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G'day from down under...

5250 Views 33 Replies 10 Participants Last post by  pteropid
Hi everyone, I don’t seem to be able to post in the new members introduction thread so I decided I’d just create an intro thread here, mods please feel free to remove if required.

I’ve been a Jemsite lurker for over a decade but didn’t sign up until 2017, I generally don’t get involved in forums as people seem too cranky these days, but I guess it’s polite to say G’day to everyone. Yep I’m from down under if you haven’t guessed.

I started playing guitar when I was about 8 and spent my early teenage years growing up through the hair metal/rock era and I guess I was part of the Eddie Van Halen school of guitar. That was until Vai just blew me away with the attitude song and his work with David Lee Roth. I was about 15 when the first Jems appeared in Australia but I didn’t really pay attention until the first florals and VBK’s were on display.

I will never forget the first time I picked up a Jem , it was a Jem 7 root beer and it was a revelation, I was instantly able to play things I’d struggled with for years. One thing in particular that will always stay with me, is when I took the Jem off the rack for the first time ever, I could feel the sculpted cutaway around the neck join, I instantly felt comfortable with the guitar, I’ve never had that experience since.

As a teenager the price meant that ownership would always be a pipe-dream. After I left school I worked for a few years in the industry mainly in sales and tech so I got to play the Jems regularly that way, but still could never afford one. It was interesting working in a guitar shop just as ‘Passion and Warfare’ dropped and we took delivery of the first Universes, I tried to play them but the whole 7-string thing totally did my head in (still does to a certain extent). I suffered a severe injury to my left arm that resulted in nerve damage, so my career in music was done pretty much overnight, given that I’d played since I was 8 it was utterly devastating and I was pretty lost for a while, somehow I ended up studying medicine and I guess financially it worked out for the best in the end.

Anyway, I’m realising this post is getting ridiculously long so I’ll cut to the chase, there should be a photo of my girls below. From left to right - 1990 EXB404, 2012 UV70P, 1989 JEM 777VBK, 1988 JEM 77FP, 2017 JEMJR, 2004 RG350FM

tl;dr… I’m old and live in Australia, I used to sell and repair guitars and amps in the early 90’s. After many years I own my two dream guitars, a near mint ’88 FP and an ’89 VBK that needs serious restoration work :)


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The EXB404 bass is a restoration of a severely abused guitar which was originally white and had all sorts of engravings and marker scribbles all over it, took a while but it plays beautifully now. I’m a sucker for restoring abused guitars. In the old days I used to flip them to make a bit of cash on the side

The UV70P and 88 FP are in near mint condition, but the 89 VBK has had a very hard life and is in the middle of a serious restoration, I might start a thread showing the original condition when I bought it and the different stages during restoration, I expect it’s got another 3-6 months to go yet.

The JEMJR needs serious fret work and I’m going to install an original edge. I’ll probably post something about that journey in the future if anyone is interested.

I’ve had the RG350FM for about 10 years now and it’s the only one that fits the GR55 guitar synth pickup properly. I hate the tremelo with a passion so I’ll be locking that down with a Tremel-no very soon.
G'day! And welcome!
Sweet collection!
Welcome aboard!

A great looking collection you got there :)
Thanks guys :grin2: it's funny how quickly a couple of guitars turns into several. I'm extremely lucky to have a supportive wife who loves Jems as much as I do (aesthetically anyway).

Interestingly, I joked about how she bought a Jem 77FP bedspread ( the one in the picture), I told her a Floral Jem would really complete the bedroom suite. Literally the following week a floral Jem came up for sale and she told me to go and buy it immediately! She's definitely a keeper, LOL.
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Those gorgeoud green vine inlays made me remember I have not own any of them by now; time for a 777VBK/77FP search... that '88 FP looks awesome!
I've loved the green inlays since the day they came out. I could never choose between the FP or the VBK. I've noticed that VBK's are really rare in Australia, I think I've seen maybe 3 in my whole life down here. Different story with the FP's though, I see probably half a dozen go up for sale every year down here, but as far as first year 88's go, I could count on one hand the number of mint ones I've seen in my life.

