How does the Ibanez Pia compare to the Jem

trickae

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I've been a big fan of the Ibanez Jem's especially since the 2000's AANJ model. How does the new Ibanez Pia compare? Is it worth the upgrade and is worth the hefty price tag?
 

NeubyWanKaneuby

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I own a Jem and like it a lot. I'd like to actually play a Pia.

I watched this video a while back, and hopefully it answers some of your questions.

 

Matt08642

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Why would it be an upgrade from a Jem to a Pia...?

Comes with stainless frets which might be a huge selling point for some, also different pickups, rounder body which some might find more comfortable. People might also like the petal body holes better than the monkey grip :lol:
 

_MonSTeR_

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I’m the site admin over at jemsite.com and my opinions on the Pia are well known over there, I’m not a fan;)

Basically the “upgrade” consist of the SS frets which some love, others say change the sound and I’m not bothered about.

The other semi functional ‘upgrade’ is a further cutaway on the reverse of the lower horn. It’s the same as the one on the back of the JBM and I’ve never needed it when actually playing, but could see it’s use when practicing big stretches in the higher registers, say from the 12th to 24th fret for the hell of it.

Pickup upgrades are more just updates to Vai’s current preferences.

Looks wise, as fantastic as the colour schemes have all been, the ‘blue powder’ especially, to me, the updated body shape just looks like someone melted an RG in a microwave.
 

Esp Griffyn

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I don't know about upgrade, at least not over an older MIJ Prestige Jem. Over a Premium Jem, yes it will feel better, but compared to a Japanese Jem, it's not so much an upgrade as the guitar being more tailored to Vai's current tastes.

As with all Prestige stuff, I'd expect a flawless guitar that plays wonderfully. If you already have a Japanese Jem, you likely already have that. A Pia will ultimately be more of the same quality but with some tweaks that make it look a feel slightly different to a Jem.

I considered buying one but just didn't love it enough to spend £3000 on it. I don't like the rounded edges on the body, it just makes it look less sharp and clean than the Jem. The pickup covers are a little too "busy" and gaudy for my tastes and I say this as a Jem7V owner so I'm a little flamboyant myself, but I'm not feeling those pickup covers.

Also, the tear drop thing just doesn't look as cool or iconic as the monkey grip.

I guess it shows that Vai's tastes have diverged from mine. That's cool though, I'm glad Ibanez give him the freedom to do what he wants.
 

marke

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To me, the Pia is a Jem with a slightly different look... I don't own any...
Same, but I think PIA looks better.. however, guitarists are traditionalist, and any change to a classic is wrong. It has little to do with the actual aesthetics and more to do with acquired taste. From the "outside" of not caring too much about Vai or his guitars, JEM is not ugly, but PIA is simply a very beautiful guitar.

Maybe we don't need to compare though. They can co-exist. Shame MIJ JEM is discontinued for those who prefer it, but maybe the connoiseurs already have few.
 

cardinal

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I think the PIA is gorgeous but seeing it side by side with the JEM in that video above makes the PIA look a bit odd.
 

Neon_Knight_

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I would choose a J.Custom RG over both, because:
I'm not a fan of the monkey grip, petal grip or lion's claw - makes them look a bit like a toy imo and doesn't offer any meaningful benefits.
The PIA looks like moulded plastic - making it look even more like a toy (I dislike the Aristides aesthetic too).
I prefer the J. Custom Tree of Life / vine inlay design to the JEM or PIA design.
Flamed maple is a nicer finish imo (plus the 4mm flamed maple tops are a more premium / expensive finish).
I'm generally not a big fan of gold hardware.
Option to have a lower profile Edge model (PIA & JEM only come with original Edge).
Stock pickups are moot, as I'd be tempted to swap out any of them to suit my specific intentions for the guitar.
The less limited J. Custom models (e.g. RG8570 / 8520) are approx. 20% cheaper than a PIA (more guitar for your money).
 

Church2224

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I really don't get the hate for the PIA. Its a neat shape and I love the black and blue models. Spec wise they are pretty good. I do like the J customs too as some one said, but a PIA is on my list.
 

Neon_Knight_

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I really don't get the hate for the PIA. Its a neat shape and I love the black and blue models. Spec wise they are pretty good. I do like the J customs too as some one said, but a PIA is on my list.
Onyx is my favourite PIA finish, but I would prefer the same colour scheme on an RG. :shrug:
 

Thesius

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Pia is sexy. I wish the pickup covers were available on other models though because I do not like the stocks at all
 

daveyisgreat

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I like the new blue one. IMHO would look better with white plastics and pickups, though.

p_region_PIA3761C_BLP_00_01.png
 


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