Some lo-res pics of this guitar leaked last week and they didn’t look great. Well guess what! Turns out leaking crappy photos of a sophisticated design doesn’t do the design justice because the new Ibanez Steve Vai model, the PIA, looks a lot cooler than those pics indicated. Especially of note: the new DiMarzio Utopia pickups with really interesting covers designed by Mike Mesker, colour-matched ‘Pia Blossom’ inlays (except for the white model which has all white inlays) and a little scoop above the handle in the body.

Here’s Steve to tell you all about the new guitar, including all the subtle differences compared to a Jem, like a new forearm contour, repositioned volume knob, new super high access sculpting on the inside of the treble side cutaway, and more. Seriously, if you’re one of the people who trashed this guitar last week because of those dodgy photos, you really need to watch this video to see how much thought and elegance has been put into this design.

We’re talking Stainless Steel frets, switchable high pass filter, magnetic back plate, redesigned contours, new neck shape, Luminlay glow-in-the-dark side dots, Ultralite carbon fiber tremolo bar… basically it’s a Steve Vai guitar for 2020 instead of 1987.

As for the Utopia pickups, they use the DiMarzio Evolution as a starting point but with softer highs and mids and more output. That sounds pretty damn cool to me.

Bridge –
Middle –…/standard-strat/utopia-middle
Neck –

And I think the pink version seen in this pic of Steve is particularly cool.

Here are the other three colours available. The Envy Green, Panther Pink and Sun Dew Gold are limited edition while the Stallion White (which is a pearl white finish) is the standard model.