Opinion on JEMS tone - Jemsite
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post #1 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 12:59 PM Thread Starter
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Opinion on JEMS tone

Alright this should be a nice contraversial topic to begin the spring/summer season. I decided to write this note after receiving my third maple-necked JEM just last Friday, an LNG.

Here's my take, I've never heard sweeter tone out any of the JEM models 90% of which I've plugged in and played than I have from the BFP, DY and LNG. Hands down, these things have tone for days, superb harmonics and a wonderful smooth distortion effect (just like good PAF's should).

Ironically, I also appreciate the other JEM's, but their tone just isn't as vibey to me. I've played a VWH, DNA, FP, Jem 90th and UV777BK. Next to the PAF's, I like the Breed equipped DNA's the most. However, nothing seems to sound as full. Worse yet, because I half collect/play I had to sell the LNG a day later. Anyway, is there anyone else who feels like those early JEM's with the PAF's and maple neck just offer that sweet, creamy tone.

I will say that all JEM's I've played really have excellent clean tone which is difficult to find in other lines like Gibson and PRS. Anyway, curious if I'm nuts or if I'm alone in my observation.

Oh well, if I recover or sell some other guitars...I think a DY will become my priority.

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post #2 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 01:49 PM
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I think you're right. Seems that a maple board combined with the PAF Pros is a great combination.

What is it about maple? Then again, even the same two guitars can sound vastly different, but I play my friends 777SK and it sounds and feels like my DY (tone wise). My VSK with rosewood board is much deeper in tone.

Need a DY, eh?
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post #3 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 02:16 PM
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Interesting this topic would come up now....I spent a good bit of time tweaking my set up this weekend and although I found a great clean tone that I'm very happy with, I found the tone from my VWH to be pretty tough to nail just so. The EVOs might be just a tad too hot for what I'm after. An interesting comparison would be to put PAFs in a VWH. My amp is extremely hot and I found myself really really backing down on the gain to get the tone I wanted but then I lost some sustain. I found a happy medium but still, maybe I'll throw some PAFs in just to see how that sounds with a lower output pup.

Anyone tried that on a VWH??? (Sorry, hope this doesn't hijack your thread)
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post #4 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 02:36 PM
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Of course you know what I say JC "maple/basswood/PAF's are a killer tone combo, too bad I hate maple boards!!"
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post #5 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 03:24 PM Thread Starter
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Mark, I can't say I'd mind getting a DY. In fact, I traded my mint DY to a forum member for a Mesa Boogie amp somtime ago. I've seen it's twice since been ebayed and I missed it both times. That was sweet. Do you have one available?

Gresh, I swear my sentiments exactly about the VWH with the EVO's. What is it with that lack of control in the distorted frequency range. It's almost like the EVO's don't have much of an impedence for noise, etc. Anyway, did you buy my old VWH from Rich, because I swear that's your comments sum up my VWH experience.

Rich, as always, you told me this a long time ago....I just wouldn't believe it until I learned for myself (of course I make take longer than others would have to draw the same conclusions).
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post #6 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 04:01 PM
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Rich - is your disdain for maple becasue of the look, or the maintenance?

Or both?
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post #7 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 04:08 PM
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Primarily - feel. But those 2 reasons only add to my disdain
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post #8 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 06:53 PM
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There are perceptible differences in nuances between maple and other fretboard materials. The beat-to-heck LNG that I picked up last Nov/Dec has a definite 'something' to it in that regard. I used to favour maple fretboards (my Kramer necks have a similar tone contribution).
I suspect that the density of the maple leaves more of the string energy in the string, rather than bleeding it off a bit into the fretboard. It's small, but it's there.
I don't know for certain; I'm no physics expert. I only know that there is a difference that I can hear and /feel/.
Rich and others are right; maple with no/barely any finish ends up looking like hell - but they sound very solid.

Hmmm. Ebony is quite dense too, though, isn't it?
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post #9 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 07:05 PM
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A little off topic...but is there an actual science for the way things vibrate and transfer sound energy? Of course there is acoustics, but I think that mainly deals with sound waves on a large scale?
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post #10 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 07:15 PM
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Different woods have different hardness properties and different levels of natural oils and resins that all have an effect of trasmitting frequency/vibration, or deadening the transmision of frequencies and vibration. I'm sure there are plenty of scientific studies to prove this and that about different types of wood and how they effect vibration/frequency [tone], many of which are spelled out on sites like Warmoth, although maybe lacking the technical measurements of a "scientific" study
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post #11 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 08:24 PM
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Maple definitely sounds more rounded. It almost seems to act like a second guitarist, adding a little to your phrasing, while Rosewood seems to just put out exactly what you put in. Maple adds a sort of thick envelope to the note, I find.
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post #12 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 09:07 PM
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Maybe I was too excited to have one in my hands but the DNA with Breeds is the ultimate. Breeds really go well with Rosewood boards. EVOs and ebony boards are just not that great combo unless you need a sparkly sound.

It wasn't a Jem but a friend's RG with maple board loaded with Air Norton and ToneZone just rocks and changed my opinion of "supposedly" bright maple forever. It has more bottom end than a 7WH.
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post #13 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 10:30 PM
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I've had the VWH and it was bright and snappy sounding to me. My VSBL is basically the same thing except for the rosewood board and does sound a tad warmer. I like it. But, I would have to say my PGM300 with the maple board and Tone Zone/PAF Pro pup config is just unbelievable! (Rich may attest to this ;-) )Even my RGR580 with the maple board and mahogany body with standard IBZ pups sounds good...I like maple the best, just shows wear the most.
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post #14 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-14-2003, 11:39 PM
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My DY is by far the best sounding Jem I own. It's also the first maple board I've ever owned. The second best sounding Jem is my PBK which is also equipped with the PAF's. It's actually a wee bit brighter, but not quite as sweet as the DY. Needless to say, both are now my main players.

Ironically, they were also the least expensive.
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post #15 of 36 (permalink) Old 04-15-2003, 08:16 AM Thread Starter
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My point exactly, the cheapest play the sweetest. Don't even make me bring up my flame maple topped, maple necked RG 470:-) Oh well, glad to hear I'm not alone fellas.
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