i recently sold a couple of my beloved axes and am shopping for my next one to replace them. i made a trip to Orlando, FL and visited Downtown Disney where the Guitar Gallery is located (George's Music) to try out some new guitars. i was fortunate enough to try a few J-Customs. they had an 8670 with gold hardware and a transparent black quilt top, a fabric top S-Custom series ($2999), a neck-thru H/S/H J-Custom w/ a GK pup installed w/ a transparent black quilt top (so nice, so very, very nice) and also pair of semi-hollow piezo and GK equiped neck-thru J-Customs on the wall as well (they had them tagged as Custom 1 models?). they had sound hole slots in the mid pup position. their prices were insane.
i fell in love w/ the neck-thru GK model (it was marked as a Custom 2 ?). the neck was like a very thin wizard neck that felt like butter. i'd like to know what model it is - but the sales staff was completely clueless to the J-custom line - which i found very sad. they thought they were custom shop guitars built BEFORE the custom shop closed in the US (models had Edge pro trems).
some of the other guitars they had on the wall were a Jem7VSBL ('02 w/ lots of player wear - they said it was NEW but obviously didn't know how to read the serial #'s)- it had a Lo Pro, protective plastic peeled off pickguard and minor corrosion on pup screws and trem w/o case for $2099!), PGM 301 in white w/ blk painted f-holes (i think it was $1899?), RGT3120 (neck is very FAT - not thin at all - eeeew - too bad as it was very beautiful - $1899 w/o case), JS
Y2K ($4999), EP7 acoustic ($1099 w/o case) and a lot of other one-of guitars from other companies (Gibson, Fender, PRS, Martin, ect).
i loved the quilted black J-custom neck-thru w/ the GK ($2999!!) and the VSBL. the tone in the RGT was AWESOME (used a Fender Deville for demoing) but the neck was very beefy. that was the first VSBL i had seen in person and people weren't kidding about pics not doing the blue sparkle justice - i fell for that model - HARD! i'll be on the prowl for my own VSBL over the next few months. awesome tone and dynamically versatile with a nice neck feel. i'll add a mirrored blue pickguard and possibly alter pup colors. definitely the guitar for the $ and the blue looked amazing!
sorry i didn't get pics - forgot my camera. i'd like to know what model the black J-Custom is - she was my fav but a little pricey. i'll get the VSBL this year and possibly keep a look out for that J-Custom for my next purchase.
the staff was nice and were very happy to let me play the guitars but were the poorest salesman - "do you want me to wrap up the Jem?" was all i got from him. he didn't know anything about the model, features or how ridiculous their pricing was. the "new" VSBL was in players condition and double the market value for the condition or $400 more than a new one in mint. it's sad that i can import a J-Custom for more than $1000 less than what they were asking. i was just glad to finally get to try out some of Ibanez's best guitars. i was floating the whole day afterwards from the experience. well worth the trip.