Ernie Ball Music Man has announced limited numbers of new Ball Family Reserve instruments for January 2018. Each month the California guitar maker introduces specially crafted versions of Music Man models, featuring special features, finishes and exotic tonewoods. For January 2018 the introductions include a stunning new Axis guitar in blue, a Cutlas in Gold and an ‘Old Smoothie’ Stingray bass.
The Music Man Axis Super Sport comes with an Aqua Blue quilt top made from select 5A quilt maple, hand stained with an Aqua translucent blue finish to bring out the exotic figuring. A roasted Honduran mahogany neck, with a rosewood fingerboard, is sealed with an ultra light satin polyurethane finish, featuring stainless steel frets and both the neck and body are bound with a hand-shaped white binding. Just 40 examples are being offered.
The Cutlas guitar comes in Malibu Gold and sports gold plated hardware on the locking tuners, tremolo, truss rod adjustment and input jack. Like the Axis, the Cutlas features a figured, roasted maple neck with rosewood, accented with white position markers and matching white binding. It features a lightweight alder body and comes in an exclusive Malibu Gold finish. Ernie Ball says there will be just 44 of these produced.
The solitary bass is a four string 40th Anniversary Stingray ‘Old Smoothie’ in Translucent Cream. It features a high gloss roasted maple neck and headstock finished in a gloss polyurethane finish.
The neck also features a unique combination of a rosewood fingerboard accented with white binding and maple truss rod “skunk stripe” on the back. The Stingray’s custom humbucking pickup 10 pole pieces are offset under the strings, offering a smoother, warmer tone than the traditional Stingray. Ernie Ball says production will be limited to 86 Pieces worldwide.