NAMM 2020: Ernie Ball Music Man unveils stunning new John Petrucci and Steve Lukather signature guitars

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

NAMM 2020: Ernie Ball Music Man has unveiled the next evolution of its hugely popular John Petrucci and Steve Lukather signature models.

The new Petrucci guitars include an updated JP15, five new Majesty models – including a breathtaking Purple Nebula Majesty – and a quite exquisite maple topped JP.

Steve Lukather's 2020 Luke III has been revised, and comes kitted out in custom Music Man electronics, with the option of an alder body, figured roasted maple neck and rosewood fingerboard, or with a lightweight okoume body with figured-maple top, maple neck and rosewood fingerboard. Again, you've got two options as far as pickups go: two humbuckers in neck and bridge or a humbucker in the bridge with two singlecoils in middle and neck positions.

The humbuckers in question have been newly designed and are wound hot. The singlecoils are Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass pickups. As for the electronics, both options have five-way pickup selectors and an onboard preamp offering 20dB of boost via "push/push" volume knob.

All Luke III models have a floating Ernie Ball Music Man vintage tremolo system. The alder-bodied models are available in Olive Pearl, Fuchsia Sparkle, and Ocean Sparkle, and are priced $2549 (UK RRP £TBC), available for pre-order on June 9. The maple-topped Luke III models are available with a flame or quilt maple top in Luscious Green and Cherry Burst. These are priced $3199 (UK RRP £TBC), available for pre-order on June 9.

Where to start with the Petrucci models? Well, let's go with the royalty first and see what's cooking with the Majesty range. Limited to 200 instruments worldwide, the Purple Nebula represents the pinnacle of John Petrucci's collaboration with Ernie Ball Music Man. It has a suitably eye-popping quilt maple top over alder sides, with a neck-through construction. The neck is constructed from two strips of Honduran mahogany with a centre strip of figured flame maple. It's quite stunning.

And it has electronics to match, with a DiMarzio Dreamcatcher in the bridge and a Rainmaker in the neck. You also have an onboard piezo bridge system and a push-push volume control that'll give you +20dB of boost. The Purple Nebula burst is finished in polyester gloss and really is something. These are signed by JP, are available in six or seven-string models and are priced from $5299 (UK RRP £TBC).

The other Majesty models might retail from $2999 but still have an abundance of blue-blood spec. There are options aplenty here, too. Choose from the lightweight okoume body with flame maple shield, or, if you choose the Stealth, Kinetic Blue, or Red Phoenix finishes, the Majesty has a basswood body – hold the shield. All feature the newly designed Dreamcatcher in the bridge and Rainmaker in the neck, the +20dB is on tap here, too, and you can of course get this in six or seven strings. 

This year sees four new finishes, with the Majesty available in Pink Sand, Red Phoenix, Smoked Pearl, and Ember Glow.

Like the Majesty, the new JP15 is available with six or seven strings and comes in a handsome Cerulean Paradise finish. It has a lightweight okoume body with figured maple top, figured roasted maple neck and fingerboard.

Pickups-wise it has a pair of custom DiMarzio Illuminator pickups, a Piezo bridge system, the +20dB boost on the volume knob, and a signature Ernie Ball Music Man JP tremolo. The 2020 JP15 is priced from $3249.00 (UK RRP £TBC) is available to order from 14 April.

Ernie Ball Music Man JP15 in Cerulean Paradise

Ernie Ball Music Man JP15 in Cerulean Paradise (Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

As for the JP Maple Top, it has an alder body with a mahogany tone block and the eponymous figured maple top. It has a Honduran mahogany neck and East Indian rosewood fingerboard. 

There is a set of DiMarzio Liquifire and Crunch Lab pickups, a piezo bridge system, and a coil-splitting tone pot. As with all these Petrucci signature modesl, you can get six or seven-string models. Each will come with a Music Man JP tremolo, three-way toggle pickup selector and Ernie Ball Music Man hardshell case. 

There is a Koa Top option, too, which has a Mahogany body and neck with an ebony fretboard. That comes in a Dragon Blood finish, and you can have a quilt or flame koa top. The 2020 JP Maple Top is priced from $3249 (UK RRP £TBC) and will be available to order from 14 April.

See Ernie Ball Music Man for more details.

Check out our NAMM 2020 hub for more gear news. 

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.