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The Sterling by Musicman guitars and basses are the successors to the budget OLP (Officially Licensed Product) range of Musicman-a-likes launched a few years ago. Build quality and attention to detail have apparently been pimped in these new guitars. Oh, and the ‘JP’ in this model’s name stands for Dream Theater’s John Petrucci.
The JP50 is everything a great modern electric should be. Its lightweight basswood body is thoughtfully designed and features the comfort enhancing ‘forearm scoop’ from Petrucci’s US Musicman JP6 signature.
The slim maple neck is a revelation; we felt like we’d been playing it for years - pretty amazing for a mass-produced axe. The tuning stability also blew our socks off with those locking machineheads earning their keep big-time.
Tonally, the JP50 delivers everything you ask of it, from punk to blues to squealing pinched harmonics. If you play a bunch of different styles you’ll love this guitar’s versatile body mounted humbuckers.
The JP50’s combo of first-class playability and versatile pickups wins it this test. Tuning stability is incredible and you don’t have to worship Mr Petrucci to look the part here. There is some wild talk that the Stealth Black JP50 is a limited-run guitar so you might need to get a wriggle on if you want that finish. See you in the queue.
Pros: Versatile, tuning stability rules.
Cons: Move along please!