#1
I've been saving up money for a while to get my boyfriend a new guitar for his birthday. He doesn't know I'm getting him one or what really I'm looking at but I've found locally both of these guitars for realistic prices. He once upon a time had a Korean made Ibanez with a set neck (not sure what model) that we sold off a few years ago because we needed cash at the time, so we're pretty dead set on Ibanez. Regardless, I know that a lot of forum posts will bash the Jem 555 because older models have a terrible bridge and bad pickups. The one I've found is 2006, which I understand has DiMarzios and an Edge II or III (all original hardware). Even if the hardware is crap, he's likely to switch it out anyway to his preference (no matter what I get him). The LP copy is a bolt on neck and I was told is all original as well and was honestly my first instinct but the more I thought about it, the 555 seems more his style, especially if he's going to mod it. He's been playing for months on my old 20th Anniversary Fender Affinity Strat, with a slightly bowed neck that's not worth fixing. After reading reviews and watching a million YouTube videos, I'm still torn because people seem to include way too much bias. Either would be an upgrade, and I know he needs something new. He only plays casually a couple hours a day... If we leave out all the "it's not a real Jem" arguments... Does anyone have thoughts or opinions?
#2
Honestly get him either and he should be stoked, I would be.
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#3
what kind of music does he play most?
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#5
He plays what he listens to that he feels comfortable dabbling in. He's not in a band, doesn't write (yet, haha ), doesn't perform. Honestly, he's been playing songs he's been learning from Rocksmith 2014 (I got that for him for V-day, and that's what got him back into playing after we sold his previous Ibanez)... He's very experienced with a guitar but by no means professional or conceited about it; a lot of friends that do play in local bands have said some skills he's developed from it are better than they can do. (I'm aware theory and techniques aren't major parts of the game but he learns plenty of that elsewhere (friends, online, YouTube, etc). I'd guess he would want something that can play a wider range of music (metal, classic rock, alt rock, punk rock)... I've heard the Jem is more dynamic but there's so much negative feedback out there...
#6
Quote by Ippon
Ask him which one he prefers. Then, get him both. You'll get something back, times 2.



Hahahahaha it might be the alcohol I've been drinking but I literally laughed out loud. I've thought about that too. Unfortunately, it's just not in my budget!
#9
Quote by deadsmileyface
personally I would say go for the Jem but thats my opinion and it doesnt matter okay bye


It definitely matters! This much money is not a purchase to be taken lightly! (He would put the same amount of deliberation with getting me a Chanel bag - it'll happen one day! Haha)

If it didn't matter, I wouldn't have asked!
#10
If he swaps the bridge on the jem, it will be the better guitar. Much nicer neck, 24 frets, but the bridge is SHIT. Luckily, the Ibanez Edge (Original) should drop right in without routing the body. Although those cost roughly $200. If they get no modification, the LP is better, but only because the Jems bridge is a royal bitch to keep in tune.
#11
Quote by GFraser
If he swaps the bridge on the jem, it will be the better guitar. Much nicer neck, 24 frets, but the bridge is SHIT. Luckily, the Ibanez Edge (Original) should drop right in without routing the body. Although those cost roughly $200. If they get no modification, the LP is better, but only because the Jems bridge is a royal bitch to keep in tune.

I don't think it is, but I know the OFR (and by extension the Gotoh FR) are drop ins.
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You CAN play anything with anything....but some guitars sound right for some things, and not for others. Single coils sound retarded for metal, though those who are apeshit about harpsichord probably beg to differ.
#12
Ok...my take is this. Youve got two very different guitars. For one the scale length is different the LP is going to be 24.75 vs. the Jem at 25.5, you would need to know which he prefers playing on. The LP will be easier to tune and use alternate tunings if this will be his only guitar.

Now as far as the "Jem", you are much better off getting him a MIJ RG550, 560, 570 or prestige 1550, 1570, etc than that Jem. Better hardware, Better neck, Better construction, at near the same price or probably less. There really isn't much comparison between the Korean, Indo Ibbys vs. the Japanese.

Oh and depending on the price range, the LP maybe a better guitar for holding its value. The Japanese LP copy market is fairly active and prices seem to hold fairly firm to even continue upwards.

The Jem Jr market not so much as most Ibanez buyers will consider it to be nothing more than a RG350 with a half a vine on its neck.
Last edited by Fastmerc at Jun 20, 2014,
#13
I personally would rather have an Ibanez that is uniquely Ibanez like the Jem (or an RG, S, etc.) than an Ibanez that is just a copy of the more popular guitar. Just my 2 cents.
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#14
I'm not sure I'm at all qualified to assess either instrument, so I'll leave that to those far more competent than I to steer you in the right direction.

However, I would like to nominate you for "Coolest Girlfriend Ever" for going through all this effort, not just in finding a couple of worthy instruments, but then going the extra mile to make sure you got him the very best you could. He's a lucky, lucky man!

And if for some reason things don't work out, my number is...

Seriously, kudos to you! You're awesome!
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

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#15
normally the advice is to avoid the jem 555... you can normally get a prestige RG for the same price and it's made in japan and already has a good trem etc.

no idea about the 1977 ibanez LP... most of the japanese copies are really good, but only after sort of the late 70s... so that's getting a bit close. Plus you sort of have to know what you're looking at because it's often hard to tell a high-end model from a lower end one.
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Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
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Et tu, br00tz?
#16
I appreciate all the feedback! Thank you guys so much!

