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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Salutations all,



This is my first post here, so this is sort of an introduction/NGD post.

Waaaaay back in 1990, I walked with my buddy to a local guitar shop for his weekly lesson. I spent the first 15 minutes walking up and down the two aisles (it was a small store), looking at the guitars they had in stock. I had only been playing about 3 months at the time so I knew very little about the stuff I was looking at. I did recognize the red Stratocaster from the cover of Jimi Plays Monterrey, and that was cool.

Then I saw the most beautiful thing I had ever seen. I'm not talking just guitars here. I mean this was THE most gorgeous, captivating object I had ever seen. it was behind the counter and tucked away in the corner just barely visible. The next 45 minutes was spent staring at this incredible machine. I remember asking the store owner "What is THAT?!". He clearly understood because instead of saying anything, he handed it to me with a huge grin on his face. After handling it for a few minutes, he finally said "That, my friend, is a Jem".

Thus ensued a decades long love affair with Jems, specifically the FP. I got older, went to work in a profession that absolutely devours your free time, and I played less and less. But I never lost my love for the FP.


Eventually, I promoted to a point that I actually have free time, and found myself picking up my guitars more and more until I finally realized I had the means to start seriously looking for my FP. A month or so of constant searching and a few dead ends had me somewhat disheartened. Then a few nights ago, I decided to take one last look on a popular site for guitar sales and there it was. MY Jem FP. I have never typed so fast in my life!

What I found was an 89' with one of the most incredible pattern combinations I've ever seen. We all know what I mean. The front on some is perfect but the head stock is a little weak. Or the back is awesome and the front looks like @ss. Not this one. Certainly it's a matter of personal preference, but this one just jumped out at me.

Apparently it only had two owners. The guy who bought it and the guy who sold it to me. It was found by owner #2 with black Duncans in it. He swapped them out for pink Evos (fine with me as I prefer them to PAF Pros by a wide margin). Everything else is dead stock and in superb condition.

I sincerely hope everyone who really appreciates these instruments gets to call one their one one day. I can assure you that it's worth the wait.

Even if that wait is 28 years long.


~ Matt
 

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Wow! Nice example with no yellowing on the clearcoat! That pattern is the most nice of all to my eyes (and I think the second commonest). Last week I was playing with one exactly like yours but beated up to hell, nut crack and severe clearcoat tarnishing... (they were asking around 2500$), so I didn’t pull the trigger. Enjoy it, I’m still searching for mine.
 

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Congrats! I had a similar experience to you back in 1990 but thankfully it didn't take me 28 years to get an FP! I love my FP, easily one of my favorite guitars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Thanks everyone!

My rig is almost complete. I just picked up a Mesa Road King II head and got a matching RK cab from Sweetwater. That amp and the Jem were made for one another.

Unfortunately, I thought once I had my Jem I'd feel complete but naaaaah. Now I'm starting my search for a nice Swirl. Might take a year or two but I'll get one...

Funny thing too - the guy I got the FP from did a PHENOMENAL set up prior to shipping. He hit me up and told me that this particular FP just seems to prefer .009-.042. I'm accustomed to using 10s on all of my floating trems but he was so right about this one. 9s feel good and balance out really well with the Evos and that trem. I'm used to guitars being okay with one or the other and have never really owned one that was so perfect with one gauge that I'd not consider switching to another. Tony, if you see this, you nailed it on this one, brother. I wont ever be able to thank you enough for the TLC you gave my Jem. I swear to God almighty your extra effort in the set up helped turn my dream into a reality. I've never picked up a guitar that almost played itself.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Heck yeah!! It's a great feeling, eh? Lord knows I've never looked up a tracking number so many times in one 24 hour period :)

I want to see it when you get it!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
This was one of my FP's that I sold. I'm stoked that you liked it. It couldn't have gone to a better home.
You have NO idea how much I appreciate you letting it go, brother. I promise you, it's got a very happy home here in Florida now.

I've named it for my daughter, Evelyn. Vai has Evo, I've got Evie :) Both of them are dreams come true and one day, the Jem will belong to her.
 

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Heck yeah!! It's a great feeling, eh? Lord knows I've never looked up a tracking number so many times in one 24 hour period :)

I want to see it when you get it!!
Will do...

Here's to hoping the delivery driver isn't an idiot like many others.

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Unfortunately, I thought once I had my Jem I'd feel complete but naaaaah. Now I'm starting my search for a nice Swirl. Might take a year or two but I'll get one...

Funny thing too - the guy I got the FP from did a PHENOMENAL set up prior to shipping. He hit me up and told me that this particular FP just seems to prefer .009-.042. I'm accustomed to using 10s on all of my floating trems but he was so right about this one. 9s feel good and balance out really well with the Evos and that trem. I'm used to guitars being okay with one or the other and have never really owned one that was so perfect with one gauge that I'd not consider switching to another. Tony, if you see this, you nailed it on this one, brother. I wont ever be able to thank you enough for the TLC you gave my Jem. I swear to God almighty your extra effort in the set up helped turn my dream into a reality. I've never picked up a guitar that almost played itself.
Thanks man, I'm pleased that you liked the FP and found the setup to your liking. I do pride myself on these Jems in particular. They drift over time (especially these older one piece necks and soft basswood bodies) plus many suffer at the hands of someone who doesn't realize how off their axe is. These Jems are truly capable of great things when they are adjusted properly. I think each one has a sweet spot and for me that's part of the enjoyment I get from these, finding that spot. Sometimes I can get it there in an hour, sometimes it takes a week, they're each such individuals and sometimes I've had to spend a few days just playing it before I decide how to make the first move. They're like puzzles for me that I like to solve. This FP took some cracking but I think I got it most of the way back and also made it a real nice guitar to play. It's like they reach 100,000 miles and they all just need a tune up to dial them back in again.

I'll post a couple of pics for fun, I did take a couple of this one, I tend to photograph everything that comes through.
 

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Pics that didn’t make the listing! Ha ha. I pulled out some Seymour Duncans, one a Parallel Axis (Blues Saraceno) and the other a Screamin Demon (George Lynch) both added in the late 80’s. As you know, put new Evo’s in it and now it screams. It needed just a thin shim of the neck pocket and the low E side of the locking nut. In the pic with the neck, I was finished with the neck in that pic. It needed an adjustment, clean, polish and oil. It was bone dry and took a few applications before it stopped absorbing but it came out great. Super nice package, the bones were good, it just needed saving is all. Now it should be a proper Jem with many more years of service ahead. I’m happy to have given it a new lease on life.
 

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