I agree. I also feel that the half-vine might be better tolerated if not for the Steve Vai inlay. But again, after a trem swap I find this to be a rock-solid guitar.They had a bad reputation all through their early production run mainly for two reasons.
1) the "bad" trem,
2) the "half-vine" and the "Steve Vai" block inlay name plate.
If you could tolerate the "half vine" then a trem swap made them an amazing guitar for the money, I especially like the aiesthetics of the black/pearloid ones. But, online, they never really got over the stigma...
That is 100% accurate assessment of the BFP. “Plastic” is how it and the Woody felt to me.I just had a Jem 555 come through and I was super impressed. The Korean guitars are great value for the money IMO. Like the other posters it’s truly just the trem but that isn’t a crazy mod to help bring one of these into a really great guitar for small money. The half vine and Vai label is a downer but I think I’d get over it pretty quickly. I assume for example general wisdom would be to buy an Indonesian PBFP or a Woodie for not much more but having owned all three, I’d definitely opt for a first year 555 (in black) with the trem mod myself. It plays more vintage and has a more woody feeling, I liked the PBFP and it deserves more credit than it gets but that trem isn’t great either and they feel a bit more plastic to me.
Wow! nice.That's a beauty! It's a '94 that I'd target too (and it was a black '94 that was a real nice one that I just sold less than a month ago). I believe they added a "Jr." next to the word Jem on the headstock from 1995 and on for all the Korean 555's. Even though I sold it, I was a huge fan of this guitar. I did take some pics of it, I have a bench I use but in this case I started taking it apart on the dining room table (much to my wife's displeasure) as it just needed some quick love'in. In particular, check the friction washers on the tuners, two were cracked on this one so I just replaced them all but they were brittle and it wouldn't surprise me if they just crack over time so maybe something to keep an eye on if you have an early model 555.
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