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Step back a few years and mention seven-string guitars, and you’d be met by some dude with dreadlocks and an eyebrow ring telling you why guitar solos suck.
To be fair, you can ignore the watered-down soundalikes and skip straight to Munky and Head’s groundbreaking guitar work on Korn’s first three albums, carried out under the influence of Steve Vai’s signature guitar.
Seven-strings are hotter than ever right now, and it’s all thanks to the Universe – the first mass-produced seven-string electric guitar. The first iteration of Vai’s seven-string collaboration with Ibanez, the UV7, was launched in 1990.
It was available in three finishes: a Multi-Coloured Swirl (as seen on the cover of Passion And Warfare), White, and the most coveted fan-favourite, Black and Green. It’s the ‘Green Dot’ or ‘Green Meanie’ finish that Ibanez has gone with for the latest version, the sub-£1,100 UV70P.
“Basically, the initial idea of the UV70P project came out of a discussion with Steve,” says Ibanez’s Mike Taft. “Because of the surge in popularity of the seven- string guitar in the last few years, particularly in the extreme and technical metal genres, Steve felt it was a good time to take a fresh look at the Universe. [The UV7BKs] are sought after by many fans, so based on the success of the Premium JEM70V model, we made the new Universe a Premium model to make it as affordable as possible, but still retain the quality.”
The striking look is set off by the green inlays, logo controls and pickup bobbins. It’s pushing the top-end of our price limit, but the spec sheet confirms you’re getting an extremely high quality, yet still affordable tribute to the original.
There’s the titanium reinforced Wizard-7 neck, DiMarzio Blaze pickups, Edge-Zero II-7 vibrato, and, of course, that finish.