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).