Ernie Ball Music Man Rewrites Guitar History – Game Changer

ErnieBall_MusicMan game changer

Premier Manufacturer Announces The Game Changer, In Addition to New String Offerings, John Petrucci Guitar and Ultra-Portable Gig Bag Amplifier

NAMM 2011 — Ernie Ball Music Man, one of the world’s leading manufacturers of strings, instruments and guitar accessories, including the iconic Slinkys guitar string line, today announced that it will unveil The Game Changer, a ground-breaking, all analog pickup switching system that unlocks an extensive library of natural guitar tones previously unavailable in traditional pickup technology. Available in select Reflex guitar and bass models in 2011, this progressive innovation leads a host of new and exciting products Ernie Ball is set to launch at the 2011 Winter NAMM Show.

New Ernie Ball Music Man products are:

Ernie Ball Game Changer

ernie-ball-music-man-game-changer-guitarThe Game Changer fundamentally changes the guitar player’s experience. Rather than relying on pre-set pickup configurations traditionally provided by instrument manufacturers, The Game Changer gives guitarists unrestricted access to a vast library of tones via a true analog pickup switching system. Available on select Music Man Reflex models, this patent-pending system electronically rewires a guitar or bass instantly, combining any order of pickup coils in series, parallel, and in or out of phase to create tones unique to the individual creating them. Imagine having complete tonal control of your instrument with more than 250,000 pickup configurations*, without rewiring anything. With The Game Changer, the audio signal is never digitized or modeled in any way, providing a transparent analog signal path for the absolute purist. In conjunction with The Game Changer website (, musicians can also create, save and share their tonal selections with other players from around the world.

“The Game Changer is the most significant innovation our company has developed,” said Sterling Ball, CEO of Ernie Ball Music Man. “I’m truly proud of this technology and am looking forward to sharing and creating new and unique tones with musicians and artists alike. This really paves the way for musicians to personalize their tonal options like never before.”

The Game Changer is currently offered in Music Man H-H, H-S-H Reflex guitar models, as well as the Music Man H-H Reflex bass model.

*More than 250,000 with a 5-coil instrument

Music Man JPXI

petrucci-ernie-ball-music-man-jpxiContinuing the tremendous success of the JPX, Ernie Ball Music Man introduces the latest evolution in the John Petrucci line of signature guitars. The JPXI is the newest collaborative effort between John Petrucci and the Music Man research and development team. The JPXI features a combination of top appointments from JPX and BFR Petrucci signature instruments. Most notably, the JPXI neck has been streamlined to a symmetric, extra slim profile featuring a flatter 20-inch radius, medium jumbo stainless steel frets with a finished mahogany neck and an ebony fingerboard. Combined with a solid alder body, mahogany tone block and maple top, the JPXI has become the ultimate rock machine. Similar to that of the JP BFR line, controls include two three-way toggles perfectly wired for the Custom Dimarzio LiquiFire and Crunch Lab humbuckers, in addition to a redesigned Wide-Spread Pivot tremolo with a Music Man/Fishman piezo system bridge pickup.

The JPXI guitars will be available in 6 and 7-string versions, adorned with chrome hardware, mother of pearl inlays and a new onyx finish.

Ernie Ball Gig Bag Amplifier

Powered by Marshall, the new Ernie Ball Gig Bag Amplifier is a one-of-a-kind product that provides musicians with a portable and practical way to plug and play their electric guitar. The compact, lightweight battery-powered amp comes in a convenient backpack incorporating a built-in stand, bringing live music to any location from park to street corner to train station. Each Gig Bag Amplifier features two channels with independent gain, tone and volume controls. Also included is an MP3/iPOD input for jamming along to any backing track, as well as a 1/8″ headphone jack for private practice. List price: $199

New Slinkys String Sets

Ernie Ball is introducing three new Slinkys string sets to the string line trusted by musicians around the globe:

  • Two Super Long Scale Bass sets for 35″+ scale length basses–a 4-string and a 5-string (45-105 and 45-130).
  • A new 8-string electric guitar string set (.10-74 gauge). Increasingly popular among jazz and metal musicians, 8-string guitars expand the instrument’s range and broaden its tone.

“Our newest products reach out to a growing segment of the guitar player market,” said Brian Ball, of Ernie Ball Music Man. “These new strings extend the legendary Slinkys playing experience to a group of players looking for more options. The Gig Bag Amp gives guitarists the freedom to plug & play on the go with Marshall tone within arms reach.”

All of these bold new products can be previewed at NAMM Booth 5400.

Known worldwide for their best-selling guitar strings, the Ernie Ball Company also manufactures high-end Music Man guitars and basses and state-of-the-art tech products that are carried by more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. alone.

About Ernie Ball

In 1962, veteran player and teacher Ernie Ball created Slinkys, the iconic light gauge electric guitar strings widely revered by hundreds of guitar greats including Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, The Edge and John Mayer. In addition to hand crafting high-end Music Man guitars and basses, Ernie Ball Inc. offers state-of-the-art instrument accessories that are carried in more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. and 110 countries worldwide. The family-run company maintains its founder’s dedication to preserving the musician’s playing experience and delivering superior sound quality through the development of new products, such as the revolutionary Element Shield Packaging which hermetically seals guitar strings keeping each set as fresh as the day they were made. The company also fosters artist development through musician-focused programs such as the Golden Pick promotion featuring Slash and Eric Clapton, and the world’s largest and longest running Battle of the Bands, where unsigned bands compete each year for the chance to win a $15,000 Guitar Center shopping spree and more.

Ernie Ball Music Man Gear

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