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Flavius: my Jem

Well, I did it! I got a Jem! I had planned to buy a new Desert Yellow Jem, but I saw one for $575 (compare to $1300 new) on the web site of a store in Connecticut and decided to take the plunge. I named it Flavius, because it's yellow, and I'm pretty sure that Flavius means yellow or golden in Latin.

Flavius is a standard 777DY. I believe it was made in 1988, judging from its serial number. It has a couple of small but bad dents in the body, through which you can see the wood, and considerable belt buckle wear on the back, but overall it's in very good condition for the price.

To play it is fabulous. The neck pickup gives you a warm, full tone. The single coil in the middle is what I call the "AC/DC" pickup, because switching to that changes plain distortion to a mild crunch, much reminiscent of AC/DC's tone. The bridge pickup has a terrificly crystalline tone, where you can hear all the strings in a chord distinctly, even under heavy distortion. And that's the one to use for harmonics. I have found that picking just over the middle pickup while using the bridge pickup gives great harmonics.

The neck is very thin, narrow, and fast. Flavius has 24 frets, the last four of which are scalloped for easier bends. The fingerboard is maple, which, along with the tri-color pyramid inlays, goes nicely along with the yellow finish. The famous monkey grip is actually useful for holding or moving it around. The Lo-Pro Edge bridge is terrific, letting bend up and down as far as you want without snapping (as other guitars' bridges may be prone to do) and without detuning the strings in the slightest. The "lion's claw" cavity underneath the bridge gives you extra room to operate. Another interesting feature of Flavius is the angled output jack. I felt around for a good minute when I first got the guitar trying to figure out where the jack was. Then I went to visual inspection and saw that it was about halfway between where it is in a normal guitar and the center of the guitar, on the edge, not up top like a Strat. Weird.

Check out these pictures:
Pic #1, Pic #2, Pic #3, Pic #4, Pic #5, Pic #6, Pic #7, Pic #8, Pic #9

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