IBANEZ JIVA10 Review – NITA STRAUSS (ALICE COOPER) Signature Guitar

What’s up Gear Mortals, Trey Xavier here. On today’s edition of Gear Gods Quality Control, we’re taking a look at the Nita Strauss signature JIVA10 from Ibanez!

The JIVA10 is the signature guitar from Nita Strauss, who is the guitar player for Alice Cooper. It was announced at NAMM this year but I only managed to get one in for review in the last month or two. It’s made in Indonesia and it’s based on the S model which is a mahogany body that’s tapered and extremely thin so it doesn’t weigh a ton. The JIVA has a bound quilted maple top in what’s called Deep Space Blonde finish, Nita’s signature DiMarzio Pandemonium neck and bridge pickups and a True Velvet Single coil in the middle, and an Edge Zero II tremolo. The neck is a maple with a Purpleheart stripe, a bound ebony fretboard with 24 jumbo frets and this crazy sick Beaten Path inlay that looks like a readout from an EKG machine. It’s got the comfy All Access Neck Joint that most modern Ibanez guitars have, and a typical volume tone and 5-way switch configuration.

The guitar as a whole left almost nothing to be desired, with a couple small exceptions. I personally can’t deal with a middle pickup because it’s right where I’m trying to pick and I’m perpetually getting the pick caught on the pole pieces. I also thought the volume knob was too close to the strings so I kept bumping it and turning the volume down. But, this isn’t the Trey Xavier signature guitar, and it wasn’t built for my playing style or needs, it’s all stuff Nita wanted, so obviously, that doesn’t bother her. The pickups are great, very shred-friendly as you might imagine, and voiced in a way that I liked a lot. Hopefully, you got an idea from the demo what they’re capable of.

Generally, I don’t use a floating bridge all that much so if it doesn’t completely fuck the tuning every time I touch it I’m pretty happy, but this one felt good and responded how I wanted it to. I don’t like collared whammy bars because they tend to flop pretty bad more so than press-in or screw in ones, but Nita explained to me when we met up at TGU that the reason she insisted on a collared whammy bar is because she does crazy shit with it like picking up the guitar by the bar like this and if it didn’t have the collar the bar would just pop out. Once again, it’s her signature guitar, so it has to have the features for her style of playing and techniques. The neck feels awesome, it’s kind of an unfinished feel or maybe a tung oil kind of real thin and light finish, not much between you and the wood, which is just how I like it, and it’s thin as hell and very fast.

As a dude who grew up playing Ibanez for the most part, there are a lot of things on this guitar that feel very right to me, and although it’s a little pricy for an Indonesian Ibanez, considering I’ve paid about the same for certain Prestige models, but it has a lot of premium features like the pickups and the bridge and this killer inlay. As far as I’m concerned, it’s a winner and I had a lot of fun playing it.

Thanks so much for watching guys, Gear Gods Patreon subscribers this week get access to the raw mix tracks and DIs from the demo song as well as the final track and their name in the credits. If you haven’t already, mash that subscribe button and smack the bell for more reviews and original content, and I’ll see you real soon!

Written by

As Editor-in-Chief of Gear Gods, I've been feeding your sick instrument fetishism and trying unsuccessfully to hide my own since 2013. I studied music on both coasts (Berklee and SSU) and now I'm just trying to put my degree to some use. That's a music degree, not an English one. I'm sure you noticed.