Ibanez unveils Steve Vai JEMJR in black for its 2022 product line-up

Ibanez JEMJR Black
(Image credit: Ibanez)

Think of Ibanez, and there’s every chance that you’ll think of Steve Vai and his iconic JEM - the double-cut shred machine that helped revolutionised what we expect from a guitar that’s built for speed and technical playing.

We’ve seen the JEMJR - Ibanez’s more affordable version of the JEM - before, whether it be the standard White finish, or the bold special edition SP variants. However, for 2022 Ibanez has added Black to the JEMJR’s palette.

Paint job aside, it’s the JEMJR you’ve come to know and love: a thin, speedy Wizard III maple neck, Jatoba fingerboard, 24 jumbo frets, double-locking vibrato for ambitious whammy moves and a trio of Ibanez’s tried-and-true Quantum pickups (arranged in an H/S/H format).

The pickups are switched via a five-way blade, giving you each pickup individually, as well as mix of the one coil from each humbucker alongside that middle single coil in the remaining two ‘in-between’ positions.

Ibanez JEMJR Black

(Image credit: Ibanez)

Of course, this being a Steve Vai signature, the visuals are only getting started with the black paint/white scratchplate combo. The distinctive Tree of Life inlay runs throughout the fingerboard, and fear not, the Monkey Grip is present too.

Lefties, look away, as Ibanez is yet to add the new finish option to the JEMJRL. Prices are yet to be officially confirmed, but we’re expecting this to be pitched at the same price as the JEMJR in White, making this an attractive proposition with a sub-£500 street price.

Stuart Williams

I'm a freelance member of the MusicRadar team, specialising in drum news, interviews and reviews. I formerly edited Rhythm and Total Guitar here in the UK and have been playing drums for more than 25 years (my arms are very tired). When I'm not working on the site, I can be found on my electronic kit at home, or gigging and depping in function bands and the odd original project.