Re: New Jem next year?
I wouldn't call the Jem the best guitar in the world, it definitely has a certain feel and some unique sounds, but there are sounds and a dynamic response you can get from a good Strat that doesn't exist in a Jem, and the same goes for say a Telecaster or a Les Paul. A Jem is a versatile tool but it's just one of many types, and sometimes another guitar does a better job. I've played my Jem 7V more than any other guitar as a working musician but I've recently in the last few months been using a Suhr Tele instead and getting to grips with that, and they really are different types of tools with different sounds and different strengths and weaknesses, every week I learn how to extract more from the Tele.
My Jem went through a rough year (I split the neck in half), it's been repaired and refretted and it plays beautifully but the tuning stability is not what it was, it doesn't return as consistently and it pulls sharp, where it used to pull neutral. The trem is significantly worn (Edges have seen better days) but I don't know if a new trem would even fix the problem, the guitar was rock solid prior to the accident in spite of the worn trem. Be interesting to see what the new Ibanez news is, we've been talking about it for months but I think I've settled on the idea that I don't want to buy any guitar that doesn't have stainless steel frets, after my Suhr and my Jem refret I'm converted.