Earlier this month, we got wind of a new Steve Vai signature model slated for release. Details were scant, but it turns out the rumours were true. The Steve Vai PIA guitar model is the result of the latest collaboration between Ibanez and the guitar legend.
Paradise In Art
This guitar was no big surprise as I had already leaked the story earlier this month. The new Ibanez Steve Vai PIA or Paradise In Art model has an alder body and a five-piece maple/walnut neck with 24 stainless steel jumbo frets. The rosewood fretboard is emblazoned with an ornate multi-coloured blossom inlay.
The PIA is loaded with the all-new DiMarzio UtoPIA pickup set in the classic HSH configuration found on other Vai signature models. The all-gold hardware includes Gotoh machineheads and an Edge tremolo with the Lion’s Claw tremolo. Another of Vai’s inventions, the Lion’s Claw let’s you pull strings much higher than you could with the regular trem cavity. The finish options all have great names such as Stallion White, Envy Green, Panther Pink and Sun Dew Gold.
For the new model, Vai has done away with his famous Monkey Grip, and opted instead for a new Petal Grip. According to Ibanez’s website, the new grip is supposed to represent ‘unity, companionship, and interpersonal bonds’. It does look like petals from a flower, and maybe even a bit like the Yin Yang sign. Vai’s wife is also named Pia, and so I think this is a nice personal touch.
New Body Shape
The body shape may look like familiar, but has also been slightly updated with a subtle bevel around its edge and neck joint. This removes the hard edges of the original design making it more comfortable to play. The whole guitar just seems like a natural evolution of the JEM model that we all know so well.
Check out the official video below to hear Steve Vai talk about his new signature Ibanez PIA model.
RRP – USD 4666.65 includes hard shell case