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Ball in the Family

Wildwoodians, we are downright giddy to announce that we have received the latest offerings from the Ball Family Reserve. For those who are unfamiliar, the Ball Family Reserve is a line of limited-production guitars that showcase exceptional tonewoods, drool-inducing finishes, and extra-elegant designs. Previously, these fine instruments were only available to members of the Ball family and Ernie Ball Music Man's roster of artists. But, Sterling Ball and his sons, Brian and Scott, have graciously offered them to the public.

Each piece in the Ball Family Reserve is lovingly crafted using a combination of precise, state-of-the-art modern manufacturing techniques and time-consuming old-world methods that involve lots of good 'ol-fashioned elbow grease. Each piece is also VERY limited, and once they're gone, they're gone. We are privileged to showcase such rare, exquisite instruments, and we are proud to welcome Ernie Ball Music Man to the Wildwood Family.

Be My Valentine

James Valentine revels in being one of the "out-of-focus guys" on stage with his band, Maroon 5. The spotlight follows his heartthrob frontman Adam Levine everywhere, but that's just how James likes it. Ever the unassuming type, his melodic, tasteful playing is fuel for Maroon 5's hit-making machine. His riffs have formed the backbone of dozens of pop classics, and he uses his Berklee-honed chops allow him to seamlessly blend rock bombast with Chic-esque funk and Steely Dan-tastic jazz. Now, our friends at Ernie Ball Music man have honored his and his endless capacity for crafting earworms by giving him a signature model guitar. Wildwoodians, we are proud to present you with the Valentine.

Moves Like Jagger, Guitar Like Keith

James Valentine hates switching guitars during Maroon 5's stadium shows, which is totally understandable: with all the hubbub that comes along with playing for fifty thousand fans, the last thing you want to do is switch guitars every other song. So, James Valentine asked the folks at Ernie Ball Music Man to build him a guitar that he could play Maroon 5's whole set on. But, they had to do it without sacrificing simplicity or ease of use (again, no one wants to have to fiddle with five mini-toggle switches in front of 100,000 people clamoring to hear "She Will Be Loved"). As a result, his signature guitar is supremely versatile even though it only has two knobs and a three-way switch.

Stadium-Ready Sounds

On the surface, the Valentine seems pretty basic: an offset-polepiece single-coil in the bridge position and a neck humbucker, a classic stadium-ready configuration favored by Keith Richards in his blackguard named Micawber. Even if those basic electronics were all the Valentine had to offer, it would still be a world-beater. The single-coil is crisp and snappy, with tight lows underneath punchy midrange and excellent chiming highs; in other words, the sort of sound that works in almost any context. By contrast, the neck 'bucker is warm and woody, with vocal upper mids, tight lows, and singing highs (excellent for mellow jazz and thick riffs!). Both pickups sound hi-fi and modern, but have enough vintage warmth to sound classic. With these two sounds, you could get through just about any gig!

Push It. Boost It. Tap It

But, there is more going on here! Two push/push pots are what really unlock the James Valentine Signature's incredible versatility. The volume knob activates an adjustable active boost, which can go from mild, clean, transparent 5db to a roaring 22db! Basically, it can kick your amp into overdrive without a pedal.

What makes this boost (which was inspired by the circuit on Steve Lukather's signature model) so amazing is how musical it sounds. Oftentimes, guitars with active circuits can sound a bit lifeless and sterile and lack dynamics. Not the case here! The Valentine remains touch-sensitive, clear, and pleasant even with the boost maxed out--it just makes the Valentine turn from Bruce Banner into the Incredible Hulk!

You'll find the other push/push pot in the tone knob, which splits the coil for the neck humbucker. With the coil-tap engaged, you'll find plenty of warm, quacking tones in the neck position. More importantly, you'll find all the spanky Niles Rodgers-approved funk tones so crucial to Maroon 5's sound in the middle position.

A Minimalist Monster

As a player, James Valentine rarely plays more notes than necessary. So, it's fitting that a master of musical economy would help design a guitar that exemplifies the best parts of minimalist design philosophy. It features a brand-new body shape that takes its inspiration from the Telecaster and the ES-335. They've merged these two American classics beautifully. As a result, the Valentine has a sleek, elegant, simple aesthetic that grabs the eyes and activates the salivary gland.

Speaking of tactile delights, the body itself is deceptively simple. Though it may look like a regular slab of ash, it actually has a wedge-like taper. The top of the guitar is thinner, and the bottom is thicker. This reduces weight, and it also helps the guitar hug your body for a more comfortable playing experience without sacrificing the classic slab-body design.

C Will Be Loved

Speaking of comfort, let's talk about the glorious C-shaped neck profile! It's the sort of well-rounded shape that works well for just about any playing style. Ditto for the modern 10" radius and high-profile medium width frets (which are made of stainless steel, so they'll last forever). And, the neck is made of roasted maple, which means maximum consistency and stability.

Fall In Love

We're proud to showcase the Music Man Valentine for our exceptional customers. Its versatile electronics, gorgeous looks, and supreme playability will help you rock the stadium, the studio, or the bedroom with equal aplomb. We know it will bring endless inspiration on your six-string journey.


BrandErnie Ball Music Man
ModelBall Family Reserve Valentine
Limited Series#33 of 55
Finish ColorWalnut Burst
Finish TypeHigh Gloss Polyester
Weight6.82 lbs.
Body WoodAfrican Mahogany
Top WoodFlamed Maple
Body BindingDouble-Ply Parchment
Neck WoodRoasted Figured Maple
Neck FinishUltra-Light Satin Polyurethane
Neck Dimensions.820 1st-.920 12th
FingerboardEbony w/Parchment Binding
Fingerboard Radius10"
FingerboardAtlante Blocks
Scale Length25.5"
Width at Nut1.650"
Frets22 Stainless Steel High Profile Medium Width
Pickups1 Custom Music Man Humbucker, 1 Custom Music Man Staggered Polepiece Single-Coil (Bridge)
PreampCustom Music Man Active Preamp; Push/Push Volume For Gain Boost, 500kohm Push/Push Passive Tone for Custom Spilt Pickup Configurations - .022µF Tone Capacitor
Controls1 Volume, 1 Tone, 3-Way Selector
BridgeMusic Man Modern Hardtail with Vintage Bent-Steel Saddles
TunersSchaller M6-IND Locking
Other GoodiesSigned Backplate
CaseMolded Plastic Hardshell

Why Order from Wildwood Guitars?

An instrument from Wildwood isn't just an ordinary guitar. It's your guitar. Each and every instrument we sell includes a full, point by point setup, an exhaustive evaluation, and expert shipping procedures, with first class, industry leading standards from start to finish. Why? Because you deserve it.

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Serial Number: G87866

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