Ernie Ball James Valentine Signature Guitar

Ernie Ball Music Man in conjunction with Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine unveils the new Valentine signature guitar.

Ernie Ball Valentine Guitar

This new guitar is part of the company's ever expanding line of Artist Series instruments, all of which are made to match the exacting specs of their name sake artists, which this time is Maroon 5's guitarist.

From ballad to funk to rock and many more, Maroon 5 easily shifts their music style depending on the song their playing. As such, James Valentine requires a versatile instrument that can provide him with the tones he need. This need is now addressed by the Ernie Ball Music Man with James Valentine's first ever signature guitar, featuring custom designed pickups and artist approved features.

The body of the Valentine guitar is crafted from slab ash, which is carved into a distinct double cutaway shape that allows for better access to the higher frets. To my eyes, the body shape looks like a modified version of a popular semi-hollow, with a hint of Tele. It is finished in high gloss polyester finish that showcases the grains of the body wood. Available finish colors include Trans Maroon, Trans Buttermilk, Trans Black and Satin Natural.

The neck follows after the familiar long scale Tele configuration, crafted from roasted maple with a scale length of 25.5", 1 5/8" nut width, 10" fingerboard radius and a total of 22 frets. IT comes tinted in ultra-light satin polyurethane finish to make it easier to play. You can choose to have either a maple fingerboard or rosewood, and the headstock design follows after the large headstocks of the '70s era, albeit with Ernie Ball's distinct shape. It also features a compensated nut that allows for more precise intonation and tuning stability.

Giving this guitar its versatile voice are custom made pickups (1-humbucker/1-single coil), both of which are wired to a 3-way pickup selector and a coil tapping feature. It is also mentioned that this guitar comes with an active preamplifier section. Check out the NAMM 2016 video below where James Valentine himself shares the story behind his first ever signature guitar.

Pricing and release information is not specifically mentioned, but it was said on the interview that "The Valentine" is set to hit retail stores on July of this year. Visit Music Man for more information.

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