This is cleaned up and edited version of a massive thread i did before.

I'm very close to deciding on an Ibanez guitar purchase but i'm looking at the Prestige S series and I'm seeing the Red Viking and the Red Optimus and there are some other models. Basically I'm also heavily considering 2 JEM guitars the JEM7V or the JEM77V. The pickups are different and obviously I'm trying to find out how that factors into its overall sound.

One of the differences i would like some help with is on the tremelo systems and the pickups. The Prestige has ball bearings and the system is by the designation: ZR2 bridge w/ZPS3. I have not played that type of tremelo before leaving me wondering how much extra it would cost and how that compares to that Edge-PRO lions claw that the JEM is using as they both seem different from my Double locking Tremelo. I'm unsure if the bridge would have much of an impact on my playing but I know the sound from the pickups will.

As for the pickups, the JEM7V has a hotter pickup setup from neck to bridge DiMarzio® Evolution® DP158, DiMarzio® Evolution® DPS1, and the DiMarzio® Evolution® DP159, while the JEM77V has DiMarzio Breed pickups in all spots.
One of the Prestige S-Series I'm looking at, the Red Viking is using a pickup setup from neck to bridge, Hot Grinder 1, Short Tracer, and Hot Grinder 2. Also they are using different magnet materials it seems.

I play a wide mix of rock, blues, classical, but its mostly rock, Joe Satriani, and Steve Vai. I am not sure which would fit that style best and be a very fun and versatile quality setup, and as well I'm unsure as to how all of these different pickup variations compare. If someone could clarify this for me I'd really appreciate it.

To whomever responds if you have the ballpark pricing on the models I'm looking at that would be beneficial or if you have some suggestions for a different brand/model that won't murder the bank that would be cool. I haven't looked around Austin to see what they are going for yet but i do remember playing a green JEM and a Rainbow about 13-15 years ago and it was around $1,500.00 or so and i wonder if the pricing has changed or how its prices compare to the Prestige S class models.

Anyways ty for reading the long post and take care.
The JEM7V is around 2600$, whereas the 77v is about 100$ less. By the way, untill the end of the year, Ibanez has a 200$ rebate offer on all JEMs.

The S Prestige models you're looking at are between 1400-1600$.

These prices are based on www.ibanezrules.com ; should you decide to buy online, I'd recommend them.

As for the bridges: the Edge Pro on the JEM is basically Ibanez' take on a Floyd Rose trem. They've been making them for years and in terms of quality they're regarded as equal to or greater than the OFR.

The JEM also has a 'lion claw' route, which enables you to pull up on the bar further than normal. Personally, I've never had a problem with the range of the normal Edge Pro, so for me the lion claw would be rather pointless.

The ZR2 is a modern take on a double locking trem, the biggest difference being that it uses ball bearings instead of knife edges (to improve stability and reduce wear). You can find the ZPS3 system in the trem cavity: it's between the springs and it helps the bridge to return to pitch perfectly. As a minor downside, it makes the bridge feel a bit stiffer, which some people don't like.

The ZR2 isn't an option; it's the only trem available on the S5470 guitars, so you don't have to worry about having to pay extra for the bridge (besides, even the Red Viking top model is several hundred bucks less than the JEM).

As you said, the JEM uses DiMarzio and the S Prestige comes with Ibanez' own pickups.

Some people don't like Ibanez' pickups that much, although it's mainly down to your amp. It's not that important; the pickups in the S series are fine in terms of quality and you can easily swap them out should you ever feel the need to change them.

Another difference between these guitars is the body wood. The 7V is alder, the 77V is basswood and the S5470S is mahogany with a maple top. It's rather hard to explain the tonal differences between these woods on paper.

Also, the JEM has a slightly different neck profile compared to the S Prestige series.

All of these guitars are Japanese Prestige instruments. This means that they'll probably be quite similar in terms of build quality. The best thing to do, though, is to try them out for yourself. These guitars (especially the JEMs) shouldn't be too hard to find in a store and there's no substitute for trying a guitar before you buy it. One thing to consider is that with a JEM you're paying quite a lot for Steve Vai's name. It might be an idea to look into one of the higher end Prestige RGs in that case.

Anyway, good luck.
You've read it, you can't un-read it!
Last edited by Bonsaischaap at Dec 9, 2009,