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Thread: What is so bad about the original Music Man guitars?

  1. #1

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    What is so bad about the original Music Man guitars?

    I had a funny thought of maybe picking up a 70s Music Man... just because. I'd like a 70s guitar, and it's a lot cheaper than a 70s Tele (one of the few coveted 70s guitars, I guess). But I ran across an old vid of Sterling Ball saying how bad the original Stingray guitars were. I heard that Leo's hearing was getting worse at this time and made his guitars too bright (I guess some G&Ls are similar). But can't this be remedied with mods? Is there something about it that is simply "broken by design"?

    On a sidenote, are there any notable artists who ever recorded with one?

  2. #2

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    First: I never played an old one. I can only say what I may have read. I hope itīs not wrong?!?

    About the brightness - I thought I have read, the controls were some kind of active. So, the "normal" setting would be in the middle. If fully opened, the highs would be boosted. People who doesnīt know this, believe itīs way too trebly.

    I think that sounds legit, but I donīt know if itīs correct
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  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by banjoplayer View Post
    First: I never played an old one. I can only say what I may have read. I hope itīs not wrong?!?

    About the brightness - I thought I have read, the controls were some kind of active. So, the "normal" setting would be in the middle. If fully opened, the highs would be boosted. People who doesnīt know this, believe itīs way too trebly.

    I think that sounds legit, but I donīt know if itīs correct
    Ah.. I didn't realize they were active electronics. I guess modding wouldn't be as straightforward then.

  4. #4

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    some good infos here:
    http://forums.ernieball.com/ernie-ba...tml#post512575

    the whole thread is good
    blueburst Steve Morse Standard, Jan 03, 2005 pix
    pinkburst Albert Lee, Jul 13, 1994 pix
    cinnamon SUB1, Mar 08, 2004 pix
    vintage gold reflex, June 22, 2011 pix

    My Band: Groove Bang

  5. #5

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    Very interesting bit of history there... thanks for the link!
    Balls are Best!!

  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I had a funny thought of maybe picking up a 70s Music Man... just because. I'd like a 70s guitar, and it's a lot cheaper than a 70s Tele (one of the few coveted 70s guitars, I guess). But I ran across an old vid of Sterling Ball saying how bad the original Stingray guitars were. I heard that Leo's hearing was getting worse at this time and made his guitars too bright (I guess some G&Ls are similar). But can't this be remedied with mods? Is there something about it that is simply "broken by design"?

    On a sidenote, are there any notable artists who ever recorded with one?
    Quote Originally Posted by banjoplayer View Post
    First: I never played an old one. I can only say what I may have read. I hope itīs not wrong?!?

    About the brightness - I thought I have read, the controls were some kind of active. So, the "normal" setting would be in the middle. If fully opened, the highs would be boosted. People who doesnīt know this, believe itīs way too trebly.

    I think that sounds legit, but I donīt know if itīs correct
    I haven't played many of them, and never really did get into the electronics but that sounds correct - the preamp is always on, and the switches should start in the "middle" and then adjust to what you want. They also had a bright switch if you wanted even more treble.

    The guitars just never really did take off in the marketplace like the basses did, and then the entire issue with Leo's falling out with his other partners (Forrest White and Tom Walker) and pulling out of the partnership/"business entity" Music Man but continuing to make the instruments at his other business, CLF Research (CLF sold the instruments to Music Man as an OEM) pretty much put an end to the guitars. After leaving the MM partnership Leo turned his attention to starting up another line, G&L, which he built alongside the Music Mans at CLF.

    Further - and Big Poppa once had a blog post about this - CLF actively made purposefully defective Music Mans for a while there (bad necks with non-functioning truss rods) to force the end of the ongoing production contract. Whether he also actively wanted to drive MM bankrupt went to the grave with him, but this did put MM on the road to bankruptcy. When MM had to find other production they pretty much just kept the basses going once they built out all the guitars they could from the parts on hand. This would have been circa 1981; and the original company was gone by early 1984.

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