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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi guys,

I have saved up some money for my first "serious guitar"/my first JEM and decided to go with Andertons (as a "renowned" dealer) since I'm from Europe. I have received my new JEM77P-BFP and was very disappointed with the level of QC/craftsmanship from Ibanez Indonesia, or better to say - lack of, given the price tag (around 1645 USD) . I have copy/pasted the e-mail I have sent to Andertons with links to pictures so that you can check it out. Am I exaggerating with details, are these issues and imperfections common on JEMs today, am I expecting too much, or is this really the best you can get for that kind of money from Ibanez these days? Should I return this guitar? I haven't even touched it basically to check the tuning/neck/playability aspects of the guitar since I refuse to clean the frets, etc. before I decided to return it or not...

I am counting on your expertize and experience to help me out! Thank you guys!

The e-mail:

Thank you for your reply! I received my guitar on friday (04.09) but unfortunately the guitar I received wasn't in such great condition...

I have a list of issues with links to pictures (you can zoom in on the pictures to see the details better):

- frets are in really bad condition - they are covered with corrosion, on the end side of the frets where they are finished there is some sort of black messy gunk, one of the frets has a dent in it - I also have a concern about your storage facility/humidity since I received a corroded guitar

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1dwoSDlF41avGdX0_lbJCachoD8ejsMDL/view?usp=sharing - corrosion
https://drive.google.com/file/d/18y9Jhq_Yv7EX14k1tCTZ3x-UgJNpJiC5/view?usp=sharing - gunk
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ok42otYI_jbmvAlgPzvC3LpjK3uBJ5Vi/view?usp=sharing - dent, it is little blurred but you can see it between the strings

- fretboard inlay - the tree of life has some sort of ruptures/holes inside the inlay, it's missing material all over the freatboard

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1yDeogw8LfMV8kgzuTowmRTPnsoX3KdXK/view?usp=sharing

- monkey grip - the paint on the finger side of the grip is rough/grainy and not polished/finished

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1KKpHHZiT9Nnp88hA4pr-ThsRrZgcJIe-/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1BPAhQXzIuFzXqfrPj6fgkKcdnEMtwo45/view?usp=sharing

- truss rod opening is filled with dust/dirt

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1eU748l1c6NGPhseXyS8saOWoToOCt4N0/view?usp=sharing

- lion's claw - the paint/finish is really bad, worse than on the monkey grip - rough/grainy and not polished/finished

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1AenLAUeOi_sza6Bmw43oXRXKa1KvVRFk/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1-daiv7OigReIdZAmMko2RwVtzbCF4ORl/view?usp=sharing

- on the downside of the guitar there is some paint defect (I assume that it is paint and that it wasn't polished as it should have been) - I tried to clean it but it didn't help

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1h4XjTCRajEkNBMqnxcjeaY6VVQn74xJg/view?usp=sharing

- jack socket - the paint/finish is really bad, and there is some dirt around the socket and inside the whole

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1tm1EefUCdeRIHrY7iaAsp5vBlR1d3nnn/view?usp=sharing
https://drive.google.com/file/d/1S7VBoSFgiNS14Dkzi3qElVty6ov_X6Sk/view?usp=sharing

- there are three small indents on the guitar

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1X8TGNwEHudVryScEDmWQ7HGHSlbf9ZVj/view?usp=sharing

- when I lowered my neck humbucker one of the magnets from the humbucker poped out from the pickup enclosure!

https://drive.google.com/file/d/1IL1jcd2xYej0Ld4u_acUQYQu6GiRj2ed/view?usp=sharing

- the bridge humbucker - loud static noise until I touch the strings of the guitar with both hands - grounding issue?

- the strings that came with the guitar look really old and rusty but I guess I could overlook that problem since I would put a new pair of strings on the guitar anyway, but still, not very pleasing when you receive a new and expensive instrument from a renowned dealer as yourself

It doesn't look like the guitar was used before I received it but it certainly looks like that the attention to details/QC from Ibanez and You as the dealer was practically non-existent. I was really expecting a lot more from Ibanez and Andertons (as a renowned dealer) for this amount of money on the guitar and I explicitly asked You to take some time and check/set up the guitar so that I won't have to return it all the way from xyz. What do you propose we do so that we settle these issues or should I just return this piece? Do you have any other JEM77P-BFP guitars that are in better condition than the one I received or I could expect these defects on all the guitars from the series?
 

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Im gonna point out the same issue I've seen on other JEM and looks normal to me, everything else I'm not pointing looks more like stuff from the store, like bad storing that led to that
But by any mean, I'm guessing those problem i'm not mentionning is due to the guitar being a display model or stored for a very long among of time ( Rust is a good indicator )

"- fretboard inlay - the tree of life has some sort of ruptures/holes inside the inlay, it's missing material all over the freatboard"

I saw the same issue on the Jem JR, Japan Prestige version ( the 3500$ one ), JEM7 Woody when they cut the hole for inlay, sometimes it's not 100% accurate, so after placing the inlay, they just put wood paste inside the leftover and it gives this black effect
Pretty common thing, shouldnt worry about it ( you can even see it being done in the documentary about the Woody )


"monkey grip - the paint on the finger side of the grip is rough/grainy and not polished/finished"

Again, saw the same problem on JemJR, Japan Prestige and Woody

" truss rod opening is filled with dust/dirt"

Yep, again, the same issue with those 3 models


"lion's claw - the paint/finish is really bad, worse than on the monkey grip - rough/grainy and not polished/finished"

You know what I'm going to say, that's right, the thing is, on the JEMJR and Prestige, it's way less visible because of the white finish, while on the Woody, it was obvious because of the color


Some issue on your guitar could be fixed pretty easily by a luthier if you are willing to put a bit of money
 

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For me, this is unacceptable. I took a look at my BFP and I don’t see most of those issues. I do notice to slight rough patch in the grip.

