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post #1 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-14-2004, 03:54 AM Thread Starter
 
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Jem 555 questions

Dear Jemsite Members,
I am new to this site and I love all things JEM. Now I have read alot of negetive press about the Jem 555, especially the Lo-TRS tremolo. As I said before I love the Jems, but I am not a lead player and have no desire to be. With my two other Ibanez guitars I have blocked the tremolo, making them, in effect, sort of a "fixed bridge" guitar. Now I can not afford a new or even a used Jem, but I see lots of Jem 555's up for sale. Now what I need to know is....Since i don't use the trem, and would have it blocked anyway, would the Jem 555 be such a horrible purchase for me. Please be honest with me. Do not let your love of "real" Jems cloud your judgement in this matter. Remember, I can't afford a real one and the trem (the one thing all of u seem to hate) will be a non-issue once I have it blocked. I look forward to your responses.
Sincerely,chris a.k.a. cmd130
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post #2 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-14-2004, 04:51 AM
 
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JEM 555

Hi,
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.
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post #3 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-14-2004, 08:00 AM
 
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Cosmeticly thinking the half vine looks crap on the 555. A quick visit to www.ibanezrules.com and go into the used section and a second hand 95 model 7vwh will cost you around $1100, which isn't that much more than the 555. Even a 2000 model is $1325.
But if it's the black 555 your after then you'' be looking at the 7dbk and on ibanez rules that went for $900 which is even better.
If I were I'd seriously look into second first.

Dave

P.S. obviuosly the prices showen only reflect that particular guitar and the price could be differant to the next one due to the condition of the guitar, hope you don't mind me using these prices from your site Rich.
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post #4 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-14-2004, 11:11 AM
 
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I own a 555 with a blocked trem. Neck is perfect. Frets are perfect. Not that big of a difference between the 555 and 7VWH. The body is basswood instead of alder (alder is not better than basswood, just different. For this style guitar, I prefer basswood anyway). The trem, the part that makes the 555 so bad, is blocked for me anyway so it makes no difference. Pickups are the same. I love the neck on it. Mine is black with black hardware (much nicer than white with gold h/w IMO). Their is really nothing wrong with the 555 IMO other than the trem, and since you will be blocking it, it makes no difference. Mine stays in tune for months when blocked.

The half vine doesn't look that bad either.

Of course this is all my opinion, but I think the 555 will be great for you.
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post #5 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-14-2004, 11:17 AM
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a 555 w/ the trem blocked (and never intended to be used) would be servicable, but i'd still go with a MIJ RG instead and just block that.

Given your scenario of having two blocked Ibanez guitars already wouldn't it be more appropriate to find an RG421 (or even the new MIK RG321, which would have better fit and finish than an older, used 555) or a non-RG/JEM body fixed bridge Ibanez? ... glen
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post #6 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-15-2004, 09:12 AM
 
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I must have gotten lucky! The fit and finish on my 555 is just perfect. The neck pocket is as tight as it can be. No problems with the finish other than the ones I have caused by hitting it on stuff. Fretwork is perfect.
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post #7 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-15-2004, 09:19 AM
 
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Guess i'm just a bit of a guitar snob. I won't go for anything unless it's the real deal, I'd never buy a squire, epiphone, yamaha (just a personal thing), LTD or any bottom of the range models. I can totally understand arguments against it, and i'll agree, it's just that I like to have the real thing
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post #8 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-15-2004, 09:53 AM
 
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I don't think it's snobbery !!!, it's just personal choice.
I love my 555, but I love my JS1000BTB too !!!
They both do the same job at the end of the day.

Buying other than the 'real deal' doesn't mean settling for second best these days. Manufacturers have come a long way.

I own two Epiphones, a Les Paul and an SG. I put genuine Gibson pickups in the Les Paul, and have played it for years. A friend owns a 'REAL' one, and although the feel is different I actually prefer my Epi, but that's what I'm used too. And only a trained ear would be able to tell which was which !!

