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Thread: Questions about new models

  1. #1

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    Talking Questions about new models

    Hey all! I had some questions about the Cutlass and Stingray guitars.

    I was a Fender Stratocaster super fan -- that is, until I laid my hands on the Silhouette. In the course of two years I picked up three American-made Silhouettes. Now there are new Music Man models that have caught my eye. In particular, the inclusion of stainless steel frets sounds really good for my tense and frequently-worn out wrists. I first got turned on to EBMM from a Rig Rundown with the guitarist from Incubus, who exclusively played EBMM Albert Lee models with stainless steel frets he had put on them; he said he developed carpel tunnel syndrome and EBMM guitars are what saved his career. When I go to the local music stores to just try out a few guitars, my hands immediately dismiss 95% of necks. EBMM is the brand for me, as it's the only brand that my wrists consistently agree with.

    1. To Silhouette owners who picked up one of the new models, please let me know how you feel about the Cutlass and/or Stingray.

    2. I'm located in southern Ontario, Toronto to be more specific. Of these three models, I've only seen one St. Vincent in person, at Twelfth Fret Guitar Shop New, Used & Vintage Instruments | Worldwide Service. Does anyone know where I can track down the other models in southern Ontario?

    3. Do *all* American-made Stingray and Cutlass guitars have stainless steel frets? What about the St. Vincent or Albert Lee guitars? Are these models still spec'd with nickel frets, or have they moved to stainless steel?

    4. I've played plenty of brand-new guitars, and had frets recrowned and dressed by experienced and professional techs, but nothing compares to the fret work on my 2010 Silhouettes. The job that was done at the factory was simply *perfect*. For those of you who've bought some of the newer models, how do you feel about the fret work out of the factory? Stainless steel frets are a concern of mine since I'm under the impression (correct me if I'm wrong) that working on stainless steel frets ruins normal fret files, so trying to correct bad stainless steel frets is very pricey.

    5. How do the necks on the Cutlass and the Stingray compare to the necks on the Silhouette? For reference, my Silhouettes are from 2001, 2011, and [serial number not found in database, but it seems like 2010's]. I have one all-maple neck, one all-rosewood neck, and one maple neck with a rosewood fretboard. They all have thin and narrow necks, compared to an American Standard Strat. I have smaller hands and when I'm holding my Silhouettes I can bend and wrap my thumb around almost like Hendrix, which is totally impossible for me on a vintage Tele neck or baseball Les Paul neck. I've heard that the Cutlass has a soft-v profile, is that true for all of them?

    Thank you!

  2. #2

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    I cannot help you regarding the Cutlass, Stingray, or St. Vincent. I can offer you some another suggestion to consider based on what you have written.

    I don't have large hands. I own 1 Silhouette and 2 Silhouette Specials, all from the mid-late 90s, and I find the necks very comfortable. I also own about a dozen other EBMM guitars. The most comfortable neck for me is on the James Valentine model. It is similar to the Silhouette necks, possibly a bit slimmer, and .... more perfect. The roasted maple feels great. Weights vary based on the pieces of wood used, but the Valentines seem to average a bit lighter: both of mine are 6 lbs, 6 ounces. And, that model comes with stainless steel frets. If you have the opportunity, I would recommend adding the Valentine to the list of EBMM guitars you may want to seek out and try.
    Last edited by agt; 04-30-2018 at 08:34 PM.
    "The more of our stuff you have the more awesomely freaky you become." -- BP

  3. #3

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    I just bought a cutlass and have a stingray on the way. Stainless frets are now pretty much a requirement for me.
    All cutlass and stingrays have stainless frets, and in my research (and according to the pdn flyer) all Starry nights have stainless frets. The st Vincent and Albert lee are still nickel according to the spec pages.
    Last edited by jmmp; 05-12-2018 at 09:44 PM.
    JP6 Pearl White born 1/11/11
    Majesty Monarchy Imperial Blue born 1/23/18
    Cutlass SSS Ivory White born 6/13/16
    Sub1 born 5/26/04
    Cutlass HSS BFR Smoked Chrome #21/54 born 12/6/18
    Mesa Boogies

  4. #4

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    Hey- welcome! More support from TO

    I haven't played a Cutlass or Stingray, but I loved the Silhouette Special and found I could go between that and my Albert Lee fairly easily. It's one you should definitely check out. (And there were a run or two with stainless frets.)

    I've always found it hard to find stock around here. Long & McQuade is hit and miss, LA Music used to have good stock but doesn't seem to now, Cosmo Music has some (I think they have a St Vincent), etc. At least they all have their inventory online so you can check. EBMM customer service is also a great resource for finding something- they can locate instruments for you if need be. Sometimes I'll have better luck seeing if a local forumite has a guitar I can try, rather than trying to track one down in a store.

