So back in 1990 when I was around 16 years old, I set out to buy my first "real" guitar and took my mother's boyfriend with me to the guitar store in town. He was a cool dude who played guitar in a band who showed me a lot of things about playing. Totally different styles though, he was a huge Beatles/Clapton fan, and I was of course a big Vai/Satriani kid. When we get to the store, I see this brand new 1990 Jem777 DY for 750.00! But... my mother's boyfriend convinced me to buy a Fender Deluxe Strat instead at around the same price. The Strat was of course a nice guitar, but a year later I sold it to buy a JS1...
Anyway, I have had that thought burning in my brain for the past 30 years or so regretting that I never got that JEM. I've been in Japan for a long time now, and I have several late 80's RG550's that I have gotten for great prices off of yahoo auctions. Had a long summer vacation off of work so I decided to take a white 1990 RG550 and turn in into... that beautiful desert yellow Jem I should have bought.
I ordered PAF PRO pickups for the bridge and neck, and got an HS-2 (from what I have researched, very close to a JEM single coil), and bought the acrylic pyramid inlays from a guy in Japan ( who lives in the same town as the Fujigen factory so maybe he has some connection... probably not, but nice to think about
I took out the original fret dots and did my best to route out the original fretboard and install them. Not perfect by any means (it was really difficult to get the 12th and 24th fret holes to fill in well enough and get it to be unnoticeable) but overall pretty pleased with how it came out. I also carved out the lion's claw, re-positioned output jack, and monkey grip as best I could.
For the paint, by some strange coincidence, the home center near my house had just 3 day glow paints, yellow, pink, and green, and the colors looked VERY close to the originals! I got all three and used them to try and color everything correctly as close as I could.
One thing I left out though in terms of accuracy is the volume knob, which I moved because I hate that it is so close to my picking hand that it gets bumped around. The Ibanez logo was done with a water-slide decal, and I made it a bit larger than usual which I like. A few photos I have seen of older 777's have a larger logo than others, which is kind of strange but in that sense it doesn't look too off putting.
Anywho, for my first try I can't complain about much. I am going to try and do a floral Jem next with one of my 80's RG570's and hopefully it will come out better as I get more practice with all this. Maybe even a lochness green 777 after that... I think an appropriate name for these is an "RGem" ???