Same with the 555, I bet if Mr Vai played one on a track on his new Album, who would be able to tell........ no-one I reckon !!!
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post #9 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-15-2004, 10:48 PM
 
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you could always convert the 555 to a fixed bridge and have a fixed bridge jem. Anybody think that is a good idea?
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post #10 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 12:12 PM
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I would go with a used jem (if you want a jem) or, as Glen sugested, with an RG421 (but I guess you are really afer a jem since you already own two other Ibanez). The fretwork, neck finish (and even the quality of maple used) should be better on a MIJ jem.

On the other hand Sanitaruim:

Quote:
Guess i'm just a bit of a guitar snob. I won't go for anything unless it's the real deal, I'd never buy a squire, epiphone, yamaha (just a personal thing), LTD or any bottom of the range models
The Yamaha 1412 and Wellington Custom are on par (if not better) with the best Ibanez has to offer (jems, J customs, american master or the RGT).
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post #11 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 02:19 PM
 
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Well it's just my opinion, every yahama i've ever picked up feels like a cheap sh!tty peice of wood in my hands. They do nice basses though, shame they can't put the same effort into guitars.
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post #12 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 03:10 PM
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Well, most Yamaha guitars are cheap, but you probably never played or even saw a 1412, a Wellington Custom, or a Yamaha Custom shop. The construction of the 1412 is simply unparalled by any other guitar I ve ever seen. 5 piece neck trhough, flamed maple carved top (and headstock). The boody construction is carved flamed top, ebony, mahogany, ebony, mahogany (yeah, thats right, 5 laminations). Di Marzio pups, ebony fretboard with an amazing block inlays (its actually a splited block, abalone and MOP). The closest Ibanez had to offer was the trasnlucent american master, or the RGT3120, both of them werent even close.

If Ibanez ever makes a guitar like this, it would charge at least 5000USD for it.
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post #13 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-16-2004, 03:46 PM
 
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Sounds nice! As you say, I've never played one of those and i'm sure the expensive models are, I'd expect them to be if they cost a lot.
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post #14 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 01:22 AM
 
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Hey, first time on board. I just purchased a white JEM555 in Taiwan. For 27000NT which is approx. 800USD (probably less), came with a case, strap, 4 picks and a amp cord.

According to the store owner my JEM555 was made in Japan. I'll have to double check on that as I've noticed many of you say 555 is a korean JEM. As far as I see the only real reason the JEM555 isn't rated as well is because of the trem. According to specs everything else is nearly the same as a 7VWH.

Honestly I did buy it partly on looks. The 7VWH was priced at 48000NT (1400USD) which was really too high for me. 555 didn't have the beautiful full fledge shell flower inlays but it was nevertheless a really beautiful guitar. I tried both guitars, sound quality didn't differ much at all, (same PUs...figures) but the action was a bit different but that's probably due to different adjustment settings on the trem angle.

All in all, I really dont find the 555 to be a "lower-mid" range guitar. It had fantastic sound and after adjustments the action was like...wow. *Shrug* dont really get what's so bad about the 555 up to this point...looking at those rankings tho from the editors having 555 being at the bottom kinda hurt tho ><
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post #15 of 19 (permalink) Old 06-23-2004, 01:57 AM
 
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I dont know....I just dont see the reason for putting 555 below every other JEM while the 7V is pretty high up there with the rest, with very few differences between the two and most being simply visual differences. Alder vs brasswood/rosewood neck, diff trems, that could set two guitars that far apart?

Maybe I'm just kinda biased cuz I actually bought it, but reading all those posts...seems like people bashed way too much on a guitar that deservse much better praise.
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beautiful guitar , block inlays , custom shop , ebony fretboard , fixed bridge , fixed bridge ibanez , flamed maple , ibanez guitars , les paul , neck finish , rosewood neck , trem block , trs trems

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