    Regarding the stainless frets- yes, they are excellent. But MM's fretwork is amazing to start with. I've sent many guitars back to the factory for fretwork or refrets, and they've all come back perfect, regardless of the fret wire.

  5. #5

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    Here's my 2 cents. For me, the way the necks FEEL have more to do with how well they play than neck shape. My Cutlass is my main guitar now and generally, I don't go for necks that skinny. BUT, it is smooth and fast playing because of the satin, raw finish. I can switch between my EBMM guitars with ease because of that.

    It's when I pick up a guitar with a lacquered or finished neck that feels way off to me, EVEN IF the neck shape is more to my liking. I just listed my Strat on reverb.com for sale, simply because I'll never pick it up over my Cutlass. The lacquered neck just ruins it for me now.



    Axis Hardtail Transparent Purple #89749 (3/28/97)
    Axis Hardtail Transparent Amber #G03900 (10/21/98)
    Reflex Classic White #G71108 (7/14/14)
    Cutlass
    StarryNight #G79870 (12/14/16)
    Stingray BFR
    Natural#G59581



  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by beej View Post
    Hey- welcome! More support from TO

    I haven't played a Cutlass or Stingray, but I loved the Silhouette Special and found I could go between that and my Albert Lee fairly easily. It's one you should definitely check out. (And there were a run or two with stainless frets.)

    I've always found it hard to find stock around here. Long & McQuade is hit and miss, LA Music used to have good stock but doesn't seem to now, Cosmo Music has some (I think they have a St Vincent), etc. At least they all have their inventory online so you can check. EBMM customer service is also a great resource for finding something- they can locate instruments for you if need be. Sometimes I'll have better luck seeing if a local forumite has a guitar I can try, rather than trying to track one down in a store.

    Regarding the stainless frets- yes, they are excellent. But MM's fretwork is amazing to start with. I've sent many guitars back to the factory for fretwork or refrets, and they've all come back perfect, regardless of the fret wire.
    Thank you, this is a lot excellent info. I'm talking right now with EBMM customer service to see what my options are.


    Quote Originally Posted by radrock View Post
    Here's my 2 cents. For me, the way the necks FEEL have more to do with how well they play than neck shape. My Cutlass is my main guitar now and generally, I don't go for necks that skinny. BUT, it is smooth and fast playing because of the satin, raw finish. I can switch between my EBMM guitars with ease because of that.

    It's when I pick up a guitar with a lacquered or finished neck that feels way off to me, EVEN IF the neck shape is more to my liking. I just listed my Strat on reverb.com for sale, simply because I'll never pick it up over my Cutlass. The lacquered neck just ruins it for me now.
    Sir, you are absolutely correct! This is something I've forgotten after years of exclusively playing EBMM's and a Breedlove with a satin finish. And it's not just your two cents: Page and Clapton, among others, removed not just the finish on their Gibson necks.

  7. #7

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    I have to say that I agree with the feel and playability thing with MM. I had some pretty gnarly surgery on my fretting hand that actually put me outta the game. I was huge on the "F" guitars for years but my weakened hand just couldn't deal with them anymore. Luckily, I discovered the MM guitars played freaking amazingly. The biggest problem I have now is that I still find myself trying to lay into the guitar to play it. The MM's play so easily that I have to concentrate on a gentle touch. It's made all the difference in the world for me.
    My favorite Morse almost plays itself (which would probably be better for anyone listening!). Every time I pick it up I experience joy because it plays so easily. My days of gigging and long hours of playing are behind me, but with these guitars I can at least play for a good while before the nerve damage and arthritis have their way with me.
    The necks may be a little on the thin side for us guys with big hands, but the fact that they can be played nearly effortlessly is more than a compensation.
    Just because you're paranoid doesn't mean they're not after you.

  8. #8

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    Update: I found a Stingray guitar! It’s at Steve’s Music on Queen West. It’s a sunburst from last year (the neck is not roasted). I plugged it into a reissue tweed Fender Deluxe. It’s a very good guitar. I assumed it would sound similar to a Gibson SG, and it does, but think of the best sounding SG you’ve ever heard, and you’ll be close. (Anyone who’s tried to buy a Gibson knows that the gap between a good one and a dud is vast). The Stingray has tons of low-mids richness. It sparkles too, but it was very easy to roll off any ice-pick highs. The neck felt like an EBMM neck: thin, narrow, execellent fret work, non-stick finish.

    I didn’t buy it. Why? I already own four electric guitars �� Also, if I were to get a mahogany HH Guitar I think I might prefer an Albert Lee. That’s good news for any Ontarians out there: go and get that Stingray before someone else does ��

  9. #9

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    Nice. My office is a few blocks from there ... I'd eyed it a few times but they have it so high up on the wall. (Not to mention the whole not-needing-another-guitar thing ... which I just broke for something special.)

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