Re: Difference original and replica?
As a builder, I can tell you that the reason I started doing it was because I wanted options that Ibanez simply didn't offer i.e. Pick up configs, etc.
I can tell you that the quality will most times be better from a custom builder. The tone will be somewhere around 1,837,218 times better than an original because most custom builders would never use Basswood (I know 7VWH is alder, exception to the rule). Basswood sucks! Period. Mass production companies a.k.a. Ibanez use it because it CHEAP, as in ALL MOST FREE! Alder is about the best middle of the road grade. Mohagany, Maple, exotics, are so much better, but they aren't cost effective for big companies, and they are much harder on tools. Again, not cost effective.
Some people have said that customs are more, but like mine for instance start around $850. You can't get a used Jem for that price.
Anyway, that's my 2 cents worth. Good luck and ROCK ON!!!