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Ibanez JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Electric Guitar White

 
Musical Instruments


Price: $1385 to $1385 at 1 stores
Searched Ibanez JEM7V Steve Vai Signature Electric Guitar We in Reviews
 

 

Why we are here! featured

Sound Absolutely stunning sound. The alder body can be a bit "thin" when played clean, but I'm comparing that to a les paul standard. I play a lot of 80's rock, Vai, Satch, and things of that nature. I'll get a heavy blues kick from time to time, and its able to keep up with my changing style :)


Action, Fit, & Finish ABSOLUTELY SUPREME. Best made guitar I own, bar none. My old Axis is probably the only thing I've owned that comes close. Mine has the typical RG neck crack :( but that seems to be par for the course. I wish I purchased an ebony fret board one, but this one is still dark and rich. Paint is flawless, and due to their proprietary "ultra white" system, it will REMAIN white over the years. Hardware fits flawlessly.


Reliability & Durability Due to its expense, I'm not a fan of slamming this one around, but I do have a much older Jem I beat to smithereens and it holds up extremely well for all situations. I cant imagine, and have seen no reason to suspect otherwise.


Customer Support Never needed, never should.


Liked about it VERY light. I have a basswood Jem as a my first one, and it was much heavier. I almost thought it was fake!!! It literally feels like a feather in your hand compared to many other types of guitars (Even strats). That monkey grip looks ridiculous, but I have to admit, it's definitely come in handy from time to time! Great hardware coupled with great hardware on a great wooden body and AWESOME finished neck, and its a complete dream to play.


Didn't like The lack of color options available. Yes this is a review on the "7vwh" model, but at the time, you had a choice of Black... or White. What happened to the crazy pinks, yellows, and blues? Yes you can buy used ones, but I wish they had more color options. Price new is a bit hefty for me, even for this awesome guitar. I cant, for the life of me, see why the JEM7v costs 2499 and the JS model costs 1500$ new. It uses similar hardware, and the JS has more electronics work and more rare woods. They are equal in fit and finish, so where is that extra 1000$ coming from???


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By linuxpenguin
Jan 31, 2011
 
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Best signature guitar ever featured

Sound My 01 Jem is the best signature guitar I've played and I've had many. I've got a stable of amps and effects so I get to try mesa, marshall, fender, vox, and a lot based on them. pedals range from vintage sd9 to Ethos to handwired boutique stuff. This is a guitar you could play anything on due to fantastic pickups matched with a great switching system giving you better tones for strat or les paul's than the originals do. Mine has an ebony fretboard so the sound is bright and articulate with just enough output to keep you inspired even without a pedal. If you can't tell by this point, I'll say it.. I love this guitar.


Action, Fit, & Finish This is exactly what you'd expect from a top of the line signature model, no flaws or problems of any kind. Trem is smooth and works perfect. The guitar was set up at the shop. No issues what so ever, Finish is flawless and as expected. I now have a little wear on the gold trem but not more than expected. It doesn't chip easily like the basswood body guitars.


Reliability & Durability I've never had a problem with it. I've bumped it a couple times and didn't even put a ding in the clearcoat. No problems in the electronics or trem. I've kept the same guage strings on it and haven't had to get a setup in a few years. Stays in tune with no issues.


Customer Support I haven't had to deal with Ibanez on this guitar, I have dealt with them on other guitars with mixed results. I guess it depends on the rep you get. They did take care of problems when I called them back.


Liked about it Tone, this is the best all in one guitar (tone-wise) that you can get. Country one night, blues the next and metal the night after that.
Beautiful finish and coloring with the white and gold


Didn't like Other than the price there isn't a lot not to like.
They were much better feeling with the ebony fretboard and it made them more unique.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By ChrisPcritter
Dec 15, 2010
 
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this guitar makes you think it worths more than it is featured

Sound The sound of this guitar is absolutely just incredible. I have a crappy amp (Marshall 10 CD) and it still sounds amazing. I usually plug my guitar into boss pedals (mostly Me-25) and I think its great. The pickups are obviously perfect because they are DiMarzios and there is no need to change them unless you want to have a sustainer like Steve... But this guitar itself gives a nice sustain for a while unless you keep your action too low. O, and each pickups are great. They are different but not too different, so when you change the pickups it doesn't sound like you brought in a new guitar, amp, or effects. The bridge is has astonishing crunch, the middle gives epic clearness, and the neck gives a warm, warm sound. I never changed the strings since I bought it like a year ago (probably D'dario 9s), which i should change it soon but I will keep it as 9s since it feels perfect for me.


Action, Fit, & Finish I bought my Jem7V WH at a big guitar store in Milan. It was 1999 euros and of course tries it out before buying it. The action was a little high like a les paul but lower than stratocasters. There were no fret buzz so I thought it was perfect but it was little hard to shred the jem with a slight high action. So lowered it until where the manual says its supposed to be, but then it gave my few fret buzz and shorter sustain...
The brige and other mechanics in the guitar is perfect when I first got it. The locking tremolo worked fine and everything sounded great. Pickups were straight and I never changed them since I purchased the jem. The only thing that bugs me is that the body is little heavier than other Ibanez Prestige guitars. Other than that, its one confortable guitar and easy to play on. The frets are amazingly smooth and not even a single problem with the last 4 scalloped frets. (the scalloped frets gives you amazing control but it is harder to play faster, but in this case the last 4 frets are usually hard to play fast even though they are not scalloped)


Reliability & Durability I had this guitar for a year from today and its in perfect shape. I'm the guy who keeps my guitar clean by wiping them after every time it is used and kept in the guitar case always when not in use. This guitar doesnt need any back up guitars, but you will never know what will happen in the future.
I'm pretty sure its a very dependible guitar by looking at the budget and by looking at Steve's "Evo" which is the exact same guitar off from the wall. It feels perfect, it plays perfect, sounds great, and probably will last generations after generations. P.S. I am planning to give this guitar to my child before I die and tell him to pass it on to the next generation :)


Customer Support Well I asked them about the action height on my jem since I did't know wether if it was supposed to be that "high" than i thought. All they did was said the same thing that was in the manuel (I can't remember from top of my head what the action heights were)... But think about it, what else can they do for me. I bet they get the same email asking about the correct action height millions of times in a day. But they could take a picture with a scale for what the perfect action height is for the jem.


