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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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 …

Jake Bowen Gets DiMarzio Signature Pickups

TitanPeriphery’s Jake Bowen is the latest artist to be honoured with a signature DiMarzio pickup set. As DiMarzio says on their website, the Titan pickups were developed for Jake’s new signature guitar with Ibanez. “Jake Bowen is one of the new generation of guitarists on the cutting edge of progressive rock,” DiMarzio says, “and the Titan™ Neck and Bridge Model pickups were developed for his new signature guitar by Ibanez. Jake’s bridge pickup is crucial to his sound. It needs to be dynamic, fast, and very tight, and it’s at home with both standard and dropped tunings.” Here’s a killer video of Jake jamming with Dream Theater’s John Petrucci (who is using his own new DiMarzios, the Illuminator set), followed by some info about each pickup. Read More …

EXCLUSIVE: Stream The New Dream Theater Album!

dream theaterI Heart Guitar is proud to present the Australian-exclusive stream of the new Dream Theater album, thanks to Roadrunner Records Australia and Dream Theater. The self-titled album is the band’s twelfth, and the second to feature Mike Mangini on drums. You can listen to it in the player below. And while you’re doing that, why not read my interview with Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci? Click here and it’ll open in a new window. If you’re not in Australia, click on this smartlink which will take you to the site for your region. Either way, crank your speakers up and get ready to be blown away!

Here’s the player. Hope you dig it.

INTERVIEW: Dream Theater’s John Petrucci

john petrucciDream Theater’s new, self-titled album is their twelfth, and it amounts to something of a resetting of the idea of what Dream Theater can be. 2010’s A Dramatic Turn Of Events was a big test for the band: could they survive without co-founder Mike Portnoy behind the drum kit? The answer to this question was a resounding “Yes!” ADTOE played up the band’s many strengths – epic melodies, virtuosic interludes, intricate solos, odd-but-natural time signature shifts – and it did so in a way that was clearly Dream Theater, even with new drummer Mike Mangini in the engine room. But it was a very safe interpretation of what Dream Theater could be. Parallels were drawn between the album and 1992’s Images & Words, for instance. And now with Dream Theater [Roadrunner], the band doesn’t have anything to prove. They don’t need to show you that they can continue to make albums that sound like Dream Theater. Instead they’re free once more to make albums that are Dream Theater, that present the band as an evolving entity exploring what it can do. Dream Theater is perhaps the most naturally representative example of what the band can do since 1999’s Scenes From A Memory, in that nothing seems forced. Read More …

John Petrucci Demonstrates New DiMarzio Illuminators

JP13Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci’s most recent Ernie Ball Music Man guitar, the JP13, features a unique DiMarzio pickup set called Illuminator. These pickups are based on his existing signature models – the Crunch Lab and LiquiFire – but with a bit of a twist. As John explains in my new interview with him: “This pickup set is building upon the Crunch Lab and the LiquiFire, so we’re starting there, and most of it – really all of it – is the work of Steve Blucher at DiMarzio. In the case of this one, knowing that the guitar was going to have a preamp in it and everything, he was able to predict what would be necessary to make the guitar be more open-sounding and able to breathe more. He did a fantastic job, and I’ve been working with him so long that I barely have to say much. He just instinctively knows. It’s wonderful.”

DiMarzio has full specs on each pickup: 6-string bridge and neck, and 7-string bridge and neck.

Here’s a video of the Illuminators in action in Petrucci’s capable hands… Read More …

New Dream Theater Album Update Video

Dream TheaterDream Theater have just released the fourth studio update ahead of the release of their 12th studio album. The self-titled record is due on September 24 and it’s their second with drummer Mike Mangini. I won’t give anything away but I interviewed John Petrucci last week (look for it here and in Australian Guitar magazine closer to the album’s release) and let’s just say …you’re gonna love this album. You can watch the fourth video below, followed by the previous three and then the official lyric video for the song “The Enemy Inside.” Read More …

REVIEW: Sterling By Music Man JP70

JP70Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci’s Ernie Ball Music Man signature guitar is a real pro-level piece of kit, and one of those sig instruments that is even able to transcend its association with a particular artist and instead become adopted by players at large. Besides Petrucci you can often see them in the hands of Joe Bonamassa and Periphery’s Mark Holcomb, for instance. But the asking price – although well worth it – is out of the reach of many players. Sterling By Music Man to the rescue! After successfully offering six-string JP-60 for a few years, the brand has now released its first seven-string version, the JP70.

Wanna buy one? Click Here for Stealth Black or here for Transparent Green Burst.


Read More …