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Thread: Scrutiny...

  1. #1

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    Scrutiny...

    I couldn't help notice in the past few weeks... that an increasing number of customers complain about their Majesty on this forum or on Facebook.

    The Majesty is an cutting-edge instrument and has incredibly advanced electronics. Therefore it is logically more challenging to build than ...a strat. On the loads MM produces every year, some of them appear to be "less perfect."

    While I perfectly understand the disapointment when one faces a real problem with such an (expensive) instrument, I can't help feeling that there is some "Oh wait, mine too must have something wrong..." unconscious game going on.

    And this is NOT a comment to prove my loyalty to MM nor to defend the Majesty. (That I, personnaly, do not dig too much.)

    But, is there a problem with this guitar line or are the expectations too high? Are some customers just "moaning" ?
    Last edited by Magic Jason; 08-26-2019 at 09:06 AM.
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  2. #2

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    I think there may be some truth to that. I just purchased a Majesty last week but was almost put off by all the threads and things posted about issues people have had with theirs. Happy to say mine is great but my playing still leaves something to be desired. Undoubtedly some people have real issues but I think for a lot of players, a $3500 guitar will never live up to expectations just because there are so many great guitars for a lot less money.

  3. #3

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    What I have seen with all of the Majesty models coming through our shop is that it is definitely a top-seller and EBMM is manufacturing a boatload of them. The greater the quantity of items produced, the more complaints/issues you will hear about - even if the occurrence of such issues is a consistent low percentage.

    Although there are problems from time to time, very rarely have we had a customer develop an issue with their Majesty.
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  4. #4

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    It all started with the active preamp (also on JP13 and JP15).

    The more intricate the electronics, the more possible issues will arise.

    In my opinion the boost system perplexes the guitar in a negative way.

    And I cannot help but wonder, wouldn't the pickups sound a lot better if they didn't have to pass through all the chips and boards?

    JPXI Cardinal Red G57082
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  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyboogie View Post
    In my opinion the boost system perplexes the guitar in a negative way.

    And I cannot help but wonder, wouldn't the pickups sound a lot better if they didn't have to pass through all the chips and boards?
    I haven't found that to be the case. I mean, after the signal leaves the guitar, it then goes through a whole bunch of electronics to be made into a sound coming out the speaker. The Majesty may use some fancy electronics to handle the switching, but the signal path is all analog. There's nothing bad with high quality solid state electronics.

    Case in point: Music Man Basses. Active EQ's since 1976. If anything the active EQ electronics means less tonal variation due to signal loading from long cables.

    That said, I have noticed some customers, particularly international ones, seem to be having majesty issues, one of which had string mis-alignment, which is something you shouldn't see.

    Personally with the neck through guitars, I like to see some type of stiffener in them. Carvin/Kiesel used steel rods in the 1990s, then graphite, and recently brought back carbon fiber. They manufactured neck through exclusively for years, so it might be something to consider.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by PeteDuBaldo View Post
    What I have seen with all of the Majesty models coming through our shop is that it is definitely a top-seller and EBMM is manufacturing a boatload of them. The greater the quantity of items produced, the more complaints/issues you will hear about - even if the occurrence of such issues is a consistent low percentage.
    I'm with Pete on this one. The more popular something is, the more you hear about issues with it, though that doesn't necessarily represent the overall failure rate.

    MM customer service is amazing. Most of the issues I see involve people who vent here first, instead of contacting them directly to get their issues resolved.

    Quote Originally Posted by johnnyboogie View Post
    And I cannot help but wonder, wouldn't the pickups sound a lot better if they didn't have to pass through all the chips and boards?
    That really depends. We're still using high-impedance pickups that are affected by cable capacitance and noise. There are many folks think that having onboard buffers are a huge advantage. Take your pick. (Before sending your signal off to a zillion pedals, modelling amps, etc.)

    Anyhow, it's kind of a moot point on a signature guitar
    Last edited by beej; 08-26-2019 at 11:45 AM.

  7. #7

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    Points taken, I am completely illiterate when it comes to electronics etc. Thanks for taking time to reply.

    Although I would like to hear a Majesty without the active preamp, I have to say that compared to the older models that didn't have one there is no difference when it comes to the 'livelihood' of the sound, which further supports T-Bone's point.

    JPXI Cardinal Red G57082
    JP12 Cherry Sugar G59225
    JP12 7 Cardinal Red F29322
    MAJESTY Glacial Frost M08083
    MAJESTY Ferrari Rosso M07113
    ARTISAN MAJESTY 7 Rosso M04775
    NOMAC MAJESTY Timeworn Matte Silver M06246
    MAJESTY Charred Silver Sparkle M08237
    MAJESTY Dargie 3 M08360

  8. #8

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    A popular product will have more complaints because more of them exist and it's in more people's hands. The more electronic components you add to a guitar, the more points of potential failure you have, and the Majesty is loaded with tech. The few people who have problems with products tend to be very loud, while the majority who are happy and satisfied don't usually go all over Facebook and message boards shouting to the world about their satisfaction.

