Fender Telecaster: The longest-running production models ever

The fender Telecaster is the longest-running solid electric guitar still in production. And not only the longest-running guitar but also the longest-running production item ever. The Telecaster is a brilliantly simple piece of design which works as well today as it did when it was introduced in 1951.

The Telecaster was fender’s original Broadcaster electric.  the company was forced to change it when Gretsch claimed prior rights to the name.  But Leo fender and is small workforce in Fullerton, California must have been delighted with the new Telecaster name, is thoroughly modern reference to the emerging medium of television just right for an equally innovative device like the Telecaster, the first commercially marketed solid electric guitar.


The Telecaster usually referred to as ‘Tele” is known for its bright, cutting tone, and straightforward, no-nonsense operation.  The guitar has been used by also sorts of players from all musical backgrounds.  The guitar is able to emulate steel guitar sounds and is used to a great extent in country music. 


The secret to the Tele’s sound centers on the bridge.  The strings pass through the body and are anchored at the back by six ferrules, giving solidity and sustain to the resulting sound.  A slanting-back pickup is incorporated into the bridge, enhancing the guitars treble tone.  The Telecaster should continue to survive due to its simplicity, effectiveness and versatility.

Some famous users of the Fender Telecaster are Keith Richard (Rolling Stones), Billy Gibbons (ZZ Top), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin) and Bruce Springsteen.


The 60th Anniversary of the Fender Stratocaster

2014: The Fender Stratocaster guitar turns 60 , and it wears it well. You see the instrument everywhere, and hardly a day goes by when you don’t hear its signature sound.

It was so essentially and remarkably right from the very start in 1954 that it has shaped popular music for 60 years virtually unchanged. A great deal of the music you love-the very soundtrack of your life-was and is made with a Stratocaster.

Jimi Hendrix performing on stage in 1967

It is the guitar behind the sound of That’ll Be the Day (the Crickets, 1957), Purple Haze (the Jimi Hendrix Experience, 1967), Smoke on the Water (Deep Purple, 1972), Pride and Joy (Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble, 1983), Even Flow (Pearl Jam, 1992), Dani California (Red Hot Chili Peppers, 2006), Get Lucky (Daft Punk, 2013) and countless other hits.

After 60 years, the Stratocaster remains a fantastic tool at heart. It delivers unmistakable sound and timeless design that have made it the first choice among players everywhere.

“I’ve moved around with many guitars and tried many different things, and I’ve always come back to the Stratocaster,” said Eric Clapton, whose long devotion to the Stratocaster began in earnest in 1970 when he used his 1956 model, ‘Brownie,’ to record his eponymous debut solo album in January of that year, and Derek and the Dominos magnum opus Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs that fall.

blackmore stratocaster

Jeff Beck attributed the ‘ultimate sounds known in the 20th century’ to the Stratocaster, and George Harrison once asserted, “You can’t beat the Strat . I don’t care what you say.”

After the introduction of the Telecaster® and Precision Bass® guitars in 1951, company founder Leo Fender turned his attention to a bold new guitar design. The instrument, designed by Leo Fender himself and named the ‘Stratocaster’ by Fender sales chief Don Randall, debuted in 1954. An extraordinary new guitar with several ingenious design innovations, the Stratocaster proceeded to revolutionize popular music as an indispensable tool of phenomenal creativity, and even transcend that role to become a cultural symbol.

After six incredibly colorful and wonderfully musical decades, the Stratocaster is beautiful, as always. It is timeless, as always. It sounds phenomenal, as always. The Stratocaster is poised for a brilliant future, as always.

4th Round Finalist! (of the Artistprolist.com’s Music Talent Competition!)

Dear Friends,

Unbelievable, what began as a joke seems to get serious.
I’ve have been selected as the 4th Round Finalist in Artistprolist.com’s Music Talent Competition!

The winner will be selected from the Top Ten Finalists based on Vocal or Musical Performance (Including song Covers) and the Originality of Performance.
So please take a look and if you live please provide me a positive comments, opinions and reviews on my Artistprolist.com music listing page! The winner will be Announced by March 14, 2014.

About the song:
As a rock guitarist, I wanted to create a song in remembranceof the 70’s. I played a funky bass riff and a new song was born. Listening to the rythm guitar I think I’ve made a good rythm track. Of course a 70’s piano and solo.
The song wouldn’t be complete if there wasn’t a guitar solo

So, please enjoy watching and listening!


