Japanese vs Korean - I can't see it, feel it or hear it - Jemsite
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post #1 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-15-2001, 08:53 PM Thread Starter
 
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Japanese vs Korean - I can't see it, feel it or hear it

Other than the Lo TRS II in ym JEM555 (which I will soon be replacing with an Edge or Lo Pro .. just can't decide which) I can't find the korean "poor quality". The route around the trem is good and everything works great. I bought this guitar and i'm not planning to get rid of it. Instead of just settling on this lower priced JEM I set a project for myself.
Find everything "korean" about this guitar and make it as Japanese as possible.

Ideally, when the project is complete, the ONLY difference between my 555 modified and say... a 7V will be the body wood (basswood vs alder = preferencial) the fingerbaord (rosewood vs ebony = also preferencial) and the 3rd to 12th fret vine inlay. (ok the color too but whoop - dee sh!t)

Other the trem, what else will I have to work on???
Thanks all! (couldn't find this post in the archived topics so I thought what the hey!)
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post #2 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-16-2001, 03:38 AM
 
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Japanese vs Korean

Pretty much nothing.

The quality issue is one that has to do with the guitars that are actually released from the factory. The quality varies more in the Ibanez guitar's released from the Korean factory. In Japan the quality appears to be more consistent. Sure they have glitches and let out a couple of duds once in awhile but not as many as the Korean factory.

If you're happy with your Jem, then love it to death. Don't torture yourself by nitpicking because others look down on that guitar.

On thing you could do though is get rid of that damn "Jr." logo on the head!! :shoot: "jem jr." logo.

wil..
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post #3 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-16-2001, 07:31 PM
 
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Japanese vs Korean

In my opinion...there is a greater difference beyond the trem, shortened vine, and Jem Jr. logo...and that's in the feel. *There really is an overall difference in the quality craftsmanship between a Japanese Jem, and a Korean Jem. * That perfectly comfortable, overall perfection, and just solid feel that you get from a Japanese Jem...you don't get from the Korean one. *I will caveat my reply here though...by saying *- that I actually own both the black, and white versions of the 555.....and four other Japanese Jems....and I still play the 555's from time to time....my white 555 is my main drop D guitar. *But beyond this vague explanation of feel...let me go a bit further. *My black 555 has a problem...the nut is not PERFECTLY centered on the top of the neck...it's shifted towards the top...and it's really easy when playing your 6th string...to have it just slip right off the neck. *I thought I could compensate for that with my playing...and can....and thought I would get use to it....but I never did...and decided it was too much of a hassel....and thus, my black 555 has sat in it's case for at least 4 years now! *Another thing....the quality of the wiring...is not the same...AND, a big thing you will find if this has not already been corrected...is the 1/4" female jack in the guitar. *The Korean ones suck...they are actually too big...and when you are plugged in...you will hear these funny popping noises...well...that's from the sound of your 1/4" chord jack banging around inside the 1/4" female jack in the guitar. *See...here's a real difference in quality...you say...well...crap it's just a $2 jack...big deal...change it...and that's what I did IMMEDIATELY....I wrote Ibanez and they sent me two Japanese jacks pronto...they were very nice about it...and I swapped out the jacks...problem solved. *But you see...as far as quality goes...you shouldn't have a screw ball jack in your brand new...(not totally cheap)...guitar. * Overall...there are many little differences across the board...between the quality of a 555 and a Japanese Jem. *Maybe you got lucky and got a particularly decent 555....but regardless...I would still argue that they just don't EVEN feel the same.
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post #4 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-16-2001, 07:47 PM
 
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Japanese vs Korean

Oh...one other thing. *Why do I have TWO 555's....well...you see I love my 777's etc. and love Ibanez...and in 1995 when I looked in the new catalog and saw that they were making a slightly scaled down version of the 777's....called the 555....and I called my buddy at Sam Ash...he offered me a killer deal on buying them both...the black and the white one...so I said sure...and got two 555's for the price of one 777...I thought super!!! *So the guitars show up....and I opened one up....looked at it in the case...and said, "Wow...looks cool," then I picked it up...and started to play it...and in literally TWO SECONDS....I went....."huh, uhhhh......what.....what's wrong hear"....and I stopped....turned it over...and went, "MADE IN KOREA!!!!!" *It took me literally two seconds...maybe even just one second of holding one...to go..."Whoa...what's wrong here...this doesn't feel right!" *Anyhow....I had no idea they were made in Korea...I would have never bought them had I known that...but have made the best of it ever since. *Oh...and mine are so old....the original models didn't say Jem Jr.
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post #5 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 01:04 AM Thread Starter
 
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Japanese vs Korean

Thanks for the replies. I noticed the jack problem a while back to. I'm replacing it.

