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The real test for the PIA will be the long term, not the first year hype sales. I think the main issue won't be the dividing aesthetics, but the price. It's priced right up there with guitars we'd normally associate with being a step above, custom shop style guitars like Suhr/Anderson/Fender CS, but then I guess it depends how many Ibanez expect to sell per year, they may be right on the mark. I thought the Prestige AZ was not gonna succeed due to it being an almost as expensive Suhr copy, but I was clearly wrong.
I like the phrase "custom shop style guitars" because it aptly describes the time we are living in at the moment. :wink:
I don't know if Suhr/Anderson would be able to make a PIA-like guitar for $3500. I think they make good guitars around that price but they seem to be much simpler in function and aesthetic. You are right that we usually associate $3500 guitars with companies that let you choose the color. (To be fair, Ibanez has been doing a little more of that lately.)

At the time, if I remember correctly, the Prestige AZ was a Suhr Modern copy but it was not nearly as expensive as a Suhr Modern with the same/similar features and specs. The Suhr Modern Satin was the "entry-level" Suhr and it was sort of the in the same ballpark as the AZ price-wise but I doubt that was the guitar the AZ was based on. It was a little rough around the edges...
 

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That would be a good argument if it were anywhere near the truth
That said, I've seen it written than there are less of the limited edition colourful PIA guitars than there were 30th Anniversary JEMs in the three colours.

This is a big gamble for Ibanez, massively overhauling what has essentially been their unofficial flagship for 30 years. I can see why they might not have chanced huge production numbers on the green, pink and gold ones...
 

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This is a big gamble for Ibanez, massively overhauling what has essentially been their unofficial flagship for 30 years. I can see why they might not have chanced huge production numbers on the green, pink and gold ones...
It would have been, had they discontinued all JEM manufacturing. They did not. If you want a JEM, you can still get one. The colors will sell out because they are limited (no gamble there), and the white models will also sell, and as Ibanez can control the number they make based on sales, no gamble there either.

As much as some people may hate the aesthetics (I think there have been some ugly JEMs, personally), or hate that the JEM was changed (AT ALL) into the PIA, it's still Steve Vai's guitar, and will still sell, and will hold it's resale value. It's laughable how some think the PIAs will hang on guitar store walls for years because no one will buy them because they are "ugly" (opinion), or "too expensive" (subjective). Has a JEM model ever "failed"? I doubt it. Neither will this one. HE'S STEVE VAI, and Ibanez makes a great product. We aren't talking about the old Fender Squier series here LOL.

It's become really tiring how today's society seems to enjoy complaining.... about everything.... it's become a hobby, or a badge of honor or something. Like, if they aren't complaining about something, they aren't paying close enough attention, or if they aren't complaining but someone else is, that someone else must know something they don't. IDK when constant dissatisfaction became a personality trait, but I sure wish it would go away LOL. Like the PIA? Buy one. Don't like it? Go by another JEM, since Ibanez hasn't stopped making them. It's really just that simple.
 

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That said, I've seen it written than there are less of the limited edition colourful PIA guitars than there were 30th Anniversary JEMs in the three colours.

This is a big gamble for Ibanez, massively overhauling what has essentially been their unofficial flagship for 30 years. I can see why they might not have chanced huge production numbers on the green, pink and gold ones...
The backlash against the Pia is eerily similar of the same uproar that was seen when the PRS Silver Sky was introduced. People were adamant that it was going to be a complete flop. I personally don't see this as a gamble at all, and while I don't know what the sales numbers of the Japanese Jems have been the past few years, the change may have been warranted.
 

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Go by another JEM, since Ibanez hasn't stopped making them. It's really just that simple.
Not strictly true, you can only buy Indonesian made Jems. People were hoping for a new high end Jem, they got something else while the Jem was demoted to a low-mid range only model.
 