Liked about it 1. Smooth playing (smooth frets and super smooth neck)
2. Comfortable Bridge
3. Sounds good as it looks



Didn't like 1. When I first saw a jem guitar in my life, I thought the monkey grip looked ugly. But after owning it, I'm not sure whether I like it or not, but its pretty useful when you need to turn your small amp on or when you forgot to plug the cord into the amp.
2. A wide fret board.... I have small fingers...:(
3. Action height, but probably its the stores fault cause they might be the ones who changed it


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By mizukster777
Nov 22, 2010
 
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Oh it is so worth the money ... featured

Sound The sound is amazing. Yes it has a rich, full tone. Tone for days actually. I was very impressed at how good this guitar sounds. TONE TONE TONE!
You can get any sound you are looking for out of this guitar.
Play it loud and proud! I play all kinds of music...shreddy blues with a touch of classical tasty jam from the soul.
I play through several heads and combos. JCM, Orange, Mesa, Fender....etc...I choose SIT 9's on my 6 string guitars.


Action, Fit, & Finish The action is top notch. The tuning was spot on.
It was set up so good it pained me to put new strings on and have them set it up again.
This guitar is perfect.
The neck feels like smooth butter in your hands. The tremolo is one of the best I have ever played.
The whole feel of this guitar is money! The monkey grip is B.A. as well.
Flawless! A perfect sounding and perfect playing guitar.

The case is very nice, just another notch for Ibanez in my book.



Reliability & Durability JEM7V's are built like tanks! I would go around the world with only this one guitar if that was what the situation called for.
You would not need a back up at all.
They are built to outlast us! I bet when I am long gone this guitar will still play like a dream.
Perfect weight, perfect feeling neck and perfect tone.
I got my first Vai guitar in 1992 and have been sold on the JEM ever since.


Customer Support The best in the world. Not that you will need to use CS but if you do they will take good care of you.
Very quick and friendly service.


Liked about it The sound, usually I put new pickups in most all my guitars but this thing is a flame thrower in stock form!
The feel, built like a rock!
The fact it stays in tune no matter how you abuse the trem...and I do abuse it;-)


Didn't like Love everything about this guitar....go buy one now!


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By milkywayslipnsli
Aug 24, 2010
 
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Steve sure can design a sweet guitar featured

Sound This guitar is the epitome of what in the 80s was referred to as a "superstrat." It has a wonderfully bright cutting sound with or without distortion. The neck position is warm and articulate, then there's the bridge pickup plenty of bite, cuts like a knife without feeling like an icepick in the ear. This would be enough for most guitarists but Steve saw to it to get all those in between sounds any strat player would feel right at home with and a middle single coil. The result is an extremely versatile instrument. The rigs I run this thru are a Carvin legacy, a Blackheart little giant, and an old music man RD100 head. Mine's strung up with ernie balls 10-52 and the pedals I use are a boss DS-1 and an Ibanez TS808


Action, Fit, & Finish Out of the case this instrument was just jaw dropping. It played effortlessly and the finish was immaculate save for some minor flaws in the monkey grip but they are barely noticeable. I had to tinker with the pickups a little bit so there wasn't a huge drop in volume when i went with the in between sounds or the middle pickup.


Reliability & Durability I've had this instrument for almost 10 years and it looks almost brand new. The gold plating has worn off some of the screws that hold the pickups in and on the bridge. I trust this instrument enough to bring to a gig without a backup. Fresh strings are a must. The tuning on this baby is rock solid. You could drop a bomb on it, just don't break a string, but a tremsetter would fix that.


Customer Support Haven't dealt with the company, there's been no problems with the instrument to warrant a call to them.


Liked about it Wide range of tones. Very stable tuning. Awesome playability.


Didn't like the only thing that bothers me is that this guitar has gone up quite a bit in price since i got mine.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Jemwielder
Jun 30, 2010
 
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Best money I've ever spent. featured

Sound The sound of the Jem is just beautiful, this guitar in particular is something to behold. I use a Marshall JCM 900 50W combo, Boss DE7, Zakk Wylde Overdrive, Morley Bad Horsie 2 Wah, Boss Chorus, MXR EVH phaser and Boss EQ pedal. I also have a Les Paul Standard as a backup to this guitar. I also play regular live gigs in a cover band and original band. The versatility of this guitar is astounding, I can be in full disortion rock mode and back off only the volume knob on the guitar itself and get an almost perfectly clean sound, I've never had a guitar that can do that. Also having the single coil pickup in between the humbuckers gives me that almost a strat twang that's required for some songs on our list. The actual bridge humbucker is more than capable in it's sound quality as is the neck pickup. I've had no problems at all at getting the 7VWh to scream, chug, pinch harmonic squeal, divebomb, basically anything you can do to a guitar, this guitar can do.... no problem at all.


Action, Fit, & Finish Factory setup was perfect..... I've not changed it and I can be quite picky with my setups. Beautiful low action on a fast as hell neck..... what more do you need. I've ever only had 2 problems with it:
1. The first problem is that once you start using it, sweating on it and playing it very regularly, as you will because it's so damn beautiful, is that the Gold hardware on the bridge will slowly turn silver as your hand rubs off the gold. This, I already knew would happen before I bought it. No gold hardware on the face of the planet can withstand it but I'm just letting you know that it will not hold it's sheen once you start using it. Personally though, I quite like the half silver/gold worn bridge look but that's all up to you.

