JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Review

manufacturer: Ibanez date: 12/20/2004 category: Electric Guitars
Ibanez: JEM7V Steve Vai Signature
Steve Vai Signature Model. Alder body, JEM neck. JumboWarmoth #6105 fret. Lo-Pro Edge bridge. DiMarzio Evolution (H) neck pu. DiMarzio Evolution (S) mid. pu. DiMarzio Evolution (H) bridge pu. Gold hardware.
 Sound: 9.6
 Overall Impression: 9.9
 Reliability & Durability: 9.7
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.6
 Features: 9.7
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (8) pictures (2) 96 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: unregistered, on december 20, 2004
6 of 10 people found this review helpful

Features: This is a 2004 Ibanez JEM7V, but it's not white, but the other finish, sparkle blue. It has 24 frets on a very thin very fast neck, not sure the wood type but it has a rosewood fingerboard. The body is Strat style alder, with a monkey grip on the top (one of my favorite aspects of the guitar). It has a licenced floyd rose, but it's still a great bridge. It has passive Dimarzio Evolution pickups, which are bright and very loud, and a dimarzio single coil custom in between the two humbuckers. The selector is a special split five, meaning that all the way to the left is neck pickup, one over is the bridge side of the neck pickup and the middle, and then middle is the middle pickup, and semetrical on the bridge side. It is a fully loaded guitar, although it only has a single volume and single tone. It still is packed with everything you would want wish or disire. // 10

Sound: I play many styles of rock, from Jimi to Sabbath to Metallica even throwing in some Hives sometimes. I'll even attempt as some of Vai's work (although I cant really play ne of it). It plays everything great. I can get it to sound pretty much however I want without ne preamp equipment. Now all I need is an amp to match this wonderful guitar. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: This guitar was sent to me in perfect condition, and I had nothing wrong with it. I did although chip the finish myself when I got it (not a smart thing to do with a guitar you got only two days proir). // 10

Reliability & Durability: Well like I already said, the finish did chip on mine, but thats only cuz it fell on some metal. It looks solid as a rock though as long as you don't take a real axe (you know the ones that actually have a sharpened metal edge) to it. Everything looks like it would survive a long time. As long as you don't do want Vai does to Evo (see his website and look for it, it's a well loved guitar) you will have a spick and spam guitar when you're done. // 10

Overall Impression: I love this guitar, it is my baby. I actually reglued those chipped peices of finish back onto the guitar when I chipped it (looked kinda crappy so I put a bandaid on it). It will stay with me, for a very long time. Inspiriation is easy to come by with this sitting on your lap, or slung around your neck. If you can, cough up the $1700 for this guitar, cuz it's worth it and it looks beautiful as well. Can't forget that. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: unregistered, on october 01, 2007
2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2100

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: 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. // 10

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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! // 10

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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... // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.2
JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: Martinius, on october 30, 2003
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2242.8

Purchased from: Emporio Musicale

Features: This guitar is full of great features according to Steve Vai's exact specifications. The contoured alder body with a 24-fret JEM neck provides easy access to all registers. It features Vai's choice of specific DiMarzio (Evolution) pickups, combined with Ibanez Split-5 wiring for incredible tonal versatility. Buyers of this guitar will now also experience the newly designed Ibanez EDGE PRO double locking tremolo (Deep routed tremolo cavities allow the pitch to be lowered or raised by as much as a fifth) and the new Prestige neck. A Bullet proof Ibanez case should also be included. // 10

Sound: Thanks to the Di Marzio Evolution pickups wich the JEM 7V is armed with, the sound is fat and has a very good sustain. Any particular noise hasn't been noticed. This guitar has been used on a Fender Cyber-Twin and has been tested on a large variety of effects and different sounds. It sounds good on every setting of the amp. The guitar itself can be used to make many interesting effects like harmonics, etc. combined with the use of the whammy bar. The only bad thing is that the guitar is recomended for specific styles of music. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: At the factory the guitar has been through a variety of check ups as written on a little piece of paper that should be on the guitar when you buy it. The factory has regulated the action not to low, but not to high either. The pickups were particulary low at first wich doesn't make any problems. Regulate the height if it makes the volume sound too low. Some patience is needed when you tune the guitar for the first time since the hardware is new and may not work perfectly at first. But this is normal when talking about whammy bar hardware. // 10

Reliability & Durability: The guitar is very reliable and everything seem like it will last if you take good care of it. Ibanez guitars are extremely delicate so they need much care. The JEM 7V is not a poor Squier you know. // 8

Overall Impression: The JEM 7V suites my playing style perfectly since I'm much into Instrumental Rock. Since it's very versatile you can even play clean pieces with it and the sound is great. Compared to other Ibanez guitars this is one of the best thanks to the features listed above. It's a complete guitar and doesn't need anything else. If you got enough money it's worth to buy! // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.4
JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: megamattlulz, on june 04, 2009
1 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 1600

Purchased from: The Mighty Ebay!

