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Zephyr
post Dec 18 2007, 09:21 AM
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Well, it's time for me to make a decision. I've found a guy selling an Ibanez JS1000 for 700 dollars, less than 50% of the original price! biggrin.gif I've been planning for a long time to get a JEM, but this a great deal. The truth is, if I buy one of these, I probably will not buy the other, as they are very similar and I have other things I plan to buy. The JS is in excellent condition, going to play it tomorrow, and it will be my only chance to make a deposit to reserve it.

Now, here's the deal. I've played a JS1000 at Guitar Center once, and although it wasn't setup that great, I liked it very much. The only Jem I've ever played, however, was so out of tune and badly set up that I couldn't get an opinion of it. However, just from feeling and examining it, I did not get a good impression. The neck seemed terrible, and it seemed like a somewhat cheesy guitar in general. Was this just a dud or something? It was a real JEM, but I just didn't get the impression that others seem to get of it...

I know that a lot of people will swear that JEMs are the greatest guitars on this planet and all others in the general vicinity laugh.gif, but I need to get some other opinions here. I'm going to guitar center before the meeting first, in order to play a Jem and a JS one last time together and compare them... hopefully this time they are set up well, although I doubt this will be the case. The fact is, if JEMs are truly as great as they seem, I would rather keep saving for however long it takes to get one.

I'm sure there's a lot I forgot to say, if you have any questions, ask away! Thanks in advance, I really hope I get some answers from this! smile.gif

Something I forgot to add, is that I've been looking at the specs, and the bodies of JEMs are made form alder. Isn't this an incredibly cheap wood that is used even in entry-level guitars? The JS has a basswood body, which I've heard doesn't have a great tone, but is very versatile, and I'm alright with that, but alder? Thanks! biggrin.gif

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Dec 18 2007, 09:25 AM
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Pavel
post Dec 18 2007, 09:38 AM
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If Alder was bad wood, Vai wouldn't have it for his signature guitar wink.gif

I have JEM and i never saw problem with that wood type. I said this 1000 times - you can't judge the guitar by playing them in stores because in 99% of cases they are not set up at all. I bought my JEM which was totally out of tune, not set up - brougth it home, set it up and today it's the best axe i've ever played.

I played the JS a month ago - it was good, to me - same as JEM but had 22 frets. I like JEM's design more but the general feeling of playing is the same.


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Zephyr
post Dec 18 2007, 09:45 AM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Dec 18 2007, 12:38 AM) *
If Alder was bad wood, Vai wouldn't have it for his signature guitar wink.gif

I have JEM and i never saw problem with that wood type. I said this 1000 times - you can't judge the guitar by playing them in stores because in 99% of cases they are not set up at all. I bought my JEM which was totally out of tune, not set up - brougth it home, set it up and today it's the best axe i've ever played.

I played the JS a month ago - it was good, to me - same as JEM but had 22 frets. I like JEM's design more but the general feeling of playing is the same.


Hmm... good point, I suppose that if he can get the tones he does out of it, then it can't be that bad! So would you recommend going for the JS, or saving for the JEM? If I save for the JEM, I will probably have to wait at least several months, possibly even a year for it.

I like the body shape of the JS a little more, but the JEM also has 24 frets, and, of course, looks simply amazing! Of course, I will try out the two guitars again tomorrow, but as you said and as I mention earlier, I highly doubt they will be set up very well as almost none of the guitars I've ever played at GC are.

Thanks again! biggrin.gif Also, how did the sound compare between the two in your opinion?

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Dec 18 2007, 11:18 AM
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Pavel
post Dec 18 2007, 10:03 AM
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You see, i only look at guitars with 24 frets so for me it's a no-brainer. Also, JEM has a single-coil pickup which is really amazing for clean stuff. I also like the design of JEM more because comparing to JS, JEM has more sharp edges.

I am glad you changed your opinion on the wood. You see - Ibanez is a brand which will never make a crappy guitar and if we are talking about 2000$ signature guitars - there can be no mistake smile.gif

EDIT: forgot to say - try them both, and after that - decide what you want. I can't tell you: "Get JS!" or "Get JEM!" because you will play those guitars and not me. I know what a JEM offers and i would suggest it to everyone smile.gif If you don't like the white color than you can easily get a blue JEM or the one with mirrored finish.

This post has been edited by Pavel: Dec 18 2007, 10:05 AM


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Zephyr
post Dec 18 2007, 10:20 AM
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QUOTE (Pavel @ Dec 18 2007, 01:03 AM) *
You see, i only look at guitars with 24 frets so for me it's a no-brainer. Also, JEM has a single-coil pickup which is really amazing for clean stuff. I also like the design of JEM more because comparing to JS, JEM has more sharp edges.

