Ibanez JEM Forum banner
1 - 5 of 5 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So I had been looking into a Jem for some time now, but as a lefty my options were limited to just about a Jr.
So knowing that I wanted to get a deal. 550 for a jr wasn't good enough for me.

I actually won an auction on the bay for a new Jr with case and tools for 450! That's a great deal cause it has a lefty case. Well.. seller told me he wasn't happy with sales price and canceled the listing.

About a month later, another one went up.

All and all, I won the entry bid, so for 550 I walked away with a Swing Wall hanger, 4 sets of strings, a 2 week old Jem Jr, and a wirless input system.

Musical instrument Guitar String instrument String instrument Musical instrument accessory

I got the guitar and immediately fell in love with it overall, however, after playing it for a bit I noticed a few things.

It was super light compared to my other indo 450, which is essentially the exact same guitar but with different inlay and an extra hole cut out of it. I'm talking like 2 lbs difference. Wow.

The fret board also has fantastic open grained figuring, almost like it was quarter sawn or an end grain slab.

Musical instrument Guitar accessory Wood String instrument accessory String instrument

It's beautiful to look at bit is rough to the touch.
Almost like untreated or unfilled mahogany. It doesn't seem to effect the sound at all, and the extra friction doesn't really transfer to the amp. But boy to I feel it.

So I ended up doing some research, and shouldnt I be lucky to find out this guitar is not mahogany. And is not rosewood.

Turns out the body is made out of the equivalent of southeast Asian plywood, or rather the wood that is normally ground up and turned into plywood. But.. it sounds pretty good so not a big deal.

However the weirdness in the fretboard not being rosewood, is Jatoba!
Research tells me it's a super strong, super resistant, and extremely environmentally resistant red hard wood.

Looks great, sounds great, feels bad.

I was curious if anyone else has experience with Jatoba feeling like this, and if it gets better with ware, or if that's just how it's gana be?

Also, as far as the pickups, I had planned to rip them out and put Duncan invaders, and a Chinese dummy invader in the single coil position like I did for my 450dx.

However, I'm rather impressed with the range of the Quantum pickups this came with, and the Ibanez DL trem was going to be swapped with a ofr I have in a drawer, but it is actually a very good trem for me at the moment. Holds tune perfectly and has about a 2 second chirp when I tap it.
I either got lucky with a super hot set and great quality trem, or they just work really well with my particular guitar.

My only gripe with them at the moment is that the middle pickup just looks off

The A and D poles are pushed way up and then the rest are just flat.
Also, it's a creamy color off white while the N/B are vibrant white.

Musical instrument String instrument String instrument Guitar Plucked string instruments

Is this how they just come on all Jrs?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2 Posts
congrats!

sounds like your very happy with the guitar overall......
I too am a lefty and I just ordered one of these - it's arriving this friday!

i thought i was getting a 2016 (mahogany/rosewood) but in fact it is a 2020 model so i guess it will be meranti/jatoba

i'm concerned with the look of the jatoba on the fretboard. it looks awful light toned even reddish?

how do you like the way it looks?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
9,335 Posts
Congratulations. I think the fretboard is a fairly common thing, although the roughness may be alluding to the timber being a bit dehydrated. It may need an oil/conditioning.

And single coil pickups typically have staggered pole pieces, so that's fairly normal.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
221 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
I appreciate the input.
I oiled the fret oard over a few days and it helped, but the board was cut at an odd angle so the grain doesn't run up the board. It's like mahogany end grain.

Am also aware single coils are staggered but I've never seen one with 3 flat poles and then the d string just about touching the string when I have them leveled so the high e and low E have equal vol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
20 Posts
congrats!

sounds like your very happy with the guitar overall......
I too am a lefty and I just ordered one of these - it's arriving this friday!

i thought I was getting a 2016 (mahogany/rosewood) but in fact, it is a 2020 model so i guess it will be meranti/jatoba

I'm concerned with the look of the jatoba on the fretboard. it looks awful light-toned even reddish?

how do you like the way it looks?
As someone said in another thread about Jatoba fretboard, it actually darkens very nicely over time if you oil it and leave it room light

Mine went from this light-toned brown like OP to a dark brown / almost dark red tone in a few days just by oiling it with Linseed oil every day and leaving it in a room with an open window for the natural light

In the beginning, I just wanted to dye it with India ink but I found myself loving this dark reddish tone
 
1 - 5 of 5 Posts
Top