HSS are always desirable. IMHOWell, here’s guitar #19 for me! My first Ernie Ball Music Man. Powder Blue HSS Cutlass.
Wow, this is just a super fun guitar to play! The neck is about as thin as I can go for my tastes (0.825” 1st fret / 0.925” 12th fret) but man, I can fly all over the board effortlessly. It’s got a hand-rubbed oil & wax finish on the roasted maple neck that’s the smoothest I’ve ever felt. Much smoother than any other satin neck I’ve played. There is zero stickiness. Some very nice figuring on the neck with some birdseye here and there. Nice, moody, dark rosewood board.
The stainless steel frets are flawless and impeccably crowned; a joy to play. So silky smooth and tough as heck. Ernie Ball describes the fret size as “High Profile Medium Width”, but the actual measurements are a hybrid of a Fender “Medium Jumbo” (6150) and “Narrow Tall” (6105). The height is 0.047” (like Medium Jumbo) and width is 0.095” (like Narrow Tall).
I’m coaxing all manner of tones from the 5-way. Everything from Knopfler/Gilmore stratty to Roy B. stinging Tele bite to Ballsy mid-heavy hard rock from the humbucker. It’s extremely versatile. One of the standouts is the buffered output which is basically a treble bleed that actually WORKS! There is zero treble loss no matter how low you turn down the volume knob.
The compensated nut really does make an audible difference to my ear, as well. Thirds, Fourths, Fifths, and Sixths double stops and chord shapes high up the neck sound “correct”, especially with the pesky G and B strings.
I’m really digging the bridge/trem on this and the half-covered butt-end of the bridge allows for greater comfort while resting the side of your hand over it, yet still enables you to palm mute individual strings. The trem is extremely fluid and returns to pitch accurately.
The contoured neck heel joint is sculpted nice and curvy and makes it very comfortable to access the higher frets with ease.
Although, it’s 25.5” scale, it’s a slightly smaller body than a Fender Strat. It looks familiar to us all, but once you start digging into all the unique specs and overall design attributes it definitely has its own mojo goin’. I’m very happy!
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- Model Cutlass HSS RS
- Size 12-7/8" wide, 1-5/8" thick, 38-1/8" long
- Body Wood Alder
- Body Finish High Gloss Polyester
- Bridge Music Man® Modern tremolo with vintage bent steel saddles
- Pickguard Tortoise
- Scale Length 25-1/2"
- Neck Radius 10"
- Frets 22: Stainless Steel, high profile medium width (.047” H, .095” W)
- Neck Width 1-5/8" at nut, 2-1/4" at last fret
- Neck Wood: Select Roasted figured maple
- Fretboard: Rosewood
- Fret Markers: 1/4" White Face dots
- Neck Finish: Hand rubbed oil & wax
- Tuning Machines Schaller M6-IND locking
- Truss Rod Adjustable: no component or string removal
- Neck Attachment: 5 bolts - Sculpted neck joint
- Electronic Shielding Graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity and aluminum lined pickguard
- Controls: Passive 500kohm volume and tone (250kohm load on lever switch positions 2,3,4, & 5) - .022µF tone capacitor; with transparent buffered output for complete tonal consistency at all volume levels
- Switching: 5-way lever pickup selector
- Pickups HSS: 1 Music Man® custom humbucking bridge pickup, 2 Music Man® custom wound single coils featuring the new wide spectrum Music Man® "Silent Circuit", which reduces hum and retains true single coil sound
- 6 Lbs 14 oz.