to his jems, in the end you looking at several thousands and all because you wanted to copy someone else
Is it worth it in the end? you decide