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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
So, 20 years back, when I was importing tons of guitars from Japan, there was ONE model that stuck out as an Ibanez classic, a guitar that I wish became a staple model, kind of like the RG3120 was for years, and perhaps the way the RG652 is now. Anyway, that model was the JCRG-3VV. I owned 4 of them, sadly 2 of them had back bowed necks that could not be brought back with the truss rod, one of them was functional with the truss rod completely loose, and ONE that was totally fine. The one good one I had was probably the best guitar I've ever owned, though sadly, I ended up selling all of them off after about 6 years, as I started to get more into the radius models (thanks to my twin brother). Anyway, it's been another 10 years since those J-Custom days, and I find myself itching to get something similar. The only problem? I am not a big fan of the current offerings. My favorite Ibanez guitars were the Texas Specials, RG7CT, RG8527's, RG1880's, 1802's, 3120's, JPM's, UCEW1FM's, etc...

I've been tossing around the idea of getting a limited run model going in one of the facebook groups I'm a part of, then it got me thinking, what about Jemsite? I literally haven't been back here in about a decade, and thought it was worth starting a conversation about this, FWIW. I've written Jon Safford, from Killerburst guitars, about it and it's essentially up to me to present something of a plan.

My thought was to propose a Prestige model based on the JCRG-3, as I doubt that I could get any backers for a J-C, then again, the quantities for J-C's are said to be low enough (6 is what I hear), so either option may be doable.

Either way, I think everything comes down to the "JPM-look" that I loved so much from Ibanez back then. The JCRG-3VV had that but with serious class...I suppose it was like an "Ibanez Les Paul" when you really think about it. Mahogany body, maple cap, 2 humbuckers, offset-dots, white neck/headstock binding (rounded over, which was so nice btw), lo-pro edge, luminlay side dots, tilt jack, countersunk knobs, J-C AANJ, JPM/Wizard 4 neck shape. Now obviously, going prestige would mean losing a lot of those features, almost assuredly the J-C AANJ, countersunk knobs, tilt output jack, and having to go with a veneer instead of an actual top, but either way, I'm ok with that if J-C's become out of the question. The only modifications I would ask for would be an ebony board, stainless steel frets and cosmo chrome hardware. The colors I was thinking of are VV or BBS (both finishes were available on the RG1880, hell, reallly any of the RG1880 finishes would work). I am definitely partial to the blue-black sunburst and vintage violin, though idk if those finishes are still available, so I might have to go with something that is being currently offered in the J-C/Prestige lineup.

The only big variable I am stuck on is the body, now that the RGA is out, I've been thinking about how fantastic it would be to get a JCRG-3 reissue with the RGA body, basically a JCRGA-3? I am sure there are tons of things I am unaware of in doing something like this, things you only find out about after presenting the idea; at the end of the day, Ibanez may not even have time for a limited run at all, but I was curious to know what everyone's thoughts are about this? I've been thinking about this off and on since I was in my teens, I'm now close to 40, so, I am pretty excited that this is even a possibility at all :)
 

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I think the idea of a "Jemsite limited run guitar" has potential from the guitarist side of things. Nostalgia and the feeling of being part of something bigger is very appealing right now. I think Ibanez is trying to catch up on a years worth of orders which might make the timing less than optimal. Those are my thoughts. Others likely have more astute thoughts about the idea. ;)
 

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In all candor [nice to have old posters back, but there have always been rules], if you're going to do a Killerburst run it should be arranged on his FB group. If he wants to pay the money to sponsor this forum then he's more than welcome to, but since his FB group is free I don't see it happening, much less does he actually offer much in the way of Ibanez to begin with.

Otherwise when there were 200 active posters here you couldn't get 12 to agree on any one spec. It was tried about 10 years ago and dropped like a rotten egg. Now there may be 30-50 active posters, maybe. If you want to do a JC or Prestige run buy half of them and I'll put the order in and sell the rest 8O

But there is always a premium for spot runs the more complicated they get. You want something that they already make but in another color they're already using, they won't gouge you. You want to design a ground up model expect a $2-300 premium per guitar just for the custom specs. They charged me $400 for ebony claiming they just wouldn't use it, and the very next year changed most of their models to ebony because of CITES. Stuff like that is just typical. Now they'll use Macassar ebony and just stain it at will. I wanted JPM offests, they only use 3 size dots now, you can't get the 4 sizes anymore, but at least they were nicer than the S types, but they charged for it. I gave them all the specs I wanted, and then they told me what they would do, and then came back after quoting me the factory would only build them as JC's, and I would have had to charge $4500 for them, so I had to bring them back down to what they would build as Prestige, and they still ended up $600 List more than a comparable Prestige. That's what you're looking at for a ground up custom spec. If you want to say make me a RG550 but in SFG, they may charge you $100 more than a typical 550.

