Join Strat-Talk Today

new musicman s type

Discussion in 'Stratocaster Discussion Forum' started by guitarface, Feb 13, 2016.

  1. guitarface

    guitarface Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    4,987
    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Location:
    New York
  2. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,165
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I got to play one last night at the local GC - even compared it to a new Fender American Elite Strat. I liked the tone of the EBMM better - they have gotten their pickups pretty damn close to the AV '65 Strat pickups. The Cutlass is also larger than most of the other EBMMs - it's roughly the same size body as a Strat. I couldn't demo the trem - they didn't have the arm on it, but it is set to only lower pitch. The neck has been described as a "V-to-C"; the V part is a very soft V. It kind of feels like the shape of an Eric Johnson Strat, but it's thinner like the neck found on the old AVRI '57s in depth. Now like all EBMMs the neck has a narrow nut width. Their new version Silent Circuit does work, and it's got a buffer in it that was supposed to keep it from losing tone when you turn it down, but it also had the effect of making positions 2 and 4 just as loud as positions 1-3-5. It kind of catches you off guard the first time; you expect to get some drop off when you move from position 1 to 2.

    I'll preface this by saying I tend to prefer American Standards and American Vitnages to American Deluxes any way - I happen to like the CS pickups Fender uses in both the Strat and the Tele. With that being said I liked the Cutlass better than the American Elite. But I will say the American Elite does have improvements over the American Deluxes in terms of the pickups, but I don't know if I could get used to that C-to-D Elite neck. The neck is well made, and the new neck heel/body joint is very smooth.
     
    AllroyPA likes this.
  3. Willie D

    Willie D Pentatonic Hack Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    4,023
    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Location:
    Reading over yer shoulder
    [​IMG]
    I'll take one in white, please. I really like this design. Stratty enough, different enough.
     
    savofenno likes this.
  4. rocknrollrich

    rocknrollrich Senior Stratmaster

    Age:
    48
    Messages:
    2,780
    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2016
    Location:
    philadelphia
    You know, the Ernie Ball head stock is my second favorite design. 1st being a strat. They are two of the only head stocks that look "right" to me.
    I have played a few ebmm model guitars, and they looked and sounded amazing. But I just couldn't bond with the necks. They felt "smallish" to me. But they are brilliant guitars. Just not for me.
     
  5. Strat-Slinger

    Strat-Slinger Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,346
    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2013
    Location:
    Somewhere in Space
    I've been wanting to try one of these out... I like it's looks... and I'm interested in hearing the pups and seeing if I like the neck...
    One thing that I don't like... the lettering for "Cutlass" on the headstock... it just has a somewhat "cheesey" vibe to it... almost like it was written on the headstock with a crayon or something... it doesn't seem to fit in with the rest of the instrument... it should be a more "regal" font... just doesn't look right... but the rest of the guitar... damn... very nice ;)
     
  6. SAguitar

    SAguitar Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    1,746
    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2014
    Location:
    Oregon
    Leo would be proud!
     
    savofenno likes this.
  7. stratocarlster

    stratocarlster Most Honored Senior Member Strat-Talk Supporter

    Messages:
    7,896
    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2012
    Location:
    Telephone Road
    Funny, I just watched the guitarist from Walk the Moon playing one at the NBA all-star weekend, and was wondering what it was.
     
  8. Highwaystrat

    Highwaystrat Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,471
    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2013
    Location:
    California
    Would love to see how it balances playing with a strap standing up, and the wiring, of course I'd rather actually play one. Bass players swear by music mans.
     
    savofenno likes this.
  9. Mandrax

    Mandrax Senior Stratmaster

    Messages:
    2,208
    Joined:
    Mar 25, 2013
    Location:
    UK
    Love the look of this guitar but EBMM guitars have the narrow necks which I just can't get used to. It's a shame as they are always beautifully made instruments.
     
  10. Jamie

    Jamie Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    694
    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2015
    Location:
    Australia
    Wow that's a nice looking guitar.
     
    savofenno likes this.
  11. =KARMA=

    =KARMA= Strat-O-Master

    Messages:
    879
    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Location:
    Old England
    The semi-covered bridge arrangement looks interesting,........compensated nut too.
     
  12. John C

    John C Most Honored Senior Member

    Messages:
    5,165
    Joined:
    Jul 17, 2012
    Location:
    Kansas City
    I spent a good part of the 2000s bouncing between EBMM Silhouette Specials and Strats - loved the necks of the EBMM (that oil & wax finish) but would give up on them because they were small-bodied, and the tone was equally small. The Cutlass really does feel like a Strat - the body is about the same size; it's really only shorter than a Strat because of the headtock. The body is "modified Strat" - it's actually the same body that Leo designed for the Sabre guitar back in the 1970s. The neck feels fuller than a Silo Special neck, and not as clubby as the Albert Lee neck. But it still is the narrow EBMM nut width.

    A bit of history - Leo's second Music Man design was the Sabre line; it was a 2-pickup bass and a guitar with 2 humbuckers and active electronics (but different electronics than earlier StingRay guitar). Leo of course had a falling out with his 2 partners in Music Man, but still continued to make the MM instruments under his contract for a year or two after left the MM partnership. After they fully parted ways with Leo Music Man had to find another builder for their instruments; they kept the basses in production but switched to graphite necks - and they called the StingRay bass the "Cutlass 1" and the Sabre bass the "Cutlass 2". Evidently there was a prototype Cutlass guitar in Tom Walker's collection (Walker and Forrest White actually founded the company; Leo came in as first an investor in 1973, then as a full partner in 1975 after his non-compete with CBS expired). The Cutlass prototype had a graphite neck, Kahler tremolo and the graphite neck, but was never put into production before Music Man went bankrupt in 1984 - and Sterling Ball convinced his father to buy the company. Sterling's godfather was Tom Walker, and Sterling worked as a tester for Music Man for a couple of years - gaining experience with another company before coming back to the family business.

    I think it's the same script that MM was using in the 1970s - it looks like the StingRay script to me. I had played the original StingRay and Sabre back in the day, but I've only seen the Cutlass basses in catalogs. When I was starting out my local music shop was a Fender/Gibson/Music Man dealer.

    As I say the pickups are really nice on the new Cutlass - I've demoed the AV '65 Strat, and these are pretty close to the AV '65 pickups, but with a bit of that top end sparkle you find on Fender Fat '50s.

    The neck is a bit fatter than the typical EBMM, but not as clubby feeling as the Albert Lee. Also the Cutlass and StingRay models have a satin poly finish instead of the oil/wax finish. It's pretty close to the oil/wax finish, a bit more unfinished feeling than Fender's satin poly.

    I only played it sitting down; it balances like a Strat sitting down. As I say the circuit is nice - no noise in the Guitar Center environment. The buffered output part does result in all 5 positions having the same output volume, instead of the usual slight volume drop in positions 2 and 4. If you like to use that natural volume drop as part of your sound when playing a Strat then you may find it odd.

    I liked it well enough that I plan on making one my next Strat purchase - to see if I like the neck long-term - I have an RSI issue with my left hand (I'm a lefty playing righty, and I have a semi-permanent writers cramp issue with my left thumb. I quit playing EBMMs because the necks aggravated that issue compared to say a Fender American Standard neck.
     
    Mandrax likes this.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.