researching for new guitar - jem555 - Jemsite
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post #1 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-13-2000, 10:49 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Dec 2000
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researching for new guitar - jem555

Hello everyone

* * * * *I am new to this forum so please forgive
my ignorance about guitars.Been out of the loop
for about 20 years last guitar i owned was a old
gibson L-6s. All my searching has brought me to the
Ibanez jem series of guitars.I am interested in any
input *about the jem555 from anyone who has played
on one .Is the action smooth? how is the sustain?

* * * * * * * * * * * *Thanks for any info you can
* * * * * * * * * * * *give me
adam santana is offline  
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post #2 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 12:14 AM
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researching for new guitar

Keep in mind before you read my post, that the JEM555 is the lowest model in the JEM line, and there fore, you won't hear 100% positive feedback on it.

Also-to any other poster's, let's try not to turn this into a "The 555 sucks my mother's uncle's horse's wank!" thread, which is what it's come down to in the past...

It's made in Korea, (less workmanship goes into the guitar from start to finish, like a Mexican Strat to a US Strat..), so there is one downside.

I think the biggest plus side, is that you can get a guitar with the basic JEM features, with the (IMO!!) best JEM pick-ups to date. (Best pick-ups period. Evolution's just rock).

The one thing that I think gets the most gripe, is the trem. It's a Lo-TRS, instead of the standard Lo-Pro Edge or Edge featured on all other JEM guitars. The TRS is made by a total other company, and there have been a lot of problems, or, negative sides that people have found in the past. (I'm trying to keep this as positive as possible, so this thread doesn't go to Hell....).

I've heard the necks don't feel as nice as other JEM necks, but this could also fall under the personal opinion category.

The action can be low or high, depending on how you want it. The JEM's are fairly easy to set the action, considering you know what your doing.

With the EVO's, you'll get plenty o'gain. They are VERY high output pick-ups.

I think your best bet, would be to shop around for a Japan made JEM, (JEM7VWH, JEM77FP, JEM7BSB...etc), and get a higher quality guitar for either the same price, or a little more. (Used.)

Good luck on your search.

Warm Regards,
Andy The Reaper is offline  
post #3 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 12:29 AM
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I will say this about the 555's though (since this wasn't said yet):

I have played a few that played really nice. But I've played some that were awful. They seem to be very inconsistant; which makes sense since they are mass produced in Korea.

The best thing you can do is go to a shop that has a ton of'em and play as many as possible until one feels right to you.

Good luck.
jeffrey is offline  
post #4 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 08:18 AM
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researching for new guitar

I agree with Jeffery. I have played some nice ones and some not so nice. Definatly check a few, if you can...

I'm not a huge TRS basher. I do know that they don't feel as good as the Edge/Lo Pro, but they do their job. They stay in tune, at least the one's I've had, and they do good dives and pull-ups. Granted they don't flutter as well as an Edge but they do a good job for what they are...

My biggest gripe is the fretboard inlay. I don't like the 1/2 Vine or the Vai inlay. But that's just personal taste...
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post #5 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 08:20 AM
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researching for new guitar

I agree with much of what Andy said.

I recommend one of these options:
1)Get a used JEM 7. I'm sure there's more than one person on the forum looking to sell one right now.
2)If you insist on buying a brand new guitar, get a 7 DBK. More expensive than a 555, but well worth it.
3)Buy an RG 5XX or above. New or used, it's a pretty good buy. Prices will range all the way from $200 used (a 560 went for $113 on eBay just a few hours ago) all the way up to $1050 for a brand new RG Prestige.
Doink1 is offline  
post #6 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 10:58 AM
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I agree with everything posted so far, except the neck. It feels pretty close to the higher end Jems. So much so, Vai uses them on his guitar. Of course, he could play Uke and FTLOG would still rip .

As stated, and I will echo it again, play a lot of them to find the one that feels right for you. Then, once you have found that, play a Jem7DBK or Jem7VWH. Then, put the 555 back on its peg and start shopping for a used Jem77FP or Jem777??. You won't regret the up grade.

Anonymous is offline  
post #7 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 04:37 PM
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I actually played a couple today. There are huge discrepencies between guitars.

