New Premium Ibanez Jem Brings Back Ebony Fretboard

The Ibanez JEM7VWH has been Steve Vai’s main instrument since it was released at the time of the Sex & Religion album in 1993. Upon release it had a Lo Pro Edge tremolo, an Ebony fingerboard and Vai’s new DiMarzio Evolution humbucking pickups. Since then the VWH has undergone a few changes, including the switch to an Edge Pro tremolo and then to an original Edge, but by far the biggest change that really riled up the Jem community when it happened was the decision to move from an Ebony fingerboard to a Rosewood one in 2004. Sure, this gave the Jem a slightly warmer tone (which helped to cool down those very aggressive Evolutions) but many players preferred the more direct tone and smooth feel of Ebony. 

Now Ibanez is releasing a Premium version of the JEM7VWH, the JEM7VP, which brings back that sweet sweet Ebony fingerboard. There are a couple of other key differences between this and the Japan-made VWH though: it has Jumbo frets and a 5-piece Maple/Walnut Wizard neck instead of the JEM neck shape and narrow/tall 6105 frets, and the Premium’s fingerboard radius is a little more subtly rounded than the VWH.

I can imagine a lot of players being very happy with this model. A) It’s more affordable than the VWH which is a seriously-priced piece of kit; B) Yay Ebony; C) The smaller frets and flatter radius of the WVH just don’t feel as Ibanezzy to players who are used to the RG neck. One point to note: it does not have scallops on frets 21-24.

This is also pretty smart marketing by Ibanez. It gives players something in between the top-of-the-line JEM7VWH and the budget JEM Jr, a guitar that a lot of folks buy to upgrade to more VWH-like specs. 

I used to have a VWH and while it was a phenomenal guitar, eventually I traded it for a Strat because it just never really felt like ‘mine.’ But I’m certainly tempted to get the JEM7VP because there will always be a place in my heart for the white Jem, and I think I would like this model’s neck a little more. What do you think?

Ibanez Premium Universe & Jem Reissues!

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Whoa! Christmas came early to subscribers to Steve Vai’s newsletter! In 2015 Ibanez will be releasing reissues of the blue floral Jem and the white Universe. The blue Jem – eh, I can take or leave that one – but the white Universe? Vai recorded “For The Love Of God” on a white Universe! And Korn fans are going to flip out over these too. Vai also announced that the super-affordable Jem Jr (previously only available in certain markets to combat counterfeits) will now be available worldwide! Read More …

Ibanez AT10 Premium Rosewood & PGM800 Premium

Wow, check this out: some pics posted by Takeshi Ishiguro, taken at the Musical Instruments Fair Japan 2014 featuring some new additions to Ibanez’s Indonesian-made Premium line: the AT10 Premium Rosewood Andy Timmons model and, in the background there, the PGM800 Premium Paul Gilbert model. Andy has been playing a version of this white axe onstage recently. And of course Paul is on tour with Mr. Big playing all sorts of beautiful Ibanii.

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Ibanez AT10RP-CLW

Ibanez Premium 7-string!

Now, you guys/girls know I’m an Ibanez geek, right? And you know I’m an avowed seven-stringer slinger. And you might remember that I was well impressed by the Ibanez Premium series launched at NAMM this year.

Well…

BAM.

http://www.ibanez.com/ElectricGuitars/model-RG927QM

That’s the RG927QM, my friend. Five-piece maple/walnut neck, bound rosewood fretboard, offset dot inlays, American basswood body with quilted maple top, Edge Zero II-Z bridge, DiMarzio IBZ-7N and IBZ-7B pickups, Red Desert finish.

Want one? Get it here from Musician’s Friend!

Ooooh yeah.