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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi all
New member here and first post after receiving my new Jem v7-wh yesterday. My first guitar was an sz320 over a decade ago but that was sold to make way for others so nice to have an Ibanez again.

The new Jem is generally well put together and it was easy to tailor the setup- all it needed was the string height lowered at the trem. Nice fitting neck pocket and good string alignment (both areas I've seen criticised in my pre-buy research).

I've noticed 2 finish issues which I think are probably common but just wanted to check.

1) The inside of the monkey grip is rough ie hasn't been sanded and polished. Is this expected with an MIJ Jem? Anything you guys would suggest to smooth it a little?

2) The finish isnt perfect in the jack socket.

I can overlook both of these (although it is a very expensive guitar) as minor. It's light, resonant and sustains better than any other guitar I own.

Anyway, here it is (if the link works)!

 

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It's very normal for the inside of the monkey grip to be rough, I don't know why they do it that way but to some degree it is something you will see on all Jems. I have a 7V from 1994 and a 777 from 2017 and both have this, though it's not drastic or doesn't stand out especially.
 

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It's very normal for the inside of the monkey grip to be rough, I don't know why they do it that way but to some degree it is something you will see on all Jems. I have a 7V from 1994 and a 777 from 2017 and both have this, though it's not drastic or doesn't stand out especially.
All my JEMs from the early 90s through to my most recent ones which are early 2000s have the rough inside of the handle and the issue still with the notoriously difficult to get right jacket socket issues.

Looks like you've got a good one there :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Good to know chaps, thanks for replying.

Only other minor “QC” issue is I don’t think the pickguard itself has been cut completely straight on the treble E side of the heel cutout as there’s a small oblique gap between it and the fretboard. The pickguard sits flush with the fretboard on the bass side so it’s not that the guard has been mounted squint. You can see it in the photo above. Very minor I know but I have a keen eye for these things having been a “Gibson guy” for years! Not noticeable enough to bother trying a new guard.

Loving the Jem. Getting a fantastic early Megadeth tone from the bridge pickup along with my Helix. The neck is very slick.

The middle single coil is great too, can do Hendrix for sure.

I’m a convert!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Shall answer my own query re the side gap mentioned above. I remembered the old strat neck adjustment trick. Right enough following loosening of the bolts and and shoving the neck in the right direction the gap is now minimal (just less than 1mm which is easily within acceptable tolerances). Couldn’t go any further or the low E string would creep too far to the edge. Sorted.
 

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Good to know chaps, thanks for replying.

Only other minor "QC" issue is I don't think the pickguard itself has been cut completely straight on the treble E side of the heel cutout as there's a small oblique gap between it and the fretboard. The pickguard sits flush with the fretboard on the bass side so it's not that the guard has been mounted squint. You can see it in the photo above. Very minor I know but I have a keen eye for these things having been a "Gibson guy" for years! Not noticeable enough to bother trying a new guard.

Loving the Jem. Getting a fantastic early Megadeth tone from the bridge pickup along with my Helix. The neck is very slick.

The middle single coil is great too, can do Hendrix for sure.

I'm a convert!
I use my 7V and a Helix for my live setup too and the middle pickup definitely gets a lot of use! Jem is definitely a niche guitar, but it has something special about it. Must be a big contrast for you coming from Gibson, before I bought my first Jem I had only owned Strats myself, even that felt like a giant leap (due to how wide, flat and thin the neck was).

Regarding the neck pockets, I don't think they want to make them too tight because they have to account for the woods changing/moving over time, with a Gibson you've got a glued in neck so it's different but with most bolt-ons I've played they don't make things too tight, that's probably also got something to do with what you're noticing with the alignment/pickguard. Having to loosen and align the neck like you did is pretty common on a new guitar, I had to do it with my 777 in addition to the fact that it took about 6 months before the neck would settle (perhaps because it got stuck in a shipping container in Japan for 6 months).
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Indeed I guess it is quite niche, at least in appearance which won’t float everyone’s boat. Having said that it’s also quite versatile given the pickup options possible. I saw somewhere Steve Vai talking about the in between positions adding more of a vintage humbucker flavour. The closest feeling guitar I have is probably a Gibson Firebird which has a thin neck and flat-ish radius, at least compared with most strats. No regrets, very much enjoying the Jem. Fretboard has conditioned nicely with some oil too.
 

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A few years ago I had a 2010 7VWH, and I remember it for being very lightweight too. I wonder if that's because the wood that goes away from the monkey grip and the lion's claw.
It's also probably because a Strat is a bigger guitar, might not seem that way until you compare them side by side or try to put a Strat into a Jem case, the Jem body considerably smaller.
 

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Very nice guitar... I would love to play one someday, but I've never even seen one in person. There are some classy Jems out there, like the BFP, but in my opinion you just can't beat the white w/pearloid pickguard and gold hardware look!
 

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Very nice guitar... I would love to play one someday, but I've never even seen one in person. There are some classy looking Jems, like the BFP, but the white w/pearloid and gold hardware is the classiest!
 
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