I am glad you changed your opinion on the wood. You see - Ibanez is a brand which will never make a crappy guitar and if we are talking about 2000$ signature guitars - there can be no mistake smile.gif

EDIT: forgot to say - try them both, and after that - decide what you want. I can't tell you: "Get JS!" or "Get JEM!" because you will play those guitars and not me. I know what a JEM offers and i would suggest it to everyone smile.gif If you don't like the white color than you can easily get a blue JEM or the one with mirrored finish.


Yeah, the extra two frets would definitely be a nice thing to have, but I don't honestly think I'll use them much. I also prefer humbuckers, but having that versatility would be good. Once again, I personally prefer the smoother design, but the shape doesn't matter much.

I knew it was a good guitar, just had thought that alder was not a very good guitar wood. Ideally, I would love to try both out properly, but I'm in a rush here and won't have the chance to play a well set up Jem... I'm hoping it will at least be in tune, because I don't even know where to start tuning a locking tremolo yet. biggrin.gif

Thanks! Anyone else have any comments? Any help is greatly appreciated!
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Twibeard
post Dec 18 2007, 10:27 AM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Dec 18 2007, 10:20 AM) *
Thanks! Anyone else have any comments? Any help is greatly appreciated!

Get the JS now ... and start saving for a JEM too! biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif cool.gif


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Zephyr
post Dec 18 2007, 10:44 AM
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QUOTE (Twibeard @ Dec 18 2007, 01:27 AM) *
Get the JS now ... and start saving for a JEM too! biggrin.gif rolleyes.gif cool.gif


I wish... laugh.gif That would be nice, but there are so many other things I'm saving up for, maybe someday I'll get the other but for now I'm only getting one of these two. After all, they are so similar! I only really need one of them.

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Dec 18 2007, 10:47 AM
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MickeM
post Dec 18 2007, 10:57 AM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Dec 18 2007, 09:21 AM) *
Something I forgot to add, is that I've been looking at the specs, and the bodies of JEMs are made form alder. Isn't this an incredibly cheap wood that is used even in entry-level guitars? The JS has a basswood body, which I've heard doesn't have a great tone, but is very versatile, and I'm alright with that, but alder? Thanks! biggrin.gif

Adler is cheaper than Basswood, for you and me, Ibanez surely has a good deal for purchasing - but I don't agree with you that it's worse as wood just because of the price. That rather has to do with supply and demand.
Regarding Adler it's a great wood, Fender is not using it in almost all their guitar just because it's cheap... or are they? laugh.gif rolleyes.gif

QUOTE (Zephyr @ Dec 18 2007, 10:20 AM) *
Yeah, the extra two frets would definitely be a nice thing to have, but I don't honestly think I'll use them much.

About the frets, for most people it's overkill with 24 frets and for me.. I never use them If I want to play that 24'th tone on a 22 fret neck I will bend which sounds nicer than plucking it anyway.
So it's all about your preferences. I'm leaning towards 22 frets for myself though I have a 24 fret guitar aswell, sure it's nice too.
21 frets on the other hand is useless. I don't know why they make em.


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Zephyr
post Dec 18 2007, 11:13 AM
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QUOTE (MickeM @ Dec 18 2007, 01:57 AM) *
Adler is cheaper than Basswood, for you and me, Ibanez surely has a good deal for purchasing - but I don't agree with you that it's worse as wood just because of the price. That rather has to do with supply and demand.
Regarding Adler it's a great wood, Fender is not using it in almost all their guitar just because it's cheap... or are they? laugh.gif rolleyes.gif
About the frets, for most people it's overkill with 24 frets and for me.. I never use them If I want to play that 24'th tone on a 22 fret neck I will bend which sounds nicer than plucking it anyway.
So it's all about your preferences. I'm leaning towards 22 frets for myself though I have a 24 fret guitar aswell, sure it's nice too.
21 frets on the other hand is useless. I don't know why they make em.


Yeah, just thought I heard somewhere that it didn't have a good tone. I still think I prefer mahogany, but it's reassuring to know that they didn't just take the cheap way out... on a $2,000 guitar. laugh.gif

I feel the same way about the 24 frets, seems kind of pointless, but I guess it does open your possibilities up just that little bit more. I never got 21 frets, either... was it really that difficult to throw in an extra fret so you could bend up to that second octave? huh.gif

This post has been edited by Zephyr: Dec 18 2007, 11:14 AM
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Pavel
post Dec 18 2007, 03:04 PM
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Many people today are making guitars with 29 frets - especially with Caparison guitars. More frets - wider range. And i use 24 frets a lot because it gives you 2 full octaves on each string.


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Zephyr
post Dec 18 2007, 09:20 PM
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Yeah... I've heard of these... I think its a little ridiculous, though, 29 frets?!?! I don't think that guitar is meant to be played that high... biggrin.gif

I agree about the 24 frets, though, two octaves makes sense, although you can bend to the second octave easily on a 22 fret guitar anyways.

