For some reason I love it when we banter this way
***why each JEM comes as they do, ramdomly setup and typically lacking the final tweaking and proper setup***
Contrair, they all come from the factory with the exact same setup, it's called 'factory default', which means the action is set to about 3/16" on the low E and 3/32" on the high. The trems are setup in a perfect float angle, the intonation is perfect, it's set by a jig. They do a lousy job of stretching in the strings though. The 'inconsistency' is caused by the fact that some dealers will do a setup, some better than others, and some won't, so the reports of how guitars are recieved by players varries greatly. Of course nobody I know wants to recieve a guitar with factory default action.
***To their credit, Ibanez USA tried to fix this for the DNAs, ***
Hoshino USA did absolutely nothing different with the DNA's except put the most careful and experienced person on the job, same action settings, Chesbro actually set each up with lowered action and stretched strings, they needed little tweaking. But then Rodney's and Arioma's were Chesbro guitars so that says something right there.
***Since final 'setup' (which includes EVERY aspect of guitar playability including fretwork and dressing IMHO)***
This is just a differing opinion. IMO setup has to do with just that, 'setting' the action to the desired point and checking everything over, including for high frets, that would give lousy playability. I don't consider a fret level as setup, that's tech or manufacturing in the sence I'm talking about, the DNA's, as they had a fret level at the factory as part of the 'manufacturing' process. This is exactly what they used to do on all the late 80's early 90's guitars that at some point they quit doing, until the DNA.
***if all the fine tuning is done BEFORE assembly and inspection***
The level on the DNA's was part of the manufacturing process. If the frets are level on the neck when it's off the guitar, they will still be level when it's assembled
Fine tuning is done when all the parts come together.