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Not strictly true, you can only buy Indonesian made Jems. People were hoping for a new high end Jem, they got something else while the Jem was demoted to a low-mid range only model.
Because Ibanez hasn't made enough high-end JEMSs yet? LOL

Seriously tho... nothing lasts forever.... I'm sure high end JEMs are available, used, in great shape. They can't continue making high-end JEMs forever... Steve can't keep them popular forever. I wonder how big the market REMAINS for high-end JEMs? Most people who want one have one already, likely. I'll bet Ibanez did the PIA overhaul precisely to create a new market.... because NO ONE has a PIA. If Ibanez could have sold more high-end JEMs than these PIAs, they would have made another run of high-end JEMs. Personally, when the last run of neons came out, I had a feeling there was a reason... while JEMs are not discontinued, they are obviously de-emphasizing the line, in favor of the new PIA.

It won't flop. Time will tell how well they do. Even Steve has basically said "you can only do so much to the JEM, it's been 30 years!).... to HIM, the PIA is the new JEM. The PIA is JEM.2
 

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Because Ibanez hasn't made enough high-end JEMSs yet? LOL

Seriously tho... nothing lasts forever.... I'm sure high end JEMs are available, used, in great shape. They can't continue making high-end JEMs forever... Steve can't keep them popular forever. I wonder how big the market REMAINS for high-end JEMs? Most people who want one have one already, likely. I'll bet Ibanez did the PIA overhaul precisely to create a new market.... because NO ONE has a PIA. If Ibanez could have sold more high-end JEMs than these PIAs, they would have made another run of high-end JEMs. Personally, when the last run of neons came out, I had a feeling there was a reason... while JEMs are not discontinued, they are obviously de-emphasizing the line, in favor of the new PIA.
I agree that Steve can't keep the JEM popular forever and I too wonder how big the market remains for high end JEMs. Les Paul is probably not directly responsible for that many Gibson Les Paul sales these days ;)

What I do know is that despite having several high end JEMs I have little to no desire for a PIA. I'm fairly sure I *am* the core market for these guitars though, I'm a Vai fan in my forties, have relatively high disposable income and an interest in early 90s superstrats. What I've realised with the advent of the PIA is that, these days, I have more connection to Vai's music of 30 years ago and his guitars of 30 years ago than to Vai's current music and his current guitars.

The market is almost certainly shrinking for high end JEMs, and I'm sure Steve (and maybe Ibanez) felt like they wanted to do something, but my question is whether Vai's current output and his current popularity is enough to give the PIA a sustainable market? Don't get me wrong, I like Steve Vai and I certainly don't want the guitar to fail, but it'll be interesting to see how it does...
 

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Because Ibanez hasn't made enough high-end JEMSs yet? LOL

Seriously tho... nothing lasts forever.... I'm sure high end JEMs are available, used, in great shape. They can't continue making high-end JEMs forever... Steve can't keep them popular forever. I wonder how big the market REMAINS for high-end JEMs? Most people who want one have one already, likely. I'll bet Ibanez did the PIA overhaul precisely to create a new market.... because NO ONE has a PIA. If Ibanez could have sold more high-end JEMs than these PIAs, they would have made another run of high-end JEMs. Personally, when the last run of neons came out, I had a feeling there was a reason... while JEMs are not discontinued, they are obviously de-emphasizing the line, in favor of the new PIA.
I agree that Steve can't keep the JEM popular forever and I too wonder how big the market remains for high end JEMs. Les Paul is probably not directly responsible for that many Gibson Les Paul sales these days


What I do know is that despite having several high end JEMs I have little to no desire for a PIA. I'm fairly sure I *am* the core market for these guitars though, I'm a Vai fan in my forties, have relatively high disposable income and an interest in early 90s superstrats. What I've realised with the advent of the PIA is that, these days, I have more connection to Vai's music of 30 years ago and his guitars of 30 years ago than to Vai's current music and his current guitars.

