Jemming up an Ibanez Jem Jr.

Adding a few bells and whistles.

Jemming up an Ibanez Jem Jr.

Being a southpaw makes it hard to find and buy guitars. A generous estimate would say the left handed market has about 5% of what's on offer to the orthodox guitarist.

Fair enough, however when you do find a guitar the next issue is price. Generally there is no middle-ground for left handed versions of guitars, so you either have the choice of buying a really expensive one or a cheap guitar which doesn't sound great.

Luckily in 2018, Ibanez released a new line of Baby JEMs from the Steve Vai range and created a left handed version. Ibanez kept many of the fundamentals from the JEM range but made it much more affordable.

I've had my Jem JR for over a year now and really enjoy the aesthetics and tone off of it. However I have found the scratch plate and volume knobs lacklustre in appearance compared with the top spec'd Jem7.

Ibanez JEM 7V Steve Vai Signature

After some internet sleuthing, I managed to track down an eBay seller who provides the pearlescent effect scratch plates and also a store for metallic knobs.

Here is an in-situ comparison of the white gloss versus the white pearlescent (note the guitar paint has faded).

Wiring and pots
New pearly scratch plate fitted

There was a slight delay in my ordering of the volume and tone knobs, but it was a simple case of just removing the plastic ones and popping the metallic ones in.

Metallic knobs installed
The whole family together from left to right (Lexi, Bella and Vera)