Re: The Great White Jem Debate of 2019
Hey guys, thanks for the replies and encouragement. I've been busy since I dropped by before.
First I just want to compliment the beautiful instruments that have been posted since my last visit. Later on I do want to come back, and let's break it down by guitar. I'd love to see more 77FPs, they're fantastic! I have tons of pictures I can share.
I've just taken a picture of only the Ibanez JEM/RG guitars that I own. Safe to say I like them a lot. (Note: For anyone here who, say, doesn't like seeing these guitars modified, at least be comforted that I still have all the original pickups and knobs, although some of those Alpha pots have been lost over the years, and I could restore them to stock specs should I ever wish to. It isn't likely, though, because once I decide a guitar is a keeper, it's family. You don't sell family so you don't worry about resale value.)
>> From left to right by order of acquisition, a few words about each (pickups are bridge/middle/neck, and * denotes a humbucker that is wired to a push-pull pot for series/parallel switching):
1988 JEM77FP - (FRED*/JEM Single/Humbucker-From-Hell) The crown jewel of my collection. Played to hell and back, and scarred all over. That's probably the third Edge trem I've put in it over the years. She never failed to make the other guys gasp when they saw her back in the day, because back then we only saw them in magazines. I like this floral pattern the most of the 77FPs, but that's probably because it's the one I ended up with.
1991 RG77DX - (SD JB*/Blue Velvet/SD '59) I bought this guitar as a backup for the JEM because dorm life was very hard on her. This is the guitar that sounds like me, because the electronics in this one are my favorite. The loadout was inspired by the pickups in Robben Ford's signature Fender. It's just great for a huge variety of styles.
1993 USA Custom Exotic Wood FMTB - (SD Custom Custom*/JEM Single/SD '59*) Bought this guitar for a song off a friend who bought her new and kept her in her case. I souped up the electronics and promptly put her back in the case only to come out for special occasions. Not a mark on this guitar, from the time when quilted maple tops were thick.
2013 RG471AH - (Eric Johnson bridge*/True Velvet/Eric Johnson neck*) An impulse buy after my buddy bought one used and brought it over. She plays great but unfortunately her neck has a rattle-y truss rod that can't be fixed, though sometimes you can turn it just right and it will stay for a bit. Someday I will find a neck to put on her. I love the hard-tail bridge and I wish I had more H/S/H RGs with hard-tails. I think she looks great with the Cozmo/chromed look, too. Feels like it weighs ounces, and plays very nicely. Really a shame about that truss rod. Love to be able to zip through tunings.
2013 JEM70VSFG - (Crunch Lab*/JEM Single/Evolution) My second JEM and boy did she come with issues. This was earlier in the Premium run and QC was maybe rougher back then? None of the frets were set on the treble side of the neck, so the high-E string would get stuck on the 24th anytime you picked it hard enough. That was awful. Hoshino USA in Bensalem fixed it for the cost of shipping it up there and turned it around back to me in a week. No issues since. She's brilliant and I love her. With this growing guitar collection I don't play her enough.
Gulp... 2019 JEM7V - (Stock) Um yeah so I am still paying this one off. Halfway there. Not much I can say about this guitar, except any time I want to praise it my buddies will say, "For that price tag, it had BETTER be." I put it in their hands and yeah they feel it, too. Only thing I would change is I wish it had a Lo-Pro trem and an ebony fretboard. That said, this guitar is just immaculate. It it astoundingly solid while also incredibly sensitive. I was afraid Ibanez might discontinue this Japanese-made model so I made it a priority to get one this year. Glad I did. It's simply stunning.
2019 RG1070FMNTL (Stock, but with series/parallel on the ToneZone) Saw this on Sweetwater and had to have it. It's very reminiscent of the 1993 USA Custom, but I'm not afraid to play this one! Had a couple small issues with it: Hated the Alpha pots in this one (scratchy and didn't clean up properly, and didn't roll in smoothly, either) and the noisy trem springs were microphonic in front of a high-gain amp. Fixed the springs with silicone tubing (which ended up in all of my guitars) and replaced the volume with a CTS and the tone with a DiMarzio (Bourns?) pot with a push-pull DPDT on it like the others. Bought replacement caps off eBay. That solved all my problems and this kid is now my favorite daily player. The neck is amazing! But really I have just always wanted a guitar with a ToneZone (my buddy who sold me the USA Custom had a ton of Ibanezes with ToneZones in them, you may have run into him over the years if you hung out in certain places online.) I didn't want to put a ToneZone in any of my other RGs so this was perfect, and wow it's a fun pickup. I prefer it in parallel but when you want to go full gain it's a blast. I'm not loving the Air Norton, though. Looks like it's time to order another Humbucker-From-Hell.
Last edited by Dr. Faustus; 05-20-2019 at 06:17 PM.
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