The market is almost certainly shrinking for high end JEMs, and I'm sure Steve (and maybe Ibanez) felt like they wanted to do something, but my question is whether Vai's current output and his current popularity is enough to give the PIA a sustainable market? Don't get me wrong, I like Steve Vai and I certainly don't want the guitar to fail, but it'll be interesting to see how it does...
Agree with this and fall more or less into the same demographic. I suspect the PIA will sell out originally as there will be enough well heeled Vai fans around. But I can't see it becoming the runaway success and institution that the Jem has been. Unfortunately, Vai isn't generally as high profile these days. The aesthetics of the PIA are more polarising than the Jem too, even among his supporters.
 

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I heard that Ibanez will still honor orders made late last year for all Jem7vwh. These will be the last of the Japanese made Jems. Can anyone confirm this?
 

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It would have been, had they discontinued all JEM manufacturing. They did not. If you want a JEM, you can still get one. The colors will sell out because they are limited (no gamble there), and the white models will also sell, and as Ibanez can control the number they make based on sales, no gamble there either.

As much as some people may hate the aesthetics (I think there have been some ugly JEMs, personally), or hate that the JEM was changed (AT ALL) into the PIA, it's still Steve Vai's guitar, and will still sell, and will hold it's resale value. It's laughable how some think the PIAs will hang on guitar store walls for years because no one will buy them because they are "ugly" (opinion), or "too expensive" (subjective). Has a JEM model ever "failed"? I doubt it. Neither will this one. HE'S STEVE VAI, and Ibanez makes a great product. We aren't talking about the old Fender Squier series here LOL.

It's become really tiring how today's society seems to enjoy complaining.... about everything.... it's become a hobby, or a badge of honor or something. Like, if they aren't complaining about something, they aren't paying close enough attention, or if they aren't complaining but someone else is, that someone else must know something they don't. IDK when constant dissatisfaction became a personality trait, but I sure wish it would go away LOL. Like the PIA? Buy one. Don't like it? Go by another JEM, since Ibanez hasn't stopped making them. It's really just that simple.
Regarding your 2nd paragraph, I've seen JEM's on walls for almost 1 year. They were sold at, or near, cost before the year was up. I've also seen a JEM 20TH paid for with $5 bills. (Actually, I only heard about the sale. I did see the guitar before it sold.) The point being, JEM's and other high-end Ibanez guitars can be fickle when it comes to in-store sales. They might sell before the store orders them or they might not sell for a very long time and only at a large discount. It is kind of weird, but also kind of interesting.

Regarding your 3rd paragraph, I do not disagree. However, when Ibanez discontinues all MIJ JEM's I do not think it is unreasonable for members of a forum called Jemsite to be less than thrilled. I can't account for all of society or "everything," but guitarists tend to be a little weird and rather opinionated about guitars. :nerd: It means we care.
 

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Regarding your 3rd paragraph, I do not disagree. However, when Ibanez discontinues all MIJ JEM's I do not think it is unreasonable for members of a forum called Jemsite to be less than thrilled. I can't account for all of society or "everything," but guitarists tend to be a little weird and rather opinionated about guitars. :nerd: It means we care.
Fair point. However... are there people HERE who are upset with "no more MIJ JEMs" that don't HAVE an MIJ JEM yet? Why not? Since this IS "Jemsite", lol.

And what about used? I like new guitars as much as anyone, but there are a couple of guitars I will be buying in mint/excellent condition instead of new... because the $3000-$4000 price range is pretty stiff, and I see no need to pay the extra $1000 if I don't have to. Meaning, if I wanted a Japanese JEM and didn't yet have one, I'd be looking used... there must be prime examples available, no?
 

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...what about used...I see no need to pay the extra $1000 if I don't have to...if I wanted a Japanese JEM and didn't yet have one, I'd be looking used...
I really see no need to ever buy any new gear as long as what I want/need is available on the used market, and it regularly allows me to buy gear beyond my budget. I understand why people would want to buy new, but the few new guitars I have bought bring me no more pleasure than the ones I've found on the used market, and they sure aren't in any different condition now either. They did however leave me a lot more money for other gear, or paying bills even.
 
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