Ibanez is about to release a new JEM7VP Premium model, essentially a way for them to get the Steve Vai JEM guitar into more players hands.
Ibanez JEM7VP Steve Vai Premium
Launching during NAMM 2019 and available towards the end of January, this new JEM model has plenty of premium features. These include a five-piece Wizard maple/walnut neck with KTS titanium reinforcing rods and an ebony fingerboard. The JEM7VP Premium also has the classic “Tree of Life” inlay associated with the JEM series.
With an alder body loaded with a set of HSH DiMarzio Evolution pickups and fitted with the Ibanez Edge Locking Tremolo system, this is a high-performance axe. It has the Monkey Grip and the Lions Claw trem cutout, so it looks the part – the styling is in keeping with the classic JEM guitar layout/design.
The guitar is built in Indonesia, one of the ways that Ibanez is trying to keep the costs down. Most JEM models are made in Japan where labour costs more. So by shifting production Ibanez can pass the saving on to the consumer. This JEM also ships in a gigbag rather than a hard case, which also helps reduce the asking price.
What is interesting is that this model uses ebony for the fretboard, whereas the full-fat Japanese-made version no longer does. So if you want ebony, this version is the only current JEM to use it. I think the fact that Steve Vai’s name is on this guitar says a lot – this could be a great guitar for the money. My only gripe is that it only comes in white…
You can visit Ibanez at NAMM Booth 4620
RRP – USD 2399