JEM7V Steve Vai Signature review by Ibanez

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  • Sound: 10
  • Overall Impression: 10
  • Reliability & Durability: 10
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 9
  • Features: 9
  • Reviewer's score: 9.6 Superb
  • Users' score: 8.9 (360 votes)
Ibanez: JEM7V Steve Vai Signature

Price paid: $ 2888

Sound — 10
With DiMarzio Evolution, you can not go wrong. The DiMarzio Evo (Evolution) Neck has a mid characteristic with somewhat a mid-low output. This pickup is very usefull to play with low notes and fat punchy tones. While the single DiMarzio Evo has a very clean character, which I think almost sounds like a piezo, that is why I use it every clean tone passage. DiMarzio Evo bridge is probably the hottest pickup ever. It has a very high output that can creates very powerful and sharp tone. Also with this pickup, player can easily produce an artificial harmonics sound. I use this JEM with Peavey Bandit 112 amp and GFX-5 guitar effect.

Overall Impression — 10
I play lots of Dream Theater, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai, and I would say it's a very good match. I could say that because JEM7VWH has a very big range of frets and DiMarzio Evo pickups which is very suitable for all kinds of music. Well the worst part about JEM7VWH is its very expensive, that I cannot buy a nice amp and effect, but its all worth.

Reliability & Durability — 10
I would say JEM7VWH is a very durable guitar. From my research, I found out that the neck and the headstock are jointed to increase the strengh, not many guitar types or brands do this. One thing to remember is to look after the bridge carefully, because if you accidentally broke it, you have to buy a new one and it takes ages, because you can only get the one from Japan. And also, an EdgePro bridge cannot be replaced with an EdgePro2.

Action, Fit & Finish — 9
I have own my JEM for almost three years and so far nothing wrong with it, the durability is awesome. Here is some secret, in, it said "Ibanez JEM7VWH has a super thin 0.5mm basswood veneer on the top and back. We do this with all alder woods because otherwise the finish would settle into the grain and have lines like a Strat does in it after a few weeks. We do this with only alder wood that has a solid or metallic color on it. Just to let you know."

Features — 9
This is probably the most beautiful, rock, perfect guitar all time. Ibanez is one of the leading guitar brand and hundreds of artists have using Ibanez for many years. JEM7vwh, in particular, was made in 2004 in Japan. From aesthetic point of view, the characteristic of a JEM7vwh is obvious, a white finish solid alder wood body with monkey grip on it, the tree of life on the rosewood fretboard. The tree of life was made of pearloid and mother of pearl which makes it very beautiful. From technical point, JEM7vwh is a very reliable axe. The fingerboard has 24 frets and from the 21st fret up to the 24th, the frets were scalloped to reduce the amount of pressure while you are bending the sting(s), also it was designed to improve the sustain. The pickups are DiMarzio Evolution neck, Steve's special and bridge, the hottest pickups available. The pickups setting is H/S/H, so it has 5 way selector. The knobs are very simple to use which makes it very reliable, a volume knob and tone knob. JEM7VWH has floyd rose Edge Pro bridge, which is a floating bridge. This is where JEM has the disadvantage, since it using floting bridge, it very hard and almost impossible to drop the tuning.

33 comments sorted by best / new / date

    If you people had done any research on the guitar you would know that the monkey grip was first designed for stage stunts. When Steve was with David Lee Roth, he thought it'd be cool to had a grip to swing the guitar around. So, when it was made, it just stuck with it and has been put on Jems from then on.
    STEVE VAI PMG MY HEROSsss. Seriously though, that guitar is so sleek and sexy, I'm gonna break into my local guitar center and grab me one lol.
    I jammed on one of these at my local Guitar center, and this was my impression.. Ok yeah, its a nice guitar, and yeah, i love Vai as much as the next guy, but comeon.. Who wants to pay $2500 - $3000 for a Ibanez with a guys name on it.. You could probably buy a cheaper ibanez and upgrade to the same hardware for half the price.. Of course you wouldent get the pretty fret-board, or the dumb handle thingy.. Oh well, if your rich in $$$$ then all the power to ya, but its not really worth it to me..
    Good thing it comes with a handle. I often find myself walking around carrying mine w/o a case. Just the other day I brought it along to the supermarket, and let me tell you, if that handle wasn't there, I would have been in a world of trouble going through the self check out line!!
    If you think this thing is nice, check out the J Customs from a few years ago. My roommate bought one that Ibanez stopped making because it was too rich: Flame maple binding on an ebony fretboard, honduras mahogany body, flame maple top and matching headstock. The guy he bought it from described it as a "Jem Killer." The guy wasn't lying. As for this guitar, it's beautiful. There are a lot of complaints about the grip, pickguard, even the inlay, but none of those things bother me. I love it
    sashki wrote: Is that good or bad?
    a little bit of both actually
    As you said, the grip is useless, it's only there. But the guitar is really nice-looking and sounding. It gets a little thin on the higher notes, but not really important. For me is better the RG Prestige series, from Ibanez, too, but this is also an alternative to take care of.
    ibanez = good guitar = good monkey grip = useless who in the right mind would carry a guitar that expensive and gorgeous out of its case and like that!
    Es la mas fea y ridcula guitarra que he visto. Pero aun asi pienso que tal vez suene decente.
    cool#9 wrote: Wow, i felt like a little kid looking at a playboy when i clicked the pictures page to get the bigger picture.
    Is that good or bad?
    Wow, i felt like a little kid looking at a playboy when i clicked the pictures page to get the bigger picture.