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Ernie Ball Music Man releases the Joe Dart II, the Vulfpeck bassist’s “ultimate live axe”

Ernie Ball Music Man Joe Dart II
(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man )

Ernie Ball Music Man has expanded its Joe Dart signature bass guitar lineup with the release of the Joe Dart II. 

The Vulfpeck bassist’s new four-string is is resplendent in a Natural Velvet finish, all the better to show off all the grain on its premium solid ash body.

There’s a retro look to the bass, which is backed up by Dart’s pickup choices. Fully passive, he has a pair of ‘60s style Alnico V split-coils, each with their own 250K volume pot. With no onboard EQ – not even a tone pot – you’ll just have to dial in those tones on your bass amp or with your fingers. 

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Ernie Ball Music Man Joe Dart II

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man )
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Ernie Ball Music Man Joe Dart II

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man )

But that is how Dart likes his instruments. The Joe Dart II, he says, is “the ultimate live axe”.

“The design aim was for high speed, smooth playability on the neck, and a deep, rich Music Man tone from the pickups, all on an old-school passive bass,” said Dart. “I think we nailed it, and I think I’ll be playing it on stage for years to come.”

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Ernie Ball Music Man Joe Dart II

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man )
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Ernie Ball Music Man Joe Dart II

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man )
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Ernie Ball Music Man Joe Dart II

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man )

Expect all the usual EBMM premium touches. It has a flame maple neck with a five-bolt sculpted joint, maple fingerboard, a 34" scale, Schaller tuners with tapered string posts, the graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity and aluminium control cover to cut down on unwanted noise, and a neck that’s finished with gunstock oil and hand-rubbed with a special wax blend. Luxury.

The first 100 instruments ship with a numbered neck plate and a signed COA by Dart himself, and a premium G&G case. And these are available exclusively through the Ernie Ball Music Man Vault, priced $2,600.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.