An RG is a cheap Jem. Sorry, but that's the way it is, even though i love RG models.
But I ask again, why exactly is a JEM ten times better than a good RG (770, Prestige, etc...)?
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.
JEMs/RGs can do a wide variety of sounds, but they sound like JEMs and RGs. You're not going to get a Strat sound or a LP sound out of either.
My personal opinion is that a guitarist should have one of the following:
- Les Paul or nice LP clone (you have this covered)
- Strat or Strat clone (Suhr, etc)
- Some sort of "shred" guitar (JEM, RG, Vigier, etc)
Personally though, if you say you have as much money as you do, I would seriously look to Suhr guitars or Vigier guitars. Suhr just unveiled its new 24 fret model (see the thread in the "Other Guitars" section). You can easily get one for around the same price as a JEM with many custom options. IMO, the quality of those guitars easily blows most equally-priced Ibanezes out of the water. I just think that if you're going to be spending $2200+, there are much better options than a JEM.
Well, if you ask me... you can't really 'go up a level' from an LP Studio. It may not have the looks and status of a $5000 custom, but they're both still Gibson Les Pauls. You get pretty much the same guitar all around. Same type of neck, same type of hardware, same type of wood, same type of electronics etc.
I guess you may not yet know what kind of player you are, or want to be. Perhaps you're not a Les Paul player at all. Then again, perhaps you're not a Jem player either.
Why not get a mid-end RG (eg a 1570 or 2570, they play about as well as a Jem anyway)? Perhaps even second-hand? Keep the Les Paul... if you find that the RG is your kind of guitar, you can always 'upgrade' to a Jem later. If the RG isn't your thing, well, you haven't wasted a lot of money on it either, so you can use that money for your next purchase.
I think it just takes a guitarist years to find out what his ideal guitar is. It may even change over the years. Just playing for one year isn't enough. I was playing for about a year on a borrowed Strat clone before I bought my own, which was an Epiphone Les Paul Standard, because I really liked the sound that Gary Moore and Slash got.
Then after about 2 years I was getting into Satriani and Vai and such, and a Les Paul just didn't cut it. So I got my RG.
Scali has sound advice.
I don't know who misinformed you, but a Les Paul Studio is not an average beginner's guitar that you "level up" from. Sure, there are higher end models out there with exquisite flamed tops, better inlays, etc...But don't think that a LP Studio is a bad guitar.
I have a MG 250 DFX its a 250 watt marshall amp and i have a Digitech whammy and a boss MT2 metal zone along with my gibson LP studio
and for going to my friend's (drummer) house i use a MG30 DFX a 30 watt marshall amp and my pedal
and i also have that MS-2 amp, the marshall belt amp that's like 2 watt.
EDIT: Posted before I saw this....
Well, good grief, forget a new guitar, upgrade that amp! You're hardly going to notice the subtle nuances of a nicer guitar through an amp like that.