Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise
Can I just say, the original post really comes off as pretty elitist. Regardless if the facts are correct, it comes across as being completely dismissive of newer players, or less advantaged players. A huge part of the appeal of Jems is entirely their aesthetics. You can save yourself a hundred dollars and just get an RG450... OK, but an RG450 doesn't look like a Jem. If you are a professional musician (or even an advanced amateur), then you probably aren't looking at low end guitars in the first place. What about the kid just starting to get comfortable with playing? $100 may very well be an acceptable premium to pay so they can get the look that they want. Sure, there are a ton of negatives about a Jem Jr. There are lots of better guitars at a similar price, but if they don't have the look someone is wanting, then why would they buy that other guitar?
Remember, someone in the market for a Jem Jr level guitar, is unlikely to even KNOW the difference in sound, nor are they likely to care. They are happy to have a guitar that looks cool to them, and is basically as good as the 450 that was being recommended. There are people who come to this forum BECAUSE they love these kinds of guitars, and want to learn more. I don't see the point of being so dismissive of both the guitar, AND anyone who wants to buy one. I hate Strats. I don't like the way they feel or sound. That doesn't mean they aren't the dream guitar of someone else. Not everyone who loves a Strat can afford a high dollar one, which is why they have Squires. They aren't anywhere near the level of most full Strats, but it gives people a taste of what they have lusted after. If you have something that approximates your dream guitar, you are more likely to enjoy playing. That gets you to a point where the lower quality isn't enough for you, and eventually you find a way to upgrade to what you really wanted. No players should feel ashamed just because they can't afford a $1000+ guitar.
Maybe the original post wasn't intended to be elitist. It is easy to write posts here directed towards all the people that are high end players and collectors. For those kind of people, sure, the Jr probably seems like a waste of money. For a lot of people though, they work with what they can afford, or what their skill level allows. I'm over 40, married with a son. I work a full time job in the software industry where i have been at the same company for 20+ years. I am not some fantastic player. I play what I can, to relax and give myself enjoyment. The only relatively high end guitar I own is my RG550XX. It wasn't easy for me to spare that amount of money on a guitar. I know I am not the only stable adult who has little disposable income. I would be willing to by a Jem Jr, and have no regrets, even though I KNOW the drawbacks of that guitar. It is close enough to something that I love the look of. It just bothers me that someone might read a post like the original here, and feel like this isn't the place for them. I tend to be pretty quiet around here, but the knowledge here is fantastic. If I hadn't already been around for a while, and I read a post like this, I might not bother to come back, which would be a loss for me.
Anyway, just my opinion, and maybe I am the only one who got the feeling that the original post was pretty condescending to anyone of lower skill or means.