Re: new Jem at Namm 2013
The Premium doesn't cheapen the Ibanez brand. Ibanez NEEDS a budget line, and the Premium line trounces pretty much everything else in the price point. What hurts the brand is everyone going around saying "Ooooh, these are every bit as good as the MIJ's! I can have the SAME guitar for HALF the price!" If the buyer focus shifts to the Indo guitars because everyone buys into the something-for-nothing BS, Ibanez will respond by building less and less in Japan and push their heavily-invested Indo factory built stuff more and more. Then you'll end up with only sigs and JC's from Japan, and the budget AND midline will come from Indo. Which translates to cheap guitars, and more expensive cheap guitars.
I remember the bitching when they slapped "Prestige" on a MIK guitar. Imagine the complaints (yes, from me) when they put it on an Indo. Stick around.