I have a friend going with me to the guitar shop today that my bf plays with sometimes so he's gonna play them and give me his opinion . I'll let you all know what we decide and why, but until then I'd love to still hear more thoughts.
#17
Quote by StarGeezerTim
I'm not sure I'm at all qualified to assess either instrument, so I'll leave that to those far more competent than I to steer you in the right direction.

However, I would like to nominate you for "Coolest Girlfriend Ever" for going through all this effort, not just in finding a couple of worthy instruments, but then going the extra mile to make sure you got him the very best you could. He's a lucky, lucky man!

And if for some reason things don't work out, my number is...

Seriously, kudos to you! You're awesome!



Lol! Let's hope he thinks so too! Our 7 year anniversary is next month (dual purpose for spending so much) so maybe I'll finally get something expensive too!!
#18
I would go for the Jem over the Les Paul copy. It's likely a more versatile guitar as it has a trem, 24 frets, and a middle pickup. Plus a bolt-on Les Paul just seems wrong, lol.

I'm sure he will be happy with either!
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#19
Ah if the Ibanez Les Paul copy is a bolt-on, i'd probably avoid it too. Normally the bolt-on japanese gibson copies are lower end.
I'm an idiot and I accidentally clicked the "Remove all subscriptions" button. If it seems like I'm ignoring you, I'm not, I'm just no longer subscribed to the thread. If you quote me or do the @user thing at me, hopefully it'll notify me through my notifications and I'll get back to you.
Quote by K33nbl4d3
I'll have to put the Classic T models on my to-try list. Shame the finish options there are Anachronism Gold, Nuclear Waste and Aged Clown, because in principle the plaintop is right up my alley.

Quote by K33nbl4d3
Presumably because the CCF (Combined Corksniffing Forces) of MLP and Gibson forums would rise up against them, plunging the land into war.

Quote by T00DEEPBLUE
Et tu, br00tz?
#20
The Verdict: The Jem 555

I made plans with my friend James to go with me today and look at them but actually ended up bringing Travis, my bf, with me too. He put up a fight and didn't want to go (I tried to keep it a surprise but apparently I'm terrible at keeping really good secrets about presents) and tried to tell me he'd be happy with whatever I picked out because he knows I do my "homework." The shop owner was holding the Jem 555 for me as he spent the last couple days repairing a small blemish on the back (of which he did a phenomenal job!) and brought it out after he was done with another customer. Since he was helping someone else, we were able to look at a few others he had, including the 1977 LP copy. (Goddamn, what a sexy guitar... Absolutely great condition for it's age too.) When Travis first saw the Jem, his face just completely lit up with a shy smile. The owner asked if he wanted to play it. Let's be real, I wanted him to play it. I had to find out why all the negative feedback on these 555's and ultimately, I know that no matter what guitar, if it's your instrument and you love it and you'll put your passion into it, who cares what other people say. But I also know you should play one before buying because it can be very tell tale of certain things (likes, dislikes, problems, etc), especially when purchasing a used guitar. He plugged in and played for almost 30 minutes... It was hard to get him to stop! I knew it had to be that one. After looking at the LP copy again today, it's just so heavy that for frequent use, practice, and practicality, it didn't make much sense. (If we had the money to collect, I'd have walked out with it for sure.) We did look at other guitars today too but I just kept going back to the Jem. The "made in Korea" doesn't bother us - I think it actually made him appreciate it more because it reminds him of his old one. I don't legitimately feel that it's a bad guitar, per se, but I feel like people bash it for being a budget model and overpriced with Vai's name on it, but I did get a great deal on it and compared to ones I've seen online, it was a steal. I know there's better out there. But there's always better out there. Everyone has their own opinions and I'm a very firm believer that an instrument does not make a musician. Skills make a musician; everything else is literally just a preference. Who knows? Maybe I'm off my rocker...

In the end, we're both very happy (I haven't seen him act so much like a kid about a "new toy" in forever!) Realistically, we will invest in something better one day, but for now, this is better than anything his friends have and they're all jealous and I'll take that for what it's worth!

Thanks again for giving me some feedback, if any of you read this far!
#22
Awesome! Personally and from a purely aesthetic standpoint, I really loved the look of the Jem. So I'm delighted to hear that's what you ultimately went with!
I am a StarGeezer: some call me..."Tim."*

* - Heartfelt apologies to Monty Python for blatant plagiarism. Those responsible have been sacked.
__________

Epiphone G-400 "Goth"
Peavey Vypyr 75 Amp
#23
cool! i am glad everything worked out. sounds like he likes it (i have a feeling i would too lol)

WTLT 2014 GG&A

Quote by andersondb7
alright "king of the guitar forum"


Quote by trashedlostfdup
nope i am "GOD of the guitar forum" i think that fits me better.


Quote by andersondb7
youre just being a jerk man.



****** NEW NEW NEW!
2017-07-07 2017-07-07 Update and a Chat On Noise Constraints *** NEW FRIDAY 7/7
2017-04-13 RUN AWAY from COMPUTERS!!! TCE? RANT ALERT!!!
2017-03-02 - Guitar Philosophy 1001- Be Prepared For the Situation (Thursday 2017-03-02)
2017-02-21 How to Hot-Rod the Hell of your Stratocaster for $50! (Tuesday 2017-2-21)
Resentments and Rambling from a Guitar Junkie
---> http://trashedengineering.blogspot.com/