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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hey Folks,

I'm well aware these guitars are made by the Chinese and won't be close to the original Jem.

However, I've always loved the Mirror Top Jem especially at the price point of 2500 used. I'm sure if I swap out the Tremolo and Pickups on this guitar it well sound just as good as my Mexican made guitars. I don't own anything that's made in America or Japan.

I just like the mirror top finish and thought it would be a cool novelty guitar.

I actually like the vine of life inlay on this guitar better then the plain old Ibanez neck on the original Jem.

http://www.aliexpress.com/item/New-...ife-Black-Floyd-Rose-Electric/1980559840.html
 

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I'm sure if I swap out the Tremolo and Pickups on this guitar it well sound just as good as my Mexican made guitars.
I wouldn't bet $388 on that... that is IF it actually gets through customs.

IMO you might as well take that $388 and donate it to UNICEF, you'd get more out of it that way and you wouldn't be supporting scumbag counterfeiters...
 

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I wouldn't bet $388 on that... that is IF it actually gets through customs.

IMO you might as well take that $388 and donate it to UNICEF, you'd get more out of it that way and you wouldn't be supporting scumbag counterfeiters...
Completely agree. You'd be paying for overpriced not particularly effective firewood.
 

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Outside of everyone taking a dump on Chinese guitars for being counterfeits (which I agree with) you'll end up spending at least as much as you did on the guitar to get it in decent playable condition. You can do some work yourself but it'll still cost you more than it's worth in the long run.

Here are the specifics of what I'm talking about.

Customs costs: you may get lucky and it slips through but if you get hit by customs it's a lot more than what you think. A $20 item going through customs can end up costing $200

Hardware upgrades: These things use the cheapest (price & quality) hardware which you will want to swap out. Tuners slip, tremolos aren't all that stable, inferior metals are used, all of which affect tone & tuning stability.

Electronics upgrades: Along with the pickups you'll also want to change out all the pots & jacks. The electronics aren't that great and won't last that long so you'll definitely want to change that out. Then you'll probably want to put some dimarzio's in there (at least I would).

Work on neck and frets: Necks are ok assuming the truss rod is worth a crap and working. Assuming decent fret wire was used it usually isn't installed worth a crap. Most having the wire overhanging the fretboard, not being properly leveled and dressed and in some cases not being fully seated. Depending on how good/bad things are it may be able to be repaired but most likely it'll be better to pull all the frets out & start fresh.

These are just the major things that you see with most Chinese made guitars. Depending on which factory it comes from there could be other issues such as bad necks/truss rods or finish issues that would need to be worked on.

Knowing what I spend on quality parts when I build from scratch you'll probably end up paying an extra several hundred dollars just on parts to get the guitar in decent playing condition. This is assuming you can do all the work yourself; factor in the time to do all the work (how much is your time worth). If you have to bring it to a luthier to do the work that's even more money assuming you can find one that will work on it. Luthiers I know have the same feelings as us here on fakes and will refuse to work on them. So that $388 guitar you’re looking at in the long run will end up costing you closer to $800 - $1000 minimum. At that point you’re better off getting yourself a real Ibby JEM off the rack rather than a knock off counterfeit. Or better yet you like the mirrored JEM, make it a point to put money aside a little at a time for what you really want.

To sum it up that "good deal" on a fake Ibanez ends up not being so good when you factor in all the extra costs & work you'll need to put into it. And if you ever decide to sell it for some reason you'll never get that money back, no matter how much you put into it it's still a fake.

On the other hand, if doing all that work making a nice playable guitar peaks your interest, still stay away from Chinese crap but instead find yourself a roughed up JEM body and bring it back to life. If you go that way we'll all be glad to help you along the way. You could even get a used RG, cut a monkey grip, put a mirrored vinyl decal and a mirrored pickguard on it and come out better.

Side bar since we're on the subject of Chinese made fakes, I've heard a few arguments (though not that many) saying hey didn't MIJ guitars get their start making copies? To that I say yes MIJ guitars (thinking Ibanez in particular) did get a jump start making low cost copies but to me there is a big difference between a copy & a fake. Copy = it looks like another company's guitar but we're not trying to pass it off as made by that company; We put our own brand on it and market it as that. Fake = Not only do we make a guitar that looks like another company's but we also put their label on it and market it as a real one with the intention of ripping people off to make money. Ibanez did start off with copies, we all know the lawsuit guitars, but I don't ever remember Hoshino slapping on a fender or Gibson name & trying to pass it off as one like the Chinese companies do. Early MIJ Ibby guitars may have been copies but never were they branded or marketed as anything other than that.
 

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One other thing I wanted to touch on, you made a comparison to mexican made guitars. Mexican made guitars are much better quality that those made in China. Yes Mexican guitars are still made to be more entry level comparatively using lower quality (but still decent) parts and are put together on an assembly line to save on production costs. But they have come a long way in the 20+ years since starting to be produced there in terms of quality & craftsmanship. Back in the day you may have come across some bad ones but by today's standards you're not going to find faults in them like you do in the Chinese ones. I'd much rather get a Mexican strat and ONLY do a pickup upgrade than get a China Ibanez fake and have to do all that work to get it decently playable.
 

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I don't disagree with the idea of them, but I'd never own one or suggest someone buying one, pick up a 2nd hand RG and pick up some something like this

http://evl245.s1.e-storefront.co.uk...-450-x-640-150gsm-Silver-P-391523#.VJg21F4gCA

Then get to work and post up in the custom Ibanez thread!!!
I didn't mean to get on a soapbox or anything because I'm not against the Chinese making guitars at all even copies. That's all fine and dandy just put your own comany's logo on an and don't advertize it as something it's not. And I'd also not own one because the quality on them is so low it's not worth the time or effort to make it right. If they up their standards and market them as what they are I'd reconsider.

