The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise - Page 4 - Jemsite
Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models For discussion of Ibanez JEM, Universe and JS (Satriani) guitars only.

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post #46 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-17-2020, 10:01 AM
 
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Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

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Originally Posted by Keveb4 View Post
Much like there's no denying the Jem Jr is a brilliant guitar in it's own right. All of the fun of the original at a lower price point.
And it looks better than the PIA...
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post #47 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-19-2020, 07:58 AM
 
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Cool Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

I'm fortunate to own MIJ & Premium Jems. I also used to own a Jem Jr-WH but after a bit of fun modding, it was gifted to my youngest son and he's loving it (as I did..).

Original point. Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise. Sure it is. So what? The same argument can be levelled at Jems & RGs throughout the Ibanez range. If you want the Jem look/Steve Vai association the Jem Jr is the best way to get it on the lowest budget. No question.

My Jem Jr was a used buy. Absolute bargain price. I buy all my gear used. Much more 'bang for the buck'.

If you want a better constructed cheaper guitar they are easy to find. I also own a 2011 MII RG370DXZ which has the 3-piece laminate neck & the EZ2 Trem. The neck profile is also more to my liking than the Wizard 3 on the Jem Jr. I digress...

I wanted to see how the Jr compared to it's bigger brothers. Build quality (e.g. Paint, fit, finish) was immaculate. The Jack Socket was better painted than that in my 777 30th Anni(!). Fretwork was amazing - no leveling required or sharp ends to deal with. A beautiful slab of dark Rosewood for a fretboard too. So, the basics were very promising.

The Quantum pups are pretty decent. Absolutely no need to change them. There are comparison videos on YouTube vs Evo's. I prefer the tone from certain configurations to Evo's. The tuners operate smoothly and do the job. Not worth upgrading due to the Locking Nut. Pots, Switches & wiring are budget stuff but are still functioning as intended after two years.

The usual perceived weak spot is the Trem. The Standard DL Trem is the thing most people change. I decided not to. I swapped in a 33mm Brass Block to enhance sustain (huge improvement and 30% better than my Edge equipped models) and added softer noiseless springs to give a smoother action. After a bit of set-up, tuning stability has been excellent. I'm sure the knife edges/posts will not be as durable as higher quality trems but, again, 2 years of abuse by a teenager and the Std DL is still performing perfectly. Certainly good enough for most bedroom/casual players.

The Wizard 3 neck didn't feel right to me. Personal thing. YMMV. So, I attacked the back of the neck with a sander and thinned/reprofiled it to feel like the MIJ neck but thinner. Finished it with Tru-Oil. I also scalloped frets 21-24 - an easy 30 minute job with a round file and sandpaper. As you can probably tell, I love tinkering with guitars...

Finally, I created/printed a few decals, changed the scratchplate to pearloid, made a pick holder and fitted a quick release strap (cliplock clone..). Voila! Evo Jr. Great fun to do. A solid playing, fun guitar for little money.

My issue with spending a lot of money on mods to the Jr is that you are unlikely to recoup your costs if you ever need to sell. For equivalent money, I'd suggest save a litte longer and buy a gently used Jem70V. If you can live with the colour, the 70V is an amazing guitar and IMO the best value (ex)production Jem. My 70V has been used daily since 2013 and is still like new. It's easily my favourite Jem and still my 'goto' despite strong competition from my MIJ models.

Phew! That was a bit a a diatribe. Bottom line: the Jem Jr can be a great guitar, stock or mildly modded. I wouldn't recommed spending too much on upgrades though...
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post #48 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 12:36 AM
 
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Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

sounds like a lot of work
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post #49 of 60 (permalink) Old 01-23-2020, 03:35 AM
 
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Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

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Originally Posted by killmequickly View Post
sounds like a lot of work
Not sure why you're 'crying' about that but it actually wasn't. All pretty much all done in under a day.

My JemFP2 tribute guitar was an entirely different matter. I'd never done a fabric covered guitar before. I started with an RG and so had to create the Monkey Grip & Lions Claw as well as fit a new Trem & move the Jack Socket.

