Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre review

En garde! This new Music Man double-cut might be unsheathed from designs of yore but is no vintage flashback

Ernie Ball Music Man Sabre review
(Image: © Future / Neil Godwin)

Guitar World Verdict

The Sabre might not immediately scream “Music Man” but it does live up to its weaponised name tag. Yes, those who choose to live by this sword will be very happy indeed.


  • +

    Outstanding looks.

  • +

    Stellar playability.

  • +

    Great set of pickups.

  • +

    The weight is in the sweet spot, too.


  • -

    The slim neck and modern voice may discourage some.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

We have to ’fess up here. If we hadn’t eyeballed the headstock of the new for 2020 Sabre, we’d never have guessed it was built by Music Man. 

It’s easy to pick a Music Man StingRay or Axis out of a line-up. The body shapes are a dead giveaway, not to mention the StingRay’s conspicuous control plate. The St Vincent model is too outlandish to go incognito, and the Albert Lee and Steve Lukather signatures couldn’t mask their origins if they hid behind big sunglasses and a Magnum PI moustache. 

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Ed Mitchell

Ed Mitchell was Reviews Editor on Total Guitar magazine from 2003, and his guitar-modding column, Ed’s Shed, appeared in print on both sides of the Atlantic (in both Total Guitar and Guitar World magazines). He was the Editor of The Blues Magazine from 2012-16, and a contributor to Guitarist, Classic Rock and Louder. He died in October 2022, aged 52. Between them, the websites Guitar World, Louder and MusicRadar host over 400 of his articles – among them interviews with Billy Gibbons, Paul Weller, Brian Setzer, profiles on Roy Buchanan, Duane Allman and Peter Green, a joint interview with Jimmy Page and Jack White, and dozens of guitar reviews – and that’s just the ones that made it online.