JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 6
  • Overall Impression: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 6
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Features: 5
  • Reviewer's score: 5.4 Decent
  • Users' score: 7.8 (85 votes)
Ibanez: JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature

Price paid: $ 346

Purchased from: a local music store

Sound — 6
The sound isnt too bad. In face it is pretty good. The impression was the it was so made that you can have a little of Strat and a little bit of Gibson out of it, and up to the quality of a 300 bucks guitar, but just that. I think it can cope with pretty many music styles. Nevertheless I must say that the single coil pickup is very much not to my liking, because of its forcelessness, lack of analytical power, and very low output. I replaced it with a spare dimarizo virtual solo I have. Sound is a lot better thereafter. The humbukers are OK though.

Overall Impression — 5
Just another 300 bucks guitar. Next time I would still go for an Ibanez but one that is made in Japan. I do not regret buying this guitar but I think for the price they should give you a better single coil pickup, or perhaps they may want to go stricter with their manufacturing process.

Reliability & Durability — 6
I only have it for two months. As far as myself is concerned, I practise 3 to 4 hours a day and haven't have any problem with it yet. Excpet that the turners aint tight locked, what supposed to be solid appears to be solid on this guitar. Sometimes I carelessly crash the guitar slightly against chairs and wall, luckily no dent and scratch so far.

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
As I have said, it was a displayed item so it might not be fair for me to say too much on its appearance. Flaws could have been caused by other customers that were trying the guitar out. But there are some issues that I think must have something to do with the manufacturing process. To being with, the turners werent tight locked (!). Not so bad that they would get off the guitar anytime. But they were just not locked. As to the outlook, there are black stains around screws and nuts. Not unreasonable to assume that they were caused either by sloppy paining or screwing. The paint jobs is otherwise OK. If you happen to be a owner of it too and if you could handle it, I would advise you to open the pickgurad and check the electric wires inside. I have done it, and didn't feel good thereafter.

Features — 5
15 years ago when I was a teenage with not much money, I was strumming Nirvana's songs with a Korea made Strat copy everyday. At that time, anything with Ibanez's label on it meant "quality", "professional" and "expensive". 15 years later I decided that I would pick up my guitar again. And so I walked into a guitar store, to see what I could get. And there was the Ibanez JEM JR hanging on the rack. There was price discount for it, and there is a further discount because this displayed item is the last one in stock. Gave it a try and it didn't sound back with the shop's amp. And so I bought it home. I should mention it was made in Indonesia, for there are some that are made in Korea and Japan. The guitar a bit heavy. The neck would give your fretting hand feedback but the surface finish seems to thin. If you practise a lot I would advise you to extra wax the neck's back. The Floyd Rose is solid. Afterall it is an Ibanez.

4 comments sorted by best / new / date

    It's a pretty good guitar actually. Not a prestige or JEM, but it's comparable to an RG.
    Dude....badass guitar...I'm lead guitarist in a metlacore band and I always wanted a gutar w/ tremolo that i can abuse for my best sound...and this is it! You don't have to play Vais songs on it if it's a signature model, you can do lot's of other types of music...from jazz,hard rock,death metal,nu metal, grunge to does it all...
    i got more info on`s an awesome guitar unless u get a chinese copy....if u want a original u can get it only in south-eastern asia and in south america..