NAMM 2018: Ernie Ball Music Man reveals the new artist series guitars

Ernie Ball Music Man has been very busy it seems as they finally pull back the curtain on 13 new artist series guitars. Will let them do the talking about each one…


ernie ball music man

The Albert Lee HH is an updated variant of the original Albert Lee model. Sharing the same modern retronaesthetics, the HH model comprises a lightweight African mahogany body, 25.5” scale rosewood neck and ngerboard, giving the Albert Lee HH its signature rich warmth. Dual custom wound DiMarzio humbuckers and 5-way switch deliver a full range of tonal options, from full on humbucker thickness to chimey clean single coil bite. Now available in Powder Blue and Charcol Frost.

With its unique retro modern design and stunning array of vintage single coils options, the Albert Lee is one versatile instrument. Lightweight, comfortable and perfectly balanced players will appreciate its fit, form, and function. Sporting a southern swamp ash body, figured maple neck and a trio of custom wound Seymour Duncan pickups, this guitar is the perfect choice for guitarists who want brilliant hi-pitched twang or smooth throaty tone wrapped up in a hum- free electronic package. Whether you are looking for twang or shine, grit or grease, the Albert Lee will deliver, covering a wide ranging sonic palette all at the flick of the switch. Now available in Vintage Tobacco.

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The Luke III Ball Family Reserve is the next evolution in the design process started with the original Luke model some 25 years prior. Addressing Steve’s performance needs as a touring guitarist has been critical in the development of this new edition. The added mahogany tone block, on- board 15db adjustable boost, beautifully figured A++ maple top and roasted birdseye maple neck have refined this new signature edition into an instrument of superior tone and versatility. New for 2018, the Luke III BFR is now available in an exclusive Boysenberry finish.

The 2018 Cutlass HSS features a brand new roasted figured maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard (fingerboard option depends on body color). The HSS model retains all
of the familiar elements of the original Cutlass including an alder body, super smooth modern tremolo and oversized 4 over 2 headstock. The bridge pickup in the HSS is a custom wound Music Man ceramic humbucker with a vintage sound that compliments the single coils yet has plenty of crunchy rhythms and biting lead tones. Also introducing two new finishes, Firemist Silver with maple fretboard and Stealth Black with ebony fretboard and matte black finished maple neck.

The 2018 Cutlass features a brand new roasted figured maple neck with rosewood or maple fingerboard (fingerboardoption depends on body color). The Cutlass retains all original specifications including vintage spec electronics, a super smooth modern tremolo system, and lightweight alder body. Oversized 4 over 2 headstock with straight string pull provide superior tuning stability and flawless craftsmanship throughout make the Cutlass a perfect culmination of old-world aesthetics and styling with modern design and playability. Introducing new 2018 color option, Firemist Silver with roasted maple neck and fingerboard.

The JP15 features a lightweight African mahogany body with a figured maple top. Figured roasted maple neck and fingerboard add just the right amount of snap and brightness while providing more stability in ever changing climates. The JP 15 is powered by twin custom Dimarzio Illuminator pickups, piezo bridge system and onboard 20db gain boost. Available in 6 or 7 string with Music Man JP tremolo, 3-way toggle pickup selector, and Music Man hardshell case. Now available in a translucent Black Burst matte finish.

The Luke III features an alder body, figured roasted maple neck with East Indian rosewood fingerboard. The LIII is powered by Dimarzio transitions passive humbuckers and custom voiced single coil pickups. Smooth action Music Man floating vintage tremolo, 5-way pickup selector and 15db adjustable active boost give the Luke III a variety of tonal combinations suitable for any musical style. Now offered in Firemist Purple and Buttercream with black hardware.

First introduced in 1976, the StingRay has become one of the most iconic bass guitars in history. For 2018, the StingRay 4 has been reimagined with new features and appointments that provide a new level of playing comfort while retaining that revered iconic StingRay sound. Featured revisions include an enhanced contour that is rounded for more comfort in any playing position, a sculpted neck joint for uninhibited upper fret access to all 22 stainless steel frets, and lightweight aluminium hardware providing a lighter, more balanced instrument. The new and improved StingRay electronics feature powerful neodymium magnets for higher output and a new 18-volt 3-Band preamp for extra clean headroom without clipping. Solid roadworthy construction, elegant oval pickguard, 3+1 tuning key configuration, and the ever popular Music Man humbucker, all together produce a look, feel and sound that is remarkably unmistakable.

First introduced in 1987, the StingRay 5 has become one of the most iconic bass guitars in history. For 2018, the StingRay 5 has been reimagined with new features and appointments that provide a new level of playing comfort while retaining that revered iconic StingRay 5 sound. Featured revisions include an enhanced contour that is rounded for more comfort in any playing position, a sculpted neck joint for uninhibited upper fret access to all 22 stainless steel frets, and lightweight aluminium hardware providing a lighter more balanced instrument. 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. Solid roadworthy construction, elegant pickguard, 4+1 tuning key configuration, and the ever-popular Music Man humbucking pickup, all of which combined produce a look, feel and sound that is remarkably unmistakable.


The 2018 Stingray features a brand new roasted figured maple neck with ebony, rosewood or maple fingerboard (fingerboard option depends on body color). The StingRay retains all original specifications including vintage spec humbucking pickups, a super smooth modern tremolo system, and off-set lightweight African mahogany body. The sound is big and bold when needed but smooth as glass if desired thanks to the perfectly voiced custom pickups. 3-way switch accesses versatile coil combinations while oversized 4 over 2 headstock with straight string pull provides superior tuning stability. Flawless craftsmanship throughout makes the Stingray a perfect culmination of old-world aesthetics and styling with modern design and playability. Also introducing three new finishes, Vintage Turquoise, Firemist Silver, and Stealth Black with ebony fretboard and matte black finished maple neck.


New for 2018, the St. Vincent signature model will now be available in a Ernie Ball Music Man designed dual humbucking pickup configuration. The new St. Vincent HH package features lightweight African mahogany body, roasted gured maple neck with ebony or rosewood fingerboard (depending on color), black or chrome hardware, matching pickup covers, and 5-way switch. Available in 4 finishes: Charcoal Sparkle, Blue Dawn, Stealth Black, and Sea Breeze.


Envisioned and designed by St. Vincent with support from the award-winning engineering team at Ernie Ball Music Man, this unique electric guitar was crafted to perfectly fit her form, playing technique and personal style. Manufactured in Ernie Ball Music Man’s San Luis Obispo, California factory, the St. Vincent signature is available in Stealth Black, Polaris White, Tobacco Burst or custom St. Vincent Blue, a color hand- mixed by Annie. The guitar features an African mahogany body, Ernie Ball Music Man tremolo, roasted figured maple neck with rosewood or ebony fretboard, St. Vincent inlays, Schaller locking tuners, 5-way pick up selector and 3 custom DiMarzio mini humbuckers.

The Ernie Ball Music Man “Valentine” signature guitar features a slab ash body, two Ernie Ball Music Man designed pickups (1-humbucker/1-single coil), with 3-way custom wired lever switch, coil tap, 25.5-inch scale, oil and wax rubbed roasted figured maple neck with 10- inch radius maple fingerboard, 22 stainless steel frets, oversized 4-over-2 headstock and compensated nut, designed for superior tuning stability. New for 2018, the Ernie Ball Music Man Valentine will feature 3 exciting new finishes: Saturn Gold, Husker Red and Toluca Lake Blue. Also available is an optional Music Man super smooth modern tremolo with vintage bent steel saddles.

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