2. This problem I had was really only my own playing style. After using my arch-top Les Paul for 15 years as my only main guitar and then getting this, I found myself hitting the pickups on the jem (mainly the raised single coil) with the guitar pick. Silly I know, but it really annoyed me for quite some time, but like I said, that was just my playing style. I was used to strings that stuck out of the body on the arch-top and then going to a completely flat body guitar, it felt as though the thing was concaved, the strings were that close to the body. I'm over it now though. The Jem is my primary guitar at gigs and jam sessions, the poor old Les Paul has been relegated to second fiddle.

This is the only guitar I've ever owned where people at gigs come up to me and ask questions about her. She's a real stunner.


Reliability & Durability There is absolutely no problems in this department with this top-of-the-line Jem. You get what you pay for and I knew going into this purchase that it'd be money well spent. You will not be disappointed with this guitar one iota. I always have a backup at gigs though as you know, a floating bridge that breaks a string goes to hell. Always have a hardtail as backup, just in case. Guitar is two and a half years old and has been gigging nearly every weekend since I got her. Hard as nails, though petit and as beautiful as a supermodel.


Customer Support No problems


Liked about it EVERY. SINGLE. DAMN. THING. This guitar is pure guitar porn, no less. Best action, finish, neck, bridge ..... well everything, is just the Best of the Best. You'll not be disappointed, I will personally guarantee that with my left testicle.


Didn't like The only thing I could possibly pick on in the line of Jems is the lack of colour Steve chooses with them. You only have the choice of Black or White these days and when I was going into the purchase of this guitar, I must admit that I was a little annoyed that there wasn't much choice. Considering my Les Paul was black, the only choice I had was white. Don't get me wrong though, this guitar is utterly jawdropping, but we all know how flamboyant Steve Vai has been in the past. My heart was set on a Floral, or a swirled one or some other funky piece of gear...... I'll tell you what though...... I love my guitar so much that I can see myself starting up a bit of a collection of Jems. They're the most beautiful guitar on the face of the earth in my opinion and I WILL eventually own some of the classics of the past to sit next to the 7VWh.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Macka
Jun 21, 2010
 
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Definitely worth the money and can be acquired "used excellent" at big discountt featured

Sound I am amazed at the variety of sounds this guitar can produce and it can do it all with the right combination of hands and amplifier. It's not just limited to the Vai thing, but it's A+ in that category. It's got to be one of the most resonant guitars I've ever owned, almost like the whole guitar is the soundboard! The neck shape is unique and it will accomodate the fastest hands around, it makes me a little faster than on other guitars I've played.


Action, Fit, & Finish These guitars are built to amazing standards and QC is doing their jobs on every one I've owned in the upper JEM series. They are serious about maintaining their reputation and the Japanese build a quality guitar.


Reliability & Durability I've never had a problem with either reliability or durability and I think the two go hand in hand. If gigging I'd always have a backup...you might just drop the guitar, but otherwise it's rock solid.


Customer Support Never had a reason to contact them for repair.


Liked about it I like the feel of the guitar. If it's not comfortable it's not going to play well in longer sets
The variety of sounds is amazing with the H/S/H configuration and standard pickup wiring
With a versatile amp you can do any type of music very well and it's got 'super star' stage appeal!


Didn't like No guitar can be be all things to all players but this comes close to me. I've changed pickups to broaden the spectrum of sound and am happy with the change, it's just a little different not necessarily better. I am not sure Ibanez will even offer special order pickups, but it would be nice. If you want to be 100% Vai then you can't beat the original Evolutions. Wish it weren't so expensive new.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By johnnieboy2
Jan 11, 2010
 
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Ostentatious featured

Sound Perhaps more than any other, this is the Jem that is most associated with Steve Vai. Luckily, it is also one of the very best Jems. With its bright white finish, elegant vine inlay, bright alder tonewood, and a set of high output DiMarzio evolution pickups, this is a Jem that is significantly improved over the typical RG. The looks aren't for everyone: the pearloid pickguard, pearl and abalone inlay, and gold hardware can seem overdone and may look out of place if you play in a death metal band. But the results are hard to deny.

More than any Ibanez I've ever played, the Jem7VWH is a soloist's guitar. The pickups mated to the alder body produce a bright, hot, and mid-heavy tone that sparkles when clean and really pushes a tube amp when distorted. Because of the strong mid response, I can actually imagine using this Jem for jazz--but who'd want to when you could go crazy with this guitar? This one just invites your best guitar solos.


Action, Fit, & Finish Impeccable. The finish is mirror smooth; frets are even and well-crowned; the neck is arrow-straight and finished in a nice satin polyurethane. As it should be with a guitar commanding this price, I have zero complaints.


Reliability & Durability Even though these tend to be babied, they are as reliable as any other bolt-on Ibanez. The neck joint and scarf joint remain potential weak points, but the guitars are work horses. I'm going to go out on a limb and say that you will not put yours through worse than Vai has done to his.


Liked about it The TONE: it's perfect. The neck profile--rounder than the typical Wizard but still ridiculously slim. The pickups are such a great match for this guitar.


Didn't like Until recently, I had no complaints. I do wish Ibanez would switch back to the ebony fretboard like mine has; it's a little change, but they feel a bit slicker and look a bit nicer.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By jem7vwh
Jan 07, 2010
 
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2000 Jem7VWH featured

Sound In short, this guitar sounds exactly how YOU want it to sound. It is a guitar void of any limitations. Whether you want a thick low end chug, or a bright glassy high end solo, you can achieve it on the Jem7VWH. Harmonics are easier to nail than Cartman's mom, and the single coil pick up gives you a strat sound not found in most strats! Japanese built guitars are so versatile, and this is no different.


Action, Fit, & Finish This guitar is a 2000 model, not new, but it would be noteworthy to mention its action.. thought alone I'm pretty sure can push these strings on to the fantastically supple Ebony fretboard.


