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JEM555 Black (more images) Red copyright sprite

The JEM555 is a solid body electric guitar model introduced by Ibanez in 1994. It is a signature model of American guitarist Steve Vai and part of his JEM series. It was rolled out as a more affordable member of the JEM family, made in South Korea instead of Japan and with less expensive parts. In 2008 production moved to Indonesia. It has not been part of the US lineup since 2000, but it was offered in other markets through 2015.

The JEM555 features a basswood body bolted to a maple neck with a 24-fret rosewood fingerboard. The fretboard has Tree of Life vine inlays up to the twelfth fret and dot inlays above that. Components include a double locking tremolo bridge and DiMarzio Evolution pickups with a pair of humbuckers flanking a single-coil.

Since its introduction the tremolo had changed from the Lo TRS II to the Edge Pro II and then to the Edge III.

The JEM555 was the first JEM model with a left-handed variant: the JEM555L introduced in 1997. In 2010, a second affordable JEM was introduced: the JEM505, which has a maple fretboard with dot position markers, a different tremolo and different pickups.

In first year of production (1994), it has "JEM" logo instead of "JEM Jr." on headstock.

The JEM555 was replaced by the JEMJR in 2015.


Related content: JEM series | Signature series | Models-icon
Specifications for JEM555
Model name: JEM555
Year(s) offered: 1994–2015
Sold in: Asia / Europe / North & South America and Oceania 1994–2015 / USA 1994–2000
Made in: South Korea (1994–2008)/ Indonesia (2008–2015)
Finish(es): Black (BK) 1994–2009 / White (WH)
Body type:
Solid body
Body material:
1994, 1999-2003, 2009-2014: Basswood
1995–1998, 2004–2008, 2015: American Basswood
Neck joint:
1994–2002: Lo TRS II tremolo
2003–2006: Edge Pro II tremolo
2007–2015: Edge III tremolo
1994: BK: Black; WH: White
1995–2015 BK: Gray Pearloid; WH: White Pearloid
Knob style:
Plastic top hat
Hardware color:
Cosmo black
Neck type:
1994–2008: JEM
2009–2011: Wizard II
2012–2015: Wizard III
Neck material:
1994–2004: 1-piece maple
2005–2015: 3-piece maple
Scale length:
648mm/ 25½"
Fingerboard material:
Fingerboard inlays:
Pearloid dot and Tree of Life
STEVE VAI on 24th fret
24 / jumbo nickel silver
Top-Lok III
Machine heads:
Ibanez die-cast
Pickup configuration:
Bridge pickup:
DiMarzio Evolution Bridge (H) passive/ ceramic
Middle pickup:
DiMarzio Evolution Single (S) passive/ alnico
Neck pickup:
DiMarzio Evolution Neck (H) passive/ ceramic
Master volume / master tone / 5-way lever pickup selector
Output jack:
¼" stereo barrel (side mounted)


1995 Ibanez JEM555 White Red copyright sprite
Additional details
JEM555 inlay
24th fret inlay
JEM555 headstock
Headstock (Black)
HSH 5-way both-splits
Pickup switching
Controls VT5
Control layout
JEM555 2006 Catalog Scan
Specs and neck dimensions
Wiring Diagram
Wiring Diagram[1]


Ibanez JEM555 BK ( Korea )


  1. JEM555 wiring diagram, Ibanez USA, archived February 2003