Saturday, October 12, 2019

Review: Ibanez universe UV777 bk

Hello and welcome to this week's article!
Today we are talking about an Ibanez guitar that stayed in production for 14 years (in its original form, today it is still sold in a slightly different variant): the Universe UV777.

This is another guitar designed by the guitar hero Steve Vai, and it's a seven strings evolution of his original Jem design; it debuted in 1998, a time in which seven strings guitars were not very common, and it became popular not only thanks to Vai himself, but also because it was used by Korn, probably the most influential and original band of the Nu Metal genre: basically this guitar helped shaping that ultra bassy, aggressive sound that still today is synonyme of modern heavy guitar.

The UV777 has a basswood body, maple neck and rosewood fretboard, it was made in Japan and through the years it had different bridges and different neck materials, but the neck always remained 24 frets and 25.5 inches, and both body and fingerboard features a white binding.
Unlike the Jem, the Universe doesn't have the monkey grip, but it has the same taste for original finishes, and besides the binding it rocks pyramid shaped inlays and a pyramid-with-eye on the top, made of mother of pearl.

The mechanics are Gotoh made, and in the mirror pickguard are mounted 3 DiMarzio Blaze II pickups (in some model can be found mounted also the Blaze I), in HSH configuration that give this guitar a very bassy sound, but with the mids slightly scooped and the highs a bit boosted, and it's very resemblant to the tone in Steve Vai's "Passion and Warfare" album.

I had the chance of playing with this guitar few years ago through a dear friend of mine, and I must say the build quality is very good, you can really feel the fact that you're playing a premium guitar, plus the hardware is also good, even if the bridge can't be abused too much, or it might struggle a bit in keeping the tuning stable.

Besides the sound, which is very aggressive but versatile, the thing that strikes me of this guitar is its playability: it stays in perfect equilibrium and the neck is very thin and comfortable, you can really tell it was designed with shredding in mind.

Definitely a guitar to try if you have the chance, 

thumbs up!


- Year(s) produced: 1998–2012

- Made in: Japan

- Finish: Black (BK)

- Body material: Basswood w/ white binding

- Bridge:
1998–2002; 2010–2012: Lo Pro Edge 7 tremolo
2003–2009:Edge Pro 7 tremolo

- Pickguard: Mirror

- Hardware color: Chrome

- Neck material:
1998–2004: 1-piece maple
2005–2012: 5-piece maple/ wenge

- Scale length: 648mm/ 25½"

- Fingerboard material: Rosewood w/ binding

- Fingerboard inlays: Disappearing pyramid

- Frets: 24 / large

- Machine heads: Gotoh SG38

- Pickup configuration: HSH

- Bridge pickup: DiMarzio Blaze II bridge

- Middle pickup: DiMarzio Blaze II mid

- Neck pickup: DiMarzio Blaze II neck

- Controls: Master volume / master tone / 5-way lever

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