But!, I did get mine from Rich as a “second stock”. My assumption is Rich did exactly as he mentioned and only kept the acceptable guitars, and gave it a once over with a cleaning cloth before I got it.
 

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Truss Rod Cover - It's normal that the inside isn't pristine but that much sawdust is excessive, not seen that before.
Lion Claw - That's disgusting, not seen that before on the ones I've tried (or the ones I've owned)
Monkey Grip - Every Jem I've owned or held has had some form of rough monkey grip, you do wonder if they just forget about sanding it down properly. Yours is worse though, seems like they didn't clean the body properly in prep and then painted over all that crap.

It's just a mess, send it back. I tried that model in store at PMT music shop in Cardiff and it didn't have anything out of the ordinary, it was aesthetically untarnished and was setup well, played like a dream.. But I guess it's like Rich said, maybe I played the 1/3 that was good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Guys, thank you so much for your replies, they were really helpful! The thing is I stopped playing somewhere around high school (never was a much of a player : )) and decided that I will give it another try, this time around with a real/serious instrument : ) so, I don't have anything to compare it to, never owned a JEM and I'm seriously lacking experience/expertise*in this area. What I do have is profound attention to details (mild OCD :) ) so even though I've never seen/owned a JEM I knew something was off...

Andertons assured me that the piece I got wasn't a display model, it seems to me it was stored for around 6 months (date of Ibanez QC stamps is around 03/2020). I've contacted Andertons and based on your inputs, decided to return*the guitar. They said they have two more BFP-s on stock and if I want their QC team will check them out so that we can swap the guitars. I told them that I want pictures this time around from both guitars and that then I will decide which one to get... sure hope one of them will be in better shape than this one...
So, Rich and others, the question is, what is "acceptable" (as I understand some grain on the monkey grip is common, etc.), what else to look for besides the issues from the first post (maybe on the neck, tremolo, etc.), how do I know I got a keeper, what is the elimination process? I know you can't type years of experience on a forum but some pointers/facts would be great : )
Thank you guys once again! I have a feeling that if my first JEM will be a beauty that there is no going back, probably will have to join the n+1 guitar buyers club : )
 

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I have the same BFP that I bought used from Guitar Center, so I had the chance to try it out and inspect. As some noted, the Indo premium guitars can be rough. That said, yours looks like something that got water damaged somewhere or was a used model.

Now that said, a few years back, I bought an acoustic guitar from GC that they had to order in, since I didn’t want the floor model. The ordered in one, that was supposedly new, came in worse shape than the floor model. I think a lot of companies recycle stuff that was came back in returns and try to get away with it.

Good thing you can return it.
 

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I was thinking of getting a P-BFP but was hesitating for peoples' experiences with them. After all, I've had two indonesian RG's, an RGR421 which was really good but ended up selling it. Now I have an RG927 which finish is really good all over. It actually replaced my MIJ RG7620.

So, I went after a used MIJ Jem and ended up with the Jem90th Ham. The original BFP's were out of my budget. FWIW there's no competition between getting a new premium or a used real thing, if the price is about the same.
 

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FWIW there's no competition between getting a new premium or a used real thing, if the price is about the same.
I would echo the same thing... Look around for a well cared for older MIJ Ibanez that has already been set up. Sometimes you can find one with upgraded pickups, etc too. There were some exceptional quality MIJ Ibanez guitars in the late 90's early 2000's... RG520's etc. Great quality and very affordable! Then if you really like playing agin you can save up for that dream Jem...:grin2: Good luck!
 

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The trouble is that the new BFP looks so damn good! If they'd put the "real" bridge in there it would have been perfect and folks could go through two or three of them and know that they've got something amazing at an old school price!
 

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The new BFP is far prettier that the original, the bridge is fine besides my own personal pet peeves, but quality is always in question and summer builds are horrible. They shrink so much even the headstock overlay will start to get big wrinkles in it. If they were Fujigen they'd be on point.
 

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I have had a Prestige RG652 for about two years. It arrived from Sweetwater in practically perfect condition. It cost $1400. I thought JEMs were another level up. I would certainly return it for some kind of resolution.

I have always had a good opinion of Andertons.

Jeff
 

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I have had a Prestige RG652 for about two years. It arrived from Sweetwater in practically perfect condition. It cost $1400. I thought JEMs were another level up. I would certainly return it for some kind of resolution.

I have always had a good opinion of Andertons.

Jeff
A Prestige RG is (almost always etc etc) going to be a better guitar than a Premium JEM. The Premium JEMs have all the right ingredients (almost all anyway) but there are a lot of individual guitars that just aren't as good as their Japanese equivalents.

As for Andertons, they're just another local UK guitar store and were never really regarded as anything special until they got "youTube famous" through association with Chappers and The Captain. In the old days there were a dozen stores that could have been in Andertons position but they didn't capitalise on the social media movement in the same way and sort of got left behind...
 
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