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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always wanted a JEM but I have never been able to afford one. Now with the "Easy Payment" plans of some websites and the proximity of Guitar Center and Sam Ash the idea of owning a JEM is more real than ever for me. However, the Japanese-made JEM7VWH and JEM77FP2 are still very expensive and in the case of 7VHW I hate gold hardware! And it seems the JEM77FP2 is hard to find.

Enter the Indonesian models. When they announced the 77PBFP I thought that would be it! I always loved the blue floral print JEM! But after reviewing the specs and seeing more pictures I was totally turned off by the Gravity Storm pickups, the Zero-Edge II bridge, and the fact that the sides and back of the guitar are black and not a continuation of the new blue floral pattern. I remember when the 70VSFG Premium model was introduced and kind of liking it. Then they released the JEM Jr. Now the price of the JEM Jr. seemed like the guitar would be a total joke but after seeing reviews on YouTube and actually trying a few in the big box stores I thought maybe the Jr. could work. I like that it is white and inexpensive. If I got the Jr. I would replace the pickups with DiMarzio PAF Pros and maybe an FS1 in the middle to be more like the original 777s. I would really like black hardware but the Cosmo Black will do. However, if I got the 70VSFG I wouldn't change anything; it already has Evolution pickups and I like that the locking nut is screwed on through the neck. They are both made in Indonesia but the 70VSFG is $1,000 more than the Jr. and comes with a case, etc.

So, what would you do? Buy a JEM Jr. and replace pickups/hardware/etc. or buy a 70VSFG and not change a thing?

Either model I choose I will pay a reputable luthier to scallop the 21st though 24th frets.
 

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The biggest issue with the new Jem jr guitars will likely be "Std double locking trem". It probably won't hold up as well as even the Edge Zero II on the PBFP. The original Edge on the 70V is a huge selling point though imo.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Will a Floyd Rose or similar tremolo fit in the JEM Jr. bridge cavity and/or line up with the posts?

I agree that the Edge tremolo is a huge selling point of the 70P SFG
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Or I could just forget JEMs altogether and get a Genesis RG570: made in Japan, Edge tremolo, extended cutaway on the treble side of the body where the neck meets the body, black hardware, and only $999 US. Priced squarely between the JEM Jr. and JEM70P. Plus, who knows what will be revealed at NAMM 2019?! Maybe I wait until next year...
 

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Or I could just forget JEMs altogether and get a Genesis RG570: made in Japan, Edge tremolo, extended cutaway on the treble side of the body where the neck meets the body, black hardware, and only $999 US. Priced squarely between the JEM Jr. and JEM70P. Plus, who knows what will be revealed at NAMM 2019?! Maybe I wait until next year...
There's your answer.
 

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Enter the Indonesian models. When they announced the 77PBFP I thought that would be it! I always loved the blue floral print JEM! But after reviewing the specs and seeing more pictures I was totally turned off by the Gravity Storm pickups, the Zero-Edge II bridge, and the fact that the sides and back of the guitar are black and not a continuation of the new blue floral pattern.
I have the JEM77 BFP for like 2 years and only just noticed the back was all black after reading your post :surprise: Guess it has to go!
Seriously I love the pickups. I bought it because its a fairly versatile guitar. But I use the tone & volume controls on guitars so that might be a difference. The trem is fine for me also. No issues at all and have used it pretty heavy at times. Have you actually played that trem and had issues or just going by what people say?

Or I could just forget JEMs altogether and get a Genesis RG570: made in Japan, Edge tremolo, extended cutaway on the treble side of the body where the neck meets the body, black hardware, and only $999 US. Priced squarely between the JEM Jr. and JEM70P. Plus, who knows what will be revealed at NAMM 2019?! Maybe I wait until next year...
You need to find the guitar that works for you. Not for me or anyone else. Sounds you are torn between "Owning a JEM" and "Owning a great playing & sounding guitar" and that difference is dollars.

The biggest issue with the new Jem jr guitars will likely be "Std double locking trem". It probably won't hold up as well as even the Edge Zero II on the PBFP. The original Edge on the 70V is a huge selling point though imo.
I had a Jem jr. here for a few months somebody left. The pickups were changed so it didn't sound bad. But the neck and fretwork were way off from my other Ibanez including my JEM77 BFP. The trem did not like but it is a cheap one. It wasn't my guitar so did not work on it.

