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James Valentine Talks Ernie Ball Music Man Valentine Guitar

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

In this new video, Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine discusses Ernie Ball Music Man's new Valentine guitar—James' signature model.

While James Valentine is a big fan of ES-style semi-hollow guitars, the only nod to those guitars are the pickguard shape and the curves of the lower bout and cutaway horns.

Valentine is also a Tele enthusiast, which explains the slab ash body. But to cut down on body weight, the Valentine guitar features Ernie Ball Music Man’s innovative wedge shape that subtly tapers from a thicker bottom to a slightly thinner top, all without sacrificing the guitar’s warm tone and powerful resonance. An added benefit of this shape is the guitar provides a comfortable playing position, allowing your forearm to be more relaxed.

Another distinctive feature of the Music Man Valentine are its pickups and electronics. Pickups include a custom Music Man humbucker at the neck with coil splitting via the push-push master tone knob and a large custom Music Man single-coil with staggered polepieces like a Tele. A built-in hum cancelling circuit allows users to adjust trim pots for the neck and bridge pickups to minimize noise, and an active preamp that provides a +20dB gain boost is engaged with the master volume control’s push-push function.

By combining an innovative wedge body shape with versatile electronics, the Ernie Ball Music Man James Valentine provides a diverse rainbow of tones along with playability and comfort.

For photos, specs and more information, visit this guitar's page on

For the full review by Guitar World's Chris Gill, plus a review view featuring Paul Riario, head here.