« amazing guitar!! »Published on 06/03/12 at 18:30
This guitar has it all. Ultra versatile.
The body shape was designed by John Petrucci, after moving from Ibanez he wanted a shape all his own and this was his idea. Very comfortable, perfect balance when standing, and great contours for when sitting. The neck and body were designed together to get the best access possible to the higher frets. Even though it's a bolt on getting the 24th fret is easier than most neck thru guitars. The guitar came from the factory with super low action and because of Ernie Ball Music Man's amazing attention to detail the frets were amazing, no dead frets or excessive fret buzz (very slight due to low action, but no bad buzz). The neck is one of the most comfortable I've ever played. At first reminded me of a fender but with a 15" radius vs fenders 9.5" and stainless frets. Didn't understand the hype around these guitars, but after playing it for a while I understood. The neck is just so comfortable, fits my hand (along with many peoples hands) like a glove and everything about the guitar just fits with each other to make one amazing guitar.
I always try a guitar unplugged first. If I don't like it then most likely I won't like it plugged in. If I do like it then there's a 50/50 I'll love it or dislike it plugged in, but that can partially be fixed with different pickups. First thing I noticed is how bright and twangy the guitar is. The basswood body and maple neck really make the guitar bright but still smooth. Plugged in the crunch lab is very articulate and creamy. Makes playing almost effortless due to high output, but it's designed well enough that the high output isn't a bad thing like many high gain pickups. With the right amp settings you can get serious low end chunk (without getting muddy) and high end shimmer (without getting ice picky) but it can be EQ'ed how ever you want. The neck pickup is very smooth and bluesy. Not too bassy and not shrill, a nice happy medium. The piezo was amazing. Never tried one before but I was very surprised and how cool it was. Simulates acoustic tones and while it's not dead on it's very very good, and very useful well beyond simulating an acoustic. It can simulate some great single coil tones as well. Since this is a dual humbucker guitar having the piezo simulate single coils is a great feature. I was planning on buying one of these without the piezo, figuring I wouldn't need it, but once I tried it I realized that no matter how much or little I'll need it I'll get it regardless, just because it's so cool and if I ever do want it.
Overall this is one of the nicest guitars I've ever played. Ernie Ball Music Man make some of the highest quality guitars around and at only USA production prices. I don't own one yet but I play one almost every day. I'd strongly recommend these guitars to anyone, from heavy metal guys all the way to blues and country. It can really do it all.