Price paid: $ 2100
Purchased from: Guitar Center
Sound — 10
I love the variety of sounds I get outta this baby. Every Switch position is a very cool, unique sound. Not a Strat sound. Vai planned this one right. When I crank this dude up with my Vintage Fender Blues Deluxe or through my 120 watt twin 12 inch Jensen speaker stereo modeling amp, this ax can play anything and sound great doing it. With effects like a little more reverb, wah, various distortion effects, you have other worldly sounds, just the way Vai likes em. I've read that some people say you should only used this guitar for certain types of music. I play blues, light rock, very hard rock, a little thrash, and my own sort of 60's psychodelic/rock style and the Jem7vwh handles all of it with classs, power and brilliance.
Overall Impression — 10
I think I've said it all. I love the Jem7vwh and would be fine if it was my only guitar. I had a couple other Ibanez products, and regard that company very highly. If stolen I would buy another. I chose this ax for quality, sound and looks it's a 10 in all of them. I currently own tons of effects, the amps already mentioned, plus a Strawberry Blonde acoustic amp, made in Fullerton 1970's Fender P-Bass, Pre Ernie Ball 1970's Musicman Stingray Bass, '76 Gibson L6-S Custom, '86 MIJ Fender Strat, custom Telecaster, Fernandez Ravelle Elite, Ibanez EP-9, D'Aquisto New Yorker acoustic/elec, Hagstrom Jimmy Oval Hole acoustic/elec, Ibanez 105A hollow body, heavily customized Gibson Les Paul Classic. So that gives me quite an arsonal to chose from... and I love my Jem7...
Reliability & Durability — 10
I've had this guitar for a year now. It's solid and a workhorse. It's the real deal, not just another pretty face. Meant to be a real players ax, not an expensive toy for spoiled little kids. I always take care of my guitars (I have 14), so my Jem is always safe from disasters. I don't beat the hell out of any of my guitars when I play. Jimi Hendrix and Pete Townsend did that best, so I would look stupid. I also always carry two or three of my guitars one of them is always my Strat or my Jem7. I'd feel fine depending solely on my JEM7, but I like a variety of sounds and tunings, so 2 or 3 more instruments is a must for me.
Action, Fit & Finish — 10
Action is very good right out of the box. I lowered my strings just a tad to gain even a little more speed on an already fast playing neck. The very light satin finish on the neck makes it fast and smooth. Looks great too. The frets are sort of medium high, it seems to me, and the last few fret positions are scalloped ala Yngwie Malmsteen. Makes the last few high notes crystal clear. Really a great idea that works. Thanks Steven V! As I said earlier, the workmanship is fantastic and that means the fit and finish on my ax is 100% perfect. No gaps, no paint clumps or drips. Everything perfect!
Features — 10
You've read all the info from other reviewers. Beautiful workmanship. The Hardware is all of excellent quality and never fails me. The Evolution pickups have a wonderful and unique sound. the Tree of Life inlay is stunning. Great feel to the neck. The neck is slick and fast. The monkey grip is almost useless, but looks very cool to me and I actually have used it a few times. Vai put it there, so it's ok with me. The case is extremely sturdy and very plush (smells great too). Floyd Rose trem is outstanding when used with the string locks. Otherwise goes out of tune within minutes. Fantastic looks and workmanship.