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Thread: An open letter to Ernie Ball Music Man about my awful experience

  1. #1

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    An open letter to Ernie Ball Music Man about my awful experience

    Let me just start this letter by saying how huge of a Dream Theater fan I am. John Petrucci has been my idol as a guitarist ever since I first heard the Systematic Chaos album almost ten years ago.

    Since that point I'd hoped one day to own an Ernie Ball Music Man Petrucci model guitar. To my understanding they stood for perfection in craftsmanship as well as the ultimate guitar when it came to possibilities and versatility. With all that in mind this is where my story begins.


    Purchasing one of these guitars is certainly not inexpensive. Given the income of the average musician there isn't much room available as far as spending money goes. Luckily I was able to find one second hand from a local guitar collector which cut some of the cost off. Not wanting to have regrets later on about which model I purchased, I chose a top-of-the-line Ball Family Reserve model.

    It was perfect. This guitar for me was the greatest piece of musical gear I'd ever owned. My other two guitars went back into their cases and one of them was even sold afterward thinking I would no longer end up using it.

    If only this were true.

    Shortly after owning the guitar I noticed a slight bow in the neck. I would tighten my truss rod some and it would be fine for a few days but it always seemed to slip back to the way it was. Because of this I would always have the truss rod set pretty tight to keep the neck straight.

    One morning I picked up my guitar and immediately noticed something wrong with the back of the neck. The wood had been split and a piece was pushed out of it! I'm not sure how this came to be. I attribute it to the drastic change in temperature here in Canada as winter was just approaching at the time. Oddly enough, my other guitar which was a fraction of the cost of the Music Man was perfectly fine. No problems with a bowing neck. No truss rod issues. Certainly nothing splitting on the back of it. Both of these guitars had thin maple necks and the other guitar was at least 6 years older and had survived many more winters.

    I was heart broken at the sight of it.

    I immediately brought the instrument into Long & McQuade to see what could be done. They told me I would need a replacement neck and they would get a hold of Ernie Ball then call me when they heard back. I've still never received a call about it by the way.

    Tired of waiting, I contacted Ernie Ball directly. After a few days I received a return email telling me they can't do anything and I need to take it up with Coast Music here in canada. So I went further down the line and sent them an email as instructed.

    I received no response to the email so I called instead. I was told that it's really not their problem and that I should talk to Long & McQuade or Ernie Ball about this. Placing me back where I started.

    Now, 4 months have gone by. I've been passed around from company to company with no solutions or help and still I have a beautiful looking guitar that may as well be a decoration because it's unplayable.

    I put a lot of faith and money into Ernie Ball and the John Petrucci line of guitar only to be let down consistently.

    All I want is to be able to play my guitar again. It shouldn't have been defective in the first place and I can't even seem to get a replacement neck to fix the problem. For such a big name company offering instruments with that large of a price tag, this is absolutely unacceptable.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails An open letter to Ernie Ball Music Man about my awful experience-broken-guitar-2-jpg   An open letter to Ernie Ball Music Man about my awful experience-broken-guitar-3-highlight-jpg   An open letter to Ernie Ball Music Man about my awful experience-broken-guitar-jpg  

  2. #2

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    PM sent. We'll find a solution for you.
    "Hello! This is A.J.! How can I help you?"

    If you have any questions or concerns please email me: aj@ernieball.com

    PMs and messages written on my wall are not addressed as quickly as emails.

    If you want to know when your instrument was completed please post in one of the serial number threads.

  3. #3

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    Thanks!

    I really hope so. I miss playing it quite a bit

  4. #4

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    hey kids this doesnt add up...we will figure it out but that looks like some very strange damage...not a defect in manufacturing...the open letter on a forum..
    Two requests, please
    Please contact customer service prior to posting instrument issues
    Please don't PM me
    Thanks

    Please dont add me as a friend on facebook....my life is an open book here as it is.

  5. #5

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    Zam509, I mean no disrespect, and I certainly sympathize with your situation. Anyone in your shoes would be distraught.

