Become a member
Become a member

or
Continue with Google
Log in
Log in

or
Log in using a Google account
Add this product to
  • Mon ancien matos
  • My current gear
  • My wishlist
Music Man Axis
Images
1/490
< Return to the list of user reviews
Caley Barker Caley Barker

« Beware - the Axis has been cheapened down over the years! »

Published on 10/09/20 at 07:40
Value For Money : Poor
Audience: Anyone
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!
cookies

We are using cookies!

Yes, Audiofanzine is using cookies. Since the last thing that we want is disturbing your diet with too much fat or too much sugar, you'll be glad to learn that we made them ourselves with fresh, organic and fair ingredients, and with a perfect nutritional balance. What this means is that the data we store in them is used to enhance your use of our website as well as improve your user experience on our pages (learn more). To configure your cookie preferences, click here.

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)

We did not wait for a law to make us respect our members and visitors' privacy. The cookies that we use are only meant to improve your experience on our website.

Our cookies

Cookies not subject to consent

These are cookies that guarantee the proper functioning of Audiofanzine and allow its optimization. The website cannot function properly without these cookies.

Website preferences

We store your preferences so that you do not have to re-enter them every time your come back (forums options, dark or light theme, classifieds filter, standard or buzz news, newsletters popups...).

Log in

This one makes sure you don't have to re-enter your credentials every time you visit Audiofanzine.

Analytics

This data allows us to understand the use that our visitors make of our website in an attempt to improve it.

Advertising

This information allows us to show you personalized advertisements thanks to which Audiofanzine is financed. By unchecking this box you will still have advertisements but they may be less interesting :)


You can find more details on data protection in our privacy policy.