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Ibanez reveals crazy three-necked Hydra guitar built for Steve Vai

Ibanez reveals crazy three-nec...
An exceptional guitar for an exceptional player: The steampunk beast known as Hydra rocks two guitars, a bass and a harp, and has been custom built by Ibanez for award-winning guitarist Steve Vai
An exceptional guitar for an exceptional player: The steampunk beast known as Hydra rocks two guitars, a bass and a harp, and has been custom built by Ibanez for award-winning guitarist Steve Vai
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An exceptional guitar for an exceptional player: The steampunk beast known as Hydra rocks two guitars, a bass and a harp, and has been custom built by Ibanez for award-winning guitarist Steve Vai
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An exceptional guitar for an exceptional player: The steampunk beast known as Hydra rocks two guitars, a bass and a harp, and has been custom built by Ibanez for award-winning guitarist Steve Vai
The Hydra features on opening track of Steve Vai's upcoming album Inviolate
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The Hydra features on opening track of Steve Vai's upcoming album Inviolate

Multi-necked guitars are nothing new of course, examples of note include the Reversed Slide Neck from Luca Stricagnoli, Rick Nielsen's five-neck Hamer beast, and the beautifully bizarre Manzer Pikasso. The Hydra follows a similar path, but does so with monstrous style.

Five years in development and set to debut on Vai's upcoming Inviolate album, the Hydra's single body is home to a 12-string guitar with a part fretted, part fretless neck, a seven-string guitar with whammy bar and coil tap and a four-string short-scale bass guitar featuring a funky headless neck that's unfretted along the whole of the upper part and fretted below. Oh, and there's also 13-string sympathetic harp at the back.

The bonkers instrument employs a mix of single-coil, humbucking, piezo, MIDI and sustainer pickups, features both floating and hardtail bridges, and boasts phase splitters too.

The whole thing has an otherworldly steampunk vibe to it, rocking three vacuum tubes, an onboard VU sample meter, lighted buttons and between-pickup tubes, dials, sliders and switches, cogs and bolts, aged metal plates, exposed cables and wires, metal tubes and mounts, as well as numerous decorative attachments. There's even an Ethernet port, as well as other features that are named but not yet detailed, such as the Seducer and Dragonizer.

Yes, this is an over-the-top show piece that brilliantly matches the flamboyant athletic style of the supremely talented Vai himself, but as you can hear from the backing track accompanying the announcement video below, it's also been built for playing.

The Hydra: Presented by Steve Vai and Ibanez

Source: Ibanez

2 comments
2 comments
Tristan P
Wow, that is crazy!
Anthony Malivanek
What a beast! What university does a degree in playing this multi instrument? And really, what is the point?