JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 8
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.8 (85 votes)
Ibanez: JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Deep Music

Sound — 10
I am a huge fan of Vai, Paul Gilbert, Joe Satriani and John Petrucci. This guitar suits them all. It also does Metallica, Iron Maiden pretty well. Don't think it can do GNR though but I don't play them often so suits me. I don't have a very good amp so haven't heard the full ability of this guitar. I have a Corg AX5G effect. With this guitar and the corg I don't notice the amp that much. The Bridge pickup is a bit noisy. Neck pickup sounds awesome with solos though I think its a bit too warm. Am gonna get a Marshall amp and DiMarzio pickups for this guitar for sure. Responds very well to most types of playing of the artists I mentioned above. Overall I think this guitar can give off a lot of variety. It just makes me sound better.

Overall Impression — 10
I mostly play instrumental music and I love to play songs with a technical edge to them. I like to push myself and with this guitar I just play better. I have owned this one for nearly a year now. The SX and Yamaha Pacifica are no match to it obviously. I can actually boast about it anywhere I take it. I don't regret buying this guitar at all. It would never get stolen because I would sleep with it. And about abusing this guitar I love it too much to abuse it. I would love to buy Vai's Jem when I'm able to afford it just because its my dream. I love everything about this guitar except I would love Dimarzios in it. I couldnt possible wish for a better guitar for the price I payed.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I have played this guitar for over 7-8 hours straight and I hardly had to tune the strings though they wore off. I actually wanted to test it and I am very very happy with the results. Used the tremolo as much as I could and still the tuning was near perfect. didn't even have to use the fine tuners. I would definitely use it in live playing without a backup. The hardware will last many years. Strap buttons are solid as in any Ibanez. This guitar is very dependable. I don't think it will wear off easily if you know how to take care of your instrument. May be someday I could gift it to my son on his 10th birthday.

Action, Fit & Finish — 8
This guitar was pretty awesome when I got it. No major flaws though the locks in the Bridge were loose and I had to get them tightened later after they shifted when I used the tremolo too much. The action was very high for my liking and the pickups were also high. But they are fixable so no complaints there. Responds well to harmonics. Still having an issue with the proper sustain but I think with a great amp and a bit of adjusting this guitar will rock. Buttons are great as in every ibanez. Overall I'd say this guitar was pretty good except the action and the Bridge nuts being loose when I got them. Nearly put a dent when they shifted into the body.

Features — 9
I fell in love @ first sight with this guitar. Went to the store to buy an RG and when I saw this one I forgot the RG guitar. This is a 24 fret, the thinnest I have used, maple fretboard, basswood body I think. Monkey grip and lion claw as Vai designed his guitar. Mine's white with black Bridge and it looks just breath taking. Floyd rose Bridge is really a pain in the butt to change strings but I them done in the store so no worries. Neck and Bridge humbuckers and middle single pickup and thus a 5-way selector. They're also white and Ibanez products I think. Single volume and tone knobs which are pretty responsive. Locking tuners are pretty great. I actually got only two Dunlop picks with my guitar but I am happy with the guitar nonetheless.

7 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Why do you keep on saying floyd rose... shouldnt it have an edge bridge??? ithought ibanez guitars only use edge bridges...
    it's weird but in my opinion does this guitar sound better than the more expensive guitar the jem555... the pickups on the 555 have to much sustain...
    It is a real JEM, idiots. If Ibanez calls it a JEM then it is a JEM. It is nothing like the 2000$ JEMs but that doesn't mean it's fake.
    @blooddrunk dude are you the ibanez manufacturer?? if they are saying there is such a thing as a jem jr then why dont you believe it??? that is actually lame
    I've been using a JEM for 3years now and recently I tried this jr one in a shop. It's not that bad really. In fact I'd like to say that this economical version is quite good compared to its price. Buy it if you've got a low budget.