    However, have you considered the fact that since you purchased the guitar second-hand, you have no warranty, and not EBMM, or its Canadian distributor, or the retailer from which the guitar was first sold have any responsibility or liability for this guitar? If you had bought the guitar brand new, then it would be quite a different story, and your complaints would be entirely valid. I know you are upset with the situation, but please consider that nobody has any responsibility to you except maybe the "local guitar collector". Also -- and I'm just guessing here -- you don't know the history of the guitar, what happened to it between the time it was first sold and when you purchased it. Is it possible the guitar was abused, misused, or otherwise damaged, resulting in the neck problem that you have now "inherited"?

    *Maybe* it's a manufacturing defect -- and I'm being extremely generous here, given that the head of EBMM has said it is *not* a defect, and I would not dispute the man -- but even if it is, it is not right for you to be upset with EBMM or with Coast. (Except maybe for not receiving a timely reply to your inquiries.)

    Despite this, it is great that EBMM are now trying to assist you. Nobody -- really, *nobody*, no company, nothing -- is perfect. But EBMM really do try; their customer service is fantastic. I do hope this works out well for you in the end.

    I apologize if this post upsets you, but I just wanted to point out something that perhaps you have not considered.
    Ernie Ball Strings

    "Jeff Porcaro's equipment speaks for itself"

  6. #6

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    I understand your frustration and happy to see EBMM trying to help even though they really don't have to. I have seen cracked necks before, I have dropped a few Les Pauls and an Ibanez with cracks in the neck but they usually break opposite side of the nut, never seen anything like that before. My guess is that JP got a good beating probably prior to you buying it. You hardly ever use those first frets anyway Good luck

  7. #7

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    in just gonna say it out loud and by no means do I intend any ill will here.

    I think you may have tightened the truss rod so much, the back end ripped through the wood in the neck. That is not anyone's fault but your own.

    No guitar neck will be stable if you have significant swings in temperature and humidity. I had this issue with one of my 20th Aniv. Silo's and no amount of fiddling would bring it back. Here's how I remedied: Stabilize the neck (by maintaining as constant of a temp and humidity [50% relative] as possible for 6-8 weeks), then adjust truss rod. It worked beautifully for me and have had zero issues since.

    Good luck with a fix!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flash Gordon View Post
    in just gonna say it out loud and by no means do I intend any ill will here.

    I think you may have tightened the truss rod so much, the back end ripped through the wood in the neck. That is not anyone's fault but your own.
    That's what I first thought.

    I still hope that MM will be able to help you. Even if it's second hand, even if you "broke" it.

    They are the best!!!!
    AL SSS BFR Pinkburst
    AL SSS Neptune Blue
    AL HH Starry Night
    AL HH Candy Apple Red
    AL MM90 Sparkle Turquoise
    L3 HSS Olive Gold

  9. #9

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    Guys, let's not speculate please. CS is on the case.

  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Magic Jason View Post
    That's what I first thought.

    I still hope that MM will be able to help you. Even if it's second hand, even if you "broke" it.

    They are the best!!!!
    Concur on the truss rod issue. Seems you've way overturned it... Can feel the pain though as I've even done the same stupid act on a neck I built myself some years ago... That's a painful and costly experience, but I'm sure one will never make the same error twice...

    Despite the MM being 2nd handed, I believe the helpful and thoughtful Customer Service here will try their best to help you out... Cheers and hope that could be settled...
    Steve Morse Y2D Neptune Blue
    Steve Morse BFR Black Sugar
    Steve Morse Darklord
    Emerald Green Sparkle Silhouette Doubleneck
    Axis Black Magic
    Axis Super Sport Semi-hollow w/Piezo Neptune Blue
    Majesty Artisan Azzurro Blue

  11. #11

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    when all is said and done, it would be nice to know what really happened here. I would hate to make the same mistake myself!!!
    My Children
    Music Man JP6 Sky Blue
    SBMM AX40D (GC Exclusive) Officially purple but looks pink
    Peavey Wolfgang (Custom Shop) Dark Blue Flame Top, Rosewood fretboard
    Fender American (All Rosewood Neck) Daphne Blue, w/Custom Shop Fat 50's

  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by beamer128 View Post
    I would hate to make the same mistake myself!!!
    ...just don't over tighten the truss rod....
    Balls are Best!!

