The Ernie Ball Music Man James Valentine “Valentine” guitar features a slab ash body, two Ernie Ball Music Man designed pickups (1-humbucker/1-single coil), with 3-way custom wired lever switch, coil tap, modern hardtail bridge with vintage bent steel saddles, 25.5-inch scale, oil and wax rubbed roasted maple neck with 10-inch radius maple fingerboard, 22 stainless steel frets, oversized 4-over-2 headstock and compensated nut, designed for superior tuning stability.
James Valentine's goal for the design of this guitar was to make a single guitar that he could play for the entirety of a 3-hour Maroon 5 show. Lo and behold, the design team at Ernie Ball Music Man design team came through. The Valentine is more versatile than its simple aesthetics would lead you to believe, with lots of distinct tones thanks to the coil-tap and boost features accessible through the push/push volume and tone knobs.
The body of the guitar is reminiscent of a Les Paul Jr., with a one-piece body made from a single slab of solid Ash. One of the cool features about the body is the "reverse taper" which leaves the guitar slightly deeper at the bottom than at the top. This "slanted" body style is great for gigging musicians, making the guitar slightly more comfortable and accessible for long gigs.
Although the pickups both look like humbuckers, the bridge position pickup is actually a staggered pole single coil, while the neck position pickup is a coil-tapped humbucker - just like the old "Bluesboy" Teles with the famed humbucker/single coil combination. Push/push spring-loaded volume and tone knobs give you an easily accessible coil tap and boost feature. We love the additional gain stage provided by the boost - it's like having an overdrive pedal built right into the guitar!
As usual, everything about this Ernie Ball Music Man guitar is simply perfect. The Roasted Maple fingerboard and neck are nice and slim, but with enough girth to feel solid and robust. The body feels solid and substantial, but isn't too heavy or bulky. The pickups are well-balanced and versatile, with tons of top end sparkle, midrange quack, and low end growl, with a really wide variety of tonal options.
Other appointments include the usual lineup of Music Man premium features: Music Man Modern hardtail bridge with bent steel saddles, high profile stainless steel frets, Schaller M6-IND locking tuners, gun oil and wax blend hand-rubbed neck finish, and a 5-bolt neck joint for ultimate stability.
Size: 13-1/4" wide, 1-3/4" thick, 38-7/16" long (33.7 cm wide, 4.5 cm thick, 97.6 cm long)
Weight: 8 lbs, 0oz (3.63 kg) - varies slightly
Body Wood: Ash
Body Finish: High gloss polyester
Bridge: Music Man® Modern hardtail with vintage bent steel saddles
Scale Length: 25-1/2" (64.8 cm)
Neck Radius: 10" (25.4 cm)
Headstock Size: 6-3/8" (16.2 cm) long
Frets: 22 - High profile, medium width, Stainless Steel
Neck Width: 1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut, 2-1/4" (56.9 mm) at last fret
Neck Wood: Select roasted maple neck
Fingerboard: Select roasted maple neck
Fret Markers: 1/4" Black Face dots
Neck Finish: Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend
Neck Colors: Standard – Natural with finished headstock
Tuning Machines: Schaller M6-IND locking
Truss Rod: Adjustable - no component or string removal
Neck Attachment: 5 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting; Sculpted neck joint allows smooth access to higher frets
Electronic Shielding: Graphