Reviewed: Sterling by Music Man John Petrucci JP60

CMC Music Australia | cmcmusic.com.au | Expect to Pay: $1795

There is no doubt that John Petrucci is a hugely influential guitarist, musician and composer. Dream Theater have released 13 studio albums garnering numerous accolades and recognition from fans and the music industry alike, and Petrucci’s playing and writing continue to play a huge part in this success. Enjoying a long-standing relationship with Music Man, the band has collaborated on many iterations and variations of Petrucci signature models in a range of specifications. Making the Petrucci models even more accessible, Music Man has enjoyed success with the extension of these guitars in its Sterling line of instruments.

Based on the Signature Series JP6, the Sterling JP60 is eye-catching straight out of the box. The guitar features the classic Music Man headstock shape and 4/2 tuner layout, with a sleek double cut body with forearm contour and Petrucci shield inlays. The body is basswood with a maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. In the hardware department, you’ll find two humbuckers, Music Man’s Modern Tremolo and three-way pickup switch. Last but definitely not least, the guitar is finished in Mystic Dream, something Music Man describes as its chameleon finish. Changing from green to dark purple and almost black, the ‘chameleon’ moniker is definitely justified and adds some extra sparkle to the instrument.

 

I really dig the JP60 neck shape. Indicative of most Petrucci signature guitars, its skinny in profile with a slightly flatter, wider feel. It really gives the feeling that you can get around the neck easily and also be articulate with the 16” radius and medium jumbo frets. The floating bridge feels smooth and coupled with the locking tuners everything seems stable, even with plenty of bending and tremolo bar work. I found the dual humbuckers to be responsive and clear, with more of a pristine modern vibe (as opposed to vintage round and warm). The Petrucci pickup switch location ensures that quick pickup selector flicks are always easy.

 

We all know that John Petrucci has super chops, and while this guitar won’t guarantee you the ability to alternate pick like a demon or sweep odd groupings of diminished arpeggios, it does play super well. Furthermore, I think it would be a great guitar for someone looking for a shred instrument at a good price. To be honest, it doesn’t even have to be for shred – there are a lot a usable tones under the hood, and the quick neck means you can whip around with whatever takes your fancy. Little touches like the Music Man styled gig bag and neck heel truss rod adjustment wheel add to the overall package. Slick and cool, the JP60 is an excellent guitar at an affordable price point.

 

Hits and Misses

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Quick neck

Mystic Dream finish looks great

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Some players may find the pickup switch position awkward

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