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Thread: Musicman Differences?

  1. #1

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    Musicman Differences?

    I am an owner of a Musicman JP6 BFR (ruby burst). I absolutely adore my guitar. Being a BFR owner, I've always wondered what the difference between the standard and the BFR truly was. Now that the Majesty is among us, even more questions have plagued me.
    1. Are there any quality differences between the standard and BFR or is it a matter of features?
    2. Are there any quality differences between anniversary models and BFR models or is it mainly the gorgeous tops?
    3. Tonally, what are the differences between the JP6, BFR, JPX-XIII, and Majesty?
    4. Playability wise, what is the difference between a BFR and Majesty?
    5. What's your personal favorite Petrucci guitar and why?

  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by Brandon Warah View Post
    I am an owner of a Musicman JP6 BFR (ruby burst). I absolutely adore my guitar. Being a BFR owner, I've always wondered what the difference between the standard and the BFR truly was. Now that the Majesty is among us, even more questions have plagued me.
    1. Are there any quality differences between the standard and BFR or is it a matter of features?
    2. Are there any quality differences between anniversary models and BFR models or is it mainly the gorgeous tops?
    3. Tonally, what are the differences between the JP6, BFR, JPX-XIII, and Majesty?
    4. Playability wise, what is the difference between a BFR and Majesty?
    5. What's your personal favorite Petrucci guitar and why?
    1. I think there's a bit more hands-on attention at the factory with the BFR series. For the most part, they are made of different woods. A standard JP6 will have a basswood body (basswood is relatively plentiful and inexpensive), whereas a BFR JP6 might have a mahogany body and quilted maple top. The BFR's also have slightly nicer cases - they're G&G with a BFR badge inside on the hidden compartment cover. The standards have a plastic hard shell case, which is still nice.

    2. By the anniversary models, I'm assuming you mean the X, XI, 12 and 13. The most obvious difference between these and the standard is the body shape is sleeker compared with the standards or even the BFR JP6 and 7. The X is probably the most unique of them all. It has a chambered body, which adds a touch of resonance. It also has a 5-way lever-style pickup selector, instead of a 3-way toggle. The #2 and #4 positions of the X have a very Fender-like tone. The drawback is it is more difficult to change positions quickly. Also, the X, XI, 12 and 13 each have slightly different wood combinations. Additionally, the neck radius of each model varies somewhat. You can look up the specific differences yourself - look for differences in body base wood, body top wood, neck wood and fingerboard wood. I prefer the ebony fingerboards, myself.

    3. JP6 vs BFR - because the BFR uses mahogany as its main body wood, the sound will be a bit more dimensional and have a slight bit more sustain. The maple tops help add a touch of snap to the sound. Basswood (what the standards are made of) is a wood that does not intrude much on the sound of the pickups. It will sound more neutral than a BFR.

    13 vs Majesty - My understanding is these two guitars sound almost identical. They use the same combination of woods (except the Majesty has an ebony fingerboard, while the 13 is rosewood), but more notable is they use the same pickups and pre-amp system (DiMarzio Illuminators with a gain boost, as well as the piezo system). Now, the Majesty should have a bit more sustain due to its neck-through design versus the 13's bolt-on neck. John Petrucci recorded all of the latest DT album with his 13-6 and 13-7 guitars, so that should give you an idea of what they're capable of. He is using the Majesty exclusively on DT's current tour. You can find many videos on YouTube of him playing the Majesty live, but the sound quality will suck.

    4. The Majesty is lighter and sleeker. It will be easier to play for long sessions with it strapped to your back. The neck-through design and extremely scooped horns of the Majesty also makes it easier to reach the 24th fret than any guitar I've ever played.

    5. I have never played a BFR JP6/7, but I have owned a standard JP6 and JP7, I had my hands on a X for a while, and I currently own a Majesty 6. As far as playability and "guts" are concerned, it's Majesty all the way. It's a very controversial guitar due to its radical design. But I can find almost nothing at all wrong with it. I have been playing for close to 25 years, and it's the first guitar I have played in a long time that just seems to melt into my hands. It feels completely natural, sounds brilliant and is easier to play than anything I've ever put my hands on. Sound simply explodes out of it. The BFR is a bit more of the "classic" rock guitar: mahogany body, maple top, mahogany neck, rosewood fingerboard. The DiMarzio Crunch Lab/LiquiFire pickups in the BFR (and standards) are outstanding, but just a *touch* different - a bit edgier to my ears, while the Illuminators are slightly more rounded. That said, I have not heard a single side-by-side comparison of these two combos that produced any differences that I don't think could be compensated for in EQ.

