NAMM 2020: Ibanez releases striking Steve Vai PIA signature
A more modern version of the JEM?
NAMM 2020: The rumours were true – Steve Vai is getting a new Ibanez signature guitar, and it’s not a JEM.
The Paradise In Art (PIA) guitar takes the most iconic elements of the shredder’s JEM model and amps them up into an S-style electric perfect for modern players in 2020. It has ‘softer’ curves, an alder body, five-piece maple and walnut neck, and a rosewood fretboard into which a kaleidoscopic floral inlay is set. Perhaps the most significant departure from the JEM is the ‘Petal Grip’ that replaces Vai’s original ‘Monkey Grip’.
On the electronics side, the PIA instruments are loaded with the new DiMarzio UtoPIA HSH pickup set – the humbuckers are ceramic based while the single-coil is alnico based.
Gold hardware, including a Prestige Edge tremolo bridge, keeps things suitably flashy, as do the four vivid finishes the PIA comes in: Panther Pink, Sun Dew Gold, Stallion White and Envy Green.
Watch Vai demo the guitar here:
The PIA first made its rounds on the internet earlier this month, when images of the guitar were posted to the Ibanez RG Fans Facebook group.
We spoke to Vai a few months ago on the evolution of the JEM. He told Guitar.com: “[The JEM] has never really gone through any significant changes with the exception of the aesthetics, meaning the colour, and perhaps various pickups and slight neck alterations.
“Having said that, there are some surprises in the near future regarding the JEM that I think the fans of that instrument will be very thrilled about.”
The PIA lists for $4,666.65. More information at ibanez.com.
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