Is there ANY wiring difference that would affect sound?

The vine and "jr" make NO difference to the feel whatsoever.

The "jr" was added to 555's after 1997 and I do believe the quailty of them is a little better. I'm getting the Edge or Lo Pro Edge in it soon still.

I have definately not have had the same problems as maxax. It seems very reliable. Just gotta flush out the jack and the trem.

Other than the jack and the trem?



SAY: I have a Jem555 with Lo Pro Edge (or Edge) and the corrected jack. What else is different?
Thanks all.
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post #6 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 05:45 PM
 
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Japanese vs Korean

It's all in the hands of the player..if it feels good to you then don't let anyone's bad experiences sway you.

I personally don't think the construction methods vary that much.
For instance, strip a DBK and a 555 of pup's, neck and trem then examine the quality of routing (which is done by machine in both factory's anyway) and you see pretty much no difference in quality, this is also something that vary's from guitar to guitar.

Component's and wood are pretty much the same (bar VWH and pot's etc...)

It's all up to the individual in the end if you ask me.
Ibanez surely don't make less accurate programs/templates for the routers in Korea than they do in Japan, the only difference is a personal pride in your work, a short vine (which begs the question why??...why stop it short??) and a TRS trem.

Going back to the first line of the last paragraph "may" shed some light.
I don't know, but maybe the Japanese luthiers are payed more than their Korean counterparts (this is probably obvious due to the different economies) but, and this is just me, if I lived in Korea and was payed a wage by Ibanez I'd wan't to put my heart and soul into every guitar I made because that is my passion, and if Ibanez are not employing people like this then that is their fault and not Korea's.

my 0.2p

Steve

P.S. This whole subject is a question that has long been debated here and I'm sure will continue with no conclusive answer, so if it's good for you, then that's all that counts!


(Edited by ripl3y at 5:47 pm on Aug. 17, 2001)
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post #7 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 06:49 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ripl3y, thanks for the realistoc opinion. I'm now thinking that the ultra crap 555's were the ones before 1997. (no jem jr on headstock.) The ones made after 1997 have the Jem Jr. inscribed on the headstock and I do believe these same ones were constructed better. All the things i've heard about the construction and routing are not present on my guitar (except for the oversized jack which i'll replace very soon... BIG DEAL!) ... Also I do agree... the TRS series trems are inferior to the Edge series. Gonna be replacing that too. I'm now wondering if there's anything with the wiring of the pickups.
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post #8 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 06:52 PM
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Quote:
Quote: from YngVaiTriani on 6:49 pm on Aug. 17, 2001
Ripl3y, thanks for the realistoc opinion. I'm now thinking that the ultra crap 555's were the ones before 1997. (no jem jr on headstock.) The ones made after 1997 have the Jem Jr. inscribed on the headstock and I do believe these same ones were constructed better.
You can believe that, but it is not factual. The Korean axes are made with high variablity and less quality control. The Jem Jr logo has nothing to do with anything, except possibly negative feedback. Noone wants "jr" on a $900 guitar.

Lets not draw conclusions from one or two limited experiences... glen
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post #9 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 07:14 PM
 
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Quote:
Quote: from jemsite on 6:52 pm on Aug. 17, 2001
The Korean axes are made with high variablity and less quality control
True, but I'd put that down to Ibanez's lack of sourcing the best Korean builders as opposed Korean builders as a whole.

It does tend to smack of "Nike Sweatshop" really.
It's not up to Korea to build better, it's up to Ibanez to commision more experienced builders, but they see their Korean models as "intro" guitars so they are forcing themselves to build to a standard that is lower and obviously cheaper than the higher end Japanese guitars, I for one certainly don't question the ability's of the Korean builders, but I do question the "lower standards" of Ibanez, which they so obviously make sure the Korean builders work by.

