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post #1 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-06-2003, 07:53 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6
Swirl JEM Purchase advice


I have been playing guitar for 2 years now and steve vai is my largest influence. I have decided i want to purchase a JEM but I am slightly confused. I have been to guitar center and I have only seen the white JEM and the Blue one and the Industrial JEM. I dont really want those specific ones. I have seen in older videos and on this website the really colorful ones and the swirl "DNA" guitars. I realllllly would like to buy the swirl JEM. Im lacking in knowledge in this departement and i dont know what to do. Is the factory producing these older swirl JEM models? Will they ever... and if they do how much will they cost... Also if anyone has any helpful info reguarding how I should go about purchasng a JEM I would really appreciate the advice. Thanks so much for your help and advice

Pickin' & Grinnin' :P

GuitarKid333 is offline  
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post #2 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-06-2003, 08:41 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Berlin, Germany
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No swirls are in serial production anymore, you can conslult the jem specs for the exact years....

For a DNA you will have to pay $3K and above, since other swirls are highly collectable, they are rather pricey too...

So if you really want the swirl, you'll have to be ready to pay lots of $$$ and spend some time searching...If i were you i'd get a regular Jem...
pawel is offline  
post #3 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-06-2003, 08:43 PM
Join Date: Jul 2001
Location: Berlin, Germany
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Oh, and the best source for getting Jems is Ibanez Rules
pawel is offline  
post #4 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-06-2003, 10:19 PM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Glendale AZ
Posts: 77
I agree a lot with what Pawel has to say. A multi-color jem is a pretty expensive guitar. If you are looking around, they can be identified by the "MC" designation in the model number, except for the DNA. There are also folks here who have had a swirl paint job done for them by Herc Fede or Darren Johansen. You can find them in the links section of this site. There is another gentleman who is doing them in Brazil, but I don't think he exports. You can also contact a good friend of mine, Jeremy who owns LGM Guitars and Graphics. He is the master of the modified jem universe, (pun intended) and his insight may be worth utilizing. (he has a banner above the forum)

If you are looking at buying a used one, once again Ibanez Rules is the place. Three of the four swirls I have were purchased from Rich, and he is a pleasure to business with. I bought them to collect, however, and cost was no object. I am not sure I would spend as much money to buy a guitar just to play. There are folks here who play the hell out of their swirls, I'm just not one of them. Good luck in your search, they are available, there is even a green multi-color for sale in the classifieds right now, and a primarily black seven string MC on evilbay.

If you have the $$$, make the investment. You'll be hangin' with the hard-core then, brother.
evil01ws6 is offline  
post #5 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 01:23 AM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6
Hello again!

Thanks so much for your advice! I did not realize anyone would post this quickly, this site has really got its act togeather! All of your comments are helping me loads. My price range however is about 1600 max... I have to gig and mow lawns to make my cash... my parents arnt rich or anything like that. Although a swirl would be my top choice, if i cant have that ill for sure get some other type of JEM. I have played other shred guitars and frankly i dont think they can be beat... unless you get a custom job. I go to a school for the arts and am in the top jazz combo, we go to the reno jazz festivel and such. I love jazz, i have a Heritage 535 semi-hollow and am loving it... but have you ever tryed playing rock one of those things? I dont know it jsut seems like your hurtin the poor thing Anyway I have really started persuing rock... mostly virtuoso type metal IE steve vai van halen yngwie malmsteen and stuff. So i need a guitar i can really go crazy on... Im currently borrowing my friends ibanez cuz i cant wait to buy my own. Since I dont have the kind of bank required to buy what really should be classified as a collecters item, i would like to know in the the opinion of the JEM experts what guitar would be right for me! Heres the only catch... I dont really want the white EVO guitar because its really steves signature guitar... I know all JEMs are but i want one that can be my guitar and a little bit more original... Altough if it is in your opinion the best guitar... its cool too... can you say paint job? Any way thanks for your continued support. It really helps to know im going to be making the right decision in the end with all your help... since money does not come easy.

Pickin' & Grinnin'

GuitarKid333 is offline  
post #6 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 01:38 AM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Location: Glendale AZ
Posts: 77
With your budget, if it were me, I'd get a BSB if you prefer a rosewood fingerboard, or a BFP if you prefer maple. Both are nowhere near run-of-the-mill, and can really deliver the goods. Also, neither of them have a hum-drum solid finish.
evil01ws6 is offline  
post #7 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 03:03 AM
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Canada
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Originally Posted by GuitarKid333
Hello again!

I dont really want the white EVO guitar because its really steves signature guitar... I know all JEMs are but i want one that can be my guitar and a little bit more original...

If your budget is $1600 you could always start out with an RG 570, have it modded to look like a JEM and swirled in the colors of your choice as well. Inlays etc in your choice.

That's basically what I did with the JEM911USA
littlegreenman is offline  
post #8 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 05:35 AM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: Hilversum, The Netherlands
Posts: 3,274
I would go with Jeremy's advice, get a used 550/570 and have it customized to your desire.

