What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside) - Jemsite
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 04:21 AM Thread Starter
 
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What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

A few years ago I posted a thread at http://www.jemsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=10428 (Jesus, my grammar was terrible) and I've just now started playing guitar again. This is my short story:

I looked in the classified ads in the newspaper when I was 14 years old (in 1999 I think) or so and found a guy selling a Jem. I eventually bought it from him and didn't know any better that what I bought was a Jem Jr. and not one of the upper model Jems. Something I noticed was that Jem 555s are supposed to come stock with a pearloid pick guard, but mine came with a flat white pick guard:



I read on the Jem site that prior to 1997, 555s had "Jem Jr." on the headstock, but mine has just Jem so I'm sure it was bought after that:



On the back of the headstock it says Jem 555, the serial number, and Made In Korea of course:




Now, the guy I bought it from told me that he changed the pickups in it, and for what reason I'm not sure (tone I guess,) so these black ones were put into it (I keep the volume knob off since my hand hits it so much



What he didn't tell me was that he had also changed the tremolo out; I found this out because a while after I bought it from that guy, I took it to a music store and wanted to have it fully set up because it was giving me problems. A day or so later after dropping it off, the guitar repairman calls me and says that he has the original tremolo that was on the guitar (literally) because he knows the person I bought it from and asked if I wanted it back on there (I was having problems with the tremolo so that's why I brought it in.)





The original Jem 555s come with a pearloid pick guard (mine is white,) white DiMarzio Evolutions (mine are black and I don't know what brand/model they are,) and a chrome Lo-TRS II tremolo (mine is black and says Ibanez/Lo-TRS, so I think it's a Lo-TRS and not a Lo-TRS II.)


I just thought I'd post this up because I'm not really sure what's going on with my guitar. At the time I bought it, I thought it was a great guitar because I'd only been playing for a couple of years, but I soon found out that it was pretty terrible. I have always had trouble with the tremolo making the guitar get out of tune because when I use it I have to dump it every time I'm done or the tuning will be sharp. I'm not sure if it's the tremolo itself or if it's the poles that the tremelo rests on to float that makes it do that, but either way something needs to be done. The tremolo is very, very stiff and hard to use, and since it kept getting out of tune (even just resting my palm on it would do that) I had a piece of wood put into the back of it so it wouldn't be able to go sharp.

I'll be posting another thread about some of this stuff in the other section so I can see if this guitar is salvageable; it has fretbuzz like you wouldn't believe, the tremolo is terrible in every way as I've said and the tone really sucks.

Last edited by Thared33; 12-22-2006 at 05:26 PM. Reason: Forgot a picture
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 04:29 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

Another few random pics:






5 springs in the back, you ask? The tremolo will float way high if I have less (there were only 3 in there when I got it.) Oh, and the yellow stuff you see is sawdust since new screws were put into the back piece.

She's in terrible health as you can see, and I really want to nurture her back to her homeostasis, if you will, as much as possible so I can have an extra guitar sitting around.
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 04:54 AM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

i would say its just a 555 with swapped out pickguard and pickups. date wise, i dont know, but its pre 2003, because it doesnt have the edge pro 2 trem in it.....
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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 05:01 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

Yeah it's definitely pre-2003 because I bought it in 1999 I believe, but the pick guard has me wondering about it: I thought it was supposed to have a pearloid style pick guard, and the actual style of it is exactly the same as on other Jems, so maybe it was bought from Ibanez or something. I'm just hoping that it isn't a bootleg or some kind of imitation copy.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 05:12 AM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

I'm pretty sure it's not a copy mate. When he replaced the pickups he may have just changed the gaurd as he didn't like pearliod. If you unscrew the pickgaurd (strings off first) you'll be able to carefully turn the whole thing around and get a look at the back plates of the pickups. They'll have some sort of markings on them (might even say Dimarzio Made in USA DP** or similar) Let us know what you find and we'll be able to tell you what pickups you've got in your guitar.
If you'd like a new pickgaurd then use the pickgaurd paradise link at the top of this page. They've got loads of colours to choose from.

Ben
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 05:17 AM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

if you bought it in 99 then its just a Jem555. someone just modded it with an aftermarket PG and PU's. There were no Chibanez's back then..
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 06:48 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

OK, I was looking on ibanezrules and I've found a little more info on it: I looked in the product catalog for 1994 and I saw a picture of the Jem 555, and it has a totally white pick guard, just like mine; however, it says that the hardware is supposed to be black, and mine is currently black but the tremolo was replaced (the original was chrome.) I also looked in the serial number section on ibanezrules and I noticed something else: it says that the lower end models were produced in Korea and start with a C on the back of the headstock, so I looked at my serial number and yes, it does start with a C, but it says that it's supposed to be 7 or 8 digits following the C, and mine only has 6.

The first number in the serial is supposed to be the year it was manufactured, and the first one on mine is 4, and like I said I saw the all-white pick guard in the product catalog so I'm thinking it was manufactured in 1994; the only catalog that has a 555 with a white pick guard is the one in 1994, by the way.

The serial is odd and it supposedly came with chrome hardware, so I'm beginning to think that this may have been some kind of a prototype or something since the 555s were introduced in 1994. The guy told me he paid $1200 for it and it says in the 1994 catalog that the list price is $999.

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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 06:58 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

Now that I think of what I just posted, I kind of vaguely remember the guy telling me that it was a "prototype" guitar when he got it. I know it's weird that I remember all of this, but I'm almost sure he did mention this...


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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 07:33 AM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thared33 View Post
Now that I think of what I just posted, I kind of vaguely remember the guy telling me that it was a "prototype" guitar when he got it. I know it's weird that I remember all of this, but I'm almost sure he did mention this...


Prototype's don't usually have Serial #s.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 07:52 AM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lefty Robb View Post
Prototype's don't usually have Serial #s.
I've wondered what the story is behind my guitar for years but never really looked into it thoroughly, so I'm going to try my best to get to the bottom of this.
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post #11 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 01:08 PM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

serial # will tell the year.
your sounds to start at 4, means 1994 i guess:

Jemsters corretc me if i'm wrong.
IMHO, you should just swap that Lo TRS trem with an OFR, or GOTOH. Gonna rock.
Nice axe, BTW.
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post #12 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

Yeah, swap that thing with an OFR. Then you're set to go .
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post #13 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 01:11 PM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

It looks like a cross between a 333 and a 555
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post #14 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 01:18 PM
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

As already mentioned swap the trem .

Regards

André



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post #15 of 21 (permalink) Old 12-22-2006, 01:46 PM Thread Starter
 
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Re: What is my guitar? pt. II (pics inside)

OFR - Original Floyd Rose
GOTOH - Had to look this up. I'm not sure who this person is, but I take it he invented, or at least is popular for a tremolo design that can only divebomb.

I'm not so sure that changing out the tremolo with a Rose would solve the problems I have with it; it has really bad fretbuzz and the action isn't too great. I've got a Jackson Kelly K-10 Pro and an Ibanez GRX70, and both of them sound even better than the 555 (maybe it's just because of its health.)

I'll see what I can do though; I'll probably have to get some new poles that rest in the body that the Rose sets on since I think it's worn down to crap. Will a regular Rose even fit a 555? I thought I remembered reading that certain ones won't fit into a 555 somewhere...
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