If there was ever a guitar company equivalent to a sports cars, it’s Ernie Ball. And if there was a guitar equivalent to a Ferrari, it’s the Ernie Ball Majesty. While not only a masterfully crafted guitar, the design is incredible. While at first glance it’s a solid body electric with dual humbuckers and tremolo bridge, the design and composition of the Ernie Ball Majesty is sleek and streamlined, with a few small additions that really push the envelope for the playing experience. Ernie Ball are continuously looking to the future, because that’s all they can do; they’ve conquered the past and present.
The 2019 series of John Petrucci’s Majesty guitars boast not only dream specifications, but additions you couldn’t dream up. It’s a 25.5” scale length guitar, with 24 medium jumbo frets and a neck through design, keeping the John Petrucci signature Rainmaker and Dreamcatcher pickups in the bridge and neck respectively. The electronics are kept quiet because the body cavity is coated in graphite acrylic resin with an aluminium cover to ensure everything stays silent and there’s no buzz nor hum. There’s also a push/pull toggle for 20dB of gain when a song calls for it. A polyester gloss finish covers the entire African Mahogany body and matching neck, as well as the flame maple shield on the top of the guitar. The polyester gloss is a phenomenal finish on a guitar and I implore you to watch the ‘Reveal’ video on the Ernie Ball site that really highlights the gloss; as if the guitar weren’t close enough to a sports car already. The strings are held in place by a Music Man floating bridge with a Piezo bridge pickup for extra nuance when you need it. The pickup toggles are Music Man’s own design and do away with conventional toggles and instead feature a sleeker, more inconspicuous and classy design. This guitar specifically is finished in Blue Honu and features chrome toggles and hardware, including Schaller locking tuners, but the new series comes in a variety of colours and tastes.
Specifications aside, the Majesty plays beautifully. It’s inspired, and even resonates acoustically, producing a balanced sound. Amplified, or even DI’d, the signature pickups come to life. There’s a balance between then, but they’re also very much their own beast. The neck is full and creamy but not overbearingly low-mid heavy, whereas the bridge is solid, controlled and strong. The guitar is weighted really nicely and would sit comfortably on a strap for an entire set (how long are Dream Theater’s sets in 2019 again?). The guitar is a perfect blend of weight and heft for riffs and rhythms, but responds well enough to your playing to be a go-to for solos. It’s no wonder many professional touring musicians, Australian and international, have begun to swap to Ernie Ball. Their guitars just feel inspiring to hold.
Overall, the Majesty is a phenomenal build. It’s difficult to articulate what it is about Ernie Ball, and particularly Majestys that draws people to them, but there’s something. Maybe it’s the list of specs that come as standard like their pickups or floating bridge, or maybe it’s the uniformly excellent build quality. Maybe it’s all the additions that you’d never think about, such as the coated electronics cavity. You may never notice, but they will help you along the way and it’ll be very obvious when you swap back to a lesser guitar. All you can do is try one, love it, then buy it.
Hits and Misses
Extra additions few other guitars have