Has Steve Vai ever used anything other than the Blaze for 7-string? (Blaze Custom, Evo 7?)

hamoftruth

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Title is self-explanatory. Every time a new Ibanez Vai 7-string is released, they're still putting the tried and true Blaze pickups in there.

Has he ever used the Blaze Custom or Evolution 7 string pickups?
 

Tom odd 7

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Title is self-explanatory. Every time a new Ibanez Vai 7-string is released, they're still putting the tried and true Blaze pickups in there.

Has he ever used the Blaze Custom or Evolution 7 string pickups?

According to my knowledge, for these production models, they didn't.
Blaze pick'ups only, so far..
 

hamoftruth

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If they help him sound like him, why change? :) Dude has tone oozing out his fingers, I don't think pickups matter that much for him...
I've just always found it interesting that the Blaze Custom and Evolution 7 are basically signature pickups for him, and maybe he used them at some point but I can't find any evidence he ever did. It's all Blaze right up to the most recent 7V7. Nothing wrong with the Blaze, I love it. But I do get curious about the other Vai themed offerings sometimes too.
 

Lorcan Ward

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If they help him sound like him, why change? :) Dude has tone oozing out his fingers, I don't think pickups matter that much for him...

Tell that to his crew who he made drive back to the previous venue and search every dumpster because his tech mistakenly threw out a pickup and Vai couldn’t play the next show without it.
 
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MaxOfMetal

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I'm sure he has guitars with all kinds of pickups in them, he gets prototypes and stuff all the time from Ibanez and DiMarzio, so I would be surprised if they didn't find their way into recordings he does, especially in one of his own studios where he has everything at hand. It's probably not cataloged though.

But, as others have said, the production stuff has always been Blaze II pickups.
 

hamoftruth

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I had them all. For the bridge, the Blaze Custom was my favorite...

In what ways did the Blaze Custom differ from the Blaze? I think the only thing I could like a bit more about the Blaze is if it had a little more transient attack, and a slightly less compressed feel. The descriptions says "you'll get more attack and hotter harmonic overtones" so I wonder if that translates to what I'm looking for.
 
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In what ways did the Blaze Custom differ from the Blaze? I think the only thing I could like a bit more about the Blaze is if it had a little more transient attack, and a slightly less compressed feel. The descriptions says "you'll get more attack and hotter harmonic overtones" so I wonder if that translates to what I'm looking for.

I had the EVO7 and Blaze Custom installed long ago and my taste/needs changed as did my gear, sold a bunch of pickups but kept the Blaze Custom. This one was my tone reference for more than 10 years, it just had the most fantastic crunch for my gear at the time. I found the EVO7 to be a bit brighter/harsher. The Blaze Bridge feels nice (installed in my UV777P), similar but maybe a bit darker than the Custom. Output wise they're kind of similar.

However, do mind that the volume pot value alters substantially the pickup's feel regarding its perceived EQ, attack and compression. I started to use 1M Ohm pots for volume and it opened the guitars' tones and voices. I also prefer not to have the pickup too close to the strings so to get less string pull and less compression. Strong picks also alter the perceived attack a pickup demonstrates. I like strong heavy picks, while softer ones may deliver a softer attack. Picking strength/attack also defines how a pickup sounds, so there are lots of personal small variables that may lead you out of context regarding my perception of the pickup's tone / performance... and this not to speak about how the strings define the overall tone...

Nowadays I'm more relaxed about pickup choice, I moved to medium/high output pickups, loaded with Alnico5 magnet for the added definition on complex chords under high gain dirty tones.
 

bostjan

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Vai has hundreds, maybe even thousands of personal guitars. I'm sure he has tons of pickups in them - most likely some that you can't even buy. I'd be more surprised if there is a pickup he doesn't use.
 

Drew

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Oh wow, didn't know that! I stand corrected :)
That pickup was the original Evo prototype, in Evo, which was named because Dimarzio sent him a couple prototypes (named after Harley engines, I think...?) to try out in a couple matching 7WHs with the name of the pickup in tape on them somewhere, and Evo was the one he fell for, if memory serves.

So there was a little more to the story than just the pickup. :lol:

To the OP's question, he almost certainly has at some point along the line... but IMO the Blaze is the best seven string bridge pickup I've ever played, and he clearly likes it, so...
 

hamoftruth

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I believe that's why there's a sticker over the neck pickup on his 'Flo' guitar - to prevent it from being swapped out after it was retrieved from a bin.
He also does that so the high E string doesn't get stuck under the lip of the pickup bobbin when doing whammy acrobatics. Dimebag did the same thing on his guitars.

Funny, because both EVH and Steve Vai would up with pickups they loved the sound of based on such an accident, resulting in shorting one coil of a humbucker. You can read about that in Larry Dimarzio's articles on his website regarding the EVH Music Man guitar and Vai's Green Meanie.
 

Neon_Knight_

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He also does that so the high E string doesn't get stuck under the lip of the pickup bobbin when doing whammy acrobatics. Dimebag did the same thing on his guitars.

Funny, because both EVH and Steve Vai would up with pickups they loved the sound of based on such an accident, resulting in shorting one coil of a humbucker. You can read about that in Larry Dimarzio's articles on his website regarding the EVH Music Man guitar and Vai's Green Meanie.
Yet he doesn't do it on all of his guitars that he uses live (with heavy whammy use).
 

Marked Man

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Blaze Custom has always been my overall favorite of his 7 string pickups, although the Evo7 is great for crunch.

With the amount of boost/processing he uses, it probably makes little difference to him at this point, although I was never particularly inspired by the Blaze bridge since I LOVE mids. I kept the Blaze neck as it is an awesome lead pickup.
 


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