Ernie Ball Music Man Mariposa Deluxe
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From Mars Volta to Mariposa
It's appropriate that the name of Omar Rodriguez-Lopez's new signature Ernie Ball Music Man guitar is "Mariposa" (which means butterfly in Spanish) because his creative path has mimicked that of a butterfly floating on the wind. Omar flutters to and fro, following his muse no matter where it takes him. That butterfly spirit has led him to many unpredictable, strange places, and that's why he has made some of the most compelling music of the modern era.
With his band At the Drive In, Rodriguez-Lopez took the savage fury of post-hardcore and melded it with the complexity of prog rock and made several classic records. With his next band, The Mars Volta, he helped push prog rock into the stratosphere and beyond with his complex art-damaged compositions without ever losing that all-important punk rock sensibility. He's also put out twenty solo records and has several other projects, so it's safe to say that he's one of the busiest men in rock and roll!
Float Like a Butterfly
Such a singular musician needs a singular signature guitar, and our friends at Ernie Ball Music Man were up to the task of building it. The story behind its striking original shape could not be more on-brand for Rodriguez-Lopez, an artist who has often embraced chaos and randomness in his work. While looking at computerized drawings of the design, he and Brian Ball kept getting a glitch on the screen. While Ball frantically tried to fix the problem, Omar was unfazed. "Stop! I like that! That's it," he shouted. Perhaps that's why the Mariposa looks so fresh and exciting: it's not tied to any particular era or classic design but to a glitch in the matrix.
This Apparatus Must Be Unearthed
The Mariposa's building block is its lightweight okoume body, which is snappy and responsive with a warm, sunny, clear timbre. The okoume works perfectly with the roasted maple neck. Roasting an electric guitar's neck removes the moisture from the neck, which gives it greater stability. It also imparts a bit of vintage-style woodiness to the guitar's sound. "Vintage-style woodiness" sounds like a nebulous term, but it just means that the guitar sounds warmer and clearer. Also, roasted necks tend to act like wooden tuning forks, so the guitar has lots of clear, ringing sustain.
Within this apparatus, our friends at Ernie Ball Music Man have situated two custom-wound humbucking pickups. Omar wanted them to sound hot, clear, and precise, and the fine folks in EBMM delivered the goods. These pickups have enough heat to deliver a power-chord gutpunch, but they are not overbearing, and they leave a shocking amount of room for dynamics and subtlety. They open up and sing when you play with a light touch, and they have plenty of punch when you dig in. Though they certainly deliver crystalline fidelity, they sound far from sterile, with plenty of character.
The switching system is also interesting and inspiring since it allows you to easily access lots of killer tones. The bridge position is muscular and well-defined with plenty of high-end chime, while the neck position is fat and fiery with enough clarity to handle full chords through a dirty amp. The middle position is wired in parallel, which means it has less output and more twang, sparkle, and jangle. The two volume knobs also use a tethered tone system, which means that the treble response varies based on where you have each knob set. This allows you to find a lot of subtle hues and shades of sound!
Of course, the Mariposa showcases the incredible build quality that we've come to expect from Ernie Ball Music Man. It has a slim, comfortable neck profile with a modern 10" radius and high-profile medium-width frets. This combination works quite well for just about any style or technique because it allows you to chord and bend strings fluidly. The neck also sports a hand-rubbed finish with a blend of wax and gunstock oil, and it is righteously smooth and buttery--no stickiness or tackiness here! All in all, the Mariposa is a precision-built machine that still has a beating heart. This is thanks to Ernie Ball Music Man's manufacturing process, which utilizes old-world elbow grease and space-age technology in equal measure.
For Now...We Toast
Wildwood Guitars is proud to toast the arrival of the Ernie Ball Music Man Mariposa. Omar Rodriguez is one of the most inventive, creative guitarists ever to lay finger to string, and we are delighted that his signature guitar is as cool as his playing. We invite you to float on with the Mariposa and make some bedlam in Goliath. Once you take it for a spin, we're sure you'll be inspired to make lots of joyous racket!
|Brand||Ernie Ball Music Man|
|Finish Color||Imperial White|
|Finish Type||High Gloss Polyester|
|Neck Wood||Roasted Maple|
|Neck Finish||Gunstock Oil and Hand-Rubbed Special Wax Blend|
|Neck Dimensions||.800 1st-.880 12th|
|Fingerboard Inlays||Atalante Blocks|
|Width at Nut||1.650"|
|Frets||22 High Profile Medium Width|
|Pickups||2 Custom Music Man Humbuckers|
|Electronic Shielding||Graphite Acrylic Resin Coated Body Cavity and Aluminum-Lined Pickguard|
|Controls||2 Volumes, 3-Way Switch|
|Bridge||Music Man Modern Tremolo with Chevron Cover and Vintage Bent Steel Saddles|
|Tuners||Schaller M6-IND Locking|
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