Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Cincinnati, OH USA
Wow... I haven't seen this thread in years!
The JPM is pretty different from the Jems, both tonally and in feel. The JPM has a slightly thicker neck than the newer Jems. The tone is also pretty different. The Air Norton (direct mounted in basswood) is incredibly smooth, and the Steve's Special is a "take-no-prisoners" rock pickup--I used to think of it as only a metal pickup only, but it's actually pretty versatile (depends a lot on how you have your amp EQ'd--if you scoop your amp, the Steve's Special is metal 24-7). The in-between clean position (parallel coils) is very crisp and snappy.
Personally, (opinions being like...) I'd take a JPM over a Jem any day, mostly because I prefer the feel and overall tone so much more. But a lot of people here will argue for the Jem. The JPM-P1 was my first Ibanez, and I've since had a P2 and P90, all of which rock!