I have always wanted a JEM but I have never been able to afford one. Now with the "Easy Payment" plans of some websites and the proximity of Guitar Center and Sam Ash the idea of owning a JEM is more real than ever for me. However, the Japanese-

So, what would you do? Buy a JEM Jr. and replace pickups/hardware/etc. or buy a 70VSFG and not change a thing?
When I hear other people say that I always wonder if the instrument qualities (sound, frets, neck, trem, etc.) are really important. There are people that buy any JEM just to say and feel they own a JEM, in which case I recommend buy it & leave it as it is. Save the rest for a better player guitar.
If you pay someone to do all the work and of course have to buy the pickups, you are about in cost matching a Prestige. Yet you still have the cheaper controls, wiring, tuners, neck, wood, fretwork, & other parts. You could change some but not all of those things. It will still be a JEM jr and never get the money back out of it if you need to.
 

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You need to find the guitar that works for you. Not for me or anyone else. Sounds you are torn between "Owning a JEM" and "Owning a great playing & sounding guitar" and that difference is dollars.
Perfect summary for regular buyers who haven't ruled JEM out of the buying equation.

I have the JEM77 BFP for like 2 years and only just noticed the back was all black after reading your post :surprise: Guess it has to go!
Seriously I love the pickups. I bought it because its a fairly versatile guitar. But I use the tone & volume controls on guitars so that might be a difference. The trem is fine for me also. No issues at all and have used it pretty heavy at times. Have you actually played that trem and had issues or just going by what people say?
I think your post hits the nail on the head in summarizing today's buyer who is considering any Ibanez who is not fanatical (doesn't see MIJ as necessary or anything super special which is a growing audience i.e. especially those not yet in middle-school by the late 80s).

However for the person who really, really wants to "Own a JEM" this is where things get messy quick. Many want what Vai uses (conveniently ignoring the lack of sustainer) as opposed to "versatile" or even best price or actual usefulness to the player. Since the JEM - as a signature model - is pretty much always the worst bang for the buck regardless of Premium vs Prestige it's a slippery slope when buying either. So it's an easy rationalization (and emotional fulfillment) to buy more/better/more!

Said another way it's difficult for an owner of a signature MII axe (who by definition paid more for less wanting a Vai axe to some degree) to argue against someone wanting the "real thing signature" (closer to what the artist plays & fanatics fawn over) as the bullet-proof argument to make is "neither" as in post #4... unless you really must & won't stop buying until you have the Vai axe. :)

ps - i assume in this post the buyer is not play testing 20 axes in a store like back in the day and picking the best one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Perfect summary for regular buyers who haven't ruled JEM out of the buying equation.

I think your post hits the nail on the head in summarizing today's buyer who is considering any Ibanez who is not fanatical (doesn't see MIJ as necessary or anything super special which is a growing audience i.e. especially those not yet in middle-school by the late 80s).

However for the person who really, really wants to "Own a JEM" this is where things get messy quick. Many want what Vai uses (conveniently ignoring the lack of sustainer) as opposed to "versatile" or even best price or actual usefulness to the player. Since the JEM - as a signature model - is pretty much always the worst bang for the buck regardless of Premium vs Prestige it's a slippery slope when buying either. So it's an easy rationalization (and emotional fulfillment) to buy more/better/more!

Said another way it's difficult for an owner of a signature MII axe (who by definition paid more for less wanting a Vai axe to some degree) to argue against someone wanting the "real thing signature" (closer to what the artist plays & fanatics fawn over) as the bullet-proof argument to make is "neither" as in post #4... unless you really must & won't stop buying until you have the Vai axe. :)

ps - i assume in this post the buyer is not play testing 20 axes in a store like back in the day and picking the best one.
I tried to do a "multi-quote" to break this up but it didn't work or I don't know how to do it!

Your assumption is correct: I am not play testing 20 axes in a store to pick the best one. I simply want a JEM and I don't want to make a mistake.

I have great guitars made in Indonesia and I have had crappy guitars made in Indonesia. I had a Prestige RG1550 that I put an Evolution set in but I never really bonded with that guitar and I sold it. So, to an extent MIJ is not really a deciding factor even though I personally feel the quality would be top notch.

I have also considered just saving money and buying an older MIJ JEM in the $2000 range if I can find a 7VSBL, 77BFP, 777VBK, or even a 77FP.

The funny thing is, the JEM Jr. has a one-piece maple neck but so did almost all of the JEMs until recently.
 