I can't stress enough: play as many as you can!
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post #8 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 09:46 PM Thread Starter
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researching for new guitar

Thanks guys

* * * * * * * *ive written down all your suggestions
and im going on another search. i was planning to
get the guitar online cause there is not many
quality music stores within reach for me.Can anyone
recommend a good online site for me to get my gear?

* * * * * * * * * *thanks *again for all your help guys
* * * * * * * * * *I'll probably be back with some more
* * * * * *questions though

* * * * * * * * * *see ya!
* * * * * * * * Adam Santana
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post #9 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-14-2000, 11:09 PM
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Well for me, when purchasing online at least, the most important thing is a site/store with a generous return policy.

You never know what's going to happen in shipping or what kind of item your going to end up with unless you get your grubby little paws on it.

From my experience so far, Musician's Friend ( has a pretty liberal return policy. I had something get a bit dinged up in shipping (a rack unit) and they cross-shipped me another one and took care of shipping costs on the replacement.

Their prices are pretty decent too since they buy in bulk.
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post #10 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 08:48 AM
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And there's always Rich. Talk to him first.
Whatever you do, avoid a guy by the name of Ed Roman at all costs. He is the devil.
Doink is offline  
post #11 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 10:13 AM
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Go for the 555 if that's what you want. I'd agree with the others and at least play one first. I've thought about picking up a used one to gut.

Bamm here has done this to one and it is now equipped with the Lo Pro trem. Of course, by the time you have done this you could have bought a Jem7Dbk.

Good luck on your purchase!
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post #12 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-15-2000, 10:51 AM
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researching for new guitar

Good commentary above. Let me add some based on feedback and e-mail I've received in the past.

Adam's dilemna is not unusual and unfortunately quite common. This is one of the main reasons I loathe the 555 and feel it should be discontinued. People who TRUSTED Ibanez name over the years look to this model due to it's low cost. It's affordable, seems ok, is an Ibanez and is a JEM... even has Steve Vai's name on a fretboard inlay. Yet in reality it IS a sh*ll
of the real "JEM" they might have heard about or remembered from the past.

IMHO Adam doesn't "want" a 555... he heard good things about Ibanez JEMs and now he's been lured away from the real thing into a substitute... without even realizing it. To me this is "used car salesman" tactics from Ibanez (even if all manufacturs are doing it).

Check the VENDOR LIST on Jemsite for a few authorized Ibanez dealers and resellers too. I would test drive some JEMs locally if possible to see if the guitar is what you expect. Personally I'd shop the JEM7DBK or above for not only playability and quality issues but also resale. Used 555s are a tough sale. There is more 555 commentary in the old forum FAQ TOPIC and some hands on reports on jemsite also. Good luck... glen
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post #13 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 12:17 AM Thread Starter
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researching for new guitar

Hello all

* * * * Its me again with another question.
Its seems that from all the replies the 555 is not such
a good idea for my first purchase in 20 years and ive
looked around this sight *and found the gallery
i do like the jem7dbk so whats the going rate on it
new and used? and where is a reputable dealer site
cuase there is no ibanez dealers close by.

* * * * * * * * * * *you have all been very helpful
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *Thank again:
* * * * * * * * * * * Adam Santana
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post #14 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 08:39 AM
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The DBK will sell used for about $7-800. *Usually these can be found in mint condition for this price. *IMHO, this is the only way to go on one of these babies.

The list price on a new DBK is currently $1600 - so I think that $1,000-1,150 would be an awesome price with case. *That's a deep discount from a high volume dealer.

Another suggestion - if 1k is within your budget - get a Jem7VWH - most sell used in ex-mint condition for $1000-1100.

Good luck!
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post #15 of 17 (permalink) Old 12-19-2000, 01:07 PM
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researching for new guitar

I agree with Glen, I also think the 555 is an attempt to cash in on the 'Vai' name on a guitar which is a cheap substitute. *The only upside to the 555 is the pickups but for the money you will get a much better guitar by buying an RG5XX, they are Japanese made instead of Korean and have a real Edge trem instead of the TRS. *

That said, look for a DBK, they have it all and play great, *unless you are one of those that find the finish a turn off. *

Unsolicited $0.02,
rgr is offline  

edge trem , ibanez dealer , ibanez jem , ibanez jem series , jem neck , mexican strat , music store , pro edge , steve vai

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