One more question before I go, I have no experience with tremolos, what should I check the tremolo for to make sure it's good a works fine? Should I just push and pull it like crazy and see how well it stays in tune?
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Owen
post Dec 18 2007, 09:52 PM
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Many cheap guitars are made with both alder and basswood - my guitar was a cheap alder bodied guitar and I've sanded it down - good solid wood for the price even, it all depends really on the grade of wood and if you're buying a more expensive guitar its just gonna be better, the only two absolute no-no woods are generally agathis and plywood but then you're not buying a low end bc rich. laugh.gif

This post has been edited by Owen: Dec 18 2007, 09:53 PM


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Goliath
post Dec 18 2007, 09:52 PM
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how big a fella are you? The extra frets don't just give you more tonal variation, but also put the “hot” frets in a more accessible area when you’re playing. The JEM is 25.5" scale, and I think the JS is 24 3/4" scale. That extra 3/4" can make a big difference for playability. It is especially important if you’re a tall fellow and have difficulty playing standing up without looking like Dave Matthews. Of course, this is an issue as well for folks with broader shoulders.

A good test is play the guitar comfortably standing up then put your ring finger on the 19th fret of the low E string. Is this easily accomplished on the JS? Can you do it easily on your Schecter? Your Schecter is going to be more similar to the JEM, excepting the neck, which is rather thick on a Schecter and rather thin on a JEM/JS.

I could have sworn the JEM was a basswood body because basswood is more consistent.

Though I’m with you, I like the tone of mahogany a lot more.

After you go to play the JS. Go play the highest end RG they have in Guitar Center, then play the highest quality S series (I believe the JS is based on the S body profile, correct?). Which one feels better to play?


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McGoo
post Dec 18 2007, 10:06 PM
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QUOTE (Zephyr @ Dec 18 2007, 08:20 PM) *
Yeah... I've heard of these... I think its a little ridiculous, though, 29 frets?!?! I don't think that guitar is meant to be played that high... biggrin.gif

I agree about the 24 frets, though, two octaves makes sense, although you can bend to the second octave easily on a 22 fret guitar anyways.

One more question before I go, I have no experience with tremolos, what should I check the tremolo for to make sure it's good a works fine? Should I just push and pull it like crazy and see how well it stays in tune?


I remember reading an interview with Vai and he said the best thing about his signature Jem is that he can go into any guitar store, no matter which country he is in, and just pick up a Jem and it will be identical in everyway to his own one. That says a lot about those guitars.
I have had a Jem copy and athough it was pretty acurate it wasn't anywhere near the real ones. I still enjoyed playing it. I have also owned an Ibanez RG770 which had a basswood body and to tell you the truth I didn't notice that much difference bewteen basswood and my other alder wood guitars. There probably is at higher volumes but I never noticed it anyway blink.gif


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Pavel
post Dec 18 2007, 11:20 PM
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I never noticed the difference between woods either.

But what if you want to play sweep+tap with high E note on 24th fret? Or play a huge AP run all the way to or from high E note? Range can never hurt - it can only help. bending is not always a solution because if you need it fast than bending doesn't help.

JS is some kind of an S body but it is not THAT thin. It's more of a round-edged RG.


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Zephyr
post Dec 19 2007, 05:21 AM
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Well, long story short, I don't think I'm going for the JS. I played the JEM again, and although it was terribly out of tune and not set up well, it just felt a lot better in my hands! After playing the JS at the guy's place, I was extremely disappointed, it was not what I expected at all. My Schecter is still the best-feeling guitar I have ever played, but I think I'll save up for the JEM... someday, it will be mine! biggrin.gif smile.gif sad.gif unsure.gif

Anyways, I don't think there is probably a huge difference between basswood and alder, they are often used in shredder-type guitars, but I personally prefer warmer sounding woods like mahogany... they just sound and feel so much better in my opinion!
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Pavel
post Dec 19 2007, 10:41 AM
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I told you JEM is better wink.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif biggrin.gif It will be awesome once you set it up smile.gif


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Freebird
post Dec 19 2007, 12:48 PM
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QUOTE
Anyways, I don't think there is probably a huge difference between basswood and alder, they are often used in shredder-type guitars, but I personally prefer warmer sounding woods like mahogany... they just sound and feel so much better in my opinion!


I thought Mahogany was used in all shredder/metal guitars... At least looking at the Ibanez site! It should be that wood that gives the "heavy" tone. All the RG guitars are made of it...
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Goliath
post Dec 19 2007, 01:43 PM
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My RG550 20th is basswood.


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Freebird
post Dec 19 2007, 01:46 PM
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Oh yes, you're right, I checked now biggrin.gif S series is made of mahogany...
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