If I had 1600 big ones though (and really wanted a JEM), I'd probably go for a JEM. Everyone on this forum who has touched a JEM or a UV has said how much different it is from every other guitar that they've touched. So, probably even a JEMified RG will not compare...
Ibateur is offline  
post #9 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 03:53 PM
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: South East England
Posts: 631
Is you budget in £ or $? If I were you i'd go for a JEM77fp, I think they're about 1,200. Then you've got 400 to spend on the swirl, of course if you shop around a bit or go second hand you'll get the guitar cheaper, and have more money to buy a crazyer swirl.
sanitarium is offline  
post #10 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 05:24 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6
hey there again,

I did not know you could get a swirl done! Who does it and for how much? Also i was looking around and i thought that the JEM7DBK was kinda cool... does the textured surface matter if i was gonna get it swirled? And also i noticed that the fret markers are screws... are they smooth and has anyone noticed problems with them hindering your playing? Anyways... Id just like to know about where i could get a swirl done and if the JEM7DBK is good and stuff. Also my currency is dollars

Pickin' & Grinnin'

GuitarKid333 is offline  
post #11 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 06:01 PM
Join Date: Nov 2002
Location: probably Pittsburgh
Posts: 64
A swirlred DBK would be very cool! The screwhead inlays are just like any other, the surface is smooth.
kangaroo is offline  
post #12 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-07-2003, 06:32 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Location: London, England
Posts: 796
http://www.abouttimedesigns.com/ for your swirling needs.
Artist is offline  
post #13 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 03:37 AM
Join Date: Dec 2002
Location: Maine (USA)
Posts: 1,628
$1600 should get you pretty darn close to a new 7VWH or SBL through Rich at Ibanez Rules. I'm not sure what the new FP goes for (Rich can get you those, too.) I think those are really neat. There's fewer SBLs around (though far from rare) than WHs. And I suspect there are even fewer FPs than SBLs.

If you want to buy secondhand, $1600 should get you pretty far. If you haven't looked at Ibanez Rules yet, you'll find he sells used as well. There are the other usual options i.e., guitar shops, evilbay, etc. You just have to be careful what you buy and who you buy it from--in my area I've only seen two used JEMs EVER in local guitar stores. One of them was in rough shape and the other had something strange done to its neck.

Except for the occasional lunatic browsing the forum, I don't think you'll find anybody who'll say anything bad about Rich (except his nextdoor neighbor's kid -- besides, he might beat us up if we did!) Seriously, plenty of us have bought guitars off him.

Finally, I think you'll find that the JEM would suit your needs as far as your jazz playing goes. I'm no jazz wiz, but I play some. The JEM will do it just fine. I heartily recommend that you buy as many guitars as you can, but if you needed to trade the 535 to make the JEM more affordable, I think it'll suit your needs.

OK, one more thing. I've never seen a swirled DBK, but I'm not so sure about that idea. I'd want to see one before I had one done. The one question mark I have in the whole JEM line is the DBK anyway. I never did understand that guitar. Enough said, someone might get mad at me. See ya.
bpd111 is offline  
post #14 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 04:35 AM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: UK
Posts: 2,107
I'll chime in with a few more ideas.

Darren at abouttimedesigns.com is the guy who swirled the original swirls and he does do aftermarket swirls.
The only drawback is that it takes a few months to get a body out to him and get it back swirled and it costs about $500 with shiping both ways.

Another thing to do is to get a Japanese swirled Universe - or UV7MC MKR as they are known.
They are relatively cheap as the Japanese artist that swirled those didn't use neon colours and they apear quite dull compared to Darrens' swirls (UV7MC ATD).
Another thing to do would be to get in touch with Rich about getting one of the JEM77FP 15 year anniversary jem

which you can get brand new in the US now but they are limited # and you better e-mail Rich quick.

Failing that - E-mail him for a DBK quote and ask for the 2003 to 2002 trem plug screws and locking posts.
The only thing to keep in mind is that the DBK effectively has a neck that is more like the RG5xx series guitar than a JEM neck.
Also the Philips screw head fret markers are see through plastic and the design is infact printed on a paper underneath them - so they will be smooth to the touch like any plastic dot fret markers.

let us know what you decide to do.

dex is offline  
post #15 of 26 (permalink) Old 09-08-2003, 09:39 PM Thread Starter
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 6
Hello all,

I have been talking to my teacher about buying a JEM and fore some reasone he thinks there a gimmic... he says i should get a G&L but I said I thought JEMs are way cooler and their necks and tone are far superior he said i was full of crap.
Anyway I noticed the PMC JEM looks just like the swirls... except somone told me they are less vibrant. Still it looks close enought for beans. How much do those things cost? And i mean how much does a nice one cost... not somthing that has been hanging in some guitar center and everyone and their grandma played it
I want a JEM but I need mula and unless i win the lotto or people start giving me money i need a good deal on the guitar i get... cuz if its not a guitar thats already swirld that means i have to save more money and get the thing swirled...
I want to know why older people alwayse want to be kids again... gimme your big money making job anyday so i can buy guitars
Anyway I also talked to Darren and he was very supportive of my situation and said he would love to swirl one of my guitars!

...Now all i need is a JEM...

"School Blows... wastes my practice time"

GuitarKid333 is offline  

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