Alice Cooper guitarist Nita Strauss has made an incredible name for herself in recent years, taking the guitar world by storm. Now, she releases a signature model with Ibanez.

We want to start off by congratulating Nita on being the first female artist to get an Ibanez signature model in the entire history of the company! A well deserved honor.


– Mahogany Body
– Quilted Maple Top
– Deep Space Blonde Finish
– Ebony Fretboard
– Three Piece Maple/Purpleheart Neck
– Edge Zero II Tremolo
– 24 Frets
– DiMarzio Pandemonium Pickups
– HSH Pickup Configuration
– 1x Vol, 1x Tone Knobs

The 5-way switch is already ticking a big box for me. I’m not a big fan of a middle pickup, but even with a two-humbucker set up having a 5-way switch means you’re getting a lot more tonal variety out of your instrument. It’s such a small, cheap feature to add and yet the benefits are phenomenal.

The guitar is made of Mahogany and balances out Nita’s signature DiMarzio pickups really well, but more on that in a minute.

The floating bridge has always been something that’s easy to do poorly, but I don’t mind this one. I’m not big on them in general, but it stayed in tune, responded well, and more importantly didn’t get in the way of my playing. The bridge is comfortable, and I’ve way too sick of the excuse that a bridge isn’t comfortable because it’s a tremolo and it comes with the territory. Glad we could prove that theory wrong!

The guitar plays as well as you’ve come to expect from Ibanez, it’s built for uninhibited shredding, removing any roadblocks between you and a comfortable, fast, effortless playing experience. The neck is of course on the thinner side, so if you’re not a fan of that it may be worth looking for something similar from Schecter or a more traditional Ibanez copy.


I have to say, there is not much to miss out on when it comes to tonal options with this guitar. The 5-way pickup selector and HSH setup gives you an incredibly diverse array of tones, and is a must-have pickup configuration for those seeking out versatility as a priority.

Of course, none of this would matter if the pickups were absolute garbage. Luckily, these are among some of the best pickups I’ve heard in a signature model from Ibanez, which I honestly didn’t see coming.

They’re voiced very smoothly without any harsh high-end bite, even under lots of distortion. The lead tones were clearly given plenty of focus during the development process as the attack and consistency of single note runs are extremely satisfying.

The rhythm tones are pretty standard, very much a professional, clear sounding aggressive modern metal tone, but nothing too unique or notable otherwise. The clean tones are sparkly but rounded on the top, putting them still darker than, say, a single coil Stratocaster sound. This results in a less “twangy” high end and a far more balanced sound.

Build Quality:

Keeping in mind that this is an Indonesian-made Ibanez, I’m pretty impressed with the overall sense of quality. There’s some sharp fret ends here and there, but that’s to be expected with a mid-level instrument. No major flaws elsewhere, the finish looks great, no gaps in the neck pocket or loose hardware, it feels solid in your hands.

Final Thoughts:

Considering the lower budget for a signature Ibanez (and the matching Indonesian manufacturing) this is a great guitar. It’s biggest downfall to me is the price tag. It’s hard to justify buying something made at the Indonesian factory when you could easily buy a Japanese-made Prestige model for the same amount.

Keeping that in mind, the gap in quality between MII and MIJ is clearly becoming smaller if this is what the Indonesian factory is able to offer, and I hope they continue on that upward trajectory. If any guitar is to challenge any naysayers of MII Ibanez guitars, it’s the JIVA10.

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