I know from experience that the 80's Jems were problematic, I used to see heaps of them with serious neck issues when I worked in the industry. I noticed that they seemed to get better around the time they shifted to the LoPro edge trems, so that would be around 1991 I think? I don't know what they did, but there were way less neck issues, I'm sure Rich or someone would know the answer to that question.

I've always likened the early Jems to old Ferrari's or Lamborghini's, they are expensive to buy and maintain and they are really temperamental, but they go like lightning. Compared to something like a strat that I reckon is like a 50's Chevy that is built solid and goes forever with simple maintenance.

I'm more of a Ferrari guy, but that doesn't mean I don't appreciate a nicely done Chevy every once in a while.
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G'day fellow aussie.....sweet collection mate....cheers and beers :)
Thanks Mate!

Which side are you on? East or West? I was born in Melbourne, lived in Sydney for 25 years moved back to Melbourne in 2003.

Noticed you are into motorsport. I've got a VEII SS Walkinshaw pack, old man has a Tickford TS50 and HSV R8 with Walkinshaw pack.

Nothing better than V8 cars and loud guitars, Hahahaha!!:grin2:
Great Collection. Thank you for you sharing.
Thanks ppsk8er!

I started with an RG770, ditched that for a Jem10th. Had a JS10 chromeboy on order but bailed after poor feedback on the first batch delivered, got a UV777BK instead. Found a 77GMC on TradingPost for a steal. Got a Jem90th, but sold that and went for a PGM90th. Eventually sold that too and got a JS1000BP. All in the space of a few years. Stopped playing for a while, but eventually started tinkering again, so I got a Washburn N4, a JS2410MCO, RGA8. My most recent purchase was a PGM Mikro. I'd love a JS1CR, but a 70% premium over a regular JS, simply for the paint, is a bridge too far. At least we aren't getting reamed in Aus anymore like we did in the 90s....
I used to lust after the original RG770's, we had one in the purple neon in the shop I worked for. For some reason it didn't sell for ages, but at least I got to play it all the time while I was at work.

OMFG! 77GMC is my ultimate Jem. I've never seen one in real life and I'd sell all my Ibanez guitars to own one. Can you post a couple of pics?
Mate, im up in the northern suburbs....bordering on open padocks....real fun when bushfires show up.

yeah love my drag racing....currently building a 496ci HQ Sandman, keeping things beside the driveline original is proving to be a bottomless pit.:)
Wow, that's some serious displacement! Being a Q'y and also a Sandman that thing is definitely worth the love

I'm assuming from your username you have a UV7BK, damn nice guitars.
Gday from Adelaide.
G'day Corey, hot enough over there? We only hit about 43*C over here (about ~110*F for the US crowd). I understand you guys hit like 47*C (~120*F) or something last week. Crazy!
That FP is stunning, great collection :)
Thanks jim777, it came out of nowhere that one, she was a bit of a case queen so there isn't a lot of fading of the pickups or discoloration of the clear coat and there's very little corrosion on the trem. She came up on Gumtree one day and the seller lived down road from me, I paid $3500 AUD (~$2450 USD) didn't bother haggling on price and secured it within the hour. Apparently the guy had 12 offers within that time.

I was originally saving my money for a floral reissue, I was expecting a 30th anniversary edition to be released last year, but it didn't happen. I've spoken to a number of people who were expecting the same, maybe that's why the florals are selling a bit quicker now and at higher prices, in Australia anyway.

When I was looking for one a couple of years ago, a good quality floral was going for around $2800 AUD (~$2000 USD), but I saw one go last week for $4500 AUD (~$3200). In my opinion it was a missed opportunity by Ibanez, but then again I'm not an accountant, maybe it wasn't worth it to them. I was prepared to pay up to $7,000 AUD (~$5,000 USD) for a limited run floral anniversary, but instead I bought three other guitars and some equipment. I always wanted a first year floral, so I guess it worked out better for me in the end, so maybe I should say thanks Ibanez for not making an anniversary edition? :grin2:

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"Being president of the sandman car club, i guess i should have one haha"

Yeah, that kind of helps, lol

What year is the UV? Do you have any other UV's?

