JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 04/28/2009 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature
It's a pretty good guitar in terms of sound, even though it uses Ibanez pickups instead of DiMarzio ones.
 Sound: 8.8
 Overall Impression: 8.8
 Reliability & Durability: 8.6
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8
 Features: 8.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) pictures (2) 37 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.4
JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 28, 2009
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 300

Features: Ibanez JEM JR. Is a beautiful guitar. It's basically a cheaper twin (much cheaper) of JEM 555 (a cousin of JEM 777). The guitar was made for those Who peoples Who loves jems but can't afford one. But it still is a jem. It is 24 frets, a Floyd Rose bridge. Mine was made in Japan in 2005. It has passive electronics. It is 2 humbuckers and 1 single coil pick-ups. It also has locking tuners. // 10

Sound: I play rock music. I do some metal riffs and some clean plucking and some overdrive distortion soloing. The guitar has lovely sound on all of these areas. The distortion is a little thick and heavy for the humbuckers. I am using a sony ta-1630 amp with a Zoom G2 multi-effects pedal. The sound is bright, but not too much. The volume on the single coil is a little low though.

It has almost no noise at all ever at high volume. It doesn't even show any noise when playing with a high gain distortion pedal. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar has fantastic finishing. No flaws at all. The pick-ups are fine. I bought it second hand, so there were some scratches from picks but no real damage. This pick-up selector works smoothly, you can change pick-up position during a song and not effect the sound quality or introduce any noise. // 10

Reliability & Durability: Because of being a Floyd Rose bridge, tuning the guitar is an ART. The tuning stays for a long time, even if you do some hard strumming and a lot of pulling. Tuning requires adjusting about once a month, which isn't bad. The tremelos is strong, I have dropped it a few times without breaking it. // 9

Overall Impression: Great deal for it's price. A new JEM JR. Will cost you about 450 US dollars. If you want an Ibanez, at this price, it is much better than the GRZs. Besides, it's a different feeling when you own a Jem. People may say to you, it's not a real jem. But if it's made by Ibanez and says "Jem" on it, than it's a Jem. And you can't beat a jem. // 9

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overall: 5.4
JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: molala2, on october 23, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 346

Purchased from: a local music store

Features: 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. // 5

Sound: 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. // 6

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 5

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 6

Overall Impression: 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. // 5

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overall: 9.4
JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: phats1231, on august 15, 2011
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: Deep Music

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 8

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

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overall: 8.8
JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 28, 2009
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: Made in korea. 24 jumbo frets. Rosewood. Basswood body. White colour with plate. Floyd Rose. H-S-H pickup style. Ibanez Infinity pickups. 5-way selector. Volume & Tone. Adjustable bridge angle. The best affortable guitar you would want to own!! // 9

Sound: I play blues, rock and metal. It fits all of them. the guitar has great sound when playing lead or rhythm. I use 15 watt Samick amplifier and it sounds powerful, bright and great. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: everything is good. The pickups, body and stuffs were fine. everything ready to plug and play // 7

Reliability & Durability: I have performed many time at gigs, the guitar is superb. The guitar will last longer if u take good care of it of course. I would not use other guitar, i will only choose this guitar to perform or practice. // 8

Overall Impression: I play mainly Rock. It suits perfectly. I have been playing this guitar for 2 years. it is still in good shape. This is the guitar i will use for a life time. I will kill the person who steal my JEM-JR. I love the shape of the guitar especially the handle. i sounds good when playing. I hate it when changing strings because i have to cut the ball end of the string before inserting it. I compared this guitar and the Epiphone Flying-V but this guitar wins it all. If this guitar is not good, why would Steve Vai use it? so trust me, this is the guitar you must buy...... // 10

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overall: 9.8
JEM-JR Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: unregistered, on february 10, 2011
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 700

Purchased from: audiomusic

Features: It was made in indonesia on 2010. It has a 3pc wizard maple neck with 24 jumbo frets. The body is basswood and the neck maple. The finish is WHITE everyting the pickguard, pickups, the guitar itself. The body style its a superstrat with the monkey grip and lion claw(cavity of the tremolo) the Bridge is a floating Bridge or tremolo is the edge 3 by Ibanez (better than licensed floyd rose) normal electronic one volumen knob and one tone knob. Has a five way selector. The pickups are H-S-H the pickups: inf 1 - inf1(single) - inf 2. It its a locking tremolo with locking nuts, the brand is Ibanez I think. Includes the alan keys a gig bag and strap :) // 10

Sound: I play hard rock and 80s metal its a really great guitar for those styles. I use with a DigiTech RP 50 and hot head. And a beringher wah trought a Kustom amp and sounds AWESOME. I use it with the setting of humbucker split with the single coil because with that setting I can get a lot of pinch armonics because with the neck or Bridge pickups I must use the tone knob for get the pinch armonicos. And the sound with humbuckers its to mudy. With the single coil its a little noisy but it because its a single coil. The guitar is really versatile but add a little gain to the clean sonds and don't like that very much but using the tone knob sounds great, like a Fender Strat. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: The set up was fine but the action is a not too low like I wish I would like it was more low for play faster but is ok. The pickups was a little high and get some noise so I put it a little down.the guitar was new nothing wrong with it. The guitar is white so I think that maybe in the future the guitar start to get from another color like yellow (that happen with all the white things) // 10

Reliability & Durability: Ill never play live with this guitar but I would bring a backup if I break a string only if that happen. I think that the tremolo doesn't survive too much time. It looks so delicate. The strap buttons are like solid rock the guitar never fell down. I think that the guitar it self would resist the years and the life of a normal guitar. // 10

Overall Impression: Its exellent for what I play (vai, glam rock etc) the tremolo stay in tune so I don't worry about that. I have been playing for 4 years and its my second guitar and I love it. If it were stolen I don't buy the same guitar I would buy a jem 7vwh only becuase is my dream. I love the fact that its a jem. And the configuartions of the pickups I don't like to much the tremolo. I compare with al the Ibanez rg line (non prestiges ones) and with some ESP and Jackson guitars I BUY THIS BECAUSE ITS A JEM AND I LOVE IT EVEN WITHOUT THE DiMarzio PICKUPS. // 10

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