Update 1 April 2022


Update 30 March 2022 – It’s Alive!

Update 28 March 2022 – And now for some more customization!

Update 24 March 2022 – Sketching it out

Update 22 March 2022 – Custom DiMarzio pickups!

Update 20 March 2022 – Tubular

Update 18 March 2022 – Whatever you do, don’t unplug that battery

Update 16 March 2022 –Freshly routed! 

Update 14 March 2022 – Custom tuning keys

Update 12 March 2022 – Wings of the Hydra!

Update 10 March 2022 – Progress!

Update 8 March 2022 – Details, details…

Update 7 March 2022 – The Hydra coming together at Ibanez HQ in Japan.

Update 5 March 2022 – Working on the layout for the Hydra final build!

Update 3 March 2022 – Prototype #2!

Update 1 March 2022 – Working out the details with prototype #2

Update 28 Feb 2022 – More testing of the first prototype in The Harmony Hut…

Update 27 Feb 2022 – The Hydra prototype #1…complete with 4 separate outputs!

Update 22 Feb 2022 – 7-string headstock on the second Hydra prototype!

Update 21 Feb 2022 – The first Hydra prototype taking shape! Shown here by Kazuya Kuroki, the luthier/engineer/fabricator/builder extraordinaire of the Hydra.

Update 20 Feb 2022 – The first Hydra prototype being tested in The Harmony Hut by Rocky Oda of Hoshino USA.

Update 19 Feb 2022 – Hirotada Nomura (the designer/engineer for the Hydra’s electronics) showing off the back of the first Hydra prototype.

Update 17 Feb 2022 – Mike Orrigo of Ibanez:


Mike Orrigo, Ibanez Artist Relations Manager: “The ‘Hydra’, as Mr. Vai has appropriately dubbed it, started off as a concept that Steve approached Ibanez with several years ago. While it was understood then that the task to turn Steve’s vision into reality would be a tremendous undertaking, we were undeterred by the challenge. Fueled by Steve’s inspiration, our team of designers, engineers, and luthiers worked tirelessly together in order to create a truly one – of – a – kind instrument, remaining as true to the initial vision as possible. This incredible reveal video, produced by yU+Co, perfectly captures the same feeling of awe and amazement that this magnificent beast of an instrument imparts to all who are able to witness it in person!

Update 16 Feb 2022 – Now THAT is a big guitar case!

Update 15 Feb 2022 – Foaming out the case for the first Hydra prototype.

Update 14 Feb 2022 – The wiring for this guitar is truly amazing… here’s a photo from the second prototype

Update 13 Feb 2022 – An amazing wizard at Hoshino working on the wiring of the first prototype. 

Update 11 Feb 2022 – Photo from the Hoshino workshop of the first prototype!

Update: 10 Feb 2022 – Progress! A cardboard cutout of a more “finalized” design next to the original prototype.

Update: 9 Feb 2022 – Headstock and trem designs

Update: 7 Feb 2022 –  The Beginnings

Part of the original Design PDF from Ibanez. This was one of the earlier renderings of the Hydra Prototype. 


Update: 27 Jan 2022 –  Inviolate

My new record has been released on January 28th, 2022. It’s the culmination of 61 years worth of inspiration and training. It oozes delicious melodies and fierce pyrotechnics. It will also lift you up to levels of delight that will make the rest of your life a beautiful experience… well, maybe not but… close. Order it here: https://smarturl.it/steve_vai