The whole job took months but the result is pretty epic (even if I do say so myself..). However, that's another story entirely!
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post #50 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-08-2020, 06:02 AM
 
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Okay, so as I said on the introduction, I have a JEM jr. and I have been playing guitar for 31 years. I consider myself to be a decent player and have two albums. I have dreamt of owning a JEM my entire playing life but was never able to afford a “real” one. I now own a 1959 fender music master, a 1963 fender duo sonic, a 1959 gretsch anniversary, a 1964 Kay value leader, a Martin ooo, and a few other guitars. I’ve probably had 20 other guitars over my life as well. For a long time I had a Satriani. My first guitar was an Ibanez EX and it was garbage, but I still tried to make it a Jem by buying blue PAF pros and added blue dots, knobs and selector tip.

In short, when Ibanez releases the JEM jr., I went nuts. Finally, I was going to hang a JEM on my wall and to be frank, when I played it, I was astounded by how well it played. It’s one of the best $500 guitars I’ve ever played. Maybe I just got lucky and got a gem of a JEM, but mine can’t be the only good one.

Would I eventually like a real JEM? Of course. Do I want to pay $4k for it? Nope. As other users here have said, the JEM has ALWAYS been about aesthetics and has always been an RG with a hole in it. As such, I’m proud to own mine and I could care less if it’s the “low end model” as it is still an RG with a hole in it... But it LOOKS like a JEM... And I CERTAINLY could care less if someone else thinks it’s beneath them. Shame on your ego.
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post #51 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 04:55 PM
 
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Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

The early JEM555 I have had Evolution pickups in as bought which aren't in the RG guitars. I went for the black body rather than the more wannabe white. I changed the LoTRS trem for a Gotoh 1996T more recently and it looks and plays great.
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post #52 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 07:12 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

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Originally Posted by morellotunes View Post
Okay, so as I said on the introduction, I have a JEM jr. and I have been playing guitar for 31 years. I consider myself to be a decent player and have two albums. I have dreamt of owning a JEM my entire playing life but was never able to afford a “real” one. I now own a 1959 fender music master, a 1963 fender duo sonic, a 1959 gretsch anniversary, a 1964 Kay value leader, a Martin ooo, and a few other guitars. I’ve probably had 20 other guitars over my life as well. For a long time I had a Satriani. My first guitar was an Ibanez EX and it was garbage, but I still tried to make it a Jem by buying blue PAF pros and added blue dots, knobs and selector tip.

In short, when Ibanez releases the JEM jr., I went nuts. Finally, I was going to hang a JEM on my wall and to be frank, when I played it, I was astounded by how well it played. It’s one of the best $500 guitars I’ve ever played. Maybe I just got lucky and got a gem of a JEM, but mine can’t be the only good one.

Would I eventually like a real JEM? Of course. Do I want to pay $4k for it? Nope. As other users here have said, the JEM has ALWAYS been about aesthetics and has always been an RG with a hole in it. As such, I’m proud to own mine and I could care less if it’s the “low end model” as it is still an RG with a hole in it... But it LOOKS like a JEM... And I CERTAINLY could care less if someone else thinks it’s beneath them. Shame on your ego.
4k? that's list price

the white jem costs $3000 on musicianfriedn and sweetwater

and there is the jem premium made in indonesia which costs $1600

you wait for a sale, usually musicianfriends has sale at times in the year with 15% to even 20% off on black friday

so that brings down a $1600 jem to $1280 for a new one

if you want the white premium, that is $1800
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post #53 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 10:05 PM
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Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

Buying any Premium from a warehouse, especially on discount, is a great way to end up with a POS to return, or start a new thread here to decide if it's bad enough you should return or keep it......
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post #54 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 10:08 PM Thread Starter
 
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Is not a discount lol musicianfriends has discount codes you can use for all their items
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post #55 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 11:11 PM
 
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I think Rich's point is, buying any high end instrument (especially a lower end one) from a big warehouse online store is a bad idea, not just discounted ones. But the point in reference to it being discounted... Typically things are discounted for a reason, most commonly because they won't sell. Though yes musicians friend does offer discounts codes on a general broad bassis.