Reliability & Durability Discolouration on the pots and switch is the only criticism that can be made about this guitar. The rest will remain white as snow.


Liked about it 1. Its a Jem, therefore awesome.
2. Beautiful.
3. Dimarzio Evolutions are some of the best pickups I have ever played.
4. Action, action, action.
5. Build quality, those Japanese are perfectionists.


Didn't like 1. Discolouration of parts.
2. Inevitable oxidation of lo-pro trem system, very obvious on the gold hardware.
3. Price. And this what hurts the guitar most. Can I possibly justify splashing out on a new Jem at standard retail price? I don't think so. I recommend getting one second-hand, therefore getting true quality for a more reasonable price.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By custom24
Nov 30, 2009
 
Last updated: November 30, 2009
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The Staple of Jems featured

Sound The sound of this guitar is vast with possibilities. I play through a Mesa Triple Rectifier using some delays and other modulations. You can get several distinct popular guitar tones such as a Strat, Tele, and of course the best one of all Jem. The Evolution pickups are well balanced dynamically and when guitar is properly set up provide warm, rich, and sustained tones. Clean tones are very nice, displaying subtle nuances of each player's own technique very well. Use with a distortion and you get a seriously kicking, screaming, shredding machine. This is a few of the many reasons the Jem has such a fiercly loyal following. People dig quality sound and this guitar comes through full force hands down, no matter what style you play.


Action, Fit, & Finish I have to say that with just a few exceptions, Ibanez does pretty well with initial factory setup vs. othr companies today. Minor tweaking needed at most for the majority of Jems and other high end Ibanez. The guitar is set up for 9's and even with myself being a 10 person, they play lovely and I usually wait to change over and re-set the guitar because why fix it if it's not broke. The finish is something that keeps me returning to Ibanez whenever I have been in the market for a new axe. They are supurb full bodied colors with great finishing qualities for large scale production instruments and they get even better as you go up through the models. I would put Ibanez factory finishes against a lot of custom builders as far as initial quality for the cost and durability of the finish. The gold hardware is also a classy touch to the classic white color. The Vine inlays are stunning works of art in themselves. Simply breathtaking all around in person.


Reliability & Durability These guitars don't disappoint. They are always ready for war so long as you are not abusing the instrument. Only a little routine maintenance is needed as it is equipped with a floating tremolo and they can be a pain sometimes until properly set up (which takes time to become proficient, so be patient). Knife edges on the trem can flatten out causing the trem to set in the posts improperly, simply requiring a file to fix. Some new guitars have different trem post studs also and several issues have been reported with these such as tuning and functional issues. Older style studs are easily available though so the issue isn't a huge one. I've heard of some folks having these swapped out as part of the purchase agreement which would be recommended.


Customer Support From what I have heard Ibanez is good from the bottom to the top.


Liked about it Overall, the Jem is one of my favorite guitars. Versatility is definately a huge factor and this guitar has it. The look of the guitar is stunning, as with all other Jems and UVs IMO. My guitar has an Ibanez Lo-Pro Edge trem and the thing is a workhorse never letting me down. Monkey grip and tiger claw routings are also a definate factor adding to the already stunning wow effect this guitar brings.


Didn't like The only downside is simply tuning stability issues these guitars have as for it being a floating bridge guitar. This is not a huge factor at all once you are comfortable with the instrument and know how to setup and maintain the piece of art. Nothing good comes without work. Believe me, what little work is needed for this guitar pays dividends when you play this work of art.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By THE UNIVERSAL ON
Nov 24, 2009
 
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The best guitar ever. WORTH EVERY PENNY fine craft featured

Sound Let the sound sample speak for itself this was played through riffworks guitar software.to let you know i tried to show the versatility of this guitar from metal to blues to steve vai stuff lol.

jem7v2.mp3



Action, Fit, & Finish Action fit and finish well to say the least this is the guitar all others are judged on in this way. The quality in the inlay and the beautifull gold hardware with the whit pearl pickguard and covers its a masterpiece.the guitar is built extremely well and the monkey grip and lions paw are jaw breaking.this is the one you want.The playability of this guitar is amazing and every little not just sings out , some thing you wouldnt even hear on another guitar.


Reliability & Durability as far as reliability i just have to say its a japanese ibanez what can go wrong they last forever.The guita rarely goes out of tune and while the others are tuning you are jamming out.The woods on these guitars are of the highest quality and wont be any issues down the road.


Customer Support with an ibanez you really dont need customer support , other than learning to use the floydrose. but on the ibanez website there is a diagram and explanation on how to set it up, change strings, even wiring diagrams.


Liked about it i love everything about this guitar even the new edgepro bridge.
i love the uniquness of the body with the grip and lions claw you cant mistake a jem for anything else anywhere.
i also have to say this is the best playing guitar in the world , proven to me time and time again .ive had almost every high end guitar out there.


Didn't like i wish ibanez would try some new color combination on these jems like in the 80s era.
i wish they still had some jems with maplke fretboards i love the looks so much their gorgeous.
i also think they shouldnt play with the bridges so much the older edgelopro and edge where in my opinion way more appealing to the eye and seemed to be way more stable with the locking trem posts and all.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By andrewsfury
Oct 27, 2009
 
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My dream guitar featured

Sound The range of sounds I'm able to get from this guitar is truly staggering. Both the neck & bridge pickups split & shared with the middle can product warm, rich or punchy blues tones, and the bridge pickup alone gives you crystal clear bright sounds when on a clean tone, and paired with a distorted tone is going to blow you out of the water.

