The Ibanez Universe

Steve Vai's idea for a seven string solid-body guitar ushered in a whole new catagory for Dino Guitarists. Seven String guitars had been around for a long time in the Hollow and Semi-Hollowbody, mainly jazz, guitar lines. Steve's request to Ibanez to create a solid body seven string guitar, The Universe, times it's use by Korn on their 1994 debut album, cemented it as a viable option for Dino tone.

In the late 80s, while Steve was touring with Whitesnake, he started using a seven string model Ibanez provided. He also used it on his first major label solo project Passion and Warfare. While others were also experimenting with the idea it was Steve Vai who convinced Ibanez to create a production model which resulted in the 1990 release of the Ibanez Universe.

Basically based on the JEM / RG body shape with a relatively flat fingerboard radius of 430 mm, basswood body, Blaze pickups, etc.. It was a watershed moment in solid-body guitar design that opened doors to deeper tonal frequencies that many players, especially in the metal guitar format, have put to good use.

References

http://www.ibanez.com/eg/guitar.aspx?m=UV777

http://www.sevenstring.org/forum/sevenstring-guitars/66001-ibanez-s-guitar-history-3.html

http://www.edinformatics.com/inventions_inventors/electric_guitar.htm