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Musicman Majesty, good?

Chewie5150

Power User
I'm targeting a majesty or possilbly a JP15 for my next guitar purchase in the next year or so. I havnet had a chance to put hands to a majesty yet. Cue the jokes...
 

laughyouraxeoff

Experienced
I have the 7 string Majesty and it is one of my favorite guitars. My Suhr Custom/Modern and the Majesty are my top two by far, I own some other high end guitars a total of 6 others, and those two stand out from the rest. Love the way it feels, the tones I get from it are massive, and the cleans are some of the best. It has SS fret's and the actions is killer. I never played the 6 string version but I have heard great things about it.
 

Roadrunner

Power User
I have my Majesty now for 2 weeks or so, all I can say it was worth every $ and every minute I waited.
Unbelievable comfort, weight and design, feels like it was designed especially for my hands and above all the sound, it cuts through the band mix VERY well.
Surprisingly, when I play alone, I have other guitars that I think sounds better, warmer / bigger to my eras but when it comes to a full band mix, the Majesty wins hands down!
I'm very happy to have it.
Great piece.
 

Spenser Shepard

New Member
I have one gripe with the JP line (and I hear it's a problem for some other MM guitars, including basses). That's neck stability.

It doesn't affect all guitars, but those with mahogany necks and ebony fretboards are awful when you live in a climate where humidity and temperature vary dramatically through the year.

The problem is that ebony is a very hard wood and mahogany is relatively soft. The neck is very thin with no reinforcement. So when humidity rises, the fretboard absorbs moisture and expands, with frets pushing against the wood, and the whole neck assembly curves towards the strings, aiming to get a back bow. So every spring till summer I gradually release the truss rod (until it is totally released with no tension), and starting fall till winter I tighten it.

That may not be a big deal actually if you have enough room to keep the truss rod active, but in my case it came to back bow during the second year, so it became unplayable. When I took it to the tech, he saw an MM and said, "Neck problems, huh?" Then he looked at it, nodded and pointed to something I didn't notice - the fretboard was thinner around the 12th fret! This means that the neck assembly already showed a tendency to back bow at the factory, and they just made it even by sanding the "extra" wood out! And we're talking about a BFR guitar, by the way. So, I sort of got off easily because he took off a little fret height and I have decent neck bow, but if the problem gets worse, that'll require serious and expensive work or buying a new neck.

Replacing a neck may not help as they all have the same problem. The two permanent solutions require serious modifications - drilling holes inside the neck and inserting carbon reinforcement rods, or making the truss rod a double action type, or both. Really, this should be standard from the factory for these necks!

Anyhow, this long story isn't to discourage anyone from buying these guitars - they are great in every other aspect, and, depending on your climate and some luck, you may have no problems whatsoever, but be aware that there's a weakness built into the design.

So, when you buy it, look at/measure the fretboard thickness along the neck. You can see a big problem by observing the dots - if they are closer to the top surface in the middle of the neck, the fretboard was heavily processed at the factory to remove the back bow by a crude method, which isn't a permanent solution, but just hides the problem temporarily. So if you see that, return it immediately.

Despite having this problem, I still love my JP and don't regret buying it overall, mind you.


This user is 100% correct. I've used this guitar as my main instrument for over a year. The neck stability is the worst I've ever had.

I think because if the price range of the guitar there is not a lot of people that can give a solid review of this instrument. The instrument is superb, IMO, but music man totally failed with the neck. It has the least amount of mass of any neck I have ever played. Without some kind of extra reinforcement, the majesty is not a road worthy instrument.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
This user is 100% correct. I've used this guitar as my main instrument for over a year. The neck stability is the worst I've ever had.

I think because if the price range of the guitar there is not a lot of people that can give a solid review of this instrument. The instrument is superb, IMO, but music man totally failed with the neck. It has the least amount of mass of any neck I have ever played. Without some kind of extra reinforcement, the majesty is not a road worthy instrument.

In my case, it got worse and the guitar is unplayable from May to September.
 

ksandvik

Experienced
Great guitars but it's one of the few EBMM guitars I didn't bond with -- has to do with the thin neck radius. Otherwise Axis/Luke/Morse, fantastic guitars and if you are worried about the price get a used one, I got a great 1997 Axis for $900, beaten body but that's just rocknRoll. Never had neck stability issues with my EBMM ones, then again I live in California; not that this winter was wet and humid.
 

katsumura78

Inspired
Climate I'm sure has a lot to do with it but my EBMM guitars have been the most stable out of anything I’ve owned. I’m on majesty number 2 and zero issues except for the jack loosening up but that happens to every guitar eventually.
 

Spenser Shepard

New Member
Climate I'm sure has a lot to do with it but my EBMM guitars have been the most stable out of anything I’ve owned. I’m on majesty number 2 and zero issues except for the jack loosening up but that happens to every guitar eventually.


