The new Ibanez Steve Vai JEM77WDP Premium is a very interesting looking ‘steampunk’ styled version of the ever popular JEM series of his signature guitars.
Steve Vai has had many JEM variations over the years from loch ness green and neon pink colours, to models infused with his DNA or burnt by blow torches. This new JEM77WDP is a quite steampunk / Victorian looking to my eye and the main body wood is actually mahogany with a rosewood top.
This is very unusual for a JEM and really makes it stand out from the previous more traditional JEM guitars.
Each of the DiMarzio Dark Matter 2 pickup covers has a unique clockwork / cog design and even the scratchplate is wooden and made from poplar burl, which again is something completely new for his model.
The specification is the usual high-performance guitar with 24 jumbo frets and great upper fret access, combined with an Ibanez Edge-Zero II trem system.
The neck is a five-piece construction walnut and maple JEM neck, with a rosewood fingerboard featuring the infamous JEM ‘Tree Of Life’ fret inlay and with a matching poplar burl headstock.
Hardware is predominantly Cosmo Black and sets off the dark wood finish nicely I feel. So a good looking guitar and probably quite a collectable one for those inclined to do so, because of the unique body wood used on this specific model.
Mr Vai has so many variations on the JEM and this new one will surely be popular with his die hard fans. This is I think the fourth guitar he has had released by Ibanez this year already, and so if you are a Vai guitar collector then 2016 will be an expensive year for you!
Especially after the 25-year anniversary celebration of the Passion and Warfare album earlier this year and the three limited edition Universe seven-string guitars that were announced at the NAMM Show to mark that milestone.
RRP USD $2,266.65 due October 2016
Ibanez Steve Vai JEM77WDP Premium full specifications here