I really like the Evolution pickups. In two words? They sing. The harmonic overtones are better than anything else I've played. These probably are the hottest pickups I've ever experienced, and it did take a little while to get used to them. Clean playing was a little challenge at first since every nuance from your fingers gets translated so well. If anything, though, that will just force you to become a better player. ;-)

When I brought this guitar home I didn't put it down for four hours. It was like buying a piece of heaven. I play everything from 70s & 80s rock, to metal, to blues, and funk. There isn't any style of music that this beast can't handle, as long as you know how to dial in tones with the rest of your equipment. You may have to compensate for how hot the pickups are (can you believe they're passive?) but it isn't tough to design very nice sounds when using this guitar. Do NOT listen to anyone that would tell you this is a "metal or heavy rock only" guitar.


Action, Fit, & Finish The action? Guitar Center was able to set this guitar up very nicely for me with very low action. Not a buzzing fret anywhere to be found, and I can play fast with much ease.

The fit & finish? Flawless, beautiful, pure eye candy. What can be better than all gold hardware? The tree of life vine inlay is gorgeous. The guitar is so well built! The guitar stays in perfect tune through dive bombs with the trem as well as pulling up as far as you can go.

The neck just "feels right" in my hands. And the shape of the body has the perfect comfortable contour.


Liked about it I love the amazing tone, the look, and the quality of the JEM7V. It was worth the money.


Didn't like It was a bit pricey.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By PortlandAxe
Oct 24, 2009
 
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Sake of owning a Vai's Signature. featured

Sound I love the EVOs! The bridge pup really screams and makes harmonics really easy to nail. The neck pup sounds fantastic, both distored and clean. What a wonderful guitar. The middle pup by itself seems a little lacking, but when used in the 2 & 4 positions, it matches the split humbuckers well for blues sounds.


Action, Fit, & Finish No major problems with this guitar from the factory setup (meaning there was nothing i couldnt do myself--nothin i had to take to a shop to get fixed)action was a TINY bit too high but this category is subjective anyway...what is perfect action? they did a crappy job with intonation...had to rework that a good bit but now it is perfectly intonated and stays that way. (BTW--i have never seen a floating style setup that stays in tune as well as this guitar has--you could walk around the house holding it by the whammy bar and beat it against the walls and it stays in tune......dont do that though!!!) anyway--gotta deduct points for the setup.


Reliability & Durability I've used this guitar for almost every gig I've played in the past five years or so and have had no problems, other then putting a few dings in the finish. The hardware seems reasonably sturdy, though I've had to clean and tighten up the pots and selector switch a couple times and gold will eventually wear off of any parts, especially the bridge. Fortunately, I could care less about that, since it's half gone already.


Customer Support Ibanez is a real slow company. I contacted Ibanez once and got a run around. It took me 3 months just to get my spare LockNut.


Liked about it JEM cannot be compared with any other guitar as it has its own personality.
Great sound, dont try playing it clean, but yeah fantastic guitar.
Plays like a dream.




Didn't like I never was a fan of white, but they didn't make the 7v in any other colour the year I bought it. I will not let the colour of the guitar persuade me into giving the guitar the rating it deserves, besides, it really grew on me anyway.
Ibanez are overpriced.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By Zepp3lin
Aug 06, 2009
 
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Great Guitar! featured

Sound I've played various guitars over the years and Ibanez have always felt the best for me and i own 5 different models including the Jem 7vwh. The sound on this guitar is very versatile, starting with the bridge pick up selector it really suits any metal tone you are going for (depending on which distortion pedals you use of course, but it certainly wont be the guitar that would cause a problem with your sound set up if you are aiming for a specific sound). I never use the middle pick up selector but on the neck pick up position you can get some really nice warm clean sounds, i find the top pick up a little too loud though which is a shame as it gives a great warm sound but why does it have to be so loud! so because of this i tend to use the position below (if changing during songs, if not then choosing top pick up option isnt so much of an issue).



Action, Fit, & Finish I got mine via internet with factory set up so of course had to make some minor tweaks with intonation, action and the floating trem was way off angle so i had to adjust the springs tightness to allign the bridge in line with the body. Finish of the guitar and craftmanship is stunning you really can see the difference. The feel of the neck is very nice, guitar neck is so smooth and the strings bend so gracefully on the frets.


Reliability & Durability Reliability, well mine is almost 3yrs old and no issues so far, i must admit i'm very carful with it and it doesnt leave the house so I cant comment on how well it would survive under gigging/touring circumstances but it does feel a solid guitar and built very well.


Customer Support Not had to deal with them yet.


Liked about it I'd say my favorite thing about this guitar is the neck, it feels wonderful to play and the vine inlay is a nice bit of work. The low pro trem responds well and keeps in tune. Lookwise its a love or hate, i do really like the blingy look to it but i totally understand why people would not like it. I wouldnt feel comfy playing it on stage though as it is very flashy and you are setting yourself up to be an amazing player, so if you are then thats ok, but if your not, then I think even one note missed would give that one person in the audience the chance he's been waiting for to mock you lol. Outside guitar geekdom i dont think you need to worry about 'oh he has a vai guitar' as 99% of people would never know.


Didn't like Just the top pick up being so loud, besides that i dont have any bad issues with this guitar, it's just pretty much perfect...pricey though!


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By richard1973
Aug 05, 2009
 
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Good Guitar but not for everyone featured

Sound I know this is Jemsite but I have to write a somewhat negative review of this guitar. I've played a few different Jem7V's over the years as my love for Steve Vai has waxed and waned and I always come back to the same complaints about it, but I'll start with what I like about it. It is a pimp guitar with it's white finish and gold hardware/highlights. The very cool vine inlays, lion's claw and monkey grip turn heads. Tonally speaking, it's bright and articulate on all settings. The 5 way selector allows for a lot of options. I don't use the middle pick-up on it's own very much, but positions 2 and 4 offer some nice strat-like tones. The Evos are a bit too hot to really nail that vintage strat sound, but with the volume turned down, it can get close. I've found the pickups excell with heavily processed sounds but was not a big fan of their tone when going straight into a clean Fender Blues Jr. I like to be able to keep tones simple, so the character of these pickups was a bit disappointing to me. To each their own. For hi-gain, this guitar really does just about anything you want. It can get as heavy as you need it to be without getting muddy. It's also bright when you want to cut through the mix on solos. It's a good sounding guitar and has great aesthetic appeal; the biggest complaint I have is the feel of the neck. It plays like a brick to me and I've never felt comfortable with it despite several concerted and expensive efforts. The flat radius and wide string spacing are great for shredding, making it easy to do fast alternate picking runs and sweep arpeggios but the neck is so wide to me that I felt like I could never really dig in and grab a note on a bend. This is my personal experience, but I felt like the neck was a little too wide and too thin for my tastes. Steve's got huge hands so it probably isn't an issue for him, but I found the JS and even some other RGs to be much more comfortable. Sounds great but the feel isn't for me.


