JEM555 Steve Vai Signature review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.4 Superb
  • Users' score: 7.6 (135 votes)
Ibanez: JEM555 Steve Vai Signature

Price paid: $ 1000

Purchased from: Audiophile

Sound — 10
This guitar suits my guitar playing, I like Steve Vai, and his style of playing the guitar. I play rock, some blues, metal and pop rock. I play this guitar with a Marshall Valvestate amp, and it really sounds good and smooth if you adjust your treble to 0. The pickups are'nt noisy at all. The Neck pickups gives you a smooth tone great for riffs and solos, you can get the sounds of Vai, Petrucci and Malmsteen in this setting. the Middle pickup is great for acoustic sounds, and last but not the least, the Bridge pickups w/c is very suitable for solos, shreds, etc. The EdgePro II was very accurate, this guitar can stay in tune even if you are using the whammy bar often.

Overall Impression — 10
As I had said earlier, I play rock, blues and pop music. I think this guitar will be perfectly matched with a Carvin Legacy amp. I've been playing for 2 years, I own an AriaPro 2 Magna Series electric guitar, Fernando classical guitar, Weinstein elec. gtr. and a Zoom 707 II gtar effects. I wish they include a Hardcase on buying this product. If this guitar was stolen, I'd probably get another one, or else I'd buy the JEM7V and try something else. I love the overall specs of this awesome guitar. It is worth the price I'd paid for. I like the inlay but I prefer the original abalone tree of life inlay and a scalloped 21 to 24 frets. My most favorite feature is the neck pickup (it is really great). I'm not comparing this to any other products because I believe that every guitar has its own uniqueness and it is not with the guitar but on how the player plays his/her instrument. I choose this one because I like it very well! I wish I had a 7V and bandmates that has a same passion for their instruments like me.

Reliability & Durability — 9
I'm sure this guitar will withstand live playing if it is properly set-up'd. Any guitar that has proper intonation, fret level, action, stability and accuracy can withstand any live playing, but my advice is don't abuse your guitars. Steve Vai and other famous guitar players have their own guitar techs so that moment by moment their guitars are being setupped. So if you don't have your tech, I'm pretty sure that your guitar will gain more and more damages every time you abuse it. If you have your own guitar tech, then of you go. I'm pretty sure I can depend on my guitar. The finish is totally awesome, the hardware is durable. Overall, it is semi-perfect (the JEM7V is really the perfect guitar).

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
The Guitar was not yet set-up'd when I grabbed it on the store. So when I was going to purchase it, I called their guitartech and ask him to set-up my guitar. The intonation is already adjusted from the factory, thats why he skipped on the intonation adjustment. He ask me if what kind of setting I would prefer. I said just like Vai's specifications, then poof! it became like Vai's. The hardware(s) are all flawless. The wood is straight. I'm very satisfied.

Features — 9
My JEM 555 was a 2005 model, made in Korea. It has 24 jumbo frets and has a "tree of life" inlay from the 3rd to the 12th fret. And also a "Steve Vai" inlay on the 24th fret. The neck is maple wood, and the fretboard is Rosewood. It has a solid top. The body is American Basswood. Equipped with EdgePro II double locking trem. Equipped also with 3 DiMarzio Evolution passive pickups (H/S/H). It has a Gotoh type of tuners with a locking nut. No cases were included (I don't know why).

9 comments sorted by best / new / date

    you arsehole, its not fake does anybody know if this guitar suits metal/harcore? deep and thick tones? im thinking unearth, killswitch engage. thanks
    Check the url I gave you, there are lots of JEM comments, including JEM 555, its the most complete JEM archives, you *****.. Just for your info, I have a JEM 7vwh and I've tried JEM 555, thats why I can say thats a fake JEM
    dude that is not a fake jem.. You need to research on them before you say weather it is fake or not. Are you one of thoes people that will buy one of them cheap chinese gutiars from ebay? Porbarlly where you got your 7vwh from.
    It is a fake Jem. don't get me wrong it is above any RG you can get (except maybe a RG570 modded with better pickups) but it is not any where near the quallity of the real jems made in Japan. I have a 555, since 1997, trust me I know. its not really worth buying, b/c you can't find them new and most used ones will crap out on you after a few months of continuous playing. go out and get a Jackson Dinky. maybe if you wan't get a RG and have someone carve a monkey grip in it for you and you'll gave a better guitar right there. who cares if it is a Jem anyway? its a guitar.
    Erich yeung
    My friend has a dinky, and my Jem 555 blows it out of the water. The older models are garbage cause of that horrid bridge, but the edge pro II ones are good. From Jem Point of view, it doesnt match up. But its also 600 bucks cheaper, it has the evolutions, the jem neck, and basswood(which isnt bad wood, just its heavier than alder, so you get thicker sounds which i like), the inlay upto the 12th etc. I'll admit that steve vai logo is cheesy as hell. But from just a guitar standpoint , it blows any RG out of the water, and alot of the Prestiges. This is by no means a bad guitar. If you want something cheaper but also want a high grade quality guitar. Get this! (make sutre its a recent one though)
    Mikey p
    my mate just bought one of these for 850 and it is sweet as. the locking trem and nut make the dimebag(R.I.P) squeals pretty easy so it is a great axe. just not too sure on the handle and th body is a bit fat, i,d prefer an SA32 FM if it had a floyd rose of edge3 bridge.
    wat r stonyman65 and imoeng talkin bout this is made by Ibanez and says Ibanez JEM on the head. and it play's really sweet sounds beautiful so **** u if u fink its fake