Ibanez Jem 7vwh Review
Original Author: Andrew Cockburn
Weapon: Electric Guitar
Model: Steve Vai Signature Jem 7vwh
Playing Style: Metal, Blues, Rock N' Roll
Price: Around $2200
Extremely versatile - this is no one trick pony. The Evolution pickups are very hot and they can drive any amp to destruction. This gives you a lot of options in backing off the volume to go from clean to crunch to full distortion. The neck Humbucker gives a deep bluesy feel, whilst the middle single coil gives that cutting Strat sound. The bridge humbucker gives a solid yet trebbly sound as you would expect. Combinations of these give this guitar incredible versatility. Played clean, the sound has authority and punch, yet is extremely musical - I could use this guitar for Funk, and even Smooth Jazz.
Awesome - this is the true strength of Ibanez. The 5 piece neck is thin and flat. The overall guitar is similar in dimensions to a Strat, yet the picking area feels less congested. Legato is great on this guitar due to the hot pickups and the low action, and licks play typically faster than other guitars. The Tremelo system is awesome to play with. Octave dips on the E string are easy, the precision is superb. You can play entire tunes with the whammy bar if that is your style! The highest 4 frets are deeply scalloped - this really helps with precision for playing fast high notes, although I am still getting used to the visual cue this gives and the fact that I now have 24 frets.
I'm forced to concede that value wise you are paying a lot for a guitar that is basically an Ibanez Prestige model with custom pickups, gold hardware and a monkey grip. For me it was worth it, but I would guess that an RG Prestige would give you a similar playing experience, albeit with less bling.
Beautiful looks, playability and sound. Its like coming home, and worth the price for me. It is true what they say about Jems - all true and more.
RG Prestige line for the same playability without the price tag.