New Ibanez Universe 7-String Re-Issue

It was 20 years ago when Steve Vai joined forces with Ibanez to produce his ultimate weapon, the 7-string Universe, the first production 7-string solid-body electric guitar. The groundbreaking Universe was quickly recognized as the “Most Innovative Guitar of the Year” by music retailers at the 1990 Music and Sound Awards.

Originally designed as a virtuoso shred machine, the guitar would have a new life later in the '90s with its extended low-end range making possible the new breed of rhythmic metal of heavy music players such as Korn and Dino Cazares. Ibanez is proud to recognize Steve Vai's achievement with the release of the new UV77RE Universe 20th Anniversary edition.

Like the original, the solid body UV77RE reissue is seven strings of fire, ready-made for maximum shred and some of the meanest riffing on the planet. The multi-color swirl motif arrives once again from the original Universe artist, Darren Johansen. Because of the swirl paint process each Universe guitar is uniquely individual in appearance. As with Ibanez's other Limited Edition Reissues such as the famous Bob Weir model, all UV77RE models are crafted in Japan by the same luthiers who created the originals.

1990 not only brought the Ibanez Universe guitar to the world, it also debuted Steve Vai's groundbreaking, earth shattering album, “Passion and Warfare,” and each U77RE comes with a commemorative poster of this sonic masterpiece.

Only 100 UV77RE reissues will be available worldwide.

For more information, please visit

This is a Press Release

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1 thought on “New Ibanez Universe 7-String Re-Issue”

  1. Re: It was 20 years ago when Steve Vai joined forces... New Ibanez Universe 7-String Re-Issue
    Roland Gonzales

    In my opinion, this guitar is the ultimate Metal/Rock Guitar by Steve Vai and Ibanez. I agree the Ibanez JEM has become the icon and trademark of Steve Vai and probably the flagship of Ibanez, but the Universe 7 string guitar with the multi-color swirled paint job is the BOMB of all finishes.

    The new UV77RE wouldn’t be the same without Darren Johansen providing the swirl paint jobs on this reissue. I used to own an Ibanez Universe UV77MC…to be more precise, I used to own two. I ordered my first (#1) Ibanez Universe in late 1990 from a local music store. When it finally arrived, my anticipation and excitement was quickly squashed when they opened the case. The swirled paint job was a disappointment. It was more a blotchy pattern rather than a swirl.

    Well, needles to say I took it home and aside from the disappointing swirl, I started playing this thing and it totally rocked. It didn’t take long for me to get used to the added low B string and the tone was amazing. A very comfortable playing guitar considering the wide neck, but a slim and fast playing neck. The disappearing Pyramid inlays look awesome against the dark stained rosewood fretboard. Everything from the construction to the hardware was top notch and professionally setup. I loved this guitar!

    Well, several months go by and I walk into a different local music store and guess what I see hanging on the wall. Yep! An Ibanez Universe with a beautiful swirl pattern…like what I was expecting on mine. Well, I had to have it and I ended up trading my #1 for the second one (#2) with a little extra cash. #2 ended becoming my main guitar and I was continually receiving raving compliments about the swirl. Sadly, I ended up having to sell #2 on ebay and someone asked me if the swirl was painted by Darren Johansen? Darren who? I had no idea about the history of the swirl paint job. So, I did a little research on him and even contacted him by phone and found out that Darren always stamps his swirled paint jobs in the neck pocket. I ended up taking the neck off and sure enough, there it was. His ATD (About Time Designs) stamp right on the unpainted wood in the neck pocket. I was told that Darren was commissioned by Ibanez to swirl the first 1000 guitars.

    Ibanez ended up swirling the rest after that. After seeing Darren’s work, it made sense that #1 was a Ibanez swirl. Well, after finding out about the major difference in who provided the swirl made me think twice about selling it, but I had to for undisclosed reasons. Now, seeing this reissue makes me sick to my stomach. I’ve always regretted selling my Universe to this day and now seeing the price makes me even sicker. If I could do things over, I would still have my Universe and I’d have a continual huge smile on my face for having the original Universe painted by the original swirl Master, Darren Johansen.

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