My problem comes from them trying to pass off the guitars as real name brand items. If you look at the title on the guitar the OP posted a link to it says Korean JEM when it is obviously NOT Korean made and not up to the standards they have at Korean Ibanez factories. I mean it's not like they're going to put Ibanez, Fender, Gibson, etc out of business but it's the principal of them trying to pass it off as real purposly trying to rip people off to make a buck, that's just flat out wrong and rubs everyone the wrong way.

Ah yes... that's what I was thinking of that mirror paper. Get some of that, a second hand RG & a mirrored pickguard and go to work. A custom full mirror RG, Now you got something there!
 

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I didn't mean to get on a soapbox or anything because I'm not against the Chinese making guitars at all even copies. That's all fine and dandy just put your own comany's logo on an and don't advertize it as something it's not. And I'd also not own one because the quality on them is so low it's not worth the time or effort to make it right. If they up their standards and market them as what they are I'd reconsider.

My problem comes from them trying to pass off the guitars as real name brand items. If you look at the title on the guitar the OP posted a link to it says Korean JEM when it is obviously NOT Korean made and not up to the standards they have at Korean Ibanez factories. I mean it's not like they're going to put Ibanez, Fender, Gibson, etc out of business but it's the principal of them trying to pass it off as real purposly trying to rip people off to make a buck, that's just flat out wrong and rubs everyone the wrong way.

Ah yes... that's what I was thinking of that mirror paper. Get some of that, a second hand RG & a mirrored pickguard and go to work. A custom full mirror RG, Now you got something there!
Exactly, start a company that make copies but put your own logo on them. So many people get ripped off due to people reselling these as fakes.
The build quality is also rubbish, if someone is thinking about just buying it and replacing hardware then they are in for a massive shock, you'd be better off even buying a blank body off ebay and buying a neck etc.

yeah thinking about that mirror paper myself now lol.
 

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Buying a Chibanez instead of an Ibanez is the equivalent of going to a whorehouse and paying the madame for an hour with a blow up doll. Mexican guitars are worlds beyond Chinese fakes. Set aside the fact that by buying one you are aiding copyright theft and consider the fact that at the price available you are assisting with the exploitation of semi skilled workers (often held in servile conditions) who in other countries would have the opportunity to become skilled luthiers and achieve a decent quality of life.

You are also encouraging the continued retardation of China and its business philosophy which amounts to bribe, copy, fake. All major industrial countries went through the cheap copy phase, but evolved within a generation, China has not and a major reason is people in the western hemisphere are quite content to buy fake goods and regret it later.

I don't mean to get on my high horse on this one, but I've been to the 4 corners of China and seen everything faked, fake phones, DVDs, Daminoes Pizza, Mc Donads, Panasoonic & Soony cameras, weapons, Laptops, even western toilets - they all had one thing in common - they stank of ****e. Their army are equipped with copies of Russian weapons which is probably very re-assuring to any potential enemy as they are probably much more lethal to the operator than the target. I loved the place and the people, but the people I knew who were more switched on rather than the drones one sees on TV all felt that their being the worlds biggest producer of fake goods was doing immense harm to their country.

You can buy a Jem body online, have the mirror scratchplate made and buy an original Jem neck, buy a beat up RG550 for the trem and pickups and you have a fantastic guitar for under $1,000 if you're patient. All the important parts will be made by Ibanez in Japan and you'll have something at the end that will play like a dream which will also be much closer to the guitar of your dreams, all without the hassle of handing over a few hundred to customs and another few hundred beer tokens to a luthier. Additionally you won't be making some crooked prick with CCP connections richer and contributing to the misery of his workers. Think it over.
 

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I had built a malmsteen partscaster out of chinese parts, for about 200 eur (forget about DMZ and Super Vee in the vid, they do not change the sound) :

finally sold it (to make room for the uv70p), as I didn't like its sustain as certain frets, but it was hell of a fun to play. If I had more room I'd definitely keep it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
My friend just bought an Chinese Charvell Van Halen copy. The yellow and black guitar. He's planning on doing some upgrades to it.

Now, instead of starting a different thread does anyone have an idea on how to do the mirror top? I've been doing some research and it looks like most people use a mirror plexiglass and laminate it to the top of the blank of wood. Then use a CNC to cut out the body. I"m guessing after that you would need to bind the edges.

I'm actually considering on doing a build using the mirrortop. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thanks,

Matt S
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
My friend has a CNC machine but he uses some sort of Autocad.
Does anyone happen to know where I can find an acurate Jem template that would work? I'm planning on using a Ibanez RG neck from Ebay.
 

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There are paints out there now that will do the Chrome finish. It's an expensive setup but I think you are able to get it in some sort of rattle can form. Check on YouTube for a company called Custom Creations. That's where I got my stuff for doing crackle paint jobs. There is another custom paint company called Alsa (alsacorp.com) that has these finishes.

If you used a Chrome plexi, and THEN cnc'd it - you wouldn't have the arm contour. So you would need to find a way to bond it after it's been shaped. Then go back and route out the cavities. Good luck with that if your doing a lions claw trem. So you would need something thin enough to take the bend of the contour and adhere it with something that will not affect the backing of the plexi giving it the chrome.
 
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