Music Gear News

At we update our news channel daily to ensure you always get the latest and most important music news.

NAMM 2018: Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars and Basses- What's New?

NAMM 2018: Ernie Ball Music Man Guitars and Basses- What’s New?
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*

2018 Cutlass

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*

2018 Luke

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*

John Petrucci

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

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*

St Vincent

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*

Stingray Bass

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*


See the latest NAMM 2018 Guitars including the NAMM 2018 Electric Guitars and NAMM 2018 Bass Guitars

Keep up to date with the latest NAMM 2018 Music News and Products

By Matt Wilkinson


*Availability listed by Ernie Ball Music Man, subject to change

Posted on 30 Jan 2018 09:44 to category : Instruments News

Related Music News


A legacy vinyl performance experience meets the future of DJ technology with the Denon DJ SC5000M Prime.

9 Aug 2018 15:06

SubZero electric guitars are great value instruments with a wide range of features for almost any style of music. For 2018, the SubZero line has been greatly expanded to cater for contemporary players, so no matter what your taste, you'll find the right guitar for you.

30 Jul 2018 16:08

Are Paradigm strings worth it? We put Ernie Ball's most innovative guitar strings to our team of guitar staff to see what they thought...

26 Jul 2018 12:41

The Marbles Random Sampler and Plaits Eurorack Modules are In Stock Now at Gear4music!

26 Jul 2018 08:50

The Black & Gold Shared System Plus is a comprehensive collection of Eurorack synthesizer modules from Make Noise. It's a complete setup that has everything you need to make music - available to order now!

24 Jul 2018 16:12

Recent Music News


Buy a Roland DJ-808 DJ Controller and claim 2 free vinyl pressings inspired by the most revered drum machine of all time - the Roland TR-808!

8 Aug 2018 13:38

Ludwig has released its NeuSonic range of 3-piece shell packs, with high-quality features including hybrid shells and four classy finishes.

3 Aug 2018 16:38

M-Audio has just released the Mk3 versions of the iconic Keystation USB MIDI keyboard controllers with a full range of creative functions & bundled software.

1 Aug 2018 15:00

This summer you can make unprecedented savings on all UA Apollo rackmount interfaces. Save up to 20%, but hurry; offer ends September 15th, 2018!

1 Aug 2018 13:20

Yamaha's brand-new P-121 weighs just 10kg yet packs in a hammer-action keyboard, multiple keyboard sounds, and a built-in speaker system - it's perfect for musicians on the move.

1 Aug 2018 00:00

After Yanagisawa recently updated the A901 (alto) and T901 (tenor) saxophones with the AWO and TWO, the company has now announced brand-new replacements to the popular B901 and SC901.

1 Aug 2018 00:00