A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!! - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 12:28 AM Thread Starter
 
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A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

Hi All, (long post warning, bare with me)

I don't really know how to start with this thread and would appreciate it if you give your answers some deep and serious thought before responding (i'm not looking for a negative reaction, don't want to upset anyone....just honest opinions).
I have one simple, basic question.....do you (honestly) think that the Ibanez Jem series of guitars has gone on for too long now?

The reason i ask is because i first fell in love with them sometime around 1990 (ish). I seem to recall it was when Steve Vai had recorded 'Skyscraper' with David Lee Roth. I took out a bank loan for £1025 (approx $1580), which to me was a fortune at the time, to buy a Jem77FP. I played it for hours, but probably spent more time cleaning it than actually playing it. It was sold in 1993 as i needed some cash to buy a house :-(

Anyway, I decided to get a few more back in 2005 (good wages, more money than sense at the time) and had 3 different versions, a 77FP, 77BFP and 777VBK, as well as a Jem555 jr (not a popular version, but i loved it to be honest)...all of which i then sold when i lost my job in 2006 and all of which i wish i still had (DOH!!!!!).

So, that's my 'Jem History'.....and so to now.....Whenever i look around for another Jem these days, i always find myself looking for ones from that late '80's / early '90's era (PBK, DY, SK, FP, BFP, VBK) etc, etc.

Personally, I didn't like the sparkle blue model, not impressed with the 'Breed' pickups on the DBK, thought the BRMR was a bit over the top (be too scared to scratch it), thought the DNA was over-priced, and i had no real interest in the various anniversary models (even though they looked fantastic).
And now i see that the 7VWH (which i did like circa 1997) is now made with cheaper woods, no longer with an ebony fretboard etc.

So, bringing this thread up to date....Having been away from Jems (and this great website) for a few years, i've discovered that there is now a Jem 505 and a Jem FP mk2?.....i can't help but feel that Ibanez are flogging a dead horse!!!!!!
What on Earth is a Jem 505 exactly (a 555 made somewhere even cheaper than Korea?)...
and as for the mk2 FP...i thought the whole idea was that the original mk1 design was based on Steve Vai's parents curtains? The mk2 just looks a bit of a mess in comparison (still a great looking guitar in a lot of respects, but does it really deserve the 'FP' tag?).

Sorry to go on, just wondered what other peoples views were on the subject, especially the 'old school' collectors amongst you.
I've really gone off the new Jems...am i just stuck in the past, am i alone ?

Happy Playing :-)

Snakeman

Last edited by snakeman4968; 09-03-2010 at 12:46 AM.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 02:31 AM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

The Jem 505 is a REAL jem without any bling, i'd say. Edge, evolutions, quality and everything you'd expect from a jem, but without tree of life etc.

I think the fp2 is a bit lame looking, but hey, whatever floats one's boat.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 02:37 AM
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

I'm an "old school" guy and I'd say wholeheartedly, "no".

You might as well say that about the strat, it's not really done anything new for a few years, let's call time on that one.

I would say (and here's where the dead horses come into play) that Ibanez might need to rethink it's strategy to push the JEM forward, for example look at Music Man's strategy with regards to their guitars and start to offer the JEM in a series of vibrant colours every year rather than black and white. However, Mr Vai retains artistic control over the guitar and so we really are seeing the guitar that the artist wants us to see and it's not every signature model where that happens.
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 03:35 AM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
I'm an "old school" guy and I'd say wholeheartedly, "no".

You might as well say that about the strat, it's not really done anything new for a few years, let's call time on that one.

I would say (and here's where the dead horses come into play) that Ibanez might need to rethink it's strategy to push the JEM forward, for example look at Music Man's strategy with regards to their guitars and start to offer the JEM in a series of vibrant colours every year rather than black and white. However, Mr Vai retains artistic control over the guitar and so we really are seeing the guitar that the artist wants us to see and it's not every signature model where that happens.
I completely agree with this sentiment. I have a 7VWh which I bought 2 years ago, which I do love dearly BUT at the time of my choosing to buy it, I was dismayed with my choices of Black and errr..... White? Whatever happened to Steve's outrageous looking Jem's?... I thought. Though I love my Jem, I wish I had more choice.

If anything, looking at the vast amount of entries in the "Design a Jem" competition..... Ibanez, and probably Steve himself, could learn a thing or two about what people really want. We want the outrageous guitars that simply make people around you say "WTF? Where did you get that and what is it?!!!" I get that with my plain old white one.... imagine the reaction with some more colourful ones. At first I didn't like the new 77FP2, but it has grown on me now where I wouldn't at all mind it in my collection.

Hence the reason I'm creating my own design that I put into the competition. I loved it so much that a drawing of it alone just isn't going to be enough for me and it will be unique and amazing (I'm hoping, anyway)

Please Steve..... bring back the GMC's, DDY's, heck.... ALL of the colorful ones. Watch them sales go up.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 02:45 PM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

Quote:
Originally Posted by jono View Post
we really are seeing the guitar that the artist wants us to see
a cursory glance at Steve's wardrobe choices will show that he has dubious visual taste ;-)

i agree with Macka - it was the swirls that made me drop my bacon sarnie back in 1990/1 not the jem itself. Let's get lairy with the paintjobs again!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 02:49 PM
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

No, the Jem is synonymous with Ibanez now, and I don't ever want it to go away.



