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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Similar necks to 89 JEM 77FP

Hello everyone

My main guitar is a 89 JEM 77FP, I've never found any neck that is more comfortable to play. I tried a modern JEM recently and wasn't as comfortable with the thinner and wider neck on it.

I've been digging through the Ibanez Wiki to see what else out there is equivalent to
Width nut: 43mm
Width last fret: 57mm
Thickness 1st fret: 19mm
Thickness 12th fret: 21mm
Radius 430mm/R17"

I wonder what others have found that love those old JEM necks that feel similar, either Ibanez or a different manufacturer.

I've played a good number of RGs and have yet to capture the smooth back of the neck and what I feel is the "perfect fit", which must be a combination of these dimensions and frets.

I'm planning to go play a bunch Jacksons soon to see if any of them can capture the vibe too.
 

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Re: Similar necks to 89 JEM 77FP

I think the Wizard Nitro is similar in spec. Older J Customs sans 96-97 have some nice thicker necks as well and are excellent. I agree though and I much prefer the 19-21mm necks vs about anything else. 17-19mm which many are, are far too flat and tinny for me anymore. I wish Ibanez would make a bit more of an assortment but it seems like most everything nowdays is in the 17-20mm range and very flat. Probably why I have such a hard time bonding with any new Ibbys :(
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I haven't played any of the Nitro necks, looks like they are mostly on the metal guitars like RGDs and Iron series - I'll keep a look out for them.

I played a bunch of Jackson Soloists yesterday, those necks were quite good, not painted like most neck thru necks. The non quilted maple top ones had rounder more C neck than the JEM but close, the maple tops had more of a classic flat RG D shape. Really good for shredding too. Of course couldn't match the complex tone of the JEM 77FP with it's original PAF Pros.

So far they are my best non Ibanez option of comfy necks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
A 777VBK would be perfect all the 77FP feel and tone without all the pink.

One of the reasons I'm asking is I'd love a JEM with a sustainiac in it - but don't want to touch my 77 FP as it sounds so good.
 

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I only thing about the FP is the frets are taller than any other JEM I own even the VBK with the green vine.
I've only owned 2 JEMs a 77FP and a 777VBK. They were functionally identical except the floral finish and the trem. (My FP is a LoPro rather than an Edge).

I think my FP is a '93 though. Did the really early ones have different frets?
I know some had a different volume knob placement.
 

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I've only owned 2 JEMs a 77FP and a 777VBK. They were functionally identical except the floral finish and the trem. (My FP is a LoPro rather than an Edge).

I think my FP is a '93 though. Did the really early ones have different frets?
I know some had a different volume knob placement.
Both of my VBKs are 89 with OE trems.
My FP is a 15th Anv with an Edge Pro.
The frets are so tall on the FP that the edge of my fingers catch on or bump them when I play up and down the neck.
I also have a GMC and the frets on it are not as tall as the FP either.
I has another GMC that I sold that did not have tall frets either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
That's a pretty interesting observation sebastian, subjectively I played my 89 JEM FP back to back with a modern JEM and the fret heights felt similar - but I will pay extra attention to it if I go playing some other JEMs.

Bit tricky at the moment to go anywhere to play guitars....

On the vernier it looks like my JEM frets are around 0.060" (1.5mm) tall and about 0.105" wide (2.7mm)

That is slightly taller than the JD 6100 spec which is 0.110 x 0.055 - but could be some mmt error there.

According to the Ibanez Wiki they used different frets from 1997 onwards.

Also all JEM7Vs have 6105 frets which are meant to be taller than 6100 too.
 

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I've only owned 2 JEMs a 77FP and a 777VBK. They were functionally identical except the floral finish and the trem. (My FP is a LoPro rather than an Edge).

I think my FP is a '93 though. Did the really early ones have different frets?
I know some had a different volume knob placement.
Agreed, I've got an '88 77FP and an '89 777VBK, they are identical except for the timbre (unamplified), I suspect this is due to the fabric layers on the FP.

Interestingly I also have a 2017 JEMJR and the neck is almost identical but for a slightly more rounded feeling fret-board, very subtle difference almost imperceptible.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
That is quite interesting pteropid - I hadn't bothered trying a JEMJR until now. I might also put that on the list of potentials. I just love the ease of playing on the JEM, buttery smooth, not a fret buzz to be seen, it's even super clear unplugged.

I played a current model Premium 77 BFP and thought the neck felt quite similar to 77FP JEM - but it wasn't back to back. I've gone through a lot of RGs too and haven't found something yet which is quite the same experience as the JEM. Some years of the Wizard II necks start to feel close, but I wonder if that 400mm fretboard radius is what makes the difference.

My gut still tells me the only thing that is going to feel the same as my JEM is another JEM of the same era....I won't give up on the search yet.
 

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My gut still tells me the only thing that is going to feel the same as my JEM is another JEM of the same era....I won't give up on the search yet.[/QUOTE]

That is the only true you are searching for; which limits you to: 1) 7RB; 2) 777VBK; 3) 77FP; 4) original 777's have also avery nice neck profile.
 

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Yes quite a short list....why did they have to change the perfection that was that early JEM neck?
They were awesome, but I prefer the 17-19 original Wizard Neck. Maybe an old 7VWH Jem with ebony fretboard or a 7BSB take you close to that profile (they are 19-21 mm Jem profile necks), but frets are not 6100 (6105) and you need to sand the poly of the back of the neck.

A cheaper alternative is a Jem 555 Korean made (1994-2002 aprox); they have a similar profile, but the rosewood looks way pale, the tree of life are shorter, need a neck sanding and the frets are Jumbos.
 
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