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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have a question for you guys about the JEM series. I know that they are good guitars, and a lot of people enjoy them, so i am NOT trying to flame them or start a negatively-toned thread in any way. My question is more of a "parts" question: why are the JEMs (for example, the popular white Steve Vai jem, etc) so expensive? I'm talking about the most popular and most commonly purchased models, not the "anniversary" or collector's limited models. Take the white Steve Vai signature JEM (7V). The general selling price of this seems to be around $2300 USD.

Part by part: its an alder body, gold Edge Pro trem, maple neck with rosewood fingerboard and vine inlay, Dimarzio Evo pickups, white paint, and gold ibanez tuners.

Breaking this down, an alder body with a monkey grip can be bought for under $200. An edge pro trem is about $250, the three Dimarzios are about $200, maple neck with rosewood board is about $150, maybe $200 or $250 with the inlay, the tuners are probably $40ish, and painting it maybe $200. I know I'm probably a little bit off about all of these, but just a general idea. So altogether, in parts, the guitar costs roughly $1200 or so. Can someone show me the extra $1000+? I know these guitars are not handmade, so I'm sure the production/labor costs arent that bad. And all these prices that I just listed would be if I were to buy it myself, I am certain Ibanez, being a huge company and buying these things in bulk, gets extreme discounts.

Again, I know JEMs are great guitars, and I am not here to insult or put anybody on the spot. I'm just curious as to why they are priced as they are. The Ibanez rep in another thread said that they couldnt lower the price because then they would be in the negative. Seeing as how I myself could buy all these parts at an even higher price and still get the whole thing for under $1500, I just dont understand it. Any comments are welcome/appreciated, this is just for my own curiosity.
 

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I understand your question. First off, the necks cost WAY more than 250, unless your talking 250 like made by a website or something(which would not come close to the real JEM neck). The necks are made to Steve's standards and feel amazing. Better than any wizard neck IMO.They go for 600-800(USD)(Rich on ibanezrules . com is selling one for 675 plus shipping, but Ive seen them go for more.). Also, bodies are HIGH QUALITY alder. Then it turns into an 1840$ Guitar. Plus its a Signature model, and Assembly and advertisement fees. Seems like a fair price to me.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hehe, thanks but no thanks Cosmic. I dont spend my hard earned money on anything but custom guitars built by my luthier nowadays. For 900 dollars less than what a jem costs, I got a custom ONE of a kind guitar, with a completely exotic wood neck w/custom headstock and abalone inlay, Dimarzios, and a Schaller Floyd (superior to the Edge pro from my experience with them both).

And I guess youre right about the name, 7, but that doesnt change what the Ibanez rep said. How would they be in the negative if they lowered the price?
 

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Well...here are a couple reasons:

Jems are probably the most successful and collectible sig series ever produced (by ANY guitar company)

And of course.....Steve Vai;)



But mainly it's because people are willing to and DO pay at that level to buy them;) Would you sell somthing for $ 5.00 when you knew you could sell it just as easily for $ 10.00??? Simple as that;)

Mine are worth every penny to me so I guess you can throw me into the category of those "to blame" :)

They are wonderful high end Ibanez guitars and will do anything that could ever be expected of a guitar!

Any more questions?? :rolleyes:
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I understand your question. First off, the necks cost WAY more than 250, unless your talking 250 like made by a website or something(which would not come close to the real JEM neck). The necks are made to Steve's standards and feel amazing. Better than any wizard neck IMO.They go for 600-800(USD)(Rich on ibanezrules . com is selling one for 675 plus shipping, but Ive seen them go for more.). Also, bodies are HIGH QUALITY alder. Then it turns into an 1840$ Guitar. Plus its a Signature model, and Assembly and advertisement fees. Seems like a fair price to me.
I understand what you're sayin', but the neck I got from deep6guitars (yeah I know I know, the guy EVERYONE but me seemed to have problems with...I got a great neck from him with no probs so please give it a rest folks) is no worse than most JEM necks I've played, and it had a AAAA flame maple fretboard for under $190.

 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Well...here are a couple reasons:

Jems are probably the most successful and collectible sig series ever produced (by ANY guitar company)

And of course.....Steve Vai;)

But mainly it's because people are willing to and DO pay at that level to buy them;) Would you sell somthing for $ 5.00 when you knew you could sell it just as easily for $ 10.00??? Simple as that;)

Mine are worth every penny to me so I guess you can throw me into the category of those "to blame" :)

They are wonderful high end Ibanez guitars and will do anything that could ever be expected of a guitar!

Any more questions?? :rolleyes:
Lol, i was hoping for a better answer than "cuz Vai plays one and people will pay it". And nobody has answered my main question yet, about what the Ibanez rep said. Of course if people WILL pay 2300 for a JEM then its in the companies best interest to sell it at that price, but the rep made it seem as if they couldnt lower it to say, 1600 or 1800 without going broke.
 

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Your neck, as a copy, is what it is, a copy. Who cares.

The price is positioned in the market exactly where they want it. The wholeesale price to the distributor is based on retail and allowing the distributor to make the margins it needs, as is the wholesale to the dealer. If nobody is making money there is no guitar.

Reps are by their very nature, salesmen.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
I suppose so. Personally after being shown the light with custom guitars, I can't imagine paying $2000+ for someone else's signature guitar that 10,000 other people own. But I suppose as the market does, so do the retailers and companies. Makes sense to me.
 

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Lol, i was hoping for a better answer than "cuz Vai plays one and people will pay it".
Lol....you cannot hope for a better answer because there is no better answer;)

and as far as the reps, "what Rich said" :)

Yet, you bought a copy neck based on the same guitar.......
Let me add that more often than not (and that's putting it nicely) copies aren't able to stand up to the original in terms of playability and overall quality;)
 

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I suppose so. Personally after being shown the light with custom guitars, I can't imagine paying $2000+ for someone else's signature guitar that 10,000 other people own. But I suppose as the market does, so do the retailers and companies. Makes sense to me.
Hahaha, You see, Most people that buy JEM's dont buy it only because they are a die hard fan of steve vai, they buy it because it is an amazing guitar. I bought my JEM because I love how it plays, and I still never to this day have felt a guitar that plays/feels better.
There are Tons of differnt types of JEMS out there, so you don't have to worry about a guitar tons of people have. And its not like it says Steve Vai anywhere on the guitar(except of the 555). Yes, it does have the trademark monkey grip, but who doesnt want a monkey grip?!! lol.
 

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Yes, why do birds suddenly appear everytime you are near?
Lol....it's either the fact that I fly with them regularly, OR that they like to poop on me:razz:

It is strange that you say that, because I just bought the "Best of Carpenters" album today 8O I love that song and a lot of their other tunes! So.....why do I play a Jem if I listen to the Carpenters??? :lol:

*puts on flame retardant suit*
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Yes, I did buy a copy neck with the same inlay (although the inlay material is different, the fretboard is different and my builder has shaped the headstock, so now the only thing this has in common with the JEM is the tree of life shaped inlay). That is because my first project had a custom neck with custom inlay and all that jazz, and for this second one I wanted to cheapen up the price a little bit by buying a cheaper neck, and I liked how this one looked. Either way, I'm getting a custom body (white korina with a mappa burl top) built for this neck, so its gonna be a one of a kind guitar in the end.
 

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And perhaps that other company, I forget the name, Fend...
Fender? :p

On the subject of "just because Steve plays one." Some of the people on here like his music and some dont really care for it. Im not buying my jem souly because some guy plays it, I buy it because I honestly love the thing. Dont get me wrong on a part steve does make a diffrence but that depends on the person.
 
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