Ernie Ball Music Man Steve Morse Signature
A Delectable Morse-l
Steve Morse has had his original Music Man Signature prototype refretted ten times since he got it in 1986, and that tells you everything you need to know about the player and the guitar.
Firstly, it means that Steve Morse's practice and gigging habits put us all to shame (do you know how hard it is to wear through that many frets?). After all, it's hard to maintain Steve's level of virtuosity without constant woodshedding!
Second, it speaks to the incredible versatility and addictive feel of the Steve Morse Signature. Why bother switching guitars when you can dial in any sound you need by flicking a couple switches? Frankly, the Steve Morse Signature's handfeel is so buttery, it's easy to understand why Steve never puts it down when he plays live with the Dixie Dregs, Deep Purple, and Flying Colors! We've come to expect supremely playable instruments from Ernie Ball Music Man because of their manufacturing processes (which blend old-world elbow grease with space-age precision), but the Steve Morse signature exceeds our high expectations in this regard.
Finally, and most importantly, it highlights the special connection between the instrument and musician. In a world where most high-profile guitar players have a different guitar for every day of the month, Steve's long-standing relationship with his axe is a bit of an outlier.
The Wildwood team is pleased to report that his signature has the same sort of mojo that led Steve to become a six-string monogamist, so let's take a closer look and see why the Steve Morse Signature from Ernie Ball Music Man has made us all fall in love.
Cracking the Morse Code
First things first: please forgive me for that pun. Now that we've got that out of the way, let's address the question on everyone's mind: what the heck are all these switches, and how do they work?
Steve Morse likes to get a different sound for each section of every song, so it was paramount that his signature guitar have lots of sounds on tap. But, because of the unpredictable nature of live performance, it had to utilize a simple, intuitive switching system.
That seems like an impossible task, but the wizards at Ernie Ball made it happen. You can use the three switches to cop a truly staggering amount of sounds! Here's a quick breakdown of how they work. We'll start with the three-way selector switch:
Position one (with the switch pointing to the bridge) is the bridge humbucker soloed.
Position two is the single-coil next to the bridge 'bucker soloed.
Position three is the neck humbucker soloed.
Pretty easy so far, right? Now, let's tackle the two toggle switches.
The toggle in front of the neck pickup controls the bridge humbucker. When you flip it down, it mixes the bridge pickup in with whatever else you have selected.
The toggle behind the tone knob controls the single-coil closest to the neck. When it's in the "down" position, it is deactivated. The middle position mixes it in with whatever other pickups you have selected, and the "up" position solos it.
Looking a Gift Morse in the Mouth
When, oh when, will the Steve Morse puns stop? Never, I say! Silliness aside, another important questions looms over us now: in what ways is switching system described above useful? Also, is it too complex for easy use?
I am happy to report that the Steve Morse Signature's versatile electronics provide an absolutely delightful playing experience free of any switch-based anxiety. It surprises me to write such a sentence, because I personally tend to favor simple instruments (my two go-to electric guitars are the Les Paul Special and the Telecaster, if that tells you anything). But, it's the truth! After I spent about five minutes familiarizing myself with the electronics, I found them to be completely intuitive. I was switching pickups left and right with ease while subjecting my coworkers to my attempts at jazz fusion (sorry, coworkers!).
Describing the sound of each potential pickup combination is beyond the scope of this page, both because there are so many and because each tone is so interesting and inspiring that I would have to write another two thousand words to do them justice and the text on this page is already approaching critical mass.
But, what I can tell you is this: playing the Steve Morse Signature model is like painting using a palette with every imaginable shade and hue. I've never experienced anything like it before. Pretty much any tone you'd ever need is only a couple flicks of a finger away. This guitar can quack, punch, chime, sparkle, bite, boom, scream, sizzle, wail, snap, and chug with the best of them, and switching between these myriad sounds is a breeze, because the switching system is so intuitive that it feels like an extension of your hand. This combination of expressive electronics and impeccable handfeel results in a playing experience that can only be described as magical.
The Wildwood team is proud to present the Steve Morse Signature, a guitar that proves versatility and ease-of-use are not mutually exclusive goals. We know its stunning array of tones, supreme playability, and ravishing good looks will make you contemplate guitar monogamy.
|Brand||Ernie Ball Music Man|
|Model||Steve Morse Signature|
|Finish Color||Morse Blue Burst|
|Finish Type||High Gloss Polyester|
|Neck Wood||Select Maple|
|Neck Finish||Gloss Gunstock Oil and Hand-Rubbed Special Wax Blend|
|Neck Dimensions||.840 1st-.920 12th|
|Width at Nut||1.650"|
|Frets||22 High Profile Wide|
|Pickups||HSSH - DiMarzio (neck to bridge); Humbucking - DP-205 Morse Signature; Single coil - DP-108 Vintage; Single coil - Proprietary custom wound; Humbucking - DP-200 Morse Signature|
|Electronic Shielding||Graphite Acrylic Resin Coated Body Cavity and Aluminum-Lined Pickguard|
|Controls||1 Volume, 1 Tone, 2-Way Toggle, 3-Way Toggle Pickup Selector; 3-Way Lever Pickup Selector|
|Hardware||Black and Chrome|
|Bridge||Tuneomatic Bridge with Thumbwheel Height Adjustment & Individual Saddles with Music Man Chrome Plated, Solid Brass Tail Block|
|Tuners||Schaller M6-IND Locking|
|Case||Molded Plastic Hardshell|
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