So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia? - Jemsite
Ibanez JEM, UV, JS & Other Signature Models For discussion of Ibanez JEM, Universe and JS (Satriani) guitars only.

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  • 1 Post By scalelokt
  • 3 Post By sebastian
  • 1 Post By ibaraki_gaijin
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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 01:12 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 97
So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

Hey guys and gals, not ranting just asking purely out of curiosity:

I have purchased over the years 5 high end Ibanez guitars, here is a rundown of the problems had so far:

Jem 7VWH: Got unlucky enough to purchase my first Jem during the production year(s) where you got horrid overtones around the 12th to 15th fret, especially on the low E string. Years later learned that the fix was to lower the pickups basically down to pickguard level, however since I had installed a sustainer that didn't do me much good since once lowered that far the sustainer basically didn't work anymore.

Jem 77FP2: Came with a twist in the neck, returned it for a plek which masked the problem and made it play pretty well overall. However eventually had the neck leveled and re-fretted which made it perfect. Currently one of my best playing guitars, but only after a good bit of money to make it right.

J Custom 2016: Got from Rich at ibanezrules. Plays perfect and during our communication it was clear he was only going to send me a top notch guitar. However he did view one or two before the one he sent me that weren't up to standard. So even though I got a great one, I was surprised to hear they would send out any guitars of that price with issues.

Jem 777SK 30th anniversary: No issues at all, played great from the start

Ibanez Pia Gold: Mostly good, but had an egregiously high fret that anyone who played it for a few seconds would have spotted. A few other frets were a little uneven but not too bad compared to the really bad one. Did the repair myself.

So I know there are solutions to this, return the guitars, only buy from trusted dealers like Rich, etc., and those are all points well taken. At the time for each purchase, where I made the purchase and why I kept instead of returning is a long story for each guitar I won't bore you with. My main reason for this post is purely curiosity which is this:

Am I just getting a bad impression of Ibanez QC that isn't accurate to the reality? Am I wrong in thinking no guitar over 3 grand should ship with problems like this? Have any of you had similar issues?
I emailed Ibanez directly with a brief rundown of my issues with buying their guitars over the years. It wasn't a rant email, kept it very professional and just said it was concerning to see such easily spotted issues on so many guitars. They never responded.

For the record, I own other brands as well including Kiesel, Jackson, one Schecter, etc. If you look hard enough you can always find a minor flaw here and there, but none of the other guitars I've bought have actually required a repair or a return, other than Ibanez. I'm hoping I've just had very bad luck and this isn't representative of most of their guitars?? Especially since Ibanez IMO are the best guitars out there (once you get a good one)

Thanks!
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-03-2020, 08:50 PM
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Location: Melbourne, FL 32940
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

I own about 25 JEMs, one of each Universe except I have 2 UV7BKs Green dot, some RGs and many JS.

I'd say after a good setup one out of three plays great!
The other 2/3s need fret filing to make most of them play great.
One or two in ten have twisted necks and will never play great.

The worst and saddest JEM I ever owned was a GMC that had a twisted neck.
I sold it because it was unplayable. It was mint looking too.

I have a different GMC now and it plays great! It has a few chips but I'd rather have this one than the mint one.

It's hard buying guitars that get shipped to you without playing them.
Guitar stores with high end guitars are a thing of the past in most towns.
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 04:06 AM
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: UK
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Wow..
I thought original poster sounded unlucky. Maybe not then?

I've owned 2 Jems, 3 JS, a J custom and a PGM. All bought 2nd hand.

Had one high fret/dead spot on my JS1000 that was easy to find and fix.

Otherwise nothing wrong beyond the usual home set-up issues you get with any guitar.
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

Sounds like I'm not totally alone then...
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-04-2020, 01:48 PM
 
Join Date: Apr 2005
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

I have 6 second hand Jems, 2 second hand UV and one new 777LNG 30th. All second hand guitars needed intensive care and adjustment to make them great players. The 777 LNG 30th had some buzzing in the upper neck due to a high fret, maybe dislodged due to weather changes since constructed in dec 2016 to until delivery in july 2017. Send it back to Ibanez for guarantee solution. It came unsolved, as it remains by now 3 years later. Those 58 mm neck heels are unplayable compared to the old 56 mm, but she looks damn pretty near my ‘87 777SK and my ‘91 777VDY
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 06:57 PM
 
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

I've owned several Jems, 1 J-Custom and a few of the Prestige 3120 guitars and all were superb with 1 exception; My 10th Anniversary. The frets were all over and it drove me crazy until I brought it to a good luthier. He diagnosed it as the unfinished(barely finished) neck had enough expansion and contraction through seasonal changes(in New England) was causing the frets to come loose. He went thru and glued them all down, and from then on, it was perfect(sure wish I still had it......)
post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 07:04 PM Thread Starter
 
Join Date: Jul 2012
Location: Tucson, AZ
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

Sounds like you've been very fortunate overall with your purchases, that's great! I'm not sure what to make of all this so far, seems like half are bad and half are good so far. Weird. I don't really count things that could be due to weather, it's impossible to prove Ibanez let it leave the factory with an issue like that. But I've seen things that clearly came from the factory that were pretty bad. I wouldn't be annoyed by it with $500 guitars so much, but when you're talking $3000 and up it's like come on man lol
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-05-2020, 10:51 PM
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

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Originally Posted by [email protected] View Post
with 1 exception; My 10th Anniversary. The frets were all over and it drove me crazy until I brought it to a good luthier. He diagnosed it as the unfinished(barely finished) neck had enough expansion and contraction through seasonal changes(in New England) was causing the frets to come loose. He went thru and glued them all down, and from then on, it was perfect(sure wish I still had it......)
Correct problem, wrong diagnoses. It was well known at the time there were alot of 10ths with unseated frets. I had a few myself.
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-12-2020, 07:07 PM
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

I have several Jem´s and 1 universe, all excellent guitars at PIA not short.
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-13-2020, 10:43 AM
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Re: So I just have bad luck with Jems/Pia?

I bought a used Jem which had some high frets (23rd fret mostly), and I got a PIA and the only issue is I need to lube the knife edges since it pulls out of tune more than the jem on pullups. The fretwork on my PIA is really good, pretty much equal to my Majestys but the PIA is a beast, it weighs more than my JEM (wish all guitars were as light as a Majesty).
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