It’s that time of year again: Ernie Ball Music Man has introduced four new luxurious instruments to join up with its ever-growing collection of Ball Family Reserve models.
Arriving in the form of two electric guitars and two bass guitars, the Fall 2022 edition of the catalog offers stylish twists on the brand’s Sabre and StingRay templates, delivering specs that are new to the Ball Family Reserve lineage.
Specifically, these features include the company’s new Heat-Treated pickup technology. Introduced during NAMM earlier this year, the HT pickups are inspired by “decades of electric guitar string research”, and are said to offer more output and dynamic range.
Further, the HTs promise to outperform normal spec pickups by providing excellent touch sensitivity, a more powerful bass response and an expansion of higher frequency harmonics.
Some appetizing aesthetics have also been introduced, from the alluring Plum Crazy Stingray six-string and exclusive White Sparkle Gloss finish Stringray bass, to the natural grains of the Stingray and Sabre models.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the Fall 2022 Ball Family Reserve models.
Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre HT Duello
First up is the Spalted Maple Top Sabre HT Duello, which flaunts a, well, spalted maple top, attached to a black limba body. Natural wood binding continues the wood theme, and is joined by a flame figured maple neck and 10”-radius fingerboard of the same material.
The 25.5” scale length six-string also flashes multicolored block inlays, a five-bolt sculpted neck joint and Schaller M6-IND locking tuners, as well as a Music Man Modern tremolo with crescent cover and vintage bent steel saddles.
As mentioned above, the HH-configured guitar features Music Man HT Sabre humbuckers, which are controlled by a five-way lever pickup selector, and master volume and tone controls.
The Duello will be limited to 80 pieces worldwide, and is available for $4,499.
Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray HT Plum Crazy
The other electric guitar in the mix is the Stingray HT Plum Crazy, which pairs its hypnotic finish – also found on the headstock – with pearl binding on the neck.
At its core, it features an alder body, select maple neck and 10”-radius ebony fretboard, which is adorned with block inlays and 22 high profile frets. These specs are supported by a five-bolt sculpted neck joint, a tune-o-matic bridge and Stop Bar-style tailpiece, as well as Schaller M6-IND locking tuners.
Again, a pair of Music Man HT humbuckers can be found, and are at the mercy of a three-way toggle selector switch, and master volume and tone controls.
Limited to 80 pieces, the Plum Crazy Stingray HT will be shipping in four months for $3,299.
Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay Special Slugger
First up in the bass department is the Slugger – a StingRay Special variant that features a premium ash body with polyester non-gloss finish, a roasted maple neck and fretboard with black dot inlays, and unique striped ebony control knobs.
A standard Music Man Black-plated bridge with stainless steel saddles is paired with Custom Music Man lightweight tuning machines and tapered string posts in the hardware department, while the electronics are headed up by dual humbucking pickups with neodymium magnets.
Control-wise, it boasts a five-way lever selector and a three-band active preamp comprising volume, treble, mid and bass.
There are slightly more of this model – 105, to be precise – which will also be shipping in four months for $3,199.
Ernie Ball Music Man Stingray Special 5 Crescendo
Last but certainly not least is the five-string Stringray Special 5 Crescendo – one of the most ornate-looking bass guitars of 2022.
With an exclusive white sparkle gloss finish and gold hardware, it's certainly one of the Ball Family reserves best basses, and features an ash body, select maple neck and roasted maple fretboard, topped with 22 frets.
Again, a five-bolt sculpted neck joint makes the cut, and is joined on the spec sheet by dual humbucking pickups with neodymium magnets, a color-matched headstock, gold tuners and a standard Music Man Gold-plated bridge.
As for controls, it features volume, treble, mid and bass knobs, as well as a versatile five-way pickup selector switch.
The Crescendo – of which only 80 will be made – will be available for $3,099 when it ships in four months.
To find out more about the Fall 2022 Ball Family Reserve models, visit Ernie Ball Music Man (opens in new tab).