Action, Fit, & Finish The new one I had was set up reasonably well at Guitar Center. The intonation wasn't perfect, but it wasn't terrible either. There was nothing flawed with it and all the alignments/routes/etc. were correct. The other Jems have all been used.


Reliability & Durability I never had problems with any of my Jems. Yes, the white would dirty up a little if I didn't clean it after a gig or something, but they were durable and never gave me problems. I didn't take it out too much anyway because it was too nice/expensive for me to want to worry about messing it up. I would bring back-ups to gigs simply because of the floating trem, but other than breaking a string, I wouldn't have any worries.


Customer Support Never dealt with Ibanez.


Liked about it 1. Stunning looks, you will have the best dressed guitar wherever you go.
2. Pretty versatile tone options with all the different pickup configurations and very good with processed guitar signals.
3. High quality and well made instrument. Good durability and very reliable.


Didn't like 1. Feel of the neck was something I tried very hard to like over a long period of time. It' not for me.
2. I know I put stunning looks under the likes, but sometimes it's a bit too flashy and screams Vai-fanboy.
3. Expensive.


Overall satisfaction:
 
3.0

By smooth55
Aug 04, 2009
 
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A must in everyone´s collection featured

Sound I used it through a Marshall JCM900 half stack and a tubescreamer Dx. Although the sound of this guitar is known by everybody it is amazing how different it sounds than the basswood bodied jems. The bridge EVO provides high output for heavy-metal style soloing, lots of harmonics and a very articulated sound that makes easier fluid legato and tapping phrases. The neck EVO suits better alternate and sweep picking techniques with a very deep and smooth sound. In the 2 and 4 positions this jem sounds more Strato than the other jems due to its alder body. To my ears the change from ebony to rosewood fretboard makes it sound clearer but thinner.


Action, Fit, & Finish This guitar was bought new from Ibanez Rules, so the set up was amazing (including the locking stud mod). For this reason the new factory set-up can?t be eventuated. The neck feels very straight and the strings are very close to the frets without buzzing with a very smooth touch. The AANJ is an advantage that other brands or models can?t compete with. Having tried older VWH models these newer one seems to be more fragile constructed than the olders. The edge-pro bridge has a different flutter sound and it?s stiffer than the edge or lo-pro edge bridges but it is not a reason to blame this guitar for.


Reliability & Durability The high end Ibanez guitars are made for life. Having played it during 3 years (at home, rehearsals and some gigs) it is still perfect.


Customer Support Never needed but here in Spain is very bad reported.


Liked about it - Smooth neck feeling
- Very rich sound
- Versatile


Didn't like - Seem to be fragile than older Jems
- Ebony fretboard preferred
- Lo-pro edge preferred
- Price increase

To sum up: If you can buy an older one jump on it but if you have a 2003 or newer model enjoy it also and don?t blame on it for not being an ebony or edge pro loaded axe.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By vy100
Aug 04, 2009
 
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The perfect guitar

Sound I have a 1998 model that I bought myself as a college graduation present. This has been my main axe ever since I got it... 14 years now.

I'd describe the sound of this guitar as "in your face", but in a very good way. The combination of the alder body (a brighter wood) with the ebony board (which adds more "pop" than rosewood) and the hot evolution pickups makes for a unique tone that really rides above the mix.

The pickup switching options also allow you to really pull it back with the single coil and split positions when the situation calls for it. In my power trio I have a drummer who's been playing for over 35 years in countless bands around the world. Let's just say every time I decide to play this guitar he smiles a little bigger and hits the drums a little harder :)


Action, Fit, & Finish I bought this guitar brand new in 1998. When I got it I was very pleased with the setup. I couldn't find a single manufacturing concern with it. I opened the case and laid eyes on the most well-built guitar I had ever seen and was able to plug it in and start rockin' immediately. Ibanez knocked it out of the park with this one.


Reliability & Durability I've played dozens of gigs with this guitar and it's been a regular at rehearsals for the last 14 years. About 18 months ago I finally started to notice some significant fret-wear. To this day the fret-wear isn't affecting the guitar's playability so I haven't opted to have it re-fretted yet. I would consider that normal (likely above average) wear, given how much I've played this guitar.

I have no complaints about this beauty's durability and/or reliability. I've never had any wiring issues with it, the gold hardware is showing minimal wear after all this time... and I've only managed to put one small dink in it near the jack. I do wipe it down after each use to keep it in good shape... a must if you like your Ibanez hardware :)


Customer Support I've never had to contact Ibanez customer support about this guitar, but I've had a dialogue or two with them over the years. Mostly just general questions. They've always been prompt to reply and given me the information I needed. Great company.


Liked about it 1) The feel... I just love the neck profile on this one and the AANJ. I also prefer the lo pro trem myself because it's got a great range, but it's not intrusive at all (comfy to rest my wrist on).
2) The sound... killer tones and just about any sound you can dream of is possible with this guitar.
3) The reliability... 14 years and still kickin'. Most people can't believe mine is a 1998 model... it pays to take care of your jems :)


Didn't like There is honestly nothing I dislike about this guitar. In my opinion, this is what every other guitar should aspire to become :)


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By djrjems
Jul 07, 2012
 
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My Dream guitar come to life!!!!!