It could simply be the cut of wood. It is a thin neck, but at that point, it seems like a quality control issue.

I am not in any extreme environment. I can go from room to room In a building and the neck will move. I also use a custom 24. When moving outside, the neck does move a bit, but its manageable. The amount of movement from the majesty is a hassle.

I applaud EBMM for such a well designed instrument with such thought put in to the practicality.

For the amount of money, neck stability should have been at the top of the list.

I am glad to hear that some people dont have the same issue. I feel unfortunate that I am one of the people that shelled out the dough for one that does have issues.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
Like I said, I've been talking to a number of guitar techs about it, and they all confirm it's a common occurrence with EBMM guitars. Whenever I mention an EBMM, their first question is, "neck problems?". Doesn't mean it affects everyone, of course. Different models also have different combinations of woods, so some are inherently more stable than others.
 

ksandvik

Experienced
I think you get N answers from N guitar techs about every guitar made. There's nothing special about EBMM necks, they are bolted down with four screws instead of three and most have the truss rod adjustment a the top part o the neck so you could adjust the neck anytime (handy) with anything you could poke into the holes. Supposedly Petrucci is so picky his tech does this during the sets...

I would think Ibanez Jem and RG550/750 necks would be the bad ones, they are super-thin (like my 1991 RG750 but I'm been lucky with that one).
 

Spenser Shepard

New Member
Like I said, I've been talking to a number of guitar techs about it, and they all confirm it's a common occurrence with EBMM guitars. Whenever I mention an EBMM, their first question is, "neck problems?". Doesn't mean it affects everyone, of course. Different models also have different combinations of woods, so some are inherently more stable than others.
I think you get N answers from N guitar techs about every guitar made. There's nothing special about EBMM necks, they are bolted down with four screws instead of three and most have the truss rod adjustment a the top part o the neck so you could adjust the neck anytime (handy) with anything you could poke into the holes. Supposedly Petrucci is so picky his tech does this during the sets...

I would think Ibanez Jem and RG550/750 necks would be the bad ones, they are super-thin (like my 1991 RG750 but I'm been lucky with that one).

I have a majesty. I also have 4 Ibanez RGs Ranging from 1991 to 2018. They dont have the same issue. The majesty is mahagony neck-through.

Petrucci might be like that because its necessary.
 

6L6C

Power User
The only MM I ever had was JP BFR, the neck did need a extra attention compared to my other guitars (mostly Gibson's & Fender's). Had some Ibanez's also at the time, although thin like the MM, they never moved.
Funny thing about that guitar (MM BFR), it was beautiful, sounded pretty good. But for some reason after the honeymoon phase, just could not bond with it. If you asked me what I didn't like about it, I really could not tell you. I know weird.
 

chris

Legend!
I’ve had 3 majesty guitars and many JP6 over the past 15+ years. The necks definitely sway more than much cheaper guitars, and at some gigs I can feel it change as the temperature goes from 90 degrees to 70 or so.

But it’s never been unplayable and I’ve only had to adjust slight relief at the gig 2 times over the years.

One of my partners has a custom “do it yourself” guitar with a high quality neck and his does the same at our gigs. So it’s not just my guitars.

Not sure how JP deals with it, and I’m sure there are variances. But it’s my favorite guitar and I haven’t had major problems with the wood/necks ever. The old design of the electronics are a different story though.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
I think you get N answers from N guitar techs about every guitar made.

That’s not what they say. To me, they all said this problem is common. Sometimes it’s solved fairly easily (which is what one of them tried, and it worked for a year), sometimes not. Other guitars of course can have neck problems as well, but not with this frequency.

In my case, they clearly saw the problem at the factory and tried to hide it by removing the back bow by sanding off some wood from the fingerboard. Which worked for the first couple of years or so.
 

vangrieg

Fractal Fanatic
What is the symptom, trying to correlate this to my three EBMM guitars and their necks?

In my case the neck requires loosening around March until sometime in May the truss rod is fully loose but the back now keeps developing until the guitars becomes unplayable as the strings lie on the frets. Starting in September, I gradually tighten the neck until November, when it stabilizes. In this climate, it’s very dry indoors during winter due to heating.

The seasonal changes weren’t too bad for the first couple of years. On the third year, a tech removed a little fret height for me, and it lasted for a season. Then it wasn’t enough, so I have to do something more drastic. Basically, my options are, apart from replacing the neck, installing a dual action truss rod or reinforcing the neck. I’ll probably go with the latter.

One thing a tech pointed out to me was position of the pearl dots on the side of the fingerboard - on the 12th fret, they are much closer to the surface than on lower and higher frets. This means that when they assembled the neck, it had a back bow which they straightened by sawing off some wood (quite a lot of it actually). This was the first thing he looked at when I brought him my guitar. He said he’d seen quite a number of them like that.
 
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