    Given the features and design of the Majesty, that's what I would (and have) bought. Plus, the BFR will cost you a premium, which is fine, but the quality of the Majesty cannot be argued. Hell, when I received mine (via UPS), it was fresh-from-the-factory, and was not only intonated correctly, but in-tune right out of the case. That's a first for me.
    BFR JPXI 6-string SLEDGE
    BFR JP12 7-string
    Luke III HSS (Black)
    StingRay 5 HH (Pace Car Blue)

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Suarez View Post
    3. 13 vs Majesty - My understanding is these two guitars sound almost identical. They use the same combination of woods (except the Majesty has an ebony fingerboard, while the 13 is rosewood), but more notable is they use the same pickups and pre-amp system (DiMarzio Illuminators with a gain boost, as well as the piezo system). Now, the Majesty should have a bit more sustain due to its neck-through design versus the 13's bolt-on neck. John Petrucci recorded all of the latest DT album with his 13-6 and 13-7 guitars, so that should give you an idea of what they're capable of. He is using the Majesty exclusively on DT's current tour. You can find many videos on YouTube of him playing the Majesty live, but the sound quality will suck.

    4. The Majesty is lighter and sleeker. It will be easier to play for long sessions with it strapped to your back. The neck-through design and extremely scooped horns of the Majesty also makes it easier to reach the 24th fret than any guitar I've ever played.
    I can personally attest to these. My Majesty 7 is more than a pound and a half lighter than my JP13 7. Honestly, the sound is nigh identical; as Greg said. Same pups, same preamp, same piezo, same frets... Maj has slightly bigger balls (I use 10s on it and 9s on my JP13 7) so it sounds a little ballsier. Balls balls balls. Okay, now that that's out of my system, lets move on.

    I have a bazillion pics in my thread over at sevenstring.org (NGD! Arctic Dream Majesty 7 *Much EBMM Pronz* - SevenString.org) and I show comparison pics of the neck scoops; there's even a couple vids.

    Anyway, I still stand by my review of the Majesty: It's literally the BEST guitar I've ever touched, seen, or heard. I've been playing for 16 years (some professionally) and have had a hundred different guitars. When I got my JP13, I thought THAT was the best thing ever. But then this comes out and just looks so ridiculously killer that I had to have it. So now my 13 rarely sees anything but the inside of its case lol.

  4. #4

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    Quote Originally Posted by decreebass View Post
    Balls balls balls.
    Do you ever watch Archer?

    http://37.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_lq...co1_r1_400.gif
    BFR JPXI 6-string SLEDGE
    BFR JP12 7-string
    Luke III HSS (Black)
    StingRay 5 HH (Pace Car Blue)

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by Greg Suarez View Post
    Do I ever watch Archer... Uh, does a duck's lips move when he reads? Of COURSE I watch Archer

  6. #6

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    The tonewood cocktails....

    The BFR JP6, JPX, and JPXI are an alder body, with a mahogany "tone block" from the bridge to the neck pocket, and a maple top. The same is true of the BFR Albert Lee and Luke guitars. The JPX is also chambered. (You can see the construction and chambering here... JPX 6)

    The JP12 and JP13 have basswood body with the mahogany tone block and maple top. Reflex and Reflex Game Changer guitars are chambered versions of this.

    The Majesty is Mahogany thru-neck, basswood wings, and maple tone block.
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  7. #7

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    Quote Originally Posted by decreebass View Post
    Do I ever watch Archer... Uh, does a duck's lips move when he reads? Of COURSE I watch Archer
    I pretty much have the DVDs playing on an endless loop.
    BFR JPXI 6-string SLEDGE
    BFR JP12 7-string
    Luke III HSS (Black)
    StingRay 5 HH (Pace Car Blue)

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