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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 05:49 PM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

I also agree with Macka. I got into wanting a Jem back when I was starting college (early 90's) but obviously didn't have the money. That was back when they had the bright colors but also the pyramids in the fretboard. A few years ago I was saving up for a Jem but wound up buying a Universe UV777PBK because it had the disappearing pyramids (which I love). I loved the look of the current white Jem (from pictures) and had a chance to try one out in a Guitar Center. I loved the feel of the neck but the "vine of life" didn't look as appealing in person as it had from pictures I'd seen. So I went with the Universe.

I recently told my wife that I should start saving for a 40th birthday present for myself (yes I'm selfish) - that will be in less than two years. My first thought was to buy a Jem. However, if they look the same as they do now, I won't be getting that. If they would come back with the bright colors (or even swirls!) and the maple boards with the multi-colored disappearing pyramids - I'd be shelling out the cash right away! The price of a Jem is a lot for me (my wife and I do have decent jobs, but we don't spend that much without thinking about it quite a bit) so it has to be almost exactly what I want before I'll spend that much.

I had thought about buying one of those Jem 505's and modifying it. I saw on a website (not sure if it was this one) where somebody modified the image of the Jem to have the same kind of pyramids on the fretboard as are on my Universe (pearloid/abalone). I thought that would be a great idea - to have somebody that does that work replace the dots with pyramids, but then I didn't know what I would do at the 12th and 24th frets - with the black dot markers - I think they're too far apart to be able to be covered up by a pyramid. So I didn't go that route.

Enough ranting. So again, I agree with Macka - bring back the colorful ones and you'll get my money.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 06:15 PM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

the jem is an unbeatable guitar to me, i never found a guitar better than a universe or jem or rg for versatility reliability. to me there as much as a classic as a les paul or strat, neither of which i would buy if i had the cash cause id sooner by a jem. i have a squier classic strat. 60s vibe. used to work in aguitar shop teaching before going alone, and its better than any of the fenders we had. as for jems, i love the old ones too, but i dont think there to old or anything. and i thought the same about the fp2 at first. however i love it and now i want it. its really grown on me, and yes it does deserve teh fp tag. as it is floral pattern, same idea as bfb of fp. congratulations to ibanez for making a guitar that delivered freedom, and its nice to be nostalgic, but remember ibanez jems have always been ground breaking, therefore its good to always see new ones. the only one i didnt like was the hard tail one.
i dont think it would hurt however to bring back some of the older models, as standard issue. like the black jem with green pups and vine. and the black white version of that with original handle. and the neon ones too. i also wish theyd let me desighn a few cause i got some ideas that would be nice. lol.
all the best guys and long live jem universe guitars. i hope they to a 10 string universe and call it the ibanez big bang.
www.mspace.com/robhayesrockguitar
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-03-2010, 06:17 PM
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

The Jem 505 has V7 and V8 humbuckers, not Evolutions.

Quote:
Originally Posted by FrostStorm View Post
The Jem 505 is a REAL jem without any bling, i'd say. Edge, evolutions, quality and everything you'd expect from a jem, but without tree of life etc.

I think the fp2 is a bit lame looking, but hey, whatever floats one's boat.


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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-04-2010, 04:07 PM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

Totally agree with you Snakeman.

I've got 3 Jem's, years 88, 89 and 91. I've not seen a new Jem released that I'd be interested in spending serious cash on.

They're all a bit dull, new FP2 included.

Original Edge, PAF pro's, loud colours....that's a JEM.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 02:38 PM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

Not so long ago, I used to be bothered by the black and white color schemes you have to choose from. Now the colors don't bother me so much as the way they are constructed. A 5 piece neck is probably superior in just about every way to a one piece, but I don't think they feel nearly as good.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-07-2010, 08:05 PM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

Every Jem pre White Jem has been great everything else has been YAWWN :P

but id happily take any Jem for free :P
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 08:47 AM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

All the current Jems are far superior to the pre-VWH Jems.

Of course the old ones have the classic looks etc. and the PAF Pro Sound, which all is great.

I for one hope the JEM is to stay in the lineup forever and they would produce more variety Jems again.
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-08-2010, 12:40 PM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

I don't think they've gone too far, though they have gone downhill in my opinion.
I think the fixed bridge JEM started this!
Like the introduction of the 505, while it's a fine guitar by all means, it just doesn't capture the image of the JEM in my eyes.
And while I actually quite like the FP2, and how it kind of holds a similar style to that seen on the cover of Real Illusions: Reflections so it kind of suits Vai's modern stylings, but still it doesn't quite sit right with me! The fact that the pattern is almost identical on every guitar irks me also!

But I definitely don't think they've gone too far, they just need to be a bit more inspired!
It'd also be nice for a bit of a price drop too! :P
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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 09-09-2010, 03:56 AM
 
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Re: A Jem Too Far??? - Honest Opinions wanted!!!!

the old 'originals' have some magic in them,the swirls are great (gmc/pmc/uvmc) .the new ones should be good too but i dont like them the way i like the old ones and i had a lot of them. but its all personal preferance what you like. i agree with the topic starter.but you cant go wrong with a new jem 505 too
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