Jem77FP plastic inlays
Paper or plastic, sir? No thanks, I'd like to take my groceries home in an abalone bag please with mother of pearl handles. Seriously, the wacky color schemes of Vai's earlier guitars were only going to be available in a plastic or paper with an overlay. If we want to pick on "bang for the buck" I would rather focus on the amount of clear filler that they end up using. The inlays could be a lot cleaner, and I don't like that the clear filler is so deep. A shallower inlay with less of a clear swimming pool on top of it would look better to me. But colored plastic or paper is really the only good way to get the neons he wanted. The issue of using a solid color plastic inlay rather than a clear covered one is possibly related to the fact that when sanding the fretboard at the factory, the plastic dust can get smashed into the fretboard. If it's maple, you'll see it. But plastic doesn't suck. Sucking would be if the inlays were done poorly so they broke loose and fell out of the fretboard, or if they were off center of the neck. You know, things like that. The materials chosen are just that, materials chosen for the job at hand.