A few months later, in February of this year, the prog-metal shred maestro poured fuel on the already-formidable fire of anticipation for the model when he announced that the guitar would feature on Dream Theater's forthcoming 15th studio album, A View From The Top Of The World.
Now, after all that anticipation, the 8-string Majesty has arrived, and boy is it a beauty. Limited to just 100 pieces worldwide, the 8-string beast is spec'd to the high heavens, so let's dive in.
The Majesty 8 features a mahogany through neck, basswood wings and an ebony fretboard. Speaking of the fretboard, it's multi-scale – with an impressive 27" length on the bass side and a standard 25.5" length on the treble side – and packs 24 stainless steel fanned-frets.
The guitar's hardtail bridge has been set at an angle to increase the string length of the bass strings, while still providing a more traditional length and feel for the higher strings. Tuners are Schaller M6-IND locking units, finished smartly in chrome.
Sonics come by way of the same DiMarzio Dreamcatcher (bridge) and Rainmaker (neck) pickups found on other Majesty models, however, the pair have also been custom-angled for the 8-string for optimum performance.
There are plenty of controls too, with a three-way pickup selector, another three-way toggle that incorporates a piezo bridge system, individual volume and tone knobs fitted with push/pull controls for a gain boost (on the volume knob) and additional custom two-pickup combinations (on the tone knob), plus a push/push mono/stereo output.
The Majesty 8's headstocks are individually numbered 1 through 100, and each guitar comes with a Petrucci-signed Certificate of Authenticity and an autographed cavity control cover.
Even the finish on the Majesty 8 is notably luxurious. It's the same Mystic Dream colorway that appeared on the original Ernie Ball Music Man Petrucci signature JP6 20 years ago, and it shifts between dark green and purple hues depending on the direct light.
"Just like it was with a seven-string, playing the eight-string felt like a cool new breakthrough," Petrucci said to Guitar World of the new guitar. "That extra string broadened the range of the instrument.
"Think of it as a keyboard player having more keys so he can go lower – that’s what it’s like with this guitar. Things like scales and arpeggios translate beautifully because their shapes stay the same; I don't use any sort of weird tuning.
"With chords, you have to adjust and figure out how that added range is going to extend, but that came pretty quickly," he continued. "There was a bit of learning how to work the sound a bit, but it’s been so much fun."
The Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty 8 is available now for $4,199, but the ultra-limited stock has already been significantly thinned by demand, so act with great haste if you want one.
For more info on the guitar, stop by Ernie Ball Music Man.