How John Petrucci's signature model became one of The 1975's main guitars

John Petrucci and Adam Hann
(Image credit: Burak Cingi/Redferns via Getty / Ernie Ball Music Man)

As one of today’s foremost virtuosos in the world of progressive guitar music, John Petrucci has assembled an ever-growing list of immensely popular signature guitars, with his Majesty model said to be the second highest-selling signature six-string on the planet.

However, it turns out that Trooch’s specifically styled axes aren’t just loved by fans of Dream Theater and prog metal in general, but are favored by players from all genres across the entire musical spectrum.

Case in point is The 1975 lead guitarist and secret metalhead Adam Hann, who recently confessed to Total Guitar that he has used his custom-finished, original-run Ernie Ball Music Man JP6 guitar on much of the indie pop band’s discography.

In fact, he admires the instrument so much, it became one of his main guitars while recording The 1975’s 2016 sophomore album, I Like it When You Sleep, For You Are So Beautiful Yet So Unaware Of It.

When asked about the regular live outings the custom-finished JP6 has recently been getting, Hann explained, “I bought it with money I inherited from my grandmother when I was a teenager. 

Adam Hann

(Image credit: Andrew Benge/Redferns via Getty)

“I was going through this phase of being a big metalhead, and then we started doing The 1975, and it kind of got put away and never used,” he continued. “Then, on our second album, our manager was like, ‘Bring that guitar, maybe you’ll use it for something,’ and it turned out to be the backbone for a lot of the guitar [tracks].”

As for what Hann and the band particularly liked about the JP6, the guitarist cites its magical middle pickup position tone, which he’s been unable to replicate on any other guitar he’s picked up since.

“In the middle [pickup] position it sounds like this insane Strat Elite because it has this very clear, very clean active sound, but it’s not an active guitar,” Hann went on. “It has this little rubber washer that’s been put over the pickup selector, so it can’t go either way – it has to stay in the middle.

“It's funny; we’ve searched since using that guitar for another guitar that can do that sound, and it doesn’t seem to be something we can find. We’ve come close, but nothing has the same tone.”

Hann had previously waxed lyrical about his magic JP6 to Guitar World, crediting it for its crystal-clear tones and labeling it the “secret weapon” behind hits such as Me & You Together Song, I Like America & America Likes Me and Girls.

Footage of Hann wielding his Ernie Ball Music Man JP6 during The 1975’s 2019 Lollapalooza set can be found above.

As for what contributes to the magic sound, the original JP6s came factory fitted with a set of DiMarzio humbuckers, controlled by a three-way selector switch and master volume and tone parameters.

Later iterations of the model introduced a three-way toggle piezo/magnetic selector, as well as an additional control knob for piezo volume. None of these additional appointments, however, tempted Hann.

“What’s funny is because it was literally one of the first models of that guitar, the subsequent ones have different electronics; they don’t quite sound the same,” Hann told Guitar World. “We’ve hunted around on eBay to try and find an original one. I met one of the guys from Music Man at one of our shows, and basically he was like, ‘You just need to give me the guitar and we’ll find out exactly what it is.’”

The JP6 makes for an eye-catching addition to the indie rock guitarist's six-string catalog, which is otherwise populated with the usual suspects: Fender Stratocasters and Jaguars, as well as a custom Fano JM6.

To read the full interview with Adam Hann, head over to Magazines Direct (opens in new tab) to pick up the latest issue of Total Guitar.

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Matt is a Staff Writer, writing for Guitar World, Guitarist and Total Guitar. He has a Masters in the guitar, a degree in history, and has spent the last 16 years playing everything from blues and jazz to indie and pop. When he’s not combining his passion for writing and music during his day job, Matt records for a number of UK-based bands and songwriters as a session musician.