Music Gear News
NAMM 2018: Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars and Basses- What's New?
Ernie Ball Music Man 2018 Guitars: Stingray Guitar, New Finishes, St Vincent HH and HHH, Enhanced Stingray Basses
Ernie Ball Music Man has revealed new NAMM 2018 Guitars; including some brand-new finishes on popular models, upgrades to the Stingray and Cutlass guitars, and some important updates to the ubiquitous Stingray Bass, making this bass guitar even more playable.
Most of these updates will be available over the next 6 months.
2018 Stingray Guitar
The Stingray guitar takes design elements from the bass guitar of the same name and features a vintage-inspired aesthetic combined with Music Man's legendary easy-playability. New for 2018, the Stingray guitar has been upgraded with a roasted maple neck with either ebony, rosewood or maple fingerboard (dependent on body colour) - the maple fingerboard against the sunburst body looks particularly classy.
This guitar is designed to blend modern playing features and technology with a classic aesthetic. As such, it features "perfectly voiced" custom humbuckers and "flawless construction throughout."
If you're seeking classic looks combined with modern playability and versatility, this is the guitar for you.
Available from April 2nd*
The Cutlass is Music Man's take on a classic double-cutaway bolt-on guitar, and we love its modern playability combined with classic tones. For 2018 the Cutlass has also been given a new roasted maple neck and is available in both SSS and HSS variants.
Both guitars feature an alder body, 4 over 2 headstock machine head layouts (for a perfectly straight string angle) along with a smooth modern tremolo which has 6 individual string saddles for a vintage look. The HSS guitar should be particularly versatile and makes an ideal session player's instrument with its classic looks, modern playability and wide tonal range.
Available from April 2nd*
Steve Lukather is one of Music Man's key signature artists and his versatile signature guitar range has found its way into many players' hands. For 2018, the Luke range has been updated with some striking new finishes in a purple hue.
The Luke III is now available in Firemist Purple and Buttercream with sleek black hardware. These guitars feature dual Dimarzio Transition humbuckers, East Indian rosewood fingerboards, vintage tremolo, and a 15dB adjustable active boost for an even wider range of tones "suitable for any musical style."
The Luke III BFR (Ball Family Reserve) is essentially the same guitar as the Luke III but with a stunning A (yes, that's four 'plusses' !) maple top, roasted birdseye maple neck and a mahogany tone block. For 2018 this guitar is now available in an exclusive Boysenberry finish.
Available May 1st
Maroon 5's James Valentine collaborated with Music Man a few years back to create the Valentine signature guitar; the guitar features a fixed bridge, versatile HS pickup combination and an asymmetric double cutaway design. For 2018 this guitar is now available in Saturn Gold, Husker Red, and Toluca Lake Blue. An optional tremolo-equipped model is also available with vintage bent steel saddles.
Available May 1st*
Dream Theater's John Petrucci is a Music Man champion, and his JP range was the first set of signature guitars he created (before the forward-looking Majesty hit the market).
The JP15 has a new translucent matte black finish for 2018, making it even more stealthy looking. This guitar has a thoroughly stable (and visually pleasing) roasted figured maple neck mounted to a lightweight and resonant African mahogany body. The guitar has twin custom Dimarzio Illuminator pickups, piezo bridge system for acoustic guitar sounds, and an onboard 20dB gain boost; the JP15 is available as a 6 and 7 string instrument.
The JP6 and 7 guitars are now available in 4 exciting new colours, including Stealth Black, Pearl Redburst, Firemist Purple, and Mystic Dream (a classic John Petrucci colour from his original JP line).
The JP6 and 7 guitars is an incredibly modern playing guitar with a 15'' radius fingerboard and sleek contours. The JP guitar is also equipped with Dimarzio Crunchlab and Liqifire pickups, Piezo bridge, and Ernie Ball Music Man synchronized floating tremolo.
Available May 1st*
Albert Lee's funky looking signature guitar provides classic country tones for fiery country licks. For 2018, the Albert Lee HH is an updated variant of the original signature guitar; it has a lightweight African mahogany body with a rosewood neck (yes that's not a typo) and fingerboard for a uniquely rich warmth. This guitar is the more versatile Albert Lee variant, with its dual humbuckers and 5-way switch. It is available in 2 new finishes - Power Blue and Charcoal Frost.
Available May 1st*
The St Vincent signature guitar is a more recent Music Man collaboration and features the most unique body shape of all the signature models. For 2018, the HH model is available in Charcoal Sparkle, Blue Dawn, Stealth Black, and Sea Breeze.
This guitar is also available as the unique HHH model with Dimarzio mini humbuckers in new finishes for 2018 - Stealth Black, Polaris White, Tobacco Burst and St Vincent.
Available June 1st*
The Stringray Bass is a ubiquitous instrument that is well-known for its versatility and effortless playability. For 2018, Music Man has upgraded this guitar in some key areas.
The Stingray 5 now has an enhanced contour that is more rounded for increased playing comfort. It includes a sculpted neck joint for uninhibited access to all 22 stainless steel frets. The new and improved StingRay electronics feature more powerful neodymium magnets for increased output and a new 18-volt preamp for extra clean headroom without clipping.
The Stingray 4 Bass has the same new body contours and neck joint, along with improved electronics and lighter aluminium hardware.
Both guitars feature the same classic dual pickups, solid construction, elegant oval pickguard, 3 1 machine head configuration, and give the look, feel and sound that is unmistakably the Stingray.
Available July N. America*
NAMM is back for 2019! For all the latest product news please headover to NAMM 2019
By Matt Wilkinson
*Availability listed by Ernie Ball Music Man, subject to changePosted on 30 Jan 2018 09:44 to category : Instruments News
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