I'm sure you must agree, Korea may make slightly inferior products, but that is only on the say-so of Ibanez, not their own personal pride in making an instrument.

Steve
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post #10 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-17-2001, 10:16 PM Thread Starter
 
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Ripl3y's smart! I never thought of it that way! I just wish I could blindfold someone that has only played 7's 77's etc... and get them to play a 7V and my 555 with an Edge or Lo Pro Edge trem on it. I would want to see how easy it would be for the to distinguish between the 2. No I won't accept "oh you won't have to test them because 555's suck" .... No one has played my 555 but me and 1 very good guitar buddy of mine.

The inconsistency of quality construction of Koreans raises the topic of "Is my korean of the higher or lower? I've inspected the route and I've looked under everything... everything is definately in order... and it plays, sounds and feels great! The looks are as good as any...

Having said this... I just gotta get me an Edge series trem and the route job...... .... and the new jack. Then we'll see.

Thank you all very much for the much valued info.
-Rich
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post #11 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 07:51 AM
 
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one thing everyone's forgotten to mention is the frets.

555's have jumbo frets. These have a very, very different feel to Dunlop 6105's found on VWH's, DBK's, and DNA's.

Personal taste comes in here though.

wil..

[size=0.2]P.S. Either way, I'll reinstate what I said before. The Korean guitar's have quality control issues. If you buy an Ibanez with Made in Korea on it, you have a greater chance of getting a dud.[/size]

PPS. Quality Control:

I think some of you are missing what I am saying regarding quality control.

Picture this. Several people at the end of the assembly line. They have to check the guitar over and "okay" it. In Korea, these people will allow for discrepencies in the quality of the final guitar that the *ones in the Japanese plant won't allow for. This is why you are more likely to get a guitar with a misaligned nut, trem, or warped neck from Korea.

I'm not talking luthier's here. The majority of the guitars that are built by Ibanez aren't even hand finished.

Guitar's like the DNA are assembled in the custom shop, and Japenese JEM's are hand finished.


(Edited by wilch at 12:08 am on Aug. 20, 2001)
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post #12 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 08:14 AM
 
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"...I could blindfold someone that has only played 7's 77's etc... and get them to play a 7V and my 555 with an Edge or Lo Pro Edge trem on it. I would want to see how easy it would be for the to distinguish between the 2. " --YngVaiTriani



I bet you I could! I bet you the majority of the owner's of VWH's and DBK's could.

There is a big, big, big difference in the feel of Jumbo frets and Dunlop 6105's. I prefer 6105's, but that's just me.

Not only can you feel the difference between the two, but you can visually see it. That's how different they are.

Jumbo's are much fatter and taller. While 6105 are rounder, thinner, and shorter.

big difference there.
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post #13 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 10:41 AM
 
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I've been watching this for a while and I didn't really want to get dragged in (again) to the same old debate, but I just get so sick of the never ending back and forth on this question. The simple truth is that if there's no difference to you between a Jem Jr. and a Jem then there is no difference to you! That does not mean there is no difference. The vast majority of people here do not and would not own a Jem 555 for very valid reasons that have to do with the quality of the guitar and the playing experience itself. You can nit pick argue about individual parts and woods and what have you, but a "Jem" made in the Cort factory in Korea will never be a real Jem to me. My experience with my JS100 showed me that there's more to a guitar than what trem is on it or what pickups it has - I swapped out the TRS II trem for a Lo Pro and I changed out the pickups as well, and the guitar was still crap. Period. No more "Made by Cort" Ibanez guitars for me.
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post #14 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 10:53 AM Thread Starter
 
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True, Jimi and wilch.
The frets... forgot about them. 555 are tall and thick. 7's and tall and thin. I might replace those aswell. I prefer thin but it only makes a difference past the 15th fret. ...... Ok with the frets, trem and new jack then could they tell? Gee... I DUNNO ABOUT THAT ONE!
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post #15 of 31 (permalink) Old 08-19-2001, 11:24 AM
 
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by the time you replaced the frets, changed the jack and the trem you pretty much could buy a 7VWH used, right?
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custom shop , edge trem , edge trems , ibanez guitars , ibanez jem , jumbo frets , korean guitar , monkey grip , pro edge , pro edge trem , sam ash , srv strat , steve vai , warped neck

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