After being on this site for many years and never thought of owning a Jem, I am now a proud owner of an '89 JEM777VBK (since I didn't win a JEM7VBK on the last contest :P). Scored it from a guy who lives < 5 miles (@ 8km)from me on friday. We met up half-way on thursday so I could check out the axe in person... the minute he took it out of the non-original case, I was just awed by the vibe it gave. Its black/green scheme will always remind me of Trey Azagthoth's UV (and yes, I've seen it up close many many years ago). The minute I felt the neck, i knew it was different from any VWH i've ever touched or played... sure they're solid guitars but it didn't quite "speak" to me, this 777VBK did!
What I scored was definitely a player's guitar; body's pretty beaten and banged up with dings on the front, paint chips on the side have been touched-up, neck cracked at scarf joint, and hairline cracks on neck pocket. Whoever the original owner was must've really liked the neck to repair the damages so it can still be both functional and playable axe after all the abuse. It had a hipshot tremsetter installed as some wood was chuck'd out to accomodate the device (the set-screw for the studs were NEVER locked!). I told the seller to take it off and give it to me as is; with 2 springs and no trem claw. They had to be replaced anyhow as they were the original springs! Suprisingly, one of my friend's kept his trem claw and had extra springs from his S2020X after installing a hipshot tremsetter on his guitar. The cosmo finish on most of the parts has worned as I assume the original owner played/sweated all over the bridge and tuning heads. To sum it up, the guitar is a character that tells a story but called for a major clean-up from the inside out! And trust me, it must've came from a dusty house cause there was big ball of lint inside the pick-up cavity (how the ?!#%?!)
As for how much? well, I paid the guy little more than half of what he was asking. He was cool enough to give the guitar to me on the condition I pay the balance within a month. Got an Evo at GC today to replace the stock Paf Pro bridge and got a black Cliplock as well. It's missing a block-lock for the sustain block but it still works; i'm just not used to seeing an edge/lo-pro without one. Otherwise, it plays like a dream after sanding the neck fractures, filling dings, polishing and doing a successful setup in standard C
I don't think i'll be buying anymore guitars for a while.
Here's a preview... i'll post more when the weather looks better.