Any time is a good time to do a custom run, just don't expect it to be built anytime in the next 9-12 months from when the order is finalized and you're committed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Rich, you literally provided the closest thing to my dream guitar in your custom RG652's, I bought 2 of them! I can't thank you enough for pushing to make that happen :) I first mentioned this in the Ibanez RG owners FB group, nothing specific to Killerburst, AFAIK. I started a poll there and started bringing up some of my old favorites; my apologies, I'm trying to avoid any kind of conflict of interest, I just wanted to see about getting the ball rolling in any way that I can, and thought I'd see if the Jemsite users were at all interested in something like this (not even in terms of investment, but in general).

Sounds like it was a bit of a PITA to even get your run going, can't believe how many upcharges there were, and for things that were to become standard features inside a year...wow. Kind of curious, I'm sure you were joking, but what sort of numbers are we talking for J-C's? Is it indeed 6 like I hear, or 10-12 like I sometimes see? I wouldn't mind funding at least half of them, hell at one point I thought if it were 6 I might fund all of them...well, that might take a year of savings. Though considering how much time i waste buying and selling things that are 75-80% what I am looking for, I would still consider that a good move. Is that even worth investigating or is this a wild goose chase?

I am basically looking at exactly what you did with the RG652's only an RGA version, with stainless steel frets, white neck binding and probably cream body binding, in VV or BBS type color. Not sure if those colors even exist anymore...something about VV and BBS, when I saw them on the 7CT/8527/JCRG3 and then BBS on the RG1880; I've always felt they were the classiest finishes Ibanez ever produced. The nice thing is that, it does seem like people like the JPM look as JPM-like Ibanez models still command a lot in the used market, I guess I am hoping that my interests are universally appealing enough to make something like remotely possible.

A J-C would be cool, I mean, getting a real top is pretty neat, but I certainly don't need it, AND, I can take or leave the countersunk knobs, J-C AANJ, and tilt output jack, my only thought there would be IF the quantities were smaller, it may actually be easier to have them made...guessing my thought on that is far from correct :D
 

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Brandon? 8O

JC was 10, they lowered it to 6 when nobody would order 10 because of the high costs. Prestige is 12. Those are minimums, you can add as many to that as you wish. The way I was told is he started and runs one of the FB groups, the one anybody that posts anything about me always gets deleted, or used to. I don't FB, I've never even looked at any of them, that's just what I was told. I remember he came on here about 5 years ago and got into it over something, long forgotten, but I do remember being threatened to sue for libel :roll:

The RGA would be expensive, very expensive with a real top as a JC, but the CNC time alone pumps the price. I think Axe did a prop RGA run? I can't remember, I think he does more prop runs than sells production models sometimes, but he does all the social media which is where all the sales are now, like those FB groups, while I'm happier to not have to deal with it.

If you order it they will build it, if they have it available or can source it easily, otherwise that's when you hit brick walls. I wanted pearl binding, took 2 weeks to find out if they'd source it or not because Fujigen didn't have any. I wanted abalone purfling on the top inside lam BWBWB binding just like a JEM10, that's what killed it with another brick wall and sent it to JC. Mixing VV I doubt would be an obstacle, but don't cry if it's a couple shades off.
 

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I would imagine an RGA custom run would be outrageously expensive honestly, probably pushing into J custom pricing territory. Thats a deal breaker for me personally. Having a veneer on a guitar over 1000$ is also a deal breaker for me; might be snooty but its how I feel about it. You ARE correct though, VV is the best ibanez finish around :D

Id be far more interested in something more unique...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
You got it Rich, that's me! I used to be soloist3 (pretty sure), back 20 years ago, when I was informally challenging Brent for having the rarest J-C's around, lol. Yeah, my idea does NOT have to have a real top. Tops are for show after all, and while those real tops were at times dazzling, most notably on the 7CT's, as my JCRG3's NEVER danced that much, they aren't going to make or break the functionality of the instrument. It's about getting to a price point that makes it possible and veneer's are 95% the same look IMO.

Who would I reach out to find out pricing on such an endeavor? I say this knowing that you know all about this, though also knowing that you are probably super busy, and I hate imposing on your time. I'm really just looking for an answer to the question of, "is this even feasible?". As without any numbers I am left to ballparking everything, which is essentially useless :D

I would imagine an RGA custom run would be outrageously expensive honestly, probably pushing into J custom pricing territory. Thats a deal breaker for me personally. Having a veneer on a guitar over 1000$ is also a deal breaker for me; might be snooty but its how I feel about it. You ARE correct though, VV is the best ibanez finish around :D

Id be far more interested in something more unique...
I kind of get that, though Prestige level hasn't had real tops in YEARS, so your only options really are J-C's for anything with a real top. Also, how can you say no to something that looks like a revised JCRG-3VV or old RG1880, those things were legendary...I know, I know, it's subjective :D
 

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I thought Kevin had the rarest? 8O

Anything is possible, but you have to have a specific list of specs you're committed to, the easier you make it on them the less it costs. Not that any custom spec is going to be cheap as previously noted. But the more time they have to spend going back and forth..... let's put it this way. AP did a spot run in 4 emails, mine was over 100. His was simple, mine was all custom spec. Unless you're committed you don't want to waste anybody's time, especially Japan's, and everything takes twice as long now because they're on skeleton staffs [getting better] but this pandemic hasn't gone away, it's just slowing down but to normal terrible levels.
 
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