I can say I agree with Rich's greater point. Mainly because no matter what the brand, there is a possibility of quality control issues. When you buy at a local store you can actually feel and hear the instrument you are holding. And have the option to pick up another one of the same model, or similar model, and feel/hear the difference. Sometimes it's drastic. Plus a lot of local small town stores will include a professional setup when you buy the guitar. They want you to be happy because they want you to come back. Musicians friend wants you to come back... But you're literally just another sale to them.

Plus good vendors put an eye, ear and fingers on the guitars they sell because they want to know they are selling good stuff. They are allowed to reject the item if it isn't up to spec.

Last edited by JsXLine6; 02-09-2020 at 11:18 PM.
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post #56 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-09-2020, 11:58 PM Thread Starter
 
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Except you’re rarely going find the guitars you want at these stores such as jem and prestiges. I know I’ve looked at two guitarcenters and other guitar stores and all they have is low level rgs and jem jr
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post #57 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 12:40 AM
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Re: The Jem Jr is an RG450 in disguise

It's much simpler. They buy all the guitars I'd never buy and sell them to you. The always give the discounts, toy can't beat them on price, payment plans, all the stuff non corps can't do. But they're Premium JEM's, they have problems. Problems that can be fixed by filling, grinding, sanding, shimming, and occasionally you'll get one that is free of alot of the problems. But they;re few. From MF nothing will be touched. SW it will get a basic setup, but none of the problems will have been fixed and even they're PLEK upgrade levels won't sort out half the problems like the high nuts. It's a hard guitar to buy a good guitar, especially now when everything is cold and the frets are sharp,
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post #58 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 09:51 AM
 
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You may not find a jem in stock, my js24p wasn't in stock when I bought it. But the music store I bought it from ordered one for me and set it up. And they warned me they may have to send it back because the premiums sometimes come in with issues.

Guitar center is a complete embarrassment to the music store industry. At least the one near me. Not a damn person in that place has any knowledge about anything you want. And if they have any knowledge at all, the arrogance is astounding... There's a small music store that's been around my way a long....... Time called Musicland. They are a great place to buy anything. The staff doesn't act like salesmen, they make you feel at home. They have techs on hand, they make sure what ever you buy plays great, and they repair stuff too. I know they are few and far between nowadays. But I am blessed to have a store like that near by. Guitar center is essentially a brick and mortar version of musicians friend. If I'm not mistaken... I think they are owned by the same parent company.

Last edited by JsXLine6; 02-10-2020 at 09:58 AM.
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post #59 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 12:22 PM
 
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So, my initial point about $4k was about the JEM that I want which is the Loch Ness 777 (original or 30th, I don’t care). I have zero interest in the white ones.

Also, as I mentioned, the pink Jr. that I personally got plays fantastically well (better than the 77BFP I played side-by-side with it).

Either way, the Jr. can be a very nice alternative for those who can’t afford the higher end models. Yes, I will eventually have a 777, but for now while I save, the Jr. fills the role very nicely.
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post #60 of 60 (permalink) Old 02-10-2020, 12:43 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by morellotunes View Post
So, my initial point about $4k was about the JEM that I want which is the Loch Ness 777 (original or 30th, I don’t care). I have zero interest in the white ones.

Also, as I mentioned, the pink Jr. that I personally got plays fantastically well (better than the 77BFP I played side-by-side with it).

Either way, the Jr. can be a very nice alternative for those who can’t afford the higher end models. Yes, I will eventually have a 777, but for now while I save, the Jr. fills the role very nicely.
Yeah man I get that. I have a js100 that plays really great, it doesn't have the original trem... And I have the premium js24p which plays great too. And even my $450 Epiphone Les Paul is fantastic. It can be hard to find good ones sometimes but they do exist.

I can't afford a $3k+ Gibson... Or a MIJ satriani model. And the lower end market has gotten a hell of a lot better, especially the past 5 to 10 years.

Last edited by JsXLine6; 02-10-2020 at 01:04 PM.
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