I am back with a new Do-It-Yourself guitar build! This time we are taking a look at the DIY JEM Style Guitar Kit. I am extremely excited to start this project and I have some great ideas planned for this guitar build. This seller on eBay was kind enough to send me this guitar and it appears to be a high quality kit, especially for the price.
What’s in the Kit:
Let’s first talk about the guitar body. This is a solid Mahogany body with the unique “monkey grip” cut out at the top. For those unaware, this guitar kit is made to replicate Steve Vai’s signature Ibanez JEM guitar. Although this is not an exact replica, it definitely gets the job done.
The body of the guitar is routed for 3 pickups, which include 2 humbuckers on the outer slots, and 1 single coil pickup placed in the middle. This setup will give you a wide range of tones to choose from. The bridge cavity is also made to fit a floating trem like a Floyd Rose but can also fit a Gotoh floating trem with some slight modifications
The bolt on neck in this guitar kit looks fantastic! The neck is also made out of Mahogany and includes a Rosewood fretboard with beautiful vine shaped perloid inlays. In my opinion, the vine inlay is what sets this DIY JEM Style Guitar Kit apart from other kits I’ve seen. It just looks great!
Also included in the kit is a nice white tortoise shell pickguard, which houses the 3 pickups. What is nice about this pickguard, is that the pickups are pre-wired making installation a cinch. There are only 3 wires that will need to be soldered to get things working.
Everything needed to build a fully working guitar is included in this guitar kit. From the body and neck to the tuners and strings, it’s all there! It even comes with a guitar cable as an added bonus.
Please take note that all the parts in this kit can be upgraded at anytime. For the purpose of this build, I will complete the project with exactly the items that are included in the kit.
Plans for the Build:
I am most excited about completing the paint finish on the guitar body. My plan is to achieve a swirl paint finish on the body and headstock of the neck. I figured this would be the most fitting look for this project. The swirl paint finish is a very popular paint job for JEM style guitars, but achieving this is no easy task.
For the neck, I am going to keep it a natural finish. Similar to my previous Les Paul build, I will either be using Tru-Oil or Tung Oil as my choice of neck finishes. The goal is to obtain a smooth and fast playing neck. A neck that is ready to shred!
All in all, I’m super stoked to start working on this DIY JEM Style Guitar Kit. The body and neck feel great and should be a very nice playing guitar once complete. All the parts like pickups, bridge, and tuners can be upgraded to achieve a better sound, but at this point I do not see it being necessary. If you are looking to start a guitar project, I would definitely recommend this kit. Follow along and join me on this build!
Well that’s it for now. Stay tuned!