Tommy Bolin – A Short Biography

Tommy Bolin

One of the most underrated guitarists (in my human opnion) is Tomy Bolin. A talented guitarist who died at the age of 25, just when his carreer appeared to be taking off.

It’s hard to listen to the music of Tommy Bolin and not wonder what could’ve been he would live today. Unfortunately on December 4 1976 died from an overdose of heroin and other substances, including alcohol, cocaine and barbbiturates. In a recording career that lasted only several years, Bolin not only touched upon several styles (blues-rock, ballads, fusion, funk, reggae, and heavy metal), but showed that he could master each one – as evidenced by his two solo albums and various recordings with the likes of Zephyr, Billy Cobham, Alphonse Mouzon, the James Gang, Deep Purple, and Moxy.

Born in Sioux City, IA, on August 1, 1951, Bolin tried the drums and piano as a youngster, but by the age of 13 began playing the guitar. It wasn’t long before he was jamming with local rock outfits, and three years later he was expelled from school for refusing to cut his long hair. Undeterred, Bolin relocated to Denver, CO, where he formed his first real band, American Standard. By the end of the ’60s, Bolin found himself in the blues-rock outfit Zephyr, led by Janis Joplin sound-alike Candy Givens.

Despite high hopes, the group was never able to translate their local success from coast to coast (despite Bolin’s talents supposedly grabbing the attention of guitarists whom Zephyr opened up for — including Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page). After a pair of albums that failed to attract a large audience, 1969’s self-titled debut and 1971’s Goin’ Back to Colorado, Bolin left Zephyr. Interested in the burgeoning jazz fusion scene (Mahavishnu Orchestra, Weather Report, Miles Davis, etc.), Bolin formed a similarly styled outfit, Energy.

But apart from live shows and demos, Energy failed to secure a recording contract. Word on Bolin’s guitar ability was beginning to spread amongst musicians, however, and Mahavishnu drummer Billy Cobham invited the young guitarist to play on his solo debut, Spectrum. Issued in 1973, the album became an instant fusion classic, as Bolin’s fiery guitar work lit up such tracks as the over-the-top “Quadrant Four,” “Stratus,” and “Red Baron.” Spectrum also proved to be an important stepping stone for other guitarists (allegedly, it inspired Jeff Beck to issue such similarly styled albums as Blow by Blow and Wired), and for Bolin’s career as well, as he would land gigs with such renowned hard rock acts as the James Gang and Deep Purple solely on the strength of his playing on the album.

Bolin was hired by the James Gang to get their career back on track; after founding guitarist Joe Walsh had left the group in 1971, the remaining members had seen their fortunes slowly fade. And while Bolin’s arrival didn’t return the group back to the top of the charts, a pair of quite underrated albums were issued, 1973’s Bang and 1974’s Miami, as the guitarist also sang lead for the first time on record. It was also around this time that Bolin adopted a flashy image on-stage – complete with feather outfits, nail polish, and multi-colored hair. Shortly after the release of his second album with the James Gang, Bolin left the band, as he’d grown discontent with their musical direction. Relocating to Los Angeles, CA, Bolin supplied guitar to another fine fusion release, Mind Transplant by ex-Weather Report drummer Alphonse Mouzon. It was also around this time that Bolin secured a solo recording contract, but a phone call from Deep Purple was just around the corner.

With the departure of Ritchie Blackmore in 1974, Deep Purple suddenly found themselves without a guitarist. When the group’s singer, David Coverdale, remembered hearing impressive guitar work on the Spectrum album, Bolin was tracked down, offered a tryout, and landed the gig with Purple immediately. As a result, Bolin was often doing double-duty in recording studios – working on both his solo debut (Teaser) in Los Angeles and his Purple debut (Come Taste the Band) in Germany. Both recordings were issued in 1975, but like the James Gang gig beforehand, Bolin’s tenure with Purple was short-lived, as they split up a year later.

It was no secret amongst his friends and fellow musicians that Bolin had developed a dangerous addiction to hard drugs throughout the early to mid-’70s, which only worsened by 1976 (so much so that some wondered if he had a death wish). Bolin continued working at a breakneck pace, however, issuing his second solo outing, Private Eyes, and also guesting on the self-titled debut by Canadian Led Zeppelin clones Moxy. Sadly, Bolin was found dead from a heroin overdose on December 4, 1976, in Miami, FL (the day after opening a show for Jeff Beck), at the age of 25.

In the years following his death, musicians continued to name-check Bolin as an influence, while a career-spanning box set saw the light of day in 1989, The Ultimate, and seven years later, a collection of rarities/outtakes, From the Archives, Vol. 1. Bolin’s brother, Johnnie Bolin, began issuing a steady stream of archival releases, via the Tommy Bolin Archives Inc. label, and launched an extensive official website in his brother’s memory, www.tbolin.com. The ’90s also saw the emergence of annual Tommy Bolin tribute concerts – featuring performances of musicians who played alongside the late guitarist 20 years earlier, as well as such classic rock acts as Black Oak Arkansas.


Reference: www.myguitarsolo.com

JamUp XT Review

JamUp XT Review

Post Image

Hallo guitar fans. This month I am presenting JamUp XT Pro iOS app developed by Positive Grid. This is not only one of the best guitar amp simulators out there in my own opinion, it is much more than that.








JamUp XT review by Daddo Oreskovich


Some time ago, with the appearance of the first iOS apps for guitarists, iPad, iPod, or iPhone were merely a tool for great practice, warm-up or hotel room jam. Android is still not even close to iOS because of its latency issue.

I remember almost two years ago when I bought my iRig audio interface. I downloaded free AmpliTube app and I was amazed with an opportunity to practice virtually anywhere without harassing my neighbors with Progressive Metal and Rock music by turning my amp and the full gear on 🙂 The sounds were decent and the app served its purpose -> to be used as a practice tool.

jamup xt pro


After I found out about JamUp, honestly, I thought this is just one of the many variations of the same thing. I was so wrong 🙂 It is not only the perfect practice tool, it is truly every guitarist’s “Swiss army knife” app. All magazines like: MacWorld, Guitar World, Guitar Player, Guitarist and Premier Guitar were reviewing the app with high appraisals, introducing the best seen symbiosis of Apple iOS and actual musical instrument.

What is JamUp? It is guitar amp and FX simulator, multi track recording device, loop/phrase sampler, guitar tuner and professional backing track player with tempo and pitch tweak possibility. What makes possible using this app live is ability of pairing with a third party MIDI controller pedals.

Amp simulators

jamup xt pro

Virtually almost every amp is emulated here; Fender, Marshall, Messa Boogie, Orange, Peavy, Laney are just to name a few. Regardless of what version of JamUp you downloaded (free or pro version), all additional amps and stomp boxes can be obtained through the “in app purchase”. There are 3 categories of amps: acoustic, electric and bass guitar amps.


Stomp boxes

jamup xt pro

There are 6 stomp box groups in JamUp:

  • nosie gate FX
  • modulation FX (chorus, flanger, wah, phaser…)
  • reverb FX
  • delay FX
  • EQ
  • Compression and overdrive/distortion group

All effects and amps can be moved in the signal chain order. For example, you can drag the Tube Screamer stomp to be the first in the signal chain, Noise Gate on the last spot, etc… like the “real-world” pedalboard. All parameters are very easy and straightforward. Just use your imagination and tailor to your taste. All settings can be configured as a “patch”. There are 4×16 patch slots including factory presets. Each slot and patch name can be renamed of course.


Jam Player

jamup xt pro

Jam player is professional grade audio file player. You can import your favorite guitar backing tracks and regulate their tempo and speed. This comes very handy if you have string lock on your guitar and the backing track is half step down for instance. Just raise the pitch parameter half step up to “1 o’clock”  and you can jam without retuning your instrument. Very cool. This is also great aid for singers. Not every male singer has a vocal range of David Coverdale or Bruce Dickinson, so backing track pitch comes very handy -> great karaoke player as well 🙂

If you are “one-man-band “, it is great to control both your guitar sound and backing track in the same app, without a need for a separate CD/Karaoke player. Both volumes (guitar and backing track) are controlled separately.


Phrase sampler

jamup xt pro

Let’s say you are on a guitar clinic or you have your guitar solo section on the gig. You can record and loop a phrase, and then play over it. You can also load a drum loop from your iPod library and jam with it and also save it for later exploit. Loop and instrument levels are controlled separately.


8-track recorder

jamup xt pro

One of the best tools in JamUp. I use it frequently when filming lessons for Live4guitar. I record video on the HD camcorder, I play backing track on iPad and record live guitar track on iPad. This eliminates dragging the computer to the best spot in my apartment for video recording.

Lets say you have your ProTools or any DAW session. You can export each track and the drums stem, and import into 8-track recorder for better control. You can also copy audio file from another app such as Garage Band as well. You can also record your guitar or bass in another app on the same iDevice using “Audio Bus” app. I briefly explain it how in the review video.

Many, many possibilities and options. This is why I claim JamUp to be the “Swiss Army Knife” music app.

Tone/Patch sharing

jamup xt pro

This is one of the unique features in JamUp. You can share your patches on-line with JamUp community. People can like or comment your patch.

I am truly honored to be chosen by Positive Grid as their featured artist. You can download and jam with my signature “Preset Pack“. More about my Preset Pack in this video:



Using JamUp live

jamup xt pro - controler

There are vast possibilities of connecting your guitar to JamUp and your iDevice to your pedal board. I am using Griffin pedal controller with JamUp. You can configure 4 different stomp switches from the app. This controller also has an expression pedal input, so you can control volume and Cry Baby wah. At the time of this writing, Positive Grid is developing emulation of Digitech Whammy so stay tuned for that one 🙂 There are many different third party external MIDI pedals that can be used with JamUp. For complete list visit www.positivegrid.com 

In the next video, I’m showing my Griffin controller and talking about my hybrid pedalboard in details.



The Verdict

I am giving JamUp 10/10 points. This is universal “guitar Swiss army knife app” for every guitarist and bassist. It can very astoundingly emulate all vintage amps and stomp effects. It can be used for making music, recording and sharing the ideas and patches. It can be used as a source of recording in other apps via “Audio Bus” app, so you can use JamUp sounds in Apple Garage Band for instance. With third party MIDI controllers, it can be used live on stage.

What else one needs? It’s all in there, in iOS app called JamUp XT.

Download free version and see it for yourself. Here is direct iTunes link:


(by Daddo Oreskovich in Reviews | 08. 06. 2013.)

Ibanez JEM 777 DY Guitar Specifications



   _DSC3193 Item: The Original JEM777DY Our Replicated JEM777DY
Finish: Desert Sun Yellow Desert Sun Yellow
Body Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Wood: Basswood Basswood
Body Construction: Bolt-on Bolt-on
Neck Wood: Maple Maple
Neck type: JEM JEM
Fretboard: Maple Maple
Inlays: 3-Color Pyramid Inlay 3-Color Pyramid Inlay
Scale Length: 25.5″ 25.5″
Frets: 24 24
Bridge: Edge High-quanlity OEM
Pickup Switching: 5-Way Selector 5-Way Selector
Controls: 1 volume, 1 tone  1 volume, 1 tone
Hardware: Black Black
Pickups: DiMarzio PAF Pro(H-S-H) Wilkinson(H-S-H) 


The Story of Steve Vai and the Ibanez JEM777

Steven Siro Vai(born June 6, 1960) is an American guitarist, songwriter and producer who has sold over 15 million albums. After starting his career as a music transcriptionist for Frank Zappa, Vai recorded and toured in Zappa’s band for two years, from 1980 to 1982. He began a solo career in 1983, has released eight solo albums and won three Grammy Awards. He has also recorded and toured withPublic Image Ltd., Alcatrazz, David Lee Roth and Whitesnake. Vai has been a regular touring member of the G3 Concert Tour G3 which began in 1995. In 1999 Vai started his own record label Favored Nations.

JEM777 is an electric guitar and first produced in 1987. It was revealed at the 1987 summer NAMM Show.The guitar’s most notable user is its co-designer, Steve Vai. So aside from being today’s #1 Rock guitarist, Steve Vai has some very definite ideas about guitar design. After carefully checking the elements that made his favorite guitars work, Steve drew all the best features together into one instrument, unique in both form and function. The features include the “Monkey Grip” handle, the “Disappearing Pyramid” inlays, lions claw and so on. For those who like to know, why they are called JEM and not SV or something like that. Joe Desagni, a friend of Steve Vai owned a company that called JEM guitars that made custom guitars. When naming this guitar, Steve Vai decided to use JEM finally.

The JEM777 was available in three different and, at the time, unique finishes and started the famous Jem-line. Of the Loch Ness Green version(LNG) was the first being produced and only available in 1987, only 777 were made (All signed by Steve Vai). The Desert Sun Yellow version(DY) was produced from 1987 until 1996. The Shocking Pink version(SK) was available from 1987 until 1989. All three have the 3 colours green, yellow and pink in it. And they all share the 3-color pyramid inlay.


Features of the JEM 777DY Guitar

1987 JEM777 in Desert Sun Yellow was made for and owned by Steve Vai- customized personal favorite guitar used on David Lee Roth “Skyscraper” tour. Steve Vai gave this away for a children’s hospital charity. On the back, it was Steve Vai’s declaration: “To a worthy cause-this is my personal favorite guitar-Skyscraper ’88- Steve Vai”

The Ibanez JEM 777 DY is beautifully made from the basswood body to the maple neck. They are in accordance with the original JEM777. Although the body is a little heavy it offers lots of resonance giving the guitar very high levels of sustain. It is a totally balanced sound. Neon color combination and look!!! The Ibanez JEM 777 DY has a yellow body and black pickguard, green knobs and pink pickups, switch and lion’s claw. It looks fantastic!


3 Color Disappearing Pyramid.



Another feature of the JEM777 is the famous lion’s claw The lion’s claw is the space under the tremolo. Although the claw itself is just cosmetic, the space under the tremolo makes it possible to pull the tremolo as much as a 5th. The original JEM777 have 2 humbuckers and 1 single coil. We have duplicated it as well. Together with the special 5-way switch, they give a beautiful tone to the guitar  when it comes to playing metal or hard rock as the pickups offer an excellent bass and treble response allowing you to get the perfect sound for those crunching, muted chords.











Thanks a lot for checking my website.

Ibanez JEM Models and Variations

Ibenez neon

JEM Anniversary

There are four sub-models of the JEM Anniversary.


The model was created for JEM’s tenth anniversary in 1997, although production started in 1996. “This sub-model of Anniversary JEM includes numbered letter of authenticity hand-signed by Steve Vai. The aluminium pickguard has an engraved vine and its JEM10 serial number. JEM10s designated for the USA have a silver tweed JEM case with outside plaque and inner silk screened protective shroud. Later numbered JEM10s going to the USA have their JEM10 plaque screwed onto the case, instead of riveted/glued on.” There are 852 JEM10 guitars around the globe (210 of them are in the United States), and each guitar has its own serial number. #1 is at Hoshino USA, #2 is at Roland (Roland/Meinl) in Germany. #3, #5, #7, and #9 went for sale in the US and JEM10 #16 was given away by Steve during G3.


HAM stands for Hoshino Anniversary Model, which was made for the 90th Anniversary of Hoshino. The specifications are similar to the JEM10 model, as both use the same type of wood, pickups, hardware and tremolos. There were exactly 72 guitars brought by Ibanez to the US of the 831 available worldwide.


The most notable aspect is the color, as Vai added his DNA (blood) to the mixture of the paint. The painter of the guitar, Darren Michaels/Darren Johansen of ATD (About Time Designs), stated on Jemsite.com, “For the record if you own a DNA you have a good amount of the “DNA”. The “blood red” paint that I mixed was mixed at a ratio  of approximately 8:1 [paint:blood] so the content is quite high. There had to be pigment mixed into the paint to hold it onto the guitar as well as a carrier. If you purchase a canvas you get a picture of myself and someone mixing [the blood] in to the color. Also a picture of the room we did the guitars in too. The canvases also have the same content as I mixed all the DNA left into the paint when I left Japan and brought the paint back with me . I hope this clears things up for you”The guitars were made in the year 2000, represented in the model series, JEM2KDNA (2000). Around the world, there are exactly 300 guitars.


In 2007 Ibanez announced the 20th Anniversary JEM guitar. This guitar is made of acrylic with multicolour paint streaks running through it. When the tone control is pulled up a set of green LED’s light up within the body.

Standard Production Models


From six different variants, currently Ibanez produces only the JEM7VWH series as it was Steve Vai’s main guitar that he used for live performances. Steve Vai has one JEM7VWH with exactly the same specification as the guitars on the market, which he named “Evo”. The main features of JEM7 variants are the monkey grip, which are located above the pickups and the scalloped fingerboard that applies from the 21st fret up to the 24th. This series is also equipped with DiMarzio Evolution pickups. In 2003, the 7VWH specifications were changed from an ebony fingerboard to a rosewood fingerboard. According to Ibanez officials, this was done because “Evo” and “Flo” also had their necks changed to rosewood fingerboards.

Complete list of JEM7 variants:

  • JEM7RB – dot inlays, Root Beer, American Basswood body (production 1988,1989)
  • JEM7PBK – disappearing pyramid inlays, Pearl Black, American Basswood body (production 1989,1990)
  • JEM7VWH – vine inlay, White, Alder body (production 1993–present)
  • JEM7BSB – screw head inlays, Burnt Stained Blue, American Basswood body (production 1996 – 1998)
  • JEM7DBK – screw head inlays, Black with texture, American Basswood body (production 1999 – 2004)
  • JEM7VSBL – Blue vine inlay, Sparkle Blue, Alder body (production 2002 – 2004)
  • JEM7EAFX – fixed bridge, vine inlay, Black, American Basswood body (production 2009)
  • JEMVLWH – vine inlay, White, Alder body (production 2009) Lefthand model of the JEM7VWH


The older 77 guitars use the DiMarzio PAF Pro pickups, where the new 77BRMR (discontinued) and the 77VBK (discontinued) are equipped with DiMarzio Breed pickups. Steve Vai used to use the JEM77BRM model as his other main gear, named “MOJO”. Steve’s version of the 77BRMR has a few modifications that are not in the production model, such as blue LED light fingerboard inlays. The 77FP and 77BFP featured a flower pattern, that was a real fabric, put over the black painted guitar body and then clearcoated onto the guitar. The 77FP was re-issued as the 15th anniversary model, with exactly the same specs as the older 77FP. Therefore the 77FP is widely available on the used guitar market and the cheapest collectors model. The new Flower Pattern is the 2010 release of Ibanez, the Ibanez Jem77FP2. It features a basswood body clad in actual floral pattern fabric chosen specifically by Steve, and then clear-coated. The guitar features a 5pc maple and walnut neck with a rosewood fingerboard, and vine neck inlay with red accents to match the body design.

Complete list of JEM77 variants:

  • JEM77FP – vine inlay, Flower Pattern, American Basswood body (years of production 1988 – 2003)
  • JEM77BFP – vine inlay, Blue Flower Pattern, American Basswood body (production 1991 – 1994)
  • JEM77GMC – vine inlay, Green Multi Color, American Basswood body (production 1992 – 1993)
  • JEM77PMC – disappearing pyramid inlay, Purple Multi Color, American Basswood body (production 1992 – 1993)
  • JEM77BRMR – dot inlay, Black Rock Mirror, American Basswood body (production 2005 – 2006)
  • JEM77VBK – vine inlay, Black, American Basswood body (production 2007–2011)
  • JEM77FP2 – vine inlay, Flower Pattern 2, American Basswood body (2010 – present)


The JEM777 variants are the oldest variants among all JEM models. Currently no 777 model is in production. There are exactly 777 JEM777LNG (which stands for “Loch Ness Green”) guitars around the world, which is also the first variant produced. One of the most noted users of these was the late Denis D’Amour of Canadian band Voivod. The Loch Ness Green guitars were also hand signed by Steve Vai. From a technical point of view, all JEM777 guitars have more or less the same specifications with the other two JEM models (JEM7 and JEM77) . All Jem777LNGs have been signed and numbered by Steve Vai with a differing squiggle/graphic underneath making each guitar very unique.

_DSC3177The Ibanez JEM 777DY

Complete list of JEM777 variants:

  • JEM777LNG – disappearing pyramid inlay, Loch Ness Green, American Basswood body, personalized signature (years of production 1987)
  • JEM777DY – disappearing pyramid inlay, Desert Sun Yellow, American Basswood body ( years of production 1987 – 1996)
  • JEM777SK – disappearing pyramid inlay, Shocking Pink, American Basswood body ( years of production 1987 – 1989)
  • JEM777VBK – vine inlay, Black, American Basswood body (years of production 1988 – 1992)
  • JEM777VDY – vine inlay, Desert Sun Yellow, American Basswood body ( years of production 1989 – 1991)
  • JEM777VSK – vine inlay, Shocking Pink, American Basswood body ( year of production 1989)

JEM 555

All the JEM555 variants are not widely available in the USA currently, as Ibanez received a great deal of negative feedback from consumers. However, in 2000, the variants have been reintroduced in many different countries thanks to high demand. Unlike the other JEM variants, the 555s are Korean-made rather than Japanese and are of lower quality and specs. Most years have the script JEM Jr. on the headstock.

Complete list of JEM555 variants:

  • JEM555BK – vine/ dot inlay, Black, American Basswood body (years of production 1994–2000)
  • JEM555WH – vine/ dot inlay, White, American Basswood body (years of production 1994–present)
  • JEM555LWH – vine/ dot inlay, White, American Basswood body (years of production 1997 – 1999)

JEM 505

Complete list of JEM505 variants:

  • JEM505BK – black dot inlay, Black, Basswood body (years of production 2010–2011)
  • JEM505WH – black dot inlay, White, Basswood body (years of production 2010–2011)

JEM 333

These are currently only available in East Asian and South American countries. In essence it is an RG350EX with the monkey grip, using the same Infinity pickups instead of DiMarzio pickups that even the JEM555 used, and the Ibanez Edge III tremolo.

(Unfortunately, there are some companies in Asia (China) that produce JEM counterfeit copies. These are cheaply made and are sometimes sold on US auction sites. They’re referred to as “Chibanez” models in the US. These are not to be confused with the authentic Ibanez JEM333 models.)

Universe 7-string

The Universe series is not a JEM sub-model. It was designed from the start as its own model separate from the JEM despite its similarities.


From 1987 to 1992 all Ibanez JEM models came standard with a DiMarzio PAF PRO (Humbucker) neck pickup in the neck position, a DiMarzio PAF PRO (Humbucker) bridge pickup in the bridge position, and a DiMarzio JEM (Single Coil) in the middle position.

In 1993 the JEM7VWH was introduced. One of the new features of this guitar was the new DiMarzio EVOLUTION (hence the guitar also being known as EVO) pickups in the neck and bridge position, but the DiMarzio JEM middle pickup was still featured on the model introduced in 1993. This pickup configuration was standard on all JEM7’s, JEM77’s, and special edition JEM’s from 1993 to 1998 (JEM777’s were not produced after 1992). A slightly different pickup configuration has been featured of JEM555 models ever since their original production in 1994, JEM555 feature an EVOLUTION middle pickup in addition to the EVOLUTION neck and bridge pickups (a feature that was not standard on other JEM’s with EVOLUTION pickups until later in the JEM’s history).

In 1999 the JEM7DBK was the first JEM with DiMarzio BREED pickups.

The JEM7VSBL which was originally produced in 2002 was the first JEM that was not a JEM555 to feature a DiMarzio EVOLUTION single coil pickup in the middle position.

All JEM’s introduced in 2003 or after have either all Dimarzio EVOLUTION or BREED pickups except for the JEM-JR (JEM333), the JEM20th, and the JEM505.

The Acrylic JEM20th featured DiMarzio TranceJEM pickups.

The Birth of the Ibanez JEM series

Ibanez JEM is an electric guitar manufactured by Ibanez and first produced in 1987. The guitar’s most notable user is its co-designer, Steve Vai. As of 2010, there have been five sub-models of the JEM: the JEM7, JEM77, JEM777, JEM555, JEM333, and JEM70V. Although the Ibanez JEM series is a signature series guitar, Ibanez mass-produces several of the guitar’s sub-models.

The design of the Ibanez JEM series was heavily influenced by the superstrat style of guitars of the early 1980s such as the Jackson Soloist, Kramer Beretta and Hamer Chaparral. This type of guitar is more aggressively styled in terms of shape and specifications compared to the Stratocaster on which they are based.

Ibenez neon

Earlier guitars

Previously, Vai used a handbuilt guitar by Charvel Jackson. With Joe Despagni and Tom Anderson he created various custom guitars and used Tom Anderson’s model to record the demo of the David Lee Roth album Skyscraper. Vai also began to bring his Tom Anderson guitars on tour:

“… He built this for me after my old green monster, which I used out on the road last year until it died. I was pulling on the whammy bar and ripped the bar right out of the guitar [laughs]; it was actually ripped out before the show at Madison Square Garden. I was dying. So I started using Tom’s guitar as my main guitar for the rest of the tour, and I really like it because it has a very heavy sound to it. So I took the best of the sounds from that guitar and had them incorporated into the Ibanez.”