  13. #13

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    I just wanted to echo some of the sentiment of the OP - not with the quality of the instruments made (top notch, really), but with the difficulty of being a Canadian EBMM fan/buyer and trying to track down customer service/sales reps.

    In Canada, very few places will stock EBMM in the first place, let alone have a selection that includes more than a Stingray or a JP in a single setup. I even have an unanswered email where I was looking to get a stealth crimson when you guys offered those. L+M never had these in their system when they were around, so I could never get a price or order one. This is a source of some of my frustration and why I've been going so hard on this forum wishing for EBMM to offer some more colours - it seems just so hard to get even if they do exist. I wouldn't be so passionate about this if I wasn't so passionate about the instruments themselves.

    One time, I did get an order in for the Emerald Sparkle bass, but when it came 6 or so months later, it didn't have a painted headstock like I had in my request. At the time, all the channels I went through couldn't help, and they kept bouncing me around saying try someone else - to no avail. I returned the bass, since it wasn't what I had ordered or wanted. Eventually, I got frustrated and sent an email to EBMM describing how hard it is being a customer and that whole Emerald Green debacle. This somehow ended up in the right hands and they were able to get me a new neck/headstock, put in on that bass (it was still unsold at the guitar shop I returned it to) and I was finally able to get the bass I wanted. Huge shout outs to Ray Verrall for making that one happen.

    I definitely feel EBMM does right by the customer, and comes out with a product to be proud of, but it can be really frustrating hitting the right channels, particularly here in Canada.

  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by the explode man View Post
    I just wanted to echo some of the sentiment of the OP - not with the quality of the instruments made (top notch, really), but with the difficulty of being a Canadian EBMM fan/buyer and trying to track down customer service/sales reps.

    In Canada, very few places will stock EBMM in the first place, let alone have a selection that includes more than a Stingray or a JP in a single setup. I even have an unanswered email where I was looking to get a stealth crimson when you guys offered those. L+M never had these in their system when they were around, so I could never get a price or order one. This is a source of some of my frustration and why I've been going so hard on this forum wishing for EBMM to offer some more colours - it seems just so hard to get even if they do exist. I wouldn't be so passionate about this if I wasn't so passionate about the instruments themselves.

    One time, I did get an order in for the Emerald Sparkle bass, but when it came 6 or so months later, it didn't have a painted headstock like I had in my request. At the time, all the channels I went through couldn't help, and they kept bouncing me around saying try someone else - to no avail. I returned the bass, since it wasn't what I had ordered or wanted. Eventually, I got frustrated and sent an email to EBMM describing how hard it is being a customer and that whole Emerald Green debacle. This somehow ended up in the right hands and they were able to get me a new neck/headstock, put in on that bass (it was still unsold at the guitar shop I returned it to) and I was finally able to get the bass I wanted. Huge shout outs to Ray Verrall for making that one happen.

    I definitely feel EBMM does right by the customer, and comes out with a product to be proud of, but it can be really frustrating hitting the right channels, particularly here in Canada.
    +1 for europe!
    1977 stingray II guitar--walnut------------maple fb
    1994 stingray 4H---------natural------------rosewood fb
    1998 sterling 4H----------trans red---------birdseye maple/rw
    2006 Jp6---------------------mystic dream--birdseye maple/rw
    2010 Classic sr4----------coral red---------birdseye maple
    2013 Luke III HSS--------olive gold--------rosewood neck
    2014 stingray 4 HH-----neptune blue---flamed maple
    2014 Luke III HSS--------bodhi blue-------birdseye maple/rw

  15. #15

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    Strings n Things and my local dealer here in the UK have been just fine.
    Black Cherry Burst Albert Lee , SSS,Trem & Piezo 2005
    Black LE Albert Lee MM90,Trem 2006 with solid 9k gold knobs;Mesa F50 Combo; Original (owned from new)Marshall 25/50 Silver Jubilee signed by Jim;AER 60 ;WEM Clubman 5W;Musicman RP 65 112;Musicman RD 50 112:

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