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NAMM 2011: Ernie Ball Music Man reveals Game Changer

Adam Savage
NAMM 2011: Ernie Ball Music Man reveals Game Changer

Ernie Ball Music Man is unveiling the Game Changer, an all-analog pickup switching system that unlocks an extensive library of natural guitar tones previously unavailable in traditional pickup technology.

The product (pictured) will be made available with select Reflex guitar and bass models in 2011 and marks the first of a variety of new and exciting products set to be launched by the manufacturer at NAMM.

The Game Changer gives players access to a vast selection of tones, rather than them having to rely on pre-set pickup configurations usually provided by instrument manufacturers. The system electronically rewires a guitar or bass instantly, combining any order of pickup coils in series, parallel, and in or out of phase to create truly unique tones.

More than 250,000 pickup configurations are possible with a five-coil instrument and the audio signal is never digitised or modelled in any way, providing a transparent analog path. The Game Changer website (www.gamechanger.music-man,com) will also allow players to create, save and share their own tonal selections with other guitarists around the world.

"The Game Changer is the most significant innovation our company has developed," said Sterling Ball, CEO of Ernie Ball Music Man. "I'm truly proud of this technology and am looking forward to sharing and creating new and unique tones with musicians and artists alike. This really paves the way for musicians to personalise their tonal options like never before."

The Game Changer is currently offered with the Music Man H-H and H-S-H Reflex guitars, as well as the H-H Reflex bass.

The latest evolution in the John Petrucci line of signature guitars is also set to be launched at NAMM.

The JPXI’s neck has been streamlined down to an extra slim profile with a flatter 20-inch radius, medium jumbo stainless steel frets and a finished mahogany neck with ebony fingerboard. It also features a solid alder body, mahogany tone block and maple top.

Its controls include two three-way toggles perfectly wired for the Custom Dimarzio Liquifire and Crunch Lab humbuckers, along with a redesigned Wide-Spread Pivot tremolo with a Music Man/Fishman piezo system bridge pickup.

Powered by Marshall Amplification, the new Ernie Ball Gig Bag Amplifier is a one-of-a-kind product that provides musicians with a portable and practical way to plug and play their electric guitar. The compact, lightweight battery-powered amp comes in a convenient backpack incorporating a built-in stand, bringing live music to any location.

Ernie Ball’s final new introduction will be its new Slinky string sets. These will be two Super Long Scale Bass sets for 35-inch-plus scale length basses in four and five-string variations (45-105 and 45-130.)

There will also be a new eight-string electric guitar string set (.10-74 gauge). This type of string has become increasingly popular with jazz and metal musicians.

All of the above new products can be found at NAMM Booth 5400.

For more information on Ernie Ball Music Man, click here to visit the Strings and Things website.

MI Pro's NAMM news comes from the Retail Up booth at the NAMM Show, Hall C stand 4811

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Tags: NAMM , ernie ball , music man , strings and things , game changer , john petrucci , reflex guitars , slinky strings

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