I've been playing for 8 years now, and previously owned a JEM7V, JEMBRMR, Les Paul Classic, two Music Man John Petrucci's, Ibanez RG's (6 and 7 strings), along with two intro level guitars. During that time I used a Mesa Dual Rect., and played mostly Dream Theater, Vai (not all the solos of course
), metallica, and of course all the nu-metal I loved growing up, along with other stuff.
Sadly, I had to part with literally ALL of my equipment and assets a little over a year ago due to personal financial distress during this recession...This really broke my heart. Of all things, the JEM7V is what I miss the most. Thankfully, I am in a position to to spend around $3000 on a guitar/amp setup, and would like to get a new 2010 JEM7V (unless you guys know of a reason not to), as I can take advantage of Guitar Center's financing opportunity. I really hate to do this, but I truly cannot express how much I miss playing in general, and a JEM would be a nice little gift to myself.
I'm trying to decide if I should get another JEM with a line6, or some cheap amp until christmas time, then go for a legacy 2, and g system, or a cheaper guitar and more expensive amp. Thankfully, I was blessed with a great job years ago and was able to have all the equipment above for many years, so I never had to buy an inexpensive amp, or focus on a budget for an amp/guitar combo purchase. Sadly, thats not the case now. However, some good did come out of it.
Over the past two years, I have found my true self, both in music and life. I have in some way outgrew the modern crunch tone, and seek more of a mature, beautiful, vai like tone. The tone I feel in my soul now is smooth, expresses emotion, and is more mature, hence I would like a JEM as my first purchase (for the second time around) rather than a Les Paul, Music man , or some other guitar. Not to mention, that I swear by the clean tone of the JEM, so you certainly get your bang for the buck (a big buck at that lol).
I'm wondering if I should hold off on the jem and perhaps get a guitar for around $1000, and the legacy, or what I originally mentioned above. However, I'm not very familiar with the quality, range, and tone of any amps besides higher end $1500+ head/combos. Now that you guys know what I am seeking in terms of tone (clean I like as clean as possible, but we all know thats not achieved without spending a nice cent, so that can hold off 'till the legacy 2).
I truly appreciate all your recommendations, the time you took out to read this, and help a fellow musician. Though I don't know you, clearly by belonging to this forum, we share a common interest, and from the bottom of my heart I wish you all the best of luck, and blessings in your careers/lives, and hope none of you have to go through what I went through, and part with these wonderful instruments, that feel more like an extension of ourselves, rather than objects.
Also, if any of you are in the South Florida area, and would like to jam or need a setup (my friends who are great players, always compliment me on my setups), I'd be more than happy to hang and help out in any way. I just really miss the music community, and guitar geeks like myself
. As I live here now, my friends are back home up North, so I basically am the only person I know in Florida who even knows how to play guitar!
Hope you all are having a great summer, and thanks in advance for reading my post, and offering your help.