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Music Man Ball Family Reserve John Petrucci 7 Electric Guitar

Sound Quality

If you get this guitar, you are most probably into metal, prog metal, or extreme-ish metal. For this style of music (which I play), it is the bogs dollocks. I had an Ibanez RG7321 before and I thought that was OK. However, since getting the JP7 I don't miss the Ibanez at all. You get a beautiful clean sound, especially blending the middle PUP setting with the piezo. The dirty sound is focussed, tight and punchy, even when you downtune. As long as you don't scoop out too much mids, you will get one of the best 7-string tones out there. Just check out This Dying Soul for an example of the brutally brilliant tone.


I've got three EBMM Petrucci's. The only problem I've ever had was with the piezo on one guitar packing up for no apparent reason - see below. The finish and everything else is flawless. Mine have lasted for years. I've fitted straplocks -you're a dummy if you don't. It is gig-worthy... but just don't let it out of your sight or someone will steal it! I always have a backup guitar for gigs; again, it's a no-brainer - if something can go wrong, it will.


General Comments

As I said above, I've got 3 Petrucci's. I also own a Tom Anderson and a 2009 Gibson Les Paul Standard (another excellent pair of guitars) and I've owned numerous PRS, Ibanez RGs and Jems (including the universe 7 string, which was too big for my tiny hands, but a very nice guitar).


For instrumental rock, shred, prog metal, metal, and such-like, I don't think you can find a better guitar in terms of build, tone and mojo. John Petrucci plays them - 'nuff said. Plus, unlike some signature guitars (Jem 7Vs especially), they are very under-stated and don't immediately scream out "Mr Vai".


The versatility, ease of maintenance, tuning stability, sound, feel, playability and value for money are unbeatable. If it were stolen I would get another in a hearbeat.


The only problem you might have is trying one out, as most dealers don't carry them routinely as stock. However, in the UK the distributor will send guitars out to dealers 'on approval' so you can try one out before committing yourself.

Reviewer's Background

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