    Personally, I would have no reservations about buying a Majesty and plan to one day. Based on my few interactions with CS and those of others here, I see no reason to believe that if I was one of the unlucky folks who did have a problem, it wouldn't be handled quickly and to my satisfaction.
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    SBMM JP70 Trans Purpleburst
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  9. #9

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    There has been a lot of whining on FB, for sure. Some are legitimate complaints, which I'm sure EBMM will address. Some are easy fixes that the poster just had not idea how to address. I think the tone is what is off-putting. Very dramatic statements and condemnation right off the bat. I've had six EBMMs and the only problem I've ever had was with a battery box. It took a little bit of troubleshooting and asking here and problem solved. I still have four and think those are probably the only four I will have for the rest of my life--with one possible exception that would be nostalgia more than anything else.
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  10. #10

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    I have posted some questions/issues here. I haven't meant to be off-putting or rabble-rousing. I posted here in public for help to see if anyone else had experienced the issues I noticed. EBMM (or the forum folks) have taken care of every one of the issues. For the big issue (the crack in the neck) I emailed EBMM before posting anything here.

    At any rate, as noted here, the more guitars they make, the more absolute number of issues there will be. That is life. The per-cent defects, of PPM or DPU (defects per unit) may actually go down but perception of issues will increase because of the population increasing.

    Also, it is not trivial to increase production and keep quality top notch. I work in industry and we battle this when our business cycle is up. Internal issues, supplier issues... you name it. Quality takes work and investment.

    EBMM is a class company with excellent customer service and even though this Majesty has had an issue I'll buy EBMM again. My JPXI had one electronics issue after about 18 months but Guitar Center (extended warranty!) took care of that. Otherwise, the JPXI has been rock solid for 7 years practice and gigging. I trust the Majesty will be the same. EBMM takes very good care of the customer, in my experience.

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wahoonc View Post
    There has been a lot of whining on FB, for sure. Some are legitimate complaints, which I'm sure EBMM will address. Some are easy fixes that the poster just had not idea how to address. I think the tone is what is off-putting. Very dramatic statements and condemnation right off the bat.
    Recently on FB, a guy started ranting about having no sound from his Majesty... until he realized that the problem was coming from his wireless system. But the message thread will stay there forever and unless one goes through it, he will never know that there wasn't any problem with the guitar.
    Last edited by ScottYecora; 08-26-2019 at 11:53 PM.
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  12. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mace13 View Post
    EBMM is a class company with excellent customer service and even though this Majesty has had an issue I'll buy EBMM again. My JPXI had one electronics issue after about 18 months but Guitar Center (extended warranty!) took care of that. Otherwise, the JPXI has been rock solid for 7 years practice and gigging. I trust the Majesty will be the same. EBMM takes very good care of the customer, in my experience.
    Over the years, I visited two different luthiers to set up /maintain my EBMM axes. The first was a high profile one, who had his own brand in the 80's, the second is an amateur/enthousiast recently turned professional due to the success of his workshop.

    Anyway, when giving me back my guitars, both had almost the same comment : "of all the guitars that pass through my hands, EBMM are the most consistent ones, quality-wise, and no other big manufacturers achieve such consistency".

    My understanding is that we hear more complains about the Majesty because it's a "best seller" and maybe because it's a more innovative and complex instrument than the average. But being an engineer, I think that your point about the difficulty to keep quality while increasing production also makes much sense.

    Why complaining on FB instead of contacting the shop and EBMM customer services ? I guess this happen because more and more people order guitars on the Internet without trying/checking them and get nervous when they discover anything "wrong" with the guitar when unpacking it.
    Last edited by ScottYecora; 08-26-2019 at 11:56 PM.
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottYecora View Post
    Why complaining on FB instead of contacting the shop and EBMM customer services ? I guess this happen because more and more people order guitars on the Internet without trying/checking them and get nervous when they discover anything "wrong" with the guitar when unpacking it.
    This is because usually there is very little censorship and/or control on the facebook groups, and these people are more interested in taking their anger out on something than about fixing the problme. The groups were often started by people who may have little or no interest in really moderating things and keeping a sense of community.

    I remember the post from the wireless guy, and he was also quite a "colorful character" in addition to being annoyed that he couldn't get his expensive guitar to work with his gear. And of course before even bothering to do standard trouble shooting, he comes on and starts blah blah blahing. These are also the same people who go right to the Majesty because it is the most expensive thing that EBMM makes, so it must be the BEST... at everything. It's also the most technologically advanced guitar EBMM has ever made, except for the Game Changer. It's got more advanced and complicated output options as well, and honestly I don't see why everyone MUST have it. If you play music like John Petrucci, it may be the best option for you, but for most people I think it might not be the best choice for them, especially considering the functionality it has that they may never use.

    Combine that with their inability to understand a stereo output, and you've got issues.
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  14. #14

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbonesullivan View Post
    Combine that with their inability to understand a stereo output, and you've got issues.
    Your point makes sense. It may sound elitist, but I was actually (unpleasantly) surprised by the naive questions and comments issued on FB by people buying such advanced/expensive guitars without even knowing the difference between a 9'' radius "Strat style" and a 17'' radius "Wizard" style necks. I then understood that most of them had ordered the guitar on the Net without even trying it to check if it fit their hands and playing style. Then I am not surprised if they are disapointed when receiving the guitar...
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by ScottYecora View Post
    Your point makes sense. It may sound elitist, but I was actually (unpleasantly) surprised by the naive questions and comments issued on FB by people...
    You definitely have to take anything on the web with a grain of salt. I see so many people post things about guitars that I know are completely false and run completely against my firsthand experience. Whether it's ignorance, trolling or just cries for attention I can't say.

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