Jem vs RG550 - Jemsite
Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models For discussion of Ibanez JEM, Universe and JS (Satriani) guitars only.

Reply
 
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 11:13 AM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Winston Salem, NC
Posts: 505
Reviews: 69
Jem vs RG550

Hey guys, I apologize for a noob-esque topic, but I have never owned a Jem. So, I have 5 original RG 550's and 5 other various Ibby's. All are nice, but the 80's/ early 90's RG550 are by far my favorite. I have been lusting after a late 80's/ early 90's Jem lately, but they are pretty expensive. Aside from the obvious Jem features, is there an obvious upgrade in quality? For example, will there be a night and day difference between a Blue Floral Jem or an old school 550 in the quality dept? Of course, I'm talking square heel all the way.

Thanks guys!
Severinsteelsmith is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 11:34 AM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,093
Re: Jem vs RG550

You may find more information on this with the search function, but I have never had much luck with searching this site...

Anyway, we used to discuss this a lot on the old Jemsite forum. I've had several JEMs and RGs over the years, and honestly, I don't believe there is an obvious upgrade in quality between the two models, especially when we're talking "golden era" square heel JEMs and RGs. It's been argued (many times over) that the main reason that an old-school JEM cost more than an RG was because of the extra work that went into the inlays, trem routing, neck heel, and handle. I tend to agree.

The "night and day" difference you'll immediately notice when you pick up a BFP is the neck profile and the different neck heel.
dcord is offline  
post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 11:35 AM
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: NJ
Posts: 1,953
Re: Jem vs RG550

Biggest issue for me is that the jem neck is different. not as flat. nicer
dragsternj is offline  
post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 12:10 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Melbourne, FL 32940
Posts: 3,348
Re: Jem vs RG550

I have old RG550s and JEMs old and newer.
THey are all the same to me. I just like the JEM look.
Even my NEW RG350MYE plays just as good.
sebastian is offline  
post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 12:22 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Raleigh, NC
Posts: 1,740
Re: Jem vs RG550

Personal preference, I guess. Like other posters have pointed out, the JEM neck is very nice, many players instantly like it. Of course the JEM is better-- it's a great guitar and I won't knock it-- but for me, it's not THAT much better. I'd rather have a regular Prestige RG (1550/1570) and the cash in my pocket.

I know I brag about it too often, but man, I love my RG550MXX. One of the top five guitars Ibanez has produced in the last decade and the best value overall. I wouldn't trade it for a JEM7VWH.

Peace

Mike
Hikey Mikey is offline  
post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 01:36 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Valencia, Spain
Posts: 780
Reviews: 3
Re: Jem vs RG550

JEM series is not an upgrade for the RG series

RG series is a downgrade from the JEM series

Remember that the origin was the JEM and then they make it cheaper taking away all the Vai-related flamboyant excess. Both great axes, but attending its playability, I do still prefer any JEM (7, 77, 777, anniversary with wizard or JEM neck) over the RGs.
vy100 is offline  
post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 03:52 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: France
Posts: 1,492
Re: Jem vs RG550

the RG550 is the most bang-for-the-buck Ibanez never made !
Let's put that sentence in gold characters !

The Jem is a smartest one I can forgot ! I've tested a blueFP and a DY, my better feeling
goes to the rock'n'roll RG550 ! no hesitation !
Agent540 is offline  
post #8 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 04:50 PM
 
Join Date: Sep 2006
Location: MI USA
Posts: 451
Reviews: 2
Re: Jem vs RG550

I've been playing my RG prestige guitars more than my Jems or PGM lately. To me, they all seem of equal quality --, I upgraded the pickups in my RG's to Dimarzios. RG necks are wizards, and of course, not the same as the Jems, but switching between Ibanez's is no problem. A lot of the Jem price does come from the fact that it is a signature model, and to top it off, a lot of "fancy features." But in quality of craftsmanship and feel, they are all on par in my opinion. I simply love all of them. Oh yeah, pulling out a Jem attracts way more attention than an RG
lynchfan6 is offline  
post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 04:56 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 40
Re: Jem vs RG550

what about the addition of a Steve Vai Bad Horsie pick up to a 90's RG550
topher5150 is offline  
post #10 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 07:06 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 2,878
Reviews: 4
Re: Jem vs RG550

Quote:
Originally Posted by Agent540 View Post
the RG550 is the most bang-for-the-buck Ibanez never made !........
Not entirely true on todays market though. The 570s are nearly half the price, as well as the 520s. IMO the 520s are slightly
better, and retailed for quite a bit more than the 550s at the time.

@topher: what is the bad horsie pickup? is it out of production?

Last edited by fwd0120; 12-14-2011 at 07:12 PM.
fwd0120 is offline  
post #11 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 07:29 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 40
Re: Jem vs RG550

Quote:
Originally Posted by fwd0120 View Post
Not entirely true on todays market though. The 570s are nearly half the price, as well as the 520s. IMO the 520s are slightly
better, and retailed for quite a bit more than the 550s at the time.

@topher: what is the bad horsie pickup? is it out of production?
Its the Steve Vai pickup
topher5150 is offline  
post #12 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 07:36 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Michigan
Posts: 1,093
Re: Jem vs RG550

Quote:
Originally Posted by topher5150 View Post
Its the Steve Vai pickup
There are several "Steve Vai" pickups.
dcord is offline  
post #13 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 07:42 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 2,878
Reviews: 4
Re: Jem vs RG550

Evos or breeds?
fwd0120 is offline  
post #14 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 10:01 PM
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Grand Rapids, MI
Posts: 40
Re: Jem vs RG550

The evo....I was thinking about the wah
topher5150 is offline  
post #15 of 20 (permalink) Old 12-14-2011, 10:42 PM
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Georgia, USA
Posts: 2,878
Reviews: 4
Re: Jem vs RG550

No prob. I have a hard time taking my mind off of that pedal as well !!
fwd0120 is offline  
Reply

Tags
jem , rg550

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the Jemsite forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address

IMPORTANT: You will be required to activate your account so please ensure that your email address is correct.

If you do not receive your activation check your spam folder before using the CONTACT US form (at the bottom right of each page).



Email Address:
OR

Log-in










Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode



Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
FT: '92 RG550 Lazer Blue w/ BKPs for RG550 RFR! *Feeler* Chewy5150 Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 19 01-11-2012 01:51 PM
FS: Ibanez 1987 RG550, 1997 RG550, 2003 RG470FM Spot Production Model Dr.StrangeNote Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 8 03-30-2010 10:21 AM
RG550 1987 and RG550 20th: do they have the same pickguard? da_ragin_ajun All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 6 12-21-2008 11:55 AM
FT - IBZ RG550 DY & more to a RG550 Road Flare! shredhead74 Classified Ads: Guitars and Gear 1 03-28-2008 10:16 PM
Wow I've got a RG550 and boy do I love it! - RG550 JamesTheDude All Other Guitars (including Prestige) 18 06-17-2006 04:30 PM

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome