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Andy's Ibanez JEM77FP

Take a look at Andy's 1989 Ibanez JEM77FP

Andy's Ibanez JEM77FPAn original Ibanez JEM77FP is a rare bird indeed. The guitar was in production by Ibanez from 1988 to 2003 when a 15th anniversary reissue model became available. The spec changed slightly over the years, most notably the pickups which changed from DiMarzio PAF Pro to DiMarzio Breed.

Faded and battered, Andy’s JEM77FP (serial number 892132) was bought in Hong Kong in 1989 and features DiMarzio PAF Pro pickups in the neck and bridge positions, and an Ibanez JEM single in the mid position. Andy finds the pickups highly usable, "I switched to the JEM from a Gibson Les Paul Custom and the difference in sound was remarkable. The tone is crisp and biting, ideal for the kind of high gain sounds I enjoy using."

The body is made of Basswood and has the typical Steve Vai signature body shape including the hand grip cut out. The body is covered in a floral fabric that has then been clear coated. Rumour has it that the fabric was chosen by Steve to look like the curtains in his parents' home. The pick guard is clear plastic allowing the fabric covering to be fully visible. Actually, if you’re keen on keeping your instruments clean, the clear pick guard can be a source of irritation because dust and dirt gets behind it and can only be removed by unscrewing the pick guard.

Edge tremolo unit and lion's claw cutawayThe tremolo is an Edge double locking unit with a lion’s claw cutaway beneath to facilitate insane pull backs.

Andy isn’t a big fan of tremolo units, "To be honest the Edge tremolo doesn’t get much use from me but if I need it it’s there. It’s rock solid and the guitar stays in tune no matter how you abuse it."

The neck is made from maple with a rosewood fingerboard inlayed with a green vine leaf motif. The reverse of the neck has an unfinished surface. "I love the unfinished necks on JEM guitars" says Andy, "because I sometimes find lacquered necks feel sticky."

The monkey grip cutawayThe neck is fast and highly playable sporting 24 Jim Dunlop 6100 frets and a scalloped fret board for frets 21 to 24. "I believe the neck is a JEM – as opposed to a JEM Prestige – and has a 25 and a half inch scale length."

For controls the JEM 77 FP has volume and tone pots plus a 5-way selector switch. The pots originally had bright pink knobs but Andy swapped those out for black ones. "Bright pink was just too 80s for me", says Andy. He also covered the pink pickups so the guitar now has a darker appearance than its original form.

"I love this guitar and it was my main instrument for years. The neck is ridiculously playable and the tone really clear. I’d recommend one to anybody looking for a shred machine."

You can hear Andy’s JEM 77 FP on The Hollowkind track Moondog.

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