If you are a fan of Steve Vai, Ibanez, or possibly both, the odds are good that you have at least heard of Vai’s signature guitar, the Ibanez JEM. The very first JEM was that the 777, which premiered in the 1980s. Ever since that time, Vai’s signature style has increased hugely in popularity.
While many individuals love the distinctive sonic features and vivid colors of several guitars at the JEM lineup, not everybody can afford a real JEM. That is why Ibanez introduced the JEM JR, a more accessible version that still has most of those Ibanez JEM features that players enjoy. Keep reading Fidlar’s post to see our Ibanez Jem Jr Reviews.
Table of Contents
Ibanez Jem JR Review
- Number of Strings: 6
- Left-/Right-handed: Right-handed
- Body Type: Solidbody
- Body Shape: JEM
- Body Material: Meranti
- Body Finish: Polyurethane Gloss
- Color: White
- Neck Material: Maple
- Neck Shape: Wizard III
- Fingerboard Material: Jatoba
- Fingerboard Inlay: Acrylic Vine
- Number of Frets: 24, Jumbo
- Scale Length: 25.5″
- Nut Width: 1.693″
- Nut Material: Locking nut
- Bridge/Tailpiece: Double-locking Bridge
- Tuners: Cosmo Black
- Neck Pickup: Quantum Humbucker
- Middle Pickup: Quantum Single-coil
- Bridge Pickup: Quantum Humbucker
- Controls: 1 x Volume, 1 x Tone, 5-way pickup selector
- Strings: .009-.042
- Manufacturer Part Number: JEMJRWH
- Like standard JEM models, the Ibanez JEM JR comes with Vai’s signature monkey grip handle and lion’s claw tremolo cavity
- Ibanez Quantum pickups in an HSH configuration let you access both humbucker and single-coil tones
- Wizard III neck profile is perfect for shredders, and the Tree of Life inlay on the fretboard makes it visually distinctive
- The affordable JEM JR allows more players to discover this popular signature model
- Several buyers have complained about issues with fret buzz and other quality control problems
- While some players seem to like the pickups, others have complained that the sound is lackluster
- Mahogany Body
- Wizard III Maple Neck
- Rosewood Fretboard
- Tree of Life Fretboard Inlay
- Jumbo Frets
Body & Neck
To start, a lot is happening in the design section delicate; this guitar is not! Essentially, it’s the specific same guitar as the Ibanez RG450DX, which will be yet another Ibanez icon worth considering in this budget. Several additions make it an undisputed part of the JEM household, as the signature fighter grip on the upper bout and the lion’s claw rout supporting the tremolo.
In terms of colors, the neon yellow version with pink humbuckers is guaranteed to turn a few heads, as is the pinkest version. But for the less extroverted one of you, the easy glossy white is quite elegant.
The body is made from solid mahogany and features a Wizard III walnut neck, which Ibanez asserts that the fastest-playing neck in the industry. When there are indeed some competitions, we’d be foolish to disagree it is so slick.
This neck features a jatoba fretboard with 24 jumbo frets along with the recognizable oil tree of life inlay. Hard to select any defects with the design or construct quality for your sub-$500 price tag.
The neck and body steal the show, but enough is going on in the hardware section to generate the JEMJR a trustworthy and gig-worthy guitar.
Like its marginally quieter brother, the RG450DX, this version also features three of Ibanez’s passive Quantum pickups, two humbuckers sandwiching a single-coil. These are controlled with an elementary master volume and master tone control, in addition to a five-way pickup selector switch.
Up high, it features standard Ibanez black pruning machines, which can be adequate. However, you won’t need to use them frequently since the locking nut and double-locking bridge maintains pruning incredibly stable, irrespective of how much you misuse that the tremolo arm.
Steve Vai has worked with plenty of different individuals in various styles. His guitar has to be in a position to do whatever is required at the moment, while it’s gentle clean rhythms, squealing solos, or even monster riffs.
The JEMJR is constructed with lots of choices to attempt to do so. The pickup selector is a five-way and extends from the bridge to the middle-side spiral of the bridge humbucker and center, center, center, and the middle-side spiral of the neck humbucker to the throat. It is not a unique quality of Ibanez Superstrats but worth remembering.
If you opt for full-on Vai-like precision, you will need Vai’s signature version Carvin amp. With this interview, we are utilizing a British-style, 15-watt valve combo amp, which is available. My go-to preferences are bass, with mid and treble equally in the six. Drive, if necessary, will probably be.
Beginning with fresh sounds, the JEMJR is pleasant. The single-coil in the center is my favorite to get an overall sound, which may do anything. Nonetheless, you could push it towards the bridge side for funkier sounds or more towards the throat for something a little bluesier.
On the overdrive channel, things are as you would expect. The electronic equipment’s bridge facet will 100% send on hot leads that will cut through the remainder of your band. The middle pickup is trendy to get several pronounced blues notes, while over in the trunk, you have full capability for a few fat riffs. All great!
Let us discuss the neck and fingerboard because that Tree of Life inlay has to be discussed. Except there is no good deal to say about it, as it is a smooth playing experience. I am a simple dot inlays type of man, so I have a natural propensity to approach such elaborate examples without a doubt.
But I can not fault this. In addition to the slim Wizard III maple neck, so you can not help but believe an ounce of bravado on your playing, which means you move faster, tighter, more melodic. Regrettably, I am not a shredder, and I only wanted to play with Wonderwall, as it is an absurd guitar for playing Wonderwall on.
If you feel the JEMJR is in the ideal ballpark, but maybe not entirely it, then there are lots of guitars in a similar vein, which it is possible to consider.
Let us begin with a different Vai signature. This one is much more of the real deal: it is the JEM7V. Plus it costs $2999.99. So that is significantly greater than the JR!
Remember when I had been mentioning all of the things that kept the price of this JR down? The 7V comprises them. First off, Ibanez makes quite apparent that this guitar was created in Japan. That alone has jacked up the price. Ibanez retains its Japanese producer to their premium versions.
Second, unlike the JR, the 7V has those trademark Steve Vai Dimarzio Evolution pickups, I said. Again, that jacks up the price only for being a signature version, on a touch version! You will also discover that the 7V has gleaming gold hardware. Furthermore, it’s had Ibanez’s Prestige fret border therapy, which supposedly helps with playing quicker.
For $100 less than the JEMJR, you can find an Ibanez RG450DXB. Ibanez’s authentic moneymaker initial layout was the RG array, and they create them price points to cater to everybody.
The spec list is equal to this JEMJR for significantly less cash: mahogany body, Quantum pickups, Jatoba fingerboard. I’d say you can get comparable specs to get a lesser cost.
Irrespective of the end you go for, the Ibanez Jem JR will appeal to you if you’re a Steve Vai fan or a true showman. It is more than only a showpiece that this guitar works exceptionally well for its low midrange price. A hefty but Thorough rock tone, Dependable hardware, and a blisteringly quick neck all combine to make this a sensible Selection for any point Shredd.
Last update on 2020-12-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API