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^ I hear you and understand the feeling to buyers that MIJ is no longer a deciding factor. As you can see in the attached pic any Ibanez "one piece neck" with the scarf joint (i.e original JEMs/RGs, JEM Jr) is two pieces glued together to save cost and the source of trouble (which is why they're on the cheapest stuff like the Jr)
 

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^ I hear you and understand the feeling to buyers that MIJ is no longer a deciding factor. As you can see in the attached pic any Ibanez "one piece neck" with the scarf joint (i.e original JEMs/RGs, JEM Jr) is two pieces glued together to save cost and the source of trouble (which is why they're on the cheapest stuff like the Jr)
This is why I mentioned even after spending hundreds of dollars on pickups, fretwork & hardware, you still have a cheaply made instrument with lesser materials.
Always reminds me of someone when I was a kid took a Chevy Chevette (never to be confused with a Corvette) and shoved a small race motor & transmission in it among other upgrades. It started falling apart a year later and but was always laughed at.
The old adage of putting lipstick on a pig :kiss:
 

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Always reminds me of someone when I was a kid took a Chevy Chevette (never to be confused with a Corvette) and shoved a small race motor & transmission in it among other upgrades. It started falling apart a year later and but was always laughed at.
The old adage of putting lipstick on a pig :kiss:
This really doesn't apply. The problem with the Chevette was it was never beefed up structurally to take the torque of a much higher horsepower powertrain. There were MANY Vega conversions done but the kits included everything that was needed to make the structure stiff enough to handle the power.

A guitar is meant to handle the string tension. I wouldn't recommend putting 24 gauge string set on any guitar as structurally it's not made to handle them, which is why I don't believe a 24 gauge set exists ;)

People are always buying cheaper guitars and then over time modding them to get to the point they could have just bought to begin with, but they do it for many reasons. Either they do it as they can afford, they do it because they're always tinkering, or they do it to get the particular specs they want they cannot buy already. different stroke for different folks. None of it wrong if it's right for them.
 

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This really doesn't apply. The problem with the Chevette was it was never beefed up structurally to take the torque of a much higher horsepower powertrain. There were MANY Vega conversions done but the kits included everything that was needed to make the structure stiff enough to handle the power.
The point is not meant to be completely analogous to guitars. Just that unless you change absolutely everything, on a guitar that would include body, neck, fretboard & all hardware, you still in this instance have the same guitar you started with albeit with upgrades.

I own two Corvettes ('61 & '71) and they are Corvettes. I go to car shows and see other cars hot rodded & upgraded trying to be but they are still what they were originally.

No matter how much money, time or upgrades are put into a Chevette, it will never be a Corvette but a Chevette with upgrades.
No matter how much money, time or upgrades you put into a JEM Jr. it will never be a real JEM but a JEM jr. with upgrades.

I am not judging people that buy guitars to mod or upgrade. Just that they have to realize they still have the same guitar they originally purchased. When they go to sell it, it might even be worth less than the original price of the guitar itself with the upgrades left on. But if it gives them what they desire which includes just being able to say they own a JEM that that is their decision and fine.
 

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The point is not meant to be completely analogous to guitars. Just that unless you change absolutely everything, on a guitar that would include body, neck, fretboard & all hardware, you still in this instance have the same guitar you started with albeit with upgrades.

I own two Corvettes ('61 & '71) and they are Corvettes. I go to car shows and see other cars hot rodded & upgraded trying to be but they are still what they were originally.

No matter how much money, time or upgrades are put into a Chevette, it will never be a Corvette but a Chevette with upgrades.
No matter how much money, time or upgrades you put into a JEM Jr. it will never be a real JEM but a JEM jr. with upgrades.
The point is that even if you change every single part of the guitar or a car over time it is still YOURS, it's like 'The Riflemans Creed', it is the care and bonding of ownership and use that gives any inanimate object a special place in its owners heart.

That value alone is priceless.
 

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But in guitars, if the neck is good and doesn't twist, the frets are virtually the same frets, the hardware usually gets modded. You can take inferior and bring it up to very good spec. Does it really matter if the body is 6 or 2 piece? I don't think so, I've seen alot of 3 piece Prestige and 4 piece Premium. As long as it's actually wood and not cardboard modded guitars can be a way to get to a quality finish from humble beginnings.

And to switch it back to cars, The Chevette is just an ungainly car and would never be an attractive as a Vette. Vette's are beautiful, but at the upcharge of the JEM of course ;)
 

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The point is that even if you change every single part of the guitar or a car over time it is still YOURS, it's like 'The Riflemans Creed', it is the care and bonding of ownership and use that gives any inanimate object a special place in its owners heart.

