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Ernie Ball Music Man officially launches patent-pending Heat-Treated pickup technology on three new guitar models

Ernie Ball Music Man
(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

After unveiling the technology at this year’s NAMM show, Ernie Ball Music Man has officially launched three new electric guitar models equipped with its patent-pending Heat-Treated pickups, the Sabre HT, Cutlass HT and StingRay HT.

To recap, the new pickup technology is inspired by “decades of electric guitar string research” at EBMM, and – incorporating principles and insights that contributed to the development of the company’s Cobalt and M-Steel Slinky strings – features an entirely new material.

With “more output and dynamic range”, the company says the new technology “outperforms normal spec pickups by providing extra output and excellent touch sensitivity” – and features a more powerful bass response and an expansion of higher frequency harmonics.

Circuitry in each of the three new models also allows for 20dB of optional boost for solos and lead lines, and a transparent buffered output for “complete tonal consistency at all volume levels.

Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre HT

Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre HT

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

Offering an “incredibly dynamic and responsive playing experience, the all-new Sabre HT features a double humbucker configuration. Its bridge pickup utilizes Heat-Treated pole pieces with a large ceramic magnet and an overwound coil for “higher frequency harmonics and excellent touch sensitivity”. This is paired with a custom-wound neck pickup designed to pair perfectly with the bridge pickup.

Other specs include a contoured okoume body with a thick maple top, Schaller locking tuners, and 22 stainless steel frets.

The Sabre HT is available in Yucatan Blue, Raspberry Burst, Showtime, and Snowy Night, and is priced at $3,699.

Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass HT

Ernie Ball Music Man Cutlass HT

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

Next up, EBMM’s new Cutlass HT model sports three Heat-Treated single coil-style pickups, each loaded with patent-pending pole pieces and a large neodymium magnet for “remarkable definition”.

The guitar’s bridge pickup has been wound with plain enamel magnet wire for a “strong, powerful tone”, while its neck and middle pickups aim to offer a more traditional voice with underwound heavy formvar magnet wire.

Other specs include a contoured alder body, roasted figured maple neck, 22 stainless steel frets, Schaller locking tuners, and a Music Man vintage tremolo. 

Available in a Showtime, Brûlée, Midnight Rider, and Raspberry Burst, the Cutlass HT is priced at $2,899.

Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay HT

Ernie Ball Music Man StingRay HT

(Image credit: Ernie Ball Music Man)

And last but by no means least, the StingRay HT features, like the Sabre HT, a double custom-wound humbucker configuration, both with large ceramic magnets for improved high frequency response and touch sensitivity.

Elsewhere, the StingRay HT features a stoptail tune-o-matic-style bridge – which sets it apart from the standard StingRay’s vintage-style trem – as well as a contoured body, roasted figured maple neck, 22 stainless steel frets and Schaller locking tuners.

Available in Showtime, Brûlée, Midnight Rider, and Raspberry Burst, the StingRay HT bears a $2,899 price tag.

For more information on any of the new Heat-Treated pickup-loaded models, head to Ernie Ball Music Man (opens in new tab).

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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).