History of creation
The beginning of my creative path coincided with the peak of the popularity of the guitar Ibanez JEM. Due to this I could not refuse a proposal from the head of the community #ibanezfamily, Alexander Bespoldenov, to help create a tribute to the prototype of this legendary instrument. This project is a kind of tribute to the famous guitar, which in 2017 turned 30 years old.
The project is interesting because the task was not to make an exact copy of the prototype, but to create something collective, filled with the spirit of Steve Vai, recognizable, and at the same time unusual. Generally speaking, this is an exciting improvisation on this topic!
I couldn’t even imagine myself what the guitar would look like in the end 🙂
A little bit about choosing wood.
As you know, the Ibanez JEM body is made of alder. On most models of the RG series, basswood is used.
I don’t know what kind of doubts tormented the engineers when they were choosing between basswood and alder, but personally I solved this problem very simply by combining the two types in one body: the tone block is alder, the rest is basswood.
As for the next element, my personal contribution to this project was to make a top on the body!
Perhaps the creators had the same idea as me, but to this day this fact is hidden from the public.
There is already an element of decor – the top’s appearance will emphasize the solid age of the instrument and the severity of life’s challenges 🙂
The best choice for this is, is to use the spalted maple.
But, digging around in my workshop, I found an even more effective option – spalted Karelian birch.
Gradually, as the guitar started to have more or less clear contours, I began to understand how to decorate it further.
Moreover, the customer finally decided on the final version of the appearance – Extra Hard Relic.
Every part of me protested against damaging this beautiful guitar to give it the desired antique look. But after looking at many images of similar relic guitars on Instagram and gaining inspiration from “Pirates of the Caribbean,” the fantasy began to go in the right direction.
Daniil Ermolovich, the artist, helped me develop the design of the pickguard. With the help of a sander and plasma, he created an unusual effect of corrosion on the steel panel. I just had to give it a proper look, corresponding to the image.
Another “adventurer” of the guitar industry – Ilya Fokin – took an active part in the project. He kindly agreed to develop a set of pickups especially for this project that would emphasize the character of this instrument. And, as it turned out after the tests, he did it very well.
This whole story was supported by the #ibanezfamily community, thanks to which at even the intermediate stages of manufacturing our project got into Instagram top 10 #ibanez around the world.
This is a very worthy start!
After the completion of the project it became clear that the idea was incredibly controversial.This guitar is hated and worshiped at the same time! 🙂
Already as a fully-fledged and ready-made instrument, it again falls into the world top trending, leaving no one indifferent. I hope that this is only the beginning of her star path.
I will be happy to follow her fate 🙂