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I wanna build a custom jem, however, I am on a strict budget of $1000, no more. This is where I need your guys help. Personally, I have never really made my own guitar, I've installed pickups, hardware and bridges, but that's really it.

So I know where to get the pickups, the hardware, the bridge. I know I can buy a pre-routed, unpainted body on evilbay. That's a done deal. However, Where am I going to get an Ibanez Neck? I plan on putting the disappearing pyramid inlays, is that going to cost me a fortune to get that done by someone? This is going to be a swirl jem, so where can I find the paint for that (I will do the swirl on my own)?

Can all of this be done under the given budget?

Any advice is much appreciated.
 

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Can all of this be done under the given budget?
Possibly, but not up to the quality standards of an actual Ibanez Jem. If you've never done a swirl paint job before, prepare for a TON of potentially costly trial and error before you get something you like. Otherwise, if you get someone else to do it, that will be both costly and time-consuming.

Basically, if you're just looking to do a custom build, then by all means, have at it, but you can't really be too concerned about either a strict budget or ending up with a top-notch finished product the first time out. You have to build because you have the desire to do so and damn the expense of learning such a skill properly.

On the other hand, if you just want a "cheap" Jem, you need to look to the used market, where you can potentially meet your budgetary concerns if you're patient. Will it be the exact guitar you dream of? Possibly not, but it will be an official Ibanez Jem, will almost certainly surpass the quality of your first build, and will actually have decent resale value should you decide to move in a different direction down the road. It's really all about your priorities, though.
 
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