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NAMM 2022: Ernie Ball Music Man takes a fresh approach to pickup design with new patent-pending Heat Treated pickups

Ernie Ball Music Man Heat Treated pickups
(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

NAMM 2022: Ernie Ball Music Man has sure been busy ahead of this year's NAMM show, developing a new collection of guitars for Dream Theater's John Petrucci and even a new body shape in collaboration with Animals as Leaders main man Tosin Abasi, the Kaizen.

And now, the company has announced its all-new Heat Treated pickups, to be available in a line of electric guitars from July.

Inspired by over a decade of guitar string research – incorporating principles and insights that contributed to the development of Ernie Ball's Cobalt and M-Steel Slinky strings – EBMM has developed a new material specifically for these pickups.

Sonic characteristics include more output and dynamic range – the company says they “outperform normal spec pickups by providing extra output and excellent touch sensitivity – as well as a more powerful bass response and an expansion of higher frequency harmonics.

The pickups are available in both single-coil and humbucker designs, with the former utilizing neodymium magnets and the latter using high-output ceramic magnets.

Present on both options is an adjustable push-pull 20dB boost circuit – which would come in handy for soloing or other lead playing in a band setting – and a transparent buffered output, offering “tonal consistency at all volume levels”.

Ernie Ball Music Man's Heat Treated pickups are available on the HT Series, a new line of six-strings comprising a triple single-coil-loaded Cutlass, and a StingRay and Sabre, both equipped with humbuckers.

The Kaizen, the new seven-string developed by EBMM in collaboration with Tosin Abasi, also comes packed with Heat Treated pickups.

Both the Cutlass and StingRay have unique features in that the former has a Silent Circuit – which reduces hum inherent with single-coil pickups – and the latter is fitted with a tune-o-matic-style bridge.

Check out the tones these Heat Treated pickups can conjure in the video above. And be sure to head to our NAMM 2022 hub for all the latest news, rumors and predictions from this year's show.

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Sam is a Staff Writer at Guitar World, also creating content for Total Guitar, Guitarist and Guitar Player. He has well over 15 years of guitar playing under his belt, as well as a degree in Music Technology (Mixing and Mastering). He's a metalhead through and through, but has a thorough appreciation for all genres of music. In his spare time, Sam creates point-of-view guitar lesson videos on YouTube under the name Sightline Guitar (opens in new tab).