Ibanez JEM 7BSB
The JEM series guitars, despite their very peculiar look, never went out of fashion. They have become a standard, a classic. And particularly the JEM 7BSB (Burnt Stained Blue) is veeeery unique! The body has been burnt with a torch! So it looks like these Jem 7BSBs have been rescued by miracle from a fire at Ibanez factory!
The thing that makes me crazy happy about this guitar is that, apart from looking very modern and aggressive (in a word: COOL!), it sounds extremely good and the craftmanship and quality of components is on top levels!
I believe that Steve Vai and people at Ibanez could never imagine that the torch-burning process would not only make the guitar look cool, but also improve the sonic response of the wood. If you have the chance to play a 7BSB, play it unplugged and you'll understand what i mean. This guitar really vibrates and "breathes"!
It's with a lot of joy that i discovered that there is a whole site dedicated to this fantastic guitar! Please click on the banner below and give a look at it!
OK, now some words about how the Jem 7BSB feels like when you play it! The guitar is quite light and gives the feeling of being very compact. For this reason this guitar is a very handy and playable instrument. This last consideration might seem silly, but i know too many guitar players owning huge collections of 6 string Ferraris who at last choose to play cheapest guitars for 99% of their time! The Jem 7BSB is not like that. It's a top class instrument that fits to your body and to your fingers and it's a joy to play!
The fingerboard is completely flat so that you can bend strings as much as you want and the sound won't die. The frets are jumbo sized.
The neck is not too thick and not too thin: it's just right. I previously owned another Ibanez (Pro 540 Power), another Satriani/Vai style guitar, who had an extremely thin neck but i think that the sound and the sustain suffered.
The Floyd-Rose patented bridge is fabulous. After 5 years of use there's not any sign of rust or consumption and, most important than anything else for a floating bridge, the guitar stays in tune even after you torture the whammy bar! If you make intense use of the whammy you'd love this guitar. You can play Steve Vai, Jeff Beck, Jimi Hendrix and Van Halen whammy tricks like a breeze (...i mean: the guitar allows you to do it, if you can!).
The pickups are Di Marzio Evolution specially designed by Steve Vai and give a loud, brilliant response. The humbucker on the bridge screams like hell but has a very good "bottom" too. The other humbucker on the neck is so warm! And it really impresses me because the notes sound very distinct even when you play with a lot of distortion. Last, the single-coil in the middle has a much lower output, and if it was not enough, Steve likes to set it very low (far from the strings). It sounds very crisp and brilliant and really invites you to strum heavily when you play chords. The pickup selector is a typical 5-position and all combinations sound great!