JEM-EVO (more images) Red copyright sprite

"EVO" - the most beloved instrument of guitar icon, Steve Vai. Commemorating 25 years of his signature guitar, the JEM, we proudly introduce the JEM-EVO, a real masterpiece made possible by the highest Japanese craftsmanship. Instead of just modifying a regular production model, all of the components of the JEM-EVO; body, neck, everything- has been made from scratch specifically for this commemorative model.

This project began with mapping all of the scratches and dents of the actual “EVO”. Steve feels that each nick and scratch in EVO “add character and tell stories,” so every single one of them is important and has been re-created by hand. All the dents on the body, belt buckle wear, and scratches around the input jack, are all there, just like EVO. The original EVO has unfortunately developed body cracks at the neck joint after being Steve’s main guitar for over 20 years, both on tour and in the studio. In order to preserve durability and function, these body cracks have only been aesthetically recreated on the JEM-EVO, retaining the look of the original EVO while avoiding the actual cracks that EVO has.

The neck has been made based on Steve’s EVO. All of the shapes and dimensions (and even the serial number on the back of the headstock) are exactly the same. The smoothness of the EVO neck is nothing short of amazing. Due to Steve’s wild signature moves on stage, EVO has been forced to experience various repairs and surgeries from time to time, and the JEM-EVO faithfully recreates this look. The current EVO neck was installed in 1997, when the previous one was broken during a show in Melbourne, Australia. This is why the headstock doesn’t seem to have as many marks and chips as the body features.

JEM-EVO features DiMarzio® Evolution ® pickups, the same pickups as in the regular production JEM models- with some twists, however. The neck pickup on JEM-EVO (and Steve’s own EVO) is actually one normally mounted in the bridge position. To fit the polarity, it is mounted upside down.

Other features include a tremolo cavity plate fastened to the body with Velcro, gaffer’s tape on the sides of the neck pickup to prevent the strings from getting caught underneath the pickup, the original Edge tremolo, the Back Stop which supports the tremolo system and something that Steve prefers on all of his guitars, a pick holder on the side of the headstock, the “name tag” on the side of the body, and a wrench holder on the back of the headstock… just to name a few.

The final touch has been added by Mr. Vai himself - his autograph on the back of the body, in the same location where Steve’s own EVO was autographed by the late Les Paul in 1995, when Steve attended Mr. Paul’s birthday party.

JEM-EVO is installed with a chrome leather DiMarzio ® ClipLock ® strap, which is currently discontinued, but have been specially reproduced for this project and unavailable anywhere else.

Also included is a Certificate of Authenticity with Steve’s signature.

Only 100 JEM-EVO guitars have been produced.


Specifications for JEM-EVO
Model name: JEM-EVO
Year(s) produced: 2012
Sold in: Worldwide
Made in: Japan
Finish(es): White
Body type:
Solid body
Body material:
Neck joint:
Edge tremolo
White Pearloid
Knob style:
Plastic top hat
Hardware color:
Cosmo black
Neck type:
Neck material:
1-piece maple
Scale length:
648mm/ 25½"
Fingerboard material:
Scalloped frets 21 to 24
Fingerboard inlays:
Pearl/ abalone Tree of Life
24 / Jim Dunlop® #6100 frets
Top-Lok III
Machine heads:
Gotoh SG381 (non-locking)
Electronics/ Strings
Pickup configuration:
Bridge pickup:
DiMarzio Evolution Bridge (H) passive/ ceramic
Middle pickup:
DiMarzio Evolution (S) passive/ alnico
Neck pickup:
DiMarzio Evolution Bridge (Reversed)(H) passive/ ceramic
Master volume / master tone / 5-way lever
String gauge (factory):
.009/.011/.016/.024/.032/0.42 (D'Addario EXL120)


Additional details
Image-11-02-2017-at-21-09 orig
JEM-EVO 33 01 Back


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