28 years after playing my first UV and I'm still a bit lost when I play. I'm determined to get my head around them though.

The UV77MC is my second favourite guitar of all time, after the JEM77GMC. I've only played an MC once and it felt overwhelming but solid and beautiful. I then handed it over to someone who could actually play it and it sounded fantastic. They need to be played loud so that you can really feel that extra bottom end. When I play mine it just sounds like mud, but hey I'll get there eventually. :smile_big:
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That's a great collection you have there... Man, I hate looking at FP's... Just makes me want to kick myself in the head for selling mine...

Love your VBK too. I'd love to find one of those. If I ever do find one, I'd get it painted green like the LNG Jem. It would look amazing with the green vine IMO
Hi Dutchie, Yeah sellers regret is a real thing for sure. I sold a 540PII in mint condition, one of the best guitars I ever played, ugly as hell but man did it have the nicest neck.

The VBK is my charity case her name is Betty (I know, I know, really imaginative name). I probably paid too much for it and I'll probably end up paying too much to restore it, but I still love it.

Interesting idea with the whole 777VLNG thing. I thought I would make a dodgy photoshop mock up to get an idea. (dodgy 2 minute photoshop attached for the lolz)



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I would love another FP, but they don't come up for sale as often as you'd like. Plus I play mostly telecasters now ;)
Yeah, I've noticed that there are a lot fewer around lately, especially good ones. A lot of them seem to have that really bad yellowing of the clear coat too. My FP is mainly wall art (playable art is what I tell my wife) The VBK is my daily driver, the FP gets about 10 minutes a few times a week then a good clean. I remember how fast the cosmo black parts began to corrode in the older models, don't want it happening to mine.

I love me the sound of a good tele :grin2:

I might post a couple of better pics of the FP if anyone is interested.
yeah of late, Sandmans are taking over my life....its a cool thing though...meeting lots of like minded people...we're all nutters :)

I've had a stack of UVs in my time....moved most on but have a UV7SBK on hand. For me its the width and profile of the neck...just feels right. Wishing for an UVMC one day....one day :)
You'll get there man....determination is your friend ;)
The UV7SBK is the limited run, blacked-out one isn't it? How'd you manage to get hold of one of those down under, bit of a score I reckon!

I'm trying to spend at least an hour a week playing the Universe. I've blocked the trem and dropped the low B to A which has made it a bit more friendly to the ear, but I still keep plucking the wrong string. I think I instinctively gauge the string positions for my right hand by the feel of the low B string at the base of my thumb/palm, so my right hand is always in 6-string mode, whereas my left is in 7-string mode, Doh!

Sounding a little less like mud lately though, which is nice.
Just thought of something.

Does anyone else have names for their guitars? My wife thinks I'm weird!

77FP = Hana (I think it's Japanese for 'floral')
777VBK = Betty (pretty obvious... ...Bambalam)
350FM = Reggie (RG, was also my grandad's nickname)
JEMJR = Junior (wow, lots of thought there)
UV70P = The Universe (no-one truly understands the universe as a whole, I know I certainly don't)
EXB404 = The bass (Man, the depth of my imagination staggers me sometimes...)
Roadster = Frankenfurter (It's in pieces and pretty much the body is the only part that hasn't come from another guitar)
Acoustic = The Stagg (spoken in the way Jeremy Clarkson says the "The Jaaagg"), side note: I've actually owned that one for over 40 years.
Kramer Pacer = Frankenstein (it's painted like EVH's original, which is technically not Frankenstein but whatever)

All of them have their own wall space which makes me realise that my wife is really very tolerant.
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Here's Vai's. I think it looks amazing....
I'll admit at first I was a bit sceptical, but after seeing that pic I have to say I actually like it.

The different coloured pickups and knobs make the difference compared to the dodgy photoshop image I made.
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A couple of photos of the '88 FP as promised :grin2:


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From a different angle...


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