I'm a new member to the jemsite, and also the owner of a 555.
There are so many bad things said about this guitar on this site, but it just comes down to personal preference (and Budget!!)
Obviously the 7VWH is a better guitar?, but not many of us can afford £1600.00.
On that note, personally I wouldn't want to spend that sort of money on a guitar anyway !!
I have been playing for over 20 years, and all my guitars have been cheap and cheerful. I have been playing an ESP M100 for the past 2 years and that cost me £150.00, after a lot of searching around I decided on the 555 as a second guitar for stage use. I'm a big fan of Vai, and think the guitar looks great.
The pick-ups are very versatlie, the neck is very nice to play. The tremelo system gets a lot of bad press, but I've always owned guitars with these units, and if set-up properly never give any trouble. (if you're going to block the tremelo it doesn't really matter anyway).
I've read on this site, people comparing Volkswagons to Ferraris ???, when comparing the 555 to other (real???) Jems !!?
Let me just say this........... Around a racetrack, a Volkswagon in the hands of a racedriver, will beat a ferrari in the hands of a novice.
If you're a great guitarist, then just make the 555 sound great.
If you have loads of money to spend, and can't play that great..... then buy what you like !!!!
I have many guitars in my collection, I love them all, and the JEM 555 is no exception.