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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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KirKill's review (This content has been automatically translated from French)
For specs all is said I have nothing more to add except that: mother of pearl inlays on the button with more style and can be a binding around the neck might have been more fun because there to the stroke is a little gross after it is a matter of taste
The D-Tuna is not delivered as the original EVH provide € 55 and more
The pickup selector (action type telecaster left to right) is a bit hard
Mine is with rosewood fingerboard
The Musicman flight case is a standard that is to say that this is not a special flight AXIS, you can put other scratches musicman
The stem of floyd / vibrato is referred to the back it's not a rod on a pivot like Floyd lo pro ede of the blow is a bit noisier, still on the floyd / vibrato design seems interesting but less well over a lo pro edge, it moves a little
For the two microphones were not available in custom Dimarzio catalog based on the equivalent would be a Dimarzio Air Zone and Tone Zone therefore Alnico 5 there after discussions on the old mic that had Mr EVH custom wound Duncan also hand ... Alnico II and that he also appreciates the Ceramic brief ...
The neck is super comfortable patent is not limited, "it slides Alice ..." I understand better why Ashba with several rounds of these pumice AXIS Gibson now
The vibrato / floyd is a little less flexible than a hard Floyd lo pro edge
The balance of the guitar is perfect the more it weighs a feather queudalle
The possibilities of the guitar is a limited 3-position selector button and a volume not need to do additional math option with the big bang theory brother Bogdanoff, my personal side I like the stripped
I wanted a modern skyscraper, and I can say I'm used to the brim do you want here's my boy ... P is cold and clear the sound is really clean
Against scratches by modern = modern rock thus the vintage stuff is on an amp bof type mesa, engl, randall ... I think it has to kill
against by the other registry blue, rock bah 70 then I think it means I prefer a SG, a Les Paul, a Tele or Start, on the other hand I have not taken for that, it is reserved for plans for Sixx AM, Megadeth, Metallica, Dream Theater ... and it is the right shovel there's no mistake about it
As against the micro split config environment I do not use it I do not like her at all
The quality / price € 2400 in nine is a scam against on occasion for less than € 1400 in impeccable condition then I say OK
With the experience I will not go over this choice is a purchase favorite from my love from beginning to know the metal
Since it was sold to a happy owner, I found it bland and boring compared to my more vintage guitars after is a matter of feeling ... (Oh yes ... Richard Cocciante) but still great I broke it and I really enjoyed the experience