Jem vs Soloist - Jemsite
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post #1 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2002, 07:05 AM Thread Starter
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Jem vs Soloist

Hi...

I'm new I'm currently trying to decide between an Ibanez Jem7DBK and a Jackson USA Soloist SL1/SL2H (w/ graphics).

I wondered what people's opinions are on which is better and why. I know it's an opinion-based thing and I should try them both out, but there are no shops that stock these near me so I'm likely to have to order without even playing them.

Thanks!
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post #2 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2002, 08:34 AM
 
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Here, you will hear the JEM blows the Jackson away.

Go to the Jackson forum, and you'll hear that ANY Jackson blows ANY Ibanez away.

This shouldn't surprise you, and it doesn't really help.

If you MUST order sight unseen, I'd get a Carvin. TONS of custom options, great workmanship, and you have 10 days to return it for refund if you don't like it. But you have to wait a couple months for them to build it.Or get one of each used on eBay & eBay off the one you don't like... ;-)
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post #3 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2002, 10:05 AM
 
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I've played both a lot, and I own neither.

Let me tell you they are both great guitars, but entirely different. I think with the cost issue, Carvins look like a much better deal than the Jackson, both being USA made.

Asthetically, I prefer the JEM/RG look to any other guitar.

Sound-wise, the Jackson seemed brighter, almost too bright with the maple through alder.

I prefer the Jem. (Actually, I like the DBK the best).
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post #4 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-19-2002, 11:57 AM
 
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I own both, both are 1990 models and they're both fine guitars. My Soloist is definitely the better guitar in terms of build quality, but they both play and sound excellent. The Soloist is a little brighter, with less body but more clarity than the Jem. The Jem has a more emphasized midrange and an open, breathy nature that I really love, but the Soloist's preamp-assisted electronics make it a great chameleon guitar, capable of a wide variety of workable tones that can suit almost anything - I had to customize my Jem wiring before I was happy with it... I can get better action on my Soloist without buzzing, and I've cleaned and crowned the frets on both guitars and tried shiming the Jem's neck slightly, but the neck-through has the advantage there for sure... The Jem probably keeps a better resale value, but used Soloists can be had for less than a good used Jem. If I had to choose just one, I'd keep the Jem (probably) because I've put so much work into customizing it (custom wiring, custom pickup config, impecable setup :-)) but I wouldn't be happy about making the choice...

PS - I've owned a Carvin DC127 and I think they are highly over rated! There's a reason Carvin guitars are half the price of a Soloist or Jem. And you certainly DO get exactly what you pay for, imho.
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post #5 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-20-2002, 10:08 PM
 
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Get a soloist, soloists are way better built with better quality, more color options and its your own, its nobodies signature. They offer everything a jem does except they are better guitars.
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post #6 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-20-2002, 10:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Ron
They offer everything a jem does except they are better guitars.
Does it offer an option for a Edge/LoPro ...glen
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post #7 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 12:51 AM
 
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Most of the difference between a soloist and jem is like the difference between a Geo Prizm and a Chevy Prizm. It's pretty much the same concept, just different packaging.

You'll find plenty of blind brand-name monkeys who'll tell you that the Jackson is always better. And plenty more will tell you that the Ibanez is always better. I think it's probably a little of both.

They both have quality issues. The "made in the USA is best" argument is retarded and don't bother with that. Buy what you like.

If neck-through construction, pretty maple tops, and sharkfin inlays are a must, go with the Jackson.

If thin flat necks, the Lo Pro Edge, and DiMarzios are a must, go with the JEM.

Otherwise, buy whichever plays better.
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post #8 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 01:04 AM
 
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eh... get an RGT... but I'd take a Jem over a jackson except maybe the Phil Collen model.
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post #9 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 06:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Ron
Get a soloist, soloists are way better built with better quality, more color options and its your own, its nobodies signature. They offer everything a jem does except they are better guitars.
{scratches head and wonders why Captain Ron continues to post at Jemsite when he has such a profound dislike of Ibanez guitars}
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post #10 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 08:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianH
eh... get an RGT...
Brian's right, the RGT3120 is far closer to a Soloist than a JEM is what with the RGT's through neck, twin HB layout and all.

I've never found the build quality issues that noticable between a JEM and a Soloist, and whilst I've never owned a Soloist to get a long term persective of that aspect I've played lots of both of these guitars.

To my ears the Soloist has more "treble" than a JEM, maybe due to the pickups maybe due to the extra ammounts of maple, but still lacks "sparkle" or presence that I think must be a part of the bolt on design's inherent character.

Personally I REALLY don't like the bumpy finish, (which is why Steve chose me a nice shiny metallic finish on the new JEM) so in truth in order to feel comfy I'd probably go for the Soloist.

Closer in design to the JEM is Jackson's new American DK1 - Dinky, a bolt on version of the Soloist which comes with twin EMGs and all the same finish options.

Glen raised the point about the Lo-Pro Edge. apart from it's incredible stability, it's also imho by far the comfiest bridge system, and I miss in on other guitars that I've tried, mainly as the less ergonomic trem systems actually do interfere with some of my playing style.

If these guitars were all the SAME price I have to say I'd probably go for the Jackson Dinky. But I'd also pay more to get a JEM7V in either "Elvis" white, or "Strat" Blue
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post #11 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 12:35 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks everyone!

You've all been very helpful.

Judging by the opinions, I might just have to get both!... I'm in the UK, and as we pay nearly twice the price for these guitars as in the US, things could get very expensive...

I'll have to keep looking and see if any stores get these guitars in so I can try them out (though I understand they've stopped the 7DBK in the UK).
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post #12 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 01:33 PM
 
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I've owned a Jackson, and their trems were enough to turn me off of Floyds for years.

It's only the Edge that has me considering getting a trem-equipt guitar again.
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post #13 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 01:38 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris20
I've owned a Jackson, and their trems were enough to turn me off of Floyds for years.

It's only the Edge that has me considering getting a trem-equipt guitar again.

Which Jackson did you own and what kind of trem did it have?
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post #14 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 01:40 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3db
Quote:
Originally Posted by Polaris20
I've owned a Jackson, and their trems were enough to turn me off of Floyds for years.

It's only the Edge that has me considering getting a trem-equipt guitar again.

Which Jackson did you own and what kind of trem did it have?
That was '94, I honestly don't remember. It was a little over a grand for it, so I assume it was a fairly decent one.
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post #15 of 48 (permalink) Old 05-21-2002, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 3db
Thanks everyone!

You've all been very helpful.

Judging by the opinions, I might just have to get both!... I'm in the UK, and as we pay nearly twice the price for these guitars as in the US, things could get very expensive...

I'll have to keep looking and see if any stores get these guitars in so I can try them out (though I understand they've stopped the 7DBK in the UK).
Machinehead in Hitchin (Hertfordshire) have both the JEM7DBK and Jackson SL1 and SL2 Soloists in stock at the moment. So if you go there you should be able to A/B test them. You will however, find both guitars cheaper online. Check the Ibanez Rules box at the top of the page for a great deal on a superbly set up JEM. Heck, Rich might even be able to fix you up with a Jackson

Also as far as I'm aware the 7DBK is still being shipped to the UK.
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