That value alone is priceless.
Chuck Connors? You're an old fart too aren't you? 8O

Sorry, goggled it, Marines, apologies from the resident old fart 8O
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
The only reasons I am considering a JEM Jr. are: it is white, non-maple fingerboard, cosmo black hardware, and it is cheap. AS I said in the original post, I would replace the pickups and probably all of the other electronics. Over time (if not sooner) I would replace the bridge. If I could get a black Edge or if an Original Floyd Rose would fit without issue, then I would replace all the hardware with black hardware (nut, tuners, screws, etc.). Granted, over time I would have at least doubled what the JEM Jr. cost new but it would be the way I would want it.

But in the case of the JEM70P SFG my main gripe would be chrome hardware but I wouldn't change a thing.

And as this discussion continues, the JEM70P is probably the direction I will ultimately go. Again, I will probably wait until after NAMM 2019...which it turns out I will be attending! \m/
 

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The only reasons I am considering a JEM Jr. are: it is white, non-maple fingerboard, cosmo black hardware, and it is cheap. AS I said in the original post, I would replace the pickups and probably all of the other electronics. Over time (if not sooner) I would replace the bridge. If I could get a black Edge or if an Original Floyd Rose would fit without issue, then I would replace all the hardware with black hardware (nut, tuners, screws, etc.). Granted, over time I would have at least doubled what the JEM Jr. cost new but it would be the way I would want it.

But in the case of the JEM70P SFG my main gripe would be chrome hardware but I wouldn't change a thing.

And as this discussion continues, the JEM70P is probably the direction I will ultimately go. Again, I will probably wait until after NAMM 2019...which it turns out I will be attending! \m/
If you don't want to wait (possibly forever getting cold feet) AND you won't buy used MIJ just get the SFG. This thread is a bit off the rails with analogies but you should learn from others... when you buy something new but inadequate (the Jr) already planning to spend $ on countless upgrades you're expectations are unlikely to be met and you'll have wasted $$$$ on an axe. Adding insult to injury the axe has no resale value and is a money pit that you have no connection with since it's a frustrating mess. Then pouring salt on the wounds after you spent more time an $ than you planned the wood dries (non-uniformly as it's the cheapest of sh!t) the fretboard & neck is all out of whack.

Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
I know it has gotten a little off the rails but my intention was to get everyone's input on which one would they get: JEM Jr. or JEM70P SFG?
 

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The only reasons I am considering a JEM Jr. are: it is white, non-maple fingerboard, cosmo black hardware, and it is cheap. /
Your use of the word "cheap" as you used above is exactly why this thread has become so convoluted. A Jem jr. is indeed cheap by most people's standards. But when you even just start with the upgrades you mentioned, "cheap" no longer applies. If you ask most people should I buy a regular RG vs. a Premium or Prestige, the answer (going by other past threads) will almost always be Premium or Prestige. And that is really the question you asked.

But if you really want a guitar that is white, non-maple fingerboard, cosmo black hardware, and it is cheap, why not buy an RG with those things, cut out the monkey grip and then apply upgrades? That meets your requirements. And yes I am being serious. There were people who did this before the JEM jr. was available, not to mention the Fake chinese JEMs.

I know it has gotten a little off the rails but my intention was to get everyone's input on which one would they get: JEM Jr. or JEM70P SFG?
Nobody can tell another person which specific guitar to buy. There are too many subjective things involved. Most of my favorite guitars would probably not be recommended by other people. They work for me. They may not work for other people. My JEM77P you did not like but I love it. My own favorite Ibanez is a Prestige S body, S5521Q-TAB. It was not a huge seller so probably would not be recommended by people. I changed the pickups but everything else is stock. I play it more than my J. Custom. Nobody can tell another person which specific guitar to buy.
 

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Personally I'd recommended buying a used guitar if you know what you are looking for and can identify any issues, earlier this year I picked up a RG8570 for a 1/4 of the new price :D it's in a total different class to a Jem JR and better than any Jem I have played.

I also have a 2008'ish model Jem 555 Jr that came with Evo's, I've kept mine for sentimental reasons, but I would not recommend it, mine's not to bad after doing some work on it and replacing the Edge III trem (you can get away with just filing the blade on the edge III every now and then to keep it in tune), but the tree of life on them is cheap looking compared to the 8570 or some proper Jem's. The new Jem Jr's only have cheap pups I believe, its just not a high end instrument, the RG1570's feel to be better quality.

I've played a couple of the affordable Jem's that have been available over the past few years and have been unimpressed. Nuff said!

If it was me id be looking at a RG2570 as they can be picked up used for the price of a Jem Jr, or the RG3570? came with a flame top and has a better overall build and finish. I love my RG8570 but they are hard to find used, well at least in Australia, or if your heart is set on a Jem the high end ones I played 8-10 years back were nice and much better than the new affordable models.
 
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