Ibanez and Steve Vai

Vai decided to stop using his Anderson guitar in favour of a guitar deal with a bigger company. Just before Christmas 1986 Ibanez received Vai’s guitar specification; they were similar to Despagni’s guitars. Ibanez built one of their “Maxxas” guitars for him with a palmrest for the tremolo. Vai liked the model and decided to produce that particular guitar with Ibanez. It took five months to make the new model samples in Japan, the JEM guitar and the RG range which launched at the NAMM Industry Trade Show in June 1987.

Design and production

Steve Vai with Ibanez JEM

After the JEM series was launched at the NAMM show, Ibanez with Steve Vai began to design and produce the guitar actively. Rich Lasner of Hoshino explained that Vai used a “Chinese menu approach” to design the guitar (i.e. choosing from many different categories). The first design was by Vai, when he sent Hoshino his ideas from many different guitar features he liked and combined it into one guitar. The essential considerations were the weight, wood types and pickups. For the latter specification, Vai decided long before Ibanez contacted him, that he would use DiMarzio pickups for his guitars.

Later, Lasner asked Vai to explain the guitar specifications further: “‘The first thing he did” Lasner explains, “was disassemble them on the spot. Neck from body, pickguard off, tremolo out… took ’em apart. I was shocked, to say the least. But Steve looked at me nonchalantly and said, ‘Relax, I do this all the time.’ He wanted to check Mace’s detail and craftsmanship.””[2] Mace Bailey, who was also involved in the production, later went to Japan to the Ibanez factory to really begin producing the guitar. He sat there with the craftsmen and made ten guitars for Vai.

Naming conventions

Ibanez has not revealed much about the naming system of the JEM models(JEMxxx) but letters always refer to the name of the color pattern used for each models (JEM777LNG > LochNess Green). However, it is known that the number 7 came from Steve Vai himself as he likes the number 7. Steve Vai has also released an album titled “The Seventh Song” which contains ballad songs from albums before “The Seventh Song”. Steve Vai  stated on the CD cover, “Traditionally, I have made the 7th song on all my CD’s the mellifluous guitar ballad that serves the melody on a silver platter. In numerology, the number 7 is shrouded in mystique. In a record sequence, it has always felt like the sweet spot. These songs are more devotional in nature than technical. They are a reflection of one man’s desire to expose a glimmer of the depth of his longing for spiritual communion.”

There are 4 JEM sub-model numbers: 7, 77, 777 and 555. JEM777 was the first JEM sub-model, created in 1987. Currently Ibanez no longer sells this model, thus some of these models are quite rare, especially the JEM777LNG, which was a limited run and each model was hand-signed by Steve Vai. On the other hand, JEM77 models are more widely available compared to the JEM777 guitars. Some of the 77 models are very easy to make out and are especially interesting for collectors-these are models with a floral or multicolor pattern, for example, the JEM77FP (Floral Pattern) and the JEM77PMC (Purple MultiColor). However, a variant of JEM77, the JEM77BRMR is not a multicolor guitar, but it has dot inlays on the fingerboard and a “rock mirror” finish and the 77VBK, which is basic black with a mirror pickguard and the vine inlay. The JEM 7 series was derived from Steve’s current main guitar, “Evo” and is still in production, with the 7VWH being the longest run production model of all JEM guitars. The 7VWH is still in production today. Different from other JEM models, JEM555 is produced in Korea and in terms of quality, this variant is considered by many to be poorer than the others. As of 2008, the only production model JEM guitars are the 7VWH and the 77VBK. The cheaper Korean- made 555 was discontinued in 2000 for the USA market. JEM505 needs mentioning, the JEM333 is no where to be found, the other jem77 models. etc. etc. In 2008 there were more models than the 7vwh and 7vbk.

80s guitars 2

JAM with an Ibanez JEM 777DY

As the artist Farlake I’ve made a video of a jam with the Ibanez JEM 777DY.
To get some more visits I use the famous name of my grant grant grant (etc.) father; Johannes Vermeer. A famous Dutch painter (1632 – 1675)

I’m using the following parts:

  • Ibanez JEM 777DY (Desert Yellow)
  • Carvin Legacy 3 Amp
  • 2 x C212E Cabinets
  • Morley Bad Horsey Wah (2)
  • Ibanez Jemini
  • Digitech Harmonyman
  • Logic X Pro
  • Addictive Drums
  • Vintage Organs
  • Trilian Bass