Sound This guitar is designed to shred and that's exactly what it does. The Evolution pickups are nice and full with a bit of a midrange boost to make them scream. I play this guitar through a B-52 AT-100 Head and Marshall cab. The clean tone from this guitar is rich and full. Turning on the high gain distortion channel really makes it do what it was designed to do. The tremolo is the best in the business. The gold hardware looks stunning against the white paint and the inlay work is flawless.

My guitar is a 2010 model and seems to have a thinner neck than other JEM's I've played. The finish on the neck is smooth and fast.

The Jem's are a bit expensive, but IMO it was well worth it.


Action, Fit, & Finish I got mine new in a box and the box wasn't even opened yet when I went into the store. The action was a bit high to my taste when I got the guitar, but a little tweak on each post and I was able to get it right where I like it. All in all, the factory setup wasn't bad at all.


Reliability & Durability This guitar feels like it would last for a long time. It's definitely going to be my main player, but not the only guitar I take to a gig. I never would only take 1 guitar with me due to the fact that you're opening yourself up to Murphy's law by doing that.


Liked about it The inlays
Evolution pickups
Neck feel
Oh, heck, just about everything.


Didn't like Would be nice to have more color options.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By navybass
Apr 09, 2011
 
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Truly amazing - though I expected more...

Sound Don't buy this guitar if you want to sound like Vai. You'll never acheive the same sound... ever. That's not to say that the Jem isn't incredibly versatile. I use it for anything - I mean ANYTHING. As does Vai. The DiMarzio Evo pickups are possibly my favourite pickups out there, and this has three of them.

I've compared the Jem's sound to a Squier's sound through a crappy little Fender amp. The difference, as you'd expect, was mind blowing. I didn't really know what to expect actually. It really did impress me though.


Action, Fit, & Finish Very poor. I don't know if it was set up by the factory or the store, but the trem wasn't set right and it wouldn't stay in tune. I've sorted it out now, but I was sort of upset that my £1500 guitar wasn't ready for me to play after buying it.

The guitar is beautiful - my favourite guitar ever. Vai is my favourite guitarist too. But that's the problem. I feel that the guitar is priced not because it is a quality guitar, but because Vai endorses it. I'm not saying it's only worth about £500, I'm just saying that £1,200 is more reasonable than £2,200.


Reliability & Durability Never broken in any way at all.


Customer Support Never dealt with Ibanez. I'd hope that they'd give me the time of day though, considering how much I spent!


Liked about it Sound - I've talked about the sound. It's world class. Unrivalled.

Looks - Just a stunning guitar.

Neck - The neck of the guitar is really thin and I love playing on it. Other guitars I've used are very cumbersome and difficult to get your hands around to form tricky chords, but the Jem is just so easy to play.


Didn't like The volume/tone knobs - Very stiff. Not easy for volume swelling, even after lubricating it. I think that's why Vai has chagned the volume knob on his Jems, because the stock ones are crap.

It's Vai's guitar! - This guitar isn't mine. I own it, sure, but I will always feel like I shouldn't be playing it. The dimensions on the guitar are built for Vai's hands (Monkey grip, higher fret access etc.). I'd prefer to have another guitar that wasn't built for someone else.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.0

By TheYoungGuitaris
Feb 21, 2010
 
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Get one of these, with an ebony neck :)

Sound The sound of this guitar is pretty much spot on what I'm looking for as a metal guitar. The harmonics are great, the treble and mids cut pretty well and the bottom end isn't over pronounced and tight. The original evo pick-ups are great and provide me with a very dynamic setup, the amount of sounds you can conjure up from them is versatile.


Action, Fit, & Finish This is amongst the best I've ever played in relation to finish, action and feel. The ebony board (02 model) on the guitar is spot on, there isn't much better out there. Only my seriously tightly bound rosewood VSBL slightly edges it out, otherwise my hands feel totally at home with this guitar, I couldn't ask for more. The dimensions of every aspect of the guitar are well thought out, fast and allow you the access to play where you need to play at devastating speed.


Reliability & Durability So far this guitar has taken a bit of a pounding but has come up trumps. The previous owner didn't exactly take massively good care of it but since I've had the instrument (about 4 years) I've taken care of it and it has lasted very well indeed, including being taken apart twice. The pickups and the term have mild tarnishing due to it actually being played, but all the electrics are sounds, the frets are still in good condition and the board is the best you can get.


Customer Support Never dealt with Ibanez so far, can't comment.


Liked about it What isn't to like. The guitar has high spec hardware, is manufactured to a high level and has the best feel I've ever played in a guitar. The look is a bit "posh bathroom" feel, but don't let that put you off, this is a beautiful instrument and more importantly, brilliant in feel and sound.


Didn't like When they moved to a rosewood board, just not the same! :)
Not a major dislike, but I'd buy another one of these guitars in a heartbeat (and have considered it)


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By D1m3b4g2
Nov 05, 2009
 
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well made and worth it

Sound I was able to get a nice variety of tones out of the Jem. The 5 position pickup selector really gives a lot of options. I wouldn't use this in a country band, but for rock/metal it is fantastic. I think with it being a signature guitar of a well know hard rock musician it would not find it's way to a larger spectrum of players, but I used it exclusively in a pop rock band for 2 years.


Action, Fit, & Finish This guitar came to me flawless. It was well setup by the retailer I've not had to adjust it since I've gotten it.


Reliability & Durability Perfectly ereliable. I never gig without a backup, but with that being said, I never even broke a string live with this guitar, and I yank on the whammy bar quite a bit.


Customer Support I've not had to deal with Ibanez at all.


Liked about it Craftsmanship was flawless on this guitar, the finish, while white, the gold hardware match with black is a great looking guitar. This one of the few floating bridge guitars that will not go out of tune


Didn't like The only thing I would like to see possible on the guitar is to split the humbuckers without being in postition 2 or 4. Sometimes a single coil in the bridge or the neck would be nice.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By torgeot
Oct 09, 2009
 
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most have.

