Ernie Ball Music Man updates its 2021 electric guitar and bass lineup with a dizzying array of sweet new finishes

Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass RS and StingRay RS 2021
Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay RS in Powder Blue, StingRay RS in Burnt Amber, Cutlass RS in Powder Blue, and Cutlass RS in Vintage Tobacco (Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

Ernie Ball Music Man has launched its 2021 core lineup, introducing 22 new finishes for its Sabre, StingRay RS and Cutlass RS electric guitars, StingRay Special, StingRay Special 5 and Bongo basses.

It sees a minty cool Power Blue finish debut on its StingRay RS and Cutlass RS electrics, with a hot Burnt Amber burst finish arriving on the StingRay RS and a Vintage Tobacco finish giving the Cutlass RS a classy retro aesthetic.

The StingRay RS and Cutlass RS specs remain otherwise unchanged. Why mess with a winning formula? 

The Cutlass RS models are available in SSS or HSS formats, with both featuring alder bodies, bolt-on figured roasted maple necks, with a choice of rosewood or figured maple fingerboards, each carved into a 10" radius. They have a 25.5" scale, 22 vintage-style high-profile/medium width stainless steel frets, and Music Man Modern tremolo with vintage bent steel saddles.

Of course, the build quality is exceptional, with a Silent Circuit to keep unwanted hum at bay, and little touches such as the hand-rubbed oil and wax finish on the necks to make them extra tactile. 

The Sabre, meanwhile, EBMM's more contemporary double-cut electric – a veritable blank slate for adventurous guitar players – arrives resplendent in Gator Green for 2021. 

With its slightly offset solid okoume body and bookmatched figured maple top housing two Music Man Custom Wound humbuckers, it has a huge voice, and a control circuit that makes it pretty much a do-everything electric in a style that does well to hit the sweet spot between modern and classic.

Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre Gator Green

Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre Gator Green (Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

As for the Ernie Ball Music Man 2021 bass line up, there is a veritable cornucopia of fresh looks to choose from, with eight new finishes arriving for the four-string StingRay Special, and eight for its five-string sibling, the StingRay Special 5. 

New to the StingRay Special are Amethyst Sparkle, Black, Snowy Night, Raspberry Burst, Smoked Chrome, Speed Blue, Burnt Ends, and Frost Green Pearl.

The StingRay Special 5, meanwhile, now arrives in Frost Green Pearl, Black, Snowy Night, Raspberry Burst, Smoked Chrome, Speed Blue, Burnt Ends, and Amethyst Sparkle. As usual, you can get these in single humbucker or dual-humbucker instruments.

Last but by no means least, Bongo four-, five- and six-string basses are now available in Harvest Orange. If the StingRay Special represents the heritage wing of EBMM design, the Bongo is very much the future-forward bass design.

It has a double-cutaway basswood body, a pair of Neodymium humbuckers and a 4-band active preamp.

These new finishes are available now. Head to Ernie Ball Music Man for more pics and details, and where to find your nearest retailer.

Ernie Ball Music Man Bongo Harvest Orange

Ernie Ball Music Man Bongo Harvest Orange (Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)
Jonathan Horsley

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.