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Music Man Axis
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Music Man Axis

Other Shape Guitar from Music Man .

8 reviews

Annonces Music Man Axis

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Reviews

Average Score:
( 4.3/5 based on 8 reviews )
3 reviews
38 %
4 reviews
50 %
1 review
13 %
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"Beware - the Axis has been cheapened down over the years!"

Music Man AxisPublished on 10/09/20 at 07:40
I owned a 2013 standard USA Axis and a 2014 Axis Ball Family Reserve (a.k.a. "BFR" model) for a few years. It had been nearly 20 years since I had played an EVH Music Man signature, so I had little to compare it to. My initial impression was that it as a very good-sounding guitar with a buttery-smooth neck.

But soon enough I ended up purchasing a '91 and '95 EVH model and noticed how the Axis, especially the standard model, has obviously been cheapened down over the years. The 2013 neck is *similar* to the EVH models, but definitely not identical by any means - and of course the neck is 1/32" wider to make it "idiot proof"... The Axis lacks the highly custom asymetrical neck design that......
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I owned a 2013 standard USA Axis and a 2014 Axis Ball Family Reserve (a.k.a. "BFR" model) for a few years. It had been nearly 20 years since I had played an EVH Music Man signature, so I had little to compare it to. My initial impression was that it as a very good-sounding guitar with a buttery-smooth neck.

But soon enough I ended up purchasing a '91 and '95 EVH model and noticed how the Axis, especially the standard model, has obviously been cheapened down over the years. The 2013 neck is *similar* to the EVH models, but definitely not identical by any means - and of course the neck is 1/32" wider to make it "idiot proof"... The Axis lacks the highly custom asymetrical neck design that was supposedly copied from Eddie's second Frankenstrat (the famous Kramer from 1984-19889-ish). The neck is also MUCH thinner than the EVH models, and although I can't be sure, I recall the late '90s/early 2000s Axis versions being much more close to the EVHs overall, with a thicker neck and a heavier body.

Anyway, the 2013 Axis standard weighed more a pound less than all the Music Man EVHs I've ever tried, and although it still blows many guitars out of the water, I suspect there are other small downgrades here and there to cut back on production costs including the build quality of the Floyd Rose and perhaps even that of the pickups. Also, the birdseye maple figuring on the back of my 2013 model was almost non-existent, whereas my EVHs have a moderate amount of birdseye while other EVHs have even more. The old EVH models simply seem more solid built, are heavier, and have a stronger sound. Their necks are not fat by any means, but definitely "middle of the road" hybrid C/D type necks compared to the skinnier C-style neck newer Axis necks.

The 2014 "BFR" Axis I owned was of better build quality (it better be for the price!), and did in fact have a bit fatter neck than the standard, but still rather generic and slimmer compared to the original EVHs. My 2014 "BFR" Axis, which had a mahogany tone block in the body, still didn't weight quite as much as the old EVHs. It didn't sound as good as the EVHs either!

I just wanted to point out this phenomeneon, that apparently Ernie Ball has been gradually cutting back on the quality of these guitars while keeping the prices sky high - still piggy-backing off of the EVH signature, and still claiming it's the "same" guitar minus the well-documented cosmetic changes. I think it's pretty ridiculous and I would highly suggest NOT purchasing one new, and seeking an older model Axis if you don't want to buy the actual EVH version...

Again, even the newer Axis models beat the pants off most run-of-the-mill guitars, and I'd take one over a Strat or Les Paul any day in terms of a playability - but compared to the original EVHs, they do pale in comparison. I ended up selling all of my Axises (Axi?), and I would be very leery of buying a new/newer guitar from Ernie Ball-Music Man without doing some heavy investigating first!
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"Incredibly well built guitar"

Music Man AxisPublished on 04/30/20 at 15:40
I bought this honey burst quilt top on CL for $1650.00 CAD (approx $1240.00 USD). It was used, but basically unplayed. Incredible value imo. My favourite guitar of my three Ibanez as well as Custom Shop Gibsons, Fender Strat Plus as well as nearly a dozen others.

I find the Axis is incredibly comfortable to play because of the neck. I usually like a flatter radius (17") and more shallow C neck profile, but for some reason this works.

Additionally I use quite a bit of gain and I can control it a lot easier on my Axis than my other guitars. Not sure why. Has great, and I mean great, sustain and tone. Very even response as well. Great high end, tight bottom end but a little light.
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I bought this honey burst quilt top on CL for $1650.00 CAD (approx $1240.00 USD). It was used, but basically unplayed. Incredible value imo. My favourite guitar of my three Ibanez as well as Custom Shop Gibsons, Fender Strat Plus as well as nearly a dozen others.

I find the Axis is incredibly comfortable to play because of the neck. I usually like a flatter radius (17") and more shallow C neck profile, but for some reason this works.

Additionally I use quite a bit of gain and I can control it a lot easier on my Axis than my other guitars. Not sure why. Has great, and I mean great, sustain and tone. Very even response as well. Great high end, tight bottom end but a little light.

Decked trem and locking system keeps the tuning stable. Features only gets a 4/5, because I wouldn't mind a tone control, but not a big deal. Honestly the craftsmanship of this guitar is way above most, they are more like a custom shop guitar imo.

I have been using this as my main guitar for about 6 months and I think it will stay that way now. The more I play it the more I love it.

I use a DAW with ProTools and Amplitube.
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"80's Heaven... for some"

Music Man AxisPublished on 09/03/12 at 02:43
The Musicman Axis features a figured maple top in a beautiful trans amber finish. Basswood body, maple bolt-on neck and a maple fretboard. In the Axis you'll find a pair of custom wound Dimarzio humbuckers routed through a single volume control and 3 way switch. Also sports Schaller tuners and a licensed Floyd Rose locking tremolo. I really enjoy the subtle birdseye details in the fingerboard, it's details like this that make the gutiar feel expensive.

