Does guitar center count?
And is it true that Jems so versatile that that they can go from bright and clean tones to a "Slayer" (The Metal Band) type of distortion?
I plan for a new guitar because my Gbison Lp studio's humbacker limits the sound produced to be heavy and fat. so I thought about fender strat for its fabled clean sound, but i heard that the Jem can go from a heavy sound of the likes in a Gibson LP to a Clean sound of the likes of a single coil in a fender.
Not just a Jem... RGs can do it aswell, as can S models... not even just the H-S-H ones, but also the H-H ones because of the clever 5-way switching that Ibanez uses.
I had pretty much the same wishes when I bought my RG570CT. I had a Les Paul, and I loved the fat heavy sound it had, but I was limited to that. I didn't have single-coil sounds and I didn't have a good tremolo.
I didn't want a Strat, because I don't like them at all. They lack body to the sound, they lack sustain, and the tremolo is pretty useless.
So I tried various guitars from Ibanez, Jackson, Washburn etc.. and I ended up with the RG570CT... the alder body with the maple top really did it for me. It gave the guitar a very fat, sustaining and singing sound. Not quite like a Les Paul, but close enough. And it gave me single-coil sounds... and the excellent LoPro Edge tremolo. It also looked good... amber sunburst.
You probably want to go for alder, or perhaps mahogany, as those will get you the 'vintage' tones of Fender or Gibson. Basswood has a sound of its own.
You won't get the exact Fender and Gibson sounds but I'd say it's 'close enough'.
But you could also go crazy and get a Gibson M3. In my opinion that one gets even closer to Fender and Gibson sounds than any Ibanez. More sustain because of the set neck, a more Fender-like attack because of the maple fretboard... and the clever wiring that gives you S-S-S and H-H sounds, combined with excellent pickups which in my opinion have more character than any DiMarzio.
Here's a song with the clean single-coil sound from my RG570CT: http://www.soundclick.com/bands/page...songID=3648989