Gear talk for the GAS-afflicted.

New 7-string: Ibanez JEM7V7 – is Steve Vai out of ideas?

Steve Vai has always been an innovator and a showman, not to mention a great musician. Not just guitar player – musician. He was one of the pioneers of instrumental guitar rock, alongside his one-time mentor Joe Satriani, and he was also the first person to bring the 7-string electric guitar to the masses, in the form of the Ibanez Universe. In many ways Steve helped revolutionize the guitar playing scene, bringing high output pickups like the Dimarzio Evolution set into the mainstream as well. I’m sure the list of achievements is long, and well deserved.


He’s been an inspiration to countless young guitar-slingers around the world, and for this, Ibanez have graced Steve with dozens of signature model guitars over the years.

This year at NAMM, we heard about a new 7-string – the JEM7V7. Basically, it’s the same as the classic 7VWH (white, gold hardware), but with a 7th string.

I dunno Steve… that’s just too easy. Almost… lazy.

The Flower Pattern JEMs have already been reissued once, and a few years ago a dreadful Flower Pattern 2 series was produced.

Christ, my eyes.

Is anyone seeing the diminishing returns here? Every year, I lose further interest in seeing what new JEMs have been released. At least Paul Gilbert is kicking ass and taking new names with his arse backwards Fireman guitar (which we reviewed awhile back – check it out if you haven’t seen it).

Let’s give Steve a chance to talk about it:

I dunno – do you guys feel the same way, or is it just me? With young blood like Tosin Abasi in the realm of the extended range shredfest, is it time for a changing of the guard…?


  1. kja says:

    Needlessly provocative title. The guitar is cool, not everything needs to be a three-neck pink heart guitar.

    1. thesamurai says:

      Hi KJA… welcome to the site! Would you prefer we stuck with boring titles? I’ll put in a request with the site admin. :)

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