JEM & UV Trivia ~ Facts


JEM & Universe Miscellaneous Facts

All-Access Neck Joint - is only found on these models: JEM10, JEM7BSB, JEM7VW, JEM90HAM & JEM555. These guitars have better access to the upper frets and no neck plate. The all-access-neck is excellent!
JEM Neck - All JEMs have the JEM neck (Thickness: 19mm @ fret 1 & 21mm @ fret 12; Width: 43mm @ fret 1 & 57mm @ fret 21), except the JEM7P and JEM777VDY which have the thinner & narrower Wizard neck (Thickness: 17mm @ fret 1 & 20mm @ fret 12; Width: 43mm @ fret 1 & 57mm @ fret 21).
Universe Neck - The Universe neck is 5mm wider than the JEM neck at fret 1. (Thickness: 20mm @ fret 1 & 21.5mm @ fret 12; Width: 48mm @ fret 1 & 65mm @ fret 21).
Scalloped Frets - All JEMs have scalloped frets 21-24 except the JEM7BSB, JEM10 and JEM555.
Neck Plate - JEM/UVs with a neck plate have a serial number engraved on the neck plate. The first two digits represent the year of production. JEMs with the All-Access-Neck do not have neck plates with serial numbers.
JEM Headstock - All JEM guitars have the word JEM in script capital letters on the headstock, except the JEM10, which has Ibanez, a vine and a 777-Pyramid engraved. Prior to 1/97 the 555s had "JEM Jr." written on them which is sad.
Truss Rod Covers - All JEM/UVs have a truss rod cover plate except the JEM10.
JEM Vine - The "Tree of Life" vine inlay has a stem with colored plastic leafs. The JEM7VWH adds abalone inlays for the smaller leafs. The JEM10 has adds abalone for it's larger leafs, of course. The 555 vine stops at the 12th fret unfortunately.
Universe Vine - No Universe guitar has been produced yet with a Tree of Life vine inlay.
Disappearing Pyramids - The "Disappearing Pyramid" Inlays are large at fret 1 and shrink as they go up the neck.
Disappearing Pyramid Colors - The "Disappearing Pyramid" Inlays come in three color schemes:
  1. Green/Yellow pyramids disappearing to Pink
  2. Purple/Green pyramids disappearing to Pink (JEM77PMC only)
  3. White "Mother of Pearl" pyramid at fret 1 with "Abalone" Green added to successive pyramids, then disappearing again to all White "Mother of Pearl". (white -> white/green -> white). Note - that these are NOT plain plastic inlays. These are only found on the JEM7P and UV7PWH
Fretboard Side Markers - All JEM/UVs have black or white plastic dot inlays on the side of the neck, except the JEM10 where the side dots are abalone.
UV String Gauges - Universe guitars ship with string gauges .009 .011 .016 .024 .032 .042 .053, which is similar to a standard .009-.042 set with an additional .053 for the Low B-string. I use .054 for the B-string because you can buy them by the dozen cheaply from Musicians Friend.
JEM Single Coil Pickup - The Ibanez JEM single coil pickup is described by DiMarzio as "the equivalent of the (DiMarzio) HS-2 wired in single coil mode, with better noice cancelling properties"
Monkey Grip - All JEM guitars all have a "Monkey-Grip" handle on the body. This comes in two sizes. The larger monkey grip (found on the JEM7P and 7RB) are from Vai's early days. These are placed further forward on the body and have no finger indentations. The standard monkey grip has finger serration's and is smaller.
Floral Pattern - The JEM77FP contains an actual cloth. The fabric used for the pattern is bonded to the body, painted over black on the edges and then fully clear coated. It comes in several varieties: three body, three headstock and three rear-body floral patterns exist for 27 possible combos. Jim McCloskey of Ibanez has confirmed this. He also points out that an actual fabric has been used for every JEM77FP made.
Blue Floral Pattern - Ibanez also says that the Blue Floral Pattern (JEM7BFP) does not contain a fabric, rather "it's a slightly out of focus photo, laminated & bursted over."
Metal Knobs - The JEM10 is the only JEMs with metal volume and tone knobs. All others are plastic and say Volume and Tone with numbers 1-10 on them.
Plastic Covered Pickups - 1997 JEMs do not come new with the plastic cover on the pickup (that was to be removed before playing).
JEM Case - The JEM/UV case has a combo lock on the outside along with the words Ibanez in pink lettering. It has a large compartment on the inside. The pink lining used since '86 has been changed to burgundy for '97.
Lefty Models - no left handed JEM/UV guitars have been made, nor have any reverse headstock models been made... Until now. A JEM555 lefty model has been released JEM555LWH... ugh!
Lucky 13 - there have been 13 JEM 7 Series guitar models... let's hope for more.
Multi Color Pickups? - One JEM and one UV have multicolor pickups: the JEM77GMC (green/black) and the UV777LNG (green/yellow).
Universe '88? - Software is not the only product that takes a long time to develop correctly and undergoes constant delays. The Universe took two and a half years from conception to completion Parts development for the Universe took 18 months.
Two Universe tremolos - There are some Universes out there with the old style Ibanez "Edge" tremolo systems. They're 7 string versions of the tremolo you'd find on a JEM built thru 1990.
JEM 10 Certificate - The JEM10 ships with a certificate hand signed and dated by Steve Vai with the JEM10 production #. He used a thick permanent marker. High numbered JEM10's did not have the number and date written by Vai, rather had them written in pen by someone at Ibanez. Vai must have signed all the certificates in the summer of '96 and numbered & dates those that were finished. See the JEM10 Gallery for a picture of my certificate for JEM#128 with Vai's sigs. I've been told that Ibanez shipped a few JEM10s (gasp) without the certificate.
More Reasons to Hate Prince - According to GKS, Vai gave the White UV pictured in the PAW CD to Prince ("The Artist") at a G3 show in Mineapolis on 11/96. Hey Steve, if ya' have another white UV to give to a subpar guitarist, I'll take one!
7-string JEM? - The original black UV that Vai photographed with has "JEM" written on the headstock instead of "Universe". This UV was used in promo photos for a guitar magzine contest & Vai was shown with it often. All shipping UVs have "Universe" on the headstock.
JEM 10 Case - Later numbered JEM10s going to the USA have their JEM10 plaque screwed onto the case, instead of riveted/glued on. No biggie, but the removable plaque is cool to get signed at G3 shows!