Hello, Old Friend…

Today I was over at Davis Music Centre in Footscray, Melbourne to return a lovely FGN J-Standard Odyssey I’ve been reviewing, and I got to visit the very same Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee MM90 guitar that I reviewed a few months ago. It was really cool to see it again! It’s a beautiful guitar, and whoever ends up taking it home will be very, very happy.

Here it is on the wall at the store…

ebmm albert lee mm90

And here it is back when it was visiting my house…

Music Man Albert Lee MM90

And here’s what it sounds like!

Dream Theater – Melbourne, October 29, 2014

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I first started listening to Dream Theater with A Change Of Seasons – back then the albums weren’t released locally here in Australia, so we had to pay huge prices for imports – and I immediately had that feeling of ‘This is the band I always wished existed!’ My brother and I soon went back and checked out Images And Words and Awake and I was blown away by the scope of the music, the intensity of the performances, the creativity of the arrangements and the depth of the lyrics. It took a long time for Dream Theater to finally tour Australia (0n the Chaos In Motion tour) and this brief run of two Australian dates was only their third ever tour down here, and first with Mike Mangini behind the kit.  Read More …

REVIEW: Ernie Ball Music Man Albert Lee MM90


Have you seen the movie The Grand Budapest Hotel? You have? Right. Well y’know how Zero Moustafa can’t bring himself to talk about his fiancé Agatha because it makes him too emotional? That’s how I feel about this guitar. Just writing about it now – knowing that it’s not mine and I’ll probably never get to own it or one like it because frankly they’re priced at what they’re worth and they’re worth a lot – brings a bittersweet tear to my eye. I’ve played other Music Man Albert Lee models over the years and quite liked them (St. Vincent does too – look for her playing a twin-humbucker version). I’ve even reviewed them here. And of course Albert Lee himself is an absolute guitar master who can hand no less a player than Steve Morse his ass – just look at this footage of Lee and Morse at the Ernie Ball 50th Anniversary party for proof – but there’s something magical about this particular version of Albert Lee’s signature model Music Man, even compared to the single coil and humbucker versions. Read More …

REVIEW: Ernie Ball M-Steel Strings

M-Steel-PackErnie Ball has been around for 52 years now – can you believe it? – and in that time they’ve spearheaded some pretty revolutionary innovations in the string world, such as the Slinky range and the brilliant Cobalt series. The latter are incredibly strong, powerfully-voiced strings that pretty much refuse to die. So what does Ernie Ball hope to achieve with the new M-Steel line? Well, they feature new patent-pending technology based on a defence-grade alloy known as Maraging Steel in order to keep the strings stronger. By the way, before we get into the review: to celebrate the introduction of M-Steel strings, Ernie Ball is launching “M-Steel Madness.” Starting April 1st, fans will be asked to post videos or photos of themselves with their newly purchased M-Steel strings using the hashtag #msteel. One lucky winner will be chosen at random on July 1st, and receive a prize package of exclusive musical gear.

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NAMM: Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty

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Here it is: the Ernie Ball Music Man John Petrucci Majesty 6 and 7-string models in all their unorthodox glory! These guitars caused quite a stir when they first surfaced but once you see them in person they make a whole lot more sense. Everything flows beautifully, the workmanship is beyond incredible and the proportions don’t seem as weird in person as when you see pics. I’ve tried to snap a few angles that show off the guitars’ many best sides. And with the Game Changer system this is one crazily versatile instrument.

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Sterling By Music Man Luke LK100D

Luke2 (2) (624x1024)Just saw something incredibly cool over on the Ernie Ball forums: a Sterling By Music Man Steve Lukather model called the LK100D, based on Lukather’s EBMM Luke III model! The news was confirmed by Brian Martin of Praxis Musical, home of Sterling By Music Man. He says: “We are proud to announce to you our newest Sterling By Music Man Artist Signature Series. This Artist is one whose talent resides in the upper echelon of Grammy Award winning musicians, known world-wide, a true “players player”.
Ladies and Gentlemen: Luke.
Please welcome to our fine family of Artists, the new for 2014 Sterling By Music Man LK100D Steve Lukather Artist Signature Guitar!
Available worldwide February 2014
The new LK100D is based on the newest incarnation of the Music Man Luke III. It features two DiMarzio Luke Signature “Transitions” humbuckers, a “push-push” Active volume boost based on the original Music Man design, 5 position pickup selector, Vintage Tremolo factory set for full step and a half pulls, locking tuning machines, and will, for now, be available in Luke Blue and Metallic Black. Read More …

Behold! The Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty!

Mystic-Majesty_ShieldSterling Ball has just posted the following on the Ernie Ball Music Man forum…
“Its really too early but it has been seen by a few so I wanted the rest of you to see it…the ones who dont spy on me….enjoy….
The guitar is super super light…the ‘carbon fiber’ is not what it seems….it is laser etched maple that is finished to resemble carbon fiber the guys did an amazing job. the access is absolutely crazy good….the ergonomics were the primary deal and it balances really well…. It has a gamechanger in it and is set to just be a switch but as we introduce the gc incrementally you can activate if you choose but it is not manditory. The guitar has been voiced by di marzio and we have done sonic thumbprint matching….I will tell you about it someday. The design and construction techiniques are cutting edge and like I could only have imagined ten years ago. Enjoy” Read More …