Features: 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.. // 9

Sound: 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. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: 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. // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.6
JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: imoeng, on may 16, 2006
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 2888

Features: 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. // 9

Sound: 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. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: 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." // 9

Reliability & Durability: 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. // 10

Overall Impression: 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. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 9.6
JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: angelcommand, on june 26, 2006
0 of 2 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 3800

Purchased from: Billy hyde

Features: This beauty has a 3pc JEM neck, has 24 W/6103 frets and has custom Steve Vai inlays. Its Alder body (this guitar relies more on electronics though) has a Edge-Pro bridge and has DiMarzio Evolution pickups: (H) on the neck and bridge and a single coil on the middle. The JEM77V's shape is similar to the Strat but Steve Vai has personalised it with a cut-through handle and sharpend edges. // 10

Sound: Well, The JEM77V has a unique voice that is clear, powerful but with its own tone so it may not suit popular rock genres. Because Steve Vai's music style is very different, when you play ths guitar: you'll have the feel of Vai sound there with you. Strange, I use a Marshall Valve/electronic, but because I only just got it, I've only had time to play with distortion, and the sound was very powerful and strangely alive, but I haven't tried clean yet so I don't know, a bit scared, never heard it before. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The JEM77V, to me, it's a artisan instrument. I prefer a smaller and lighter guitar with great fun action, but the JEM77V is for serious music. That's why this guitar will be very fun after you get used to it, it'll take time with a guitar like this. If the JEM77V has flaws, I don't know about them and I'm pretty sure will never. It's one of the most beautiful guitars out there, the wood its made of doesn't matter if you ask me, it relies mostly on electronics. // 9

Reliability & Durability: As ive said you'll have to get used to playing this strange guitar, coz, trust me, if you buy this guitar you would simply listen to its great sound and stare at it! The fist time i felt this about a guitar was when i first layed eyes on a 12-string, we didnt care what we were playing,just as long as we could hear the sound. This guitar is not meant for home-use only though, it was made for live gigs and presentations. Dont worry if you do buy it, it'll last. // 10

Overall Impression: I play a lot of hard-rock, old skool metal, instrumental/arena rock. And I would honestly say, I would "not" use this guitar for any other songs, other than Steve Vai songs. Harsh, that's why I keep the amazing Stratocaster for everything else. Truth is, pressure's on when people see you playing the JEM77V, you'll have to play good or you won't get any respect. // 9

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
overall: 10
JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Reviewed by: unregistered, on april 22, 2010
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Features: This particular model is a 2010, with the newly reissued 'edge' bridge which is lovely and sturdy, it has a 24 fret neck with the last 4 frets scalloped. The purpose of which is extra grip into bends and easier fretting (although it takes a little bit of getting used to). The Prestige Jem neck is very touchable, very flat but not brittle. Enjoy the alder body, which feels very well weighted and doesn't give the impression of a heavy guitar. The monkey grip handle is useful for getting it out of the nice tight J craft hardcase that it comes in, and also useful for doing silly poses. // 10

Sound: The sound that comes out of the HSH (all DiMarzio evolutions) configuration is bright and clear, It can be manipulated quite excessively from just the tone and volume knobs without a lot of screwing around with the amp controls, which is handy in a live situation where you can't do an easy change between clean and dirty. I play what i'd consider "guitar-ry guitarist music". Paul Gilbert, (Definitely not steve vai of course) Satch, Petrucci etc etc. But play in a metalcore band for kicks. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: The factory set up wasn't horrible, It feels very similar to my 87 RG550DY. I'll eventually get it set up properly but as far as getting it out of the box and teaching a bunch of lessons, it did great... Even with a bit of Whammy violation. The claw in the edge routing was done very well, I was impressed with that quite a bit and the finish is perfect, all the hardware is immaculate and will stay that way for awhile until the gold eventually gets tarnished. I noticed a very tiny paint bubble on the underside of the monkey grip, but you can't see it as much as feel it. Nothing to cry to Ibanez about. The volume and tone knobs feel very stiff at the moment, I'm curious to know if it'll eventually ease up with the more use it gets. // 10

Reliability & Durability: I'll gig with this guitar, hopefully not to a crowd who knows Steve Vai... That way i'll avoid the eye rolling that this guitar gets when someone just realises you're a fanboy :). I know the gold will tarnish but that can't be helped. // 10

Overall Impression: This is a good guitar for excelling my ability. Because you have to be good enough for your gear. So time to push myself. I've been playing for 7 years this september and been teaching a clientbase of 50 students weekly for the last 2 years. I don't claim to be an expert but I have a pretty decent knowledge of guitars, and guitar playing. My favorite feature is absolutely the edge bridge with the combination of the Evo pick ups. I wouldn't mind trying a fully scalloped version, that'd definitely be a cool edition. I'd only change the finish to a dipped swirled finish. Cause it's awesome. If this guitar was stolen I'd weep uncontrollably and then steal every other jem in existance so everyone could feel my pain. // 10

Was this review helpful to you? Yes / No
Post your comment
Only "https" links are allowed for pictures,
otherwise they won't appear