John Petrucci has been working with Ernie Ball / Music Man luthiers to design a new guitar for production in 2017. They’re calling it the “Monarchy Series Majesty”, which is a little confusing since it’s an addition to the Majesty series guitar line that John and Music Man started producing in 2014. The body design isn’t too much different, and the bridge is the same (Music Man Floating Tremolo).
Ernie Ball touts the new Monarchy Series DiMarzio Sonic Ecstasy pickups, a piezo bridge, and four finish options – Imperial Blue, Royal Red, Black Knight, and Majestic Purple (which you can see John playing in the promotional video below).
This will be the third model from John Petrucci and Music Man with almost the same exact specs (particularly the Majesty and the new Monarchy Series Majesty). Now I don’t have anything against Music Man guitars, they’ve been a cool company since the 70’s, and they’re a unique brand of instruments in a sea of companies that are having to find more and more creative ways to sell new stuff. But this guitar was definitely designed by the marketing department.
Check the specs:
Monarchy Series Majesty
And just for good measure, let’s take a look at the JP6 Signature Series.
JP6 Signature Series
This isn’t some “rage against the Music Man” type rant, I personally really like the JP Signature Series and the Majesty, they both play very easily and I love the bridges that you’ll find on all three of these models – good alternative to Floyd Rose if you’re looking for a floating tremolo.
I’m just not sure if having the bottom part of the body have a different type of wood (with similar density) and a slight finish variation really warrants a brand new model.
In the end, you’re looking at a difference in pickup sets between the Majesty and the Monarch. Do you prefer DiMarzio Illuminators, or a DiMarzio Sonic Ecstasy set?
Anyway, here’s John playing the Monarch Series Majesty in a promotional video from Ernie Ball / Music Man in which he speaks about Dream Theater’s latest release, playing guitar, and the Majesty series as a whole – because there’s not enough to be said about the Monarchy: