I've had it a week now. The 8-38 string setup is really working out fine. The instrument is staying in tune very well, and the intonation is pretty darned close all over the neck.
I've been able to put it through its paces with my small setup, a Boogie Mark IV, and my large setup, Mesa Road King with Carvin Vai Legacy 4x12 cabinet. I'm getting some really nice tones. This guitar can be used for ANY type of music. It'll shred, or it will purr. I'm impressed.
I remember reading an article about the JEM's on a guitar retailer's website who was definitely panning the guitars, calling them 'cheap' and poorly constructed (to paraphrase). I don't know what the reviewer was on, but he wasn't reviewing the instrument I just received! It's definitely the opposite, a quality guitar. My fingers slip over the fretboard like butter, and the satin finish on the neck is also very slippery. I can access any fret on the neck and lead playing at the very top is pretty easy. I also like the scalloped upper frets. This allows the notes to ring out just a little more than usual in that register. Very nice. I also love the monkey grip. I can grab the guitar here when standing around between songs, and don't have to worry that the strap might come loose, etc. Cool. The FR Lo-Pro Edge tremolo is cool too. For some reason, the instrument holds it's tuning even when I've manipulated the tremolo a lot. This is especially cool with the extra-light gauge of string that I like to use.
And, the tone! This guitar has a very sweet voice. With my main rig, I get some killer bass notes out of it (nice with the light strings). The highs are very clear and ringing. I love the in-between Strat-style voicings of the inner pickup settings. Everyone in the bands I play in also have commented on what a nice tone this thing has.
Thanks for reading. Eventually I'll post a pic or two. Don't have access to a digital camera at the moment.