UTILIZATION

The Axis is a blessing to you back. Having handled mostly heavy Les Paul styled guitars for most of my playing years, it is a relief to handle a guitar so lightweight. The small body shape makes the guitar feel very compact......
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The Musicman Axis features a figured maple top in a beautiful trans amber finish. Basswood body, maple bolt-on neck and a maple fretboard. In the Axis you'll find a pair of custom wound Dimarzio humbuckers routed through a single volume control and 3 way switch. Also sports Schaller tuners and a licensed Floyd Rose locking tremolo. I really enjoy the subtle birdseye details in the fingerboard, it's details like this that make the gutiar feel expensive.

UTILIZATION

The Axis is a blessing to you back. Having handled mostly heavy Les Paul styled guitars for most of my playing years, it is a relief to handle a guitar so lightweight. The small body shape makes the guitar feel very compact whilst maintaining a 25-1/2" scale length. It can take getting used to the ultra slim neck of the guitar, I found myself stumbling over quicker flurries of notes at first. Tuning stability is amazing with the locking tremolo reinforcing it.

SOUNDS

I played the Axis through a Soldano Astroverb head. Mesa 4x12 cab. No pedals.

The axis is supposed to invoke EVH sounds when thought of. I'm not particularly an EVH fan so I can't attest to it's accuracy in this regard. I do know, however, that the Axis can cop Thin Lizzy tones such as Jail Break and Chinatown perfectly. I wasn't all that fond of the clean sounds I was getting from the Axis, but the guitar wasn't exactly designed to play nice. The Axis excelled at mid gain sounds and not so much with high gain. The body shape does not lend itself to extended low end frequencies.

OVERALL OPINION

I will admit that the Musicman Axis has never really appealed to me. I have had many chances to play one and, until recently, always passed it up. The guitar sounds great, really. I just couldn't get adjusted to it. If your hands are accustomed to neck profiles similar to a Les Paul's, you may find it rather difficult to get your bearing on the Axis. I feel that the subtle aesthetic gestures and the brand image will justify the price to some, but I just couldn't connect with it.
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"Great unique rock guitar"

Music Man AxisPublished on 08/31/11 at 10:44
The Music Man Axis is the evolution of the original EBMM Edward Van Halen model that was built during the early-mid nineties. After Ed left the company and went to Peavey the EBMM model was changed slightly and renamed the Axis. It remains in production to this day and is a great selling guitar for the company. It's made in the USA Music Man plant as they always have been.

The guitar features a basswood body, a flamed or quilted maple top (available in a variety of colours both solid and translucent), a maple neck and fretboard with a really cool asymmetrical neck carve and a slightly smaller nut width than the majority of modern guitars. It features a locking tremolo system, Schaller......
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The Music Man Axis is the evolution of the original EBMM Edward Van Halen model that was built during the early-mid nineties. After Ed left the company and went to Peavey the EBMM model was changed slightly and renamed the Axis. It remains in production to this day and is a great selling guitar for the company. It's made in the USA Music Man plant as they always have been.

The guitar features a basswood body, a flamed or quilted maple top (available in a variety of colours both solid and translucent), a maple neck and fretboard with a really cool asymmetrical neck carve and a slightly smaller nut width than the majority of modern guitars. It features a locking tremolo system, Schaller locking tuners, two DiMarzio custom pickups (based on the Tone Zone and Air Norton I believe) and an extremely simple control layout of a volume control and a 3 way toggle switch. It also has a nice Music Man hard case with it as new.

UTILIZATION

The guitar is fairly ergonomic. Edward Van Halen is a player known for jumping around and moving with his guitars and the design was his. It lacks the contouring of many modern superstrats, but it feels less like that and more like a vintage Les Paul or something - great for the more old school player. The basswood body makes for a pretty light guitar overall, but it still has a very thick and wool-y tone that's like a hyped up Les Paul meets a Strat. The upper fret access is fairly good on these guitars too due to the Music Man 5 bolt neck joint - great upper fret access.

Getting a good tone out of this guitar is pretty easy. It is built well and has a wonderful spongy and vintage vibe to the wood, so the unplugged tones are really resonant and clear. As a result, the sound plugged in is very lively and has a nice kick to it that is very brown sounding.

SOUNDS

I've tried this guitar through a whole plethora of different amps and have come to like it through pretty much anything. It sounds very vibrant and clear even when you first pick it up and haven't yet plugged in - very cool. To me, a great unplugged sound is always an indication that it is going to sound awesome plugged in, and the Axis is no exception. The guitar is bright and snappy and has a tone that's all its own in my opinion. It's got elements of a Strat and elements of a Les Paul but the end result is a tone that stands on its own as a great sounding one for rock and fusion styles.

The clean tones are nice and bright sounding, great for everything from modern jazz to some twangin' country tones. It also takes well to pushed gain tones for gutsier blues and R&B tones if you want them. The drive tones are great for everything from rock rhythm (the EVH tones are here in spades) to some smooth legato or alternate picked lead tones. It's all there.

OVERALL OPINION

All in all I think the EBMM Axis is an excellent professional instrument for those players who want a guitar that is versatile and has a voice that combines the best of the Les Paul and Strat voices to create something wonderful. Sterling and the rest of the EBMM company have been committed to making high quality guitars for many years and the Axis continues that lineage. At about $1,800 new they're a great deal, but can be had for as low as $1,000 used if you look around on eBay or various forums.
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Tech. sheet

  • Manufacturer: Music Man
  • Model: Axis
  • Category: Other Shape Guitars
  • Added in our database on: 09/03/2003

We have no technical specifications for this product
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