Price paid: £ 1600
Purchased from: The Mighty Ebay!
Sound — 9
Well, I play abit of everything, and this guitar handle most of it pretty well..I play mainly hard rock, instrumental, blues, metal, some ambient guitar and some jazz when I'm in that sorta mood. I'm currently using..*long sigh*..a Marshalll MGFDX30..*holds for booing*..I'm saving for a valve state amp but till then..and a Zoom 707MkI pedal..good tones for 50.. The neck pickup gives a lovely warm sound..almost perfect for jazz, blues and rythym playing of any style...the out is a bit too low for a neck pickup but none the less. The middle single is very clean, but very low pickup..I'm considering switching it out but I'm not sure I use it enough to merit the time and money it would consume..Because its jammed in between two buckers its quite low output. The Humbucker is the hottest stock pcikup I have ever played through..including EG HZ's..not putting EMG's down, tbh, I prefer EMG's anyway..this is the pickup you wanna use for lead playing of any style, it works surprisingly well for blues lead. No 10 though because of the low output of the neck pickup.
Overall Impression — 10
Well, I have been playing for about a year..I never bought this guitar expecting to be able to pull of Bad Horsie the second I laid my fingers on that beautiful Tree of Life. Nope. But at least I can still pretend. I think my gear has had an effect on this review, because I did once play straight to a Marshall AVT100, which sound fantastic. I got some fantastic tones through the combo..but still, this guitar is a fantastic guitar, beautiful woods, I have acheived some tones I never thought were possible with this guitar. If it were stolen, I would be too poor to buy it and not die of starvation. However, I could always try just living on tap water. There is no other guitar I could honestly, seriously compare it to. I love this guitar more than I could love any other piece of equipment. I might even go as far as saying I love it as much as someone would love a human being, but lets leave this review at that.
Reliability & Durability — 10
This guitar is not for touring. Unless you're Steve Vai. Or stupid. I never said it wasn't built for touring, and I think, as long as you aren't playing a smoky crowded club, you should be fine. I polish the hardware daily and it still shines like it did the day I got it. All alder bodied JEM's have a super thin (basswood I think) veneer coating on the top and back. I'm not sure why but I think it is to stop the finish sinking into the grain. Good call Ibanez. The finish seems like it would last for an eternity with good care and love.
Action, Fit & Finish — 9
As I said, this guitar was purchased from ebay so this guy may have made the action lower/higher, but all hardware/wiring is completely original. The action was perfectly low, but I like a bit of high action sometimes..The bridge pickup is a bit squint, but I should be able to fix that..The guitar had a few very minor dents, nothing noticeable unless pointed out. I've had a bit of problems with the bridge, as the prick Who had it before f--ked around with the floyd. When I got it the bridge was raised. He insisted that the strings were 11's but I was sure they were 9's..So to be safe I put tens on anyway..(I like strings that fight back). Upon doing this, the Floyd Rose raised. I'm about to put a third spring on so that should bring the bridge back down. However, if you change the strings regularly, this should not occur.
Features — 9
I'd like to say that, prior to me writing this review, this guitar was purchased from ebay and I have no clue on what year it is..So don't flip out if I miss out some details. Well, it's an American-made JEM77vwh, also known as Steve Vai's signature. 24 fret (6105 frets) rosewood fretboard on a contoured alder body. Custom fret inlays which are very iconic to any guitarist, also known as the Tree of Life. Licensed Floyd Rose Trem System, as with most Ibanez guitars. Superstrat style with a more agressive twist compared to a normal Fender. Mother of pearl pickguard. One volume knob, one tone knob and 5 way selector Switch. Right now I have stock pickups, which are DiMarzioEvo (Neck), DiMarzio single in the middle position, and a DiMarzioEvo in the bridge. No coil tap, which is a shame but being Steve Vai's guitar, it wasn't very likely anyway..Oh, and the neck is five piece maple/walnut..and that's just the bloody features..