Sound well i guess not alot to add if you read all reviews but anyway,i love the variety of sound out of this baby,evry switch position sounds very cool ,you can can a very fat or brigth sound if you like, got pretty good
sustain not as the 77GMC but still good, well ,when i need a strat vintage sound i'm swithing to the 2ed or 4th position and lower the volume down, and there ya go an ibanez made vintage sound,i play vai styl satriani and some classic rock you can go rong with that one,im using a yamaha dg-112 amp 5 differant boss pedals and o.9
gauge strings.


Action, Fit, & Finish well what can i say that was the first jem that i got, and it was a love from a first site:), graet color combo white and gold hardwear just perfect,the lion claw at the edge of the bridge and the monkey grip gives you a feel you'r in a zoo,the pickgurd and the vine inly jus stuninig,can't say more you'll do the rest.


Reliability & Durability i have it for 8 years no issues so far.


Customer Support did't had too.


Liked about it neck, sound ,looks.


Didn't like like it all.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By SHAIBANEZ
Sep 02, 2009
 
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The Flagship Jem a 2010 version

Sound Surprisingly versatile and more than capable of different tones, more than just a rock/shred guitar. The middle single coil is very nice, with the split positions being very versatile. The 4th position with the neck and middle being one of my favourite clean tones I've heard. The volume and tone controls can be tweaked for pretty much any tone you could want using the right amplifier and settings.

It especially excels at searing smooth sustained leads and crunchy rhythms. The bridge Evo being good for hard rock and metal chunk. It surprised me how nice a clean tone you could get quite bright and punchy. When I tested it through a Blackstar HT-40 at the store, sadly the overdrive section didn't sound so good (fizz city)

The original Edge also stays in tune brilliantly.


Action, Fit, & Finish I believe it was the stores setup, as the guitar was returned by the first owner, it may have not been factory spec but I suspect the stores tech followed it fairly closely.

The studs weren't locked down and the claw screws were screwed to the point of being so damaged the bass sides head was almost gone. Luckily I managed to remove it.

The bridge also wasn't perfectly level (the Edge's work best when set perfectly). The action wasn't too high, very low and fast what you would expect from an Ibanez Jem. I raised this to my preferences along with the string gauge.

Pullup's were also limited due to the level of the bridge pickup height they were way too high. The notes would choke long before the bridge reached its limit, not being perfectly leveled also stopped the full range.

I also liked how similar it felt to a 7vsbl I played that was ten years old and it was very consistent.

The neck is also amazing and suits me to a tee far more than the 02 RG 550 neck as nice as that was.


Reliability & Durability


Customer Support Havent needed to contact Ibanez and the store were very good with warrenty etc


Liked about it The original Edge although it now has cosmo trimmings much like Evo...

The pickups especially the split position 4 it's my favourite

The Inlays are also a very nice touch with the different types of shell used to a well balanced effect


Didn't like The Gold hardware it does deteriorate fairly rapidly (although the clear nail varnish tip mentioned above would be handy)

The stock string gauge Vai himself uses 9-42 so perhaps the Jem should, then again it's never been a full signature guitar down tho the minute details of Steve's guitars.

The board isn't as dark as some I've seen hopefully after a while with conditioning and playing it will darken to a nice almost Ebony shade...

The bridge setup really had to put some effort to get the full range of pullup would be offputting to newcomers to the floating bridge.


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By ozzuk
Jul 30, 2012
 
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stunning guitar

Sound this guitar smokes I've owned lots of high end guitars and this 7vwh is unreal,evolutions and alder wood is a fantastic combination.


Action, Fit, & Finish i bought the guitar second hand so cant comment on factory set up


Reliability & Durability the gold wares off the hardware which sucks and doesn't look good.i used clear nail varnish to prevent gold coming off and it worked a treat.


Customer Support no comment here.never dealt with c/s


Liked about it everything. this was the best guitar I've ever played beautiful guitar stunning tone.


Didn't like the only bad thing about this 7vwh is the neck,i had to sell my 7vwh cos the neck caused cramp in my wrist.you need big hands for this guitar.


Overall satisfaction:
 
4.5

By DUCK YOU SUCKERS
Jun 08, 2011
 
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A very versatile guitar...The Jem7V

Sound The Ibanez Jem&V is a very complete guitar, is a combination of the best all the worlds, I have two of them, and always go with me to everywhere. I use this guitar in combination with a Vox Tonelab LE pedal and the sound is heavenly, has a very clear and clean sound when used in "clean" and has a sound loaded when I need more strength and character, solid sound, but clean. My style of music is hard rock and some ballads so it is very useful without having to change guitars, A very versatile guitar.

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Action, Fit, & Finish I've tried them all, from new to used, and I have not really had to make many changes. The guitar was made for me ... lol


Reliability & Durability long, long live to the Queen...Jem!


Customer Support Have not used.


Liked about it The weight, the body, the arm width, the sustain...she got the look!


Didn't like having to tune the guitar...


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By rcassoc
Jul 24, 2010
 
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Slick Guitar!

Sound Sound was amazing the evo pickups is just right for this guitar, powerful and defined. It's not noisy even with a Hi-Gain Distorion. Worth every penny!


Action, Fit, & Finish The action is ok when i got it, but i have a habit of bringing my new guitars to my luthier as soon as possible so that he could set it up to my liking.

What more can i say?

This guitar is perfect for shred, funk, ballad and metal.


Reliability & Durability Built like a tank


Customer Support NO idea


Liked about it Inlay
Feel
Sound


Didn't like Fading Gold Hardware (for a guitar this expensive they should think of a way so that the gold hardware will remain gold for a long time)


Overall satisfaction:
 
5.0

By j3yps
Oct 09, 2009
 
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