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As I haven't found a thread that is dedicated to the upcoming JEM505, I decided to start one by myself.

The guitar is no longer a surprise, since it is already listed on the German distributor's page at ibanez.de. The guitars are supposed to round out the JEM-line in the budget sector, though, the word 'budget' does not really fit to a guitar with MSRP 1,555 Euros.

I kinda dig these JEMs at first glance. Nevertheless on second thought I think it doesn't look like a true signature Vai-guitar. I miss the Vine inlay, too.

Specs:

Colour(s) - Black, White
Body - Basswood
Neck - Jem Prestige neck. Maple w/ maple fingerboard. 24 fret, black dot inlay
Trem - Edge (cosmo)
Pickups - V7/S1/V8 pickups



 

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In Europe, the list and retail price will be somewhere similar to a RG3550MZ.

So in comparison, you are losing the Dimarzio pickups, but gaining an Edge trem and the Vai aesthetics (claw, grip). That about sums it up.
 

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I kinda dig the black one, although the black/white has been done to death. but 1,555 Euros 8O That is a lot of money. You can get a Jem 7VWH for a similar price, or even cheaper, If I am not wrong. (never had one :p)
 

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I am really not a fan. These budget models are looking less and less like Steve's guitars, which just defeats the point of the signature line. As well as that, I don't find them attractive in their own right. I'd rather have a similarly priced RG any day.
 

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The DBK was one of the best workhorse JEM's ever built. They needed a model to fill that niche. These are basically the exact specs I've been asking for, and specifically laid out at a meeting over a year ago. Except for the maple board, that I asked for in a return of the maple/pyramid combination. Maple or not, the model should be well received as what it is, a good, well priced, MIJ workhorse JEM.
 

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In Europe, the list and retail price will be somewhere similar to a RG3550MZ.

So in comparison, you are losing the Dimarzio pickups, but gaining an Edge trem and the Vai aesthetics (claw, grip). That about sums it up.
Some positve changes, but then you lose some things from the JEM.
Vine inlays not there, no more gold hardware, which is not to everyones liking. Minus the EVO's, which means if you want the same pickups that Vai uses, you will have to buy them and get them installed.

The price has been slashed though, compared to the JEM7VWH.
But looking around adverts from my country, you could pick up a JEM7VWH for €1000 or so, much cheaper than a 505 new.
 

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Comparing it to used guitars just isn't right if you ask me, then everything is overpriced. Comparing it to a NEW jem7v is the right thing to do and then it doesn't seem so expensive.

It's the same body, same neck, same Edge trem, same 6105 frets, MIJ, prestige, even the same case. For 1100 euros less. Thats pretty good.
 

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Comparing it to used guitars just isn't right if you ask me, then everything is overpriced. Comparing it to a NEW jem7v is the right thing to do and then it doesn't seem so expensive.

It's the same body, same neck, same Edge trem, same 6105 frets, MIJ, prestige, even the same case. For 1100 euros less. Thats pretty good.
Just with so many deals around on used gear in good condition.

Anyway where do we see it at €1100?
€1400 seems to be the price i has seen over the last few days.
 

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Initially it seems like a great idea. Remember, the RB had dot inlays and the DBK and BSB may as well have had them. I think this one will go over quite well and am looking forward to seeing actual photos of them. Also, black plastic and pickups on the white one would really set it off, and black plastic with white pickups and knobs would do the same for the black.
 

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It's a nice effort from Ibanez to make a more affordable MIJ JEM, but still at this price and without more eye-candy, like pyramids on the neck, I really couldn't justify the price compared to a prestige RG. At least with the vwh you get a nice vine, the FPs, BSB and even DBK had a somewhat "exotic" finish, but those 505 look quite boring and besides the monkey grip don't have much of Vaiish exotism. And on purely playability grounds they really are no better than a prestige RG.

Now if they would have done pyramids on those maple necks and stay at this price point they would have gotten a sure winner IMO ... Was it really to expensive to inlay some pyramids on the neck ? Ibanez must know that it would have been a major cosmetic draw towards the 505 ?
 

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I don't like them at all. There was always a "budget" Jem: it's called the RG550.

And since we now have three of those (1550, 2550 and 3550) a budget Jem is about as useful as a potato in outer space. However, if these 505s mean the end of the 555 some good may come of it.

Rich said:
The DBK was one of the best workhorse JEM's ever built. They needed a model to fill that niche. These are basically the exact specs I've been asking for.
I agree on the DBK, that was a budget DNA, with an industrial look spawned from the BSB and HAM. It made sense. It had a proper neck, proper pups and a proper trem.
I also agree on the niche; entry Jems should compete directly on price with the upper tier of RGs (currently the 3550)
As for the specs, did you seriously ask them for the return of the Original Edge? And why didn't they put a set of Dimarzio/IBZ in there?

To put this into perspective, back in the days the RG770dx came with IBZ/USA pups, at a price comparable to both the DY and VBK, the cheapest Jems at the time (below the FP/BFP and GMC/PMC).
 

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Why would they put the "eye-candy" in a budget Jem? You get the Jem neck, good trem, and Jem body, if they give you too much at the budget price it would cut into Jem7 sales.
There has to be some kind of punishment for not spending the big money.

This guitar also may save countless RGs from having handles hacked into them and being called "Custom Jems"
 

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Probably not.

I mean, what differs? The pup's and the inlays. Everything else important (that caused arguments before) is the same on 505 and 7V. Bridge, neck profile, place of origin.

...and it doesn't say "Jem Jr." or have Steve's name on it anywhere.
 

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Is it a true Jem neck with the same dimensions and (most importantly) the scalloped high-end frets? If so then I'd say you're good to go! MIJ with an Original Edge? Are the vines and pyramids really necessary? And swapping out Dimarzios isn't that big a deal. It might make for some interesting options. Maybe someone wants to put in a TZ, a Crunch Lab, a Bill Lawrence L500, or some Seymour Duncans in there.
If it's price right I think its a good idea.
A MUCH better idea than the silly fixed bridge Jem!!!
 

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I like the black a lot more than the white, and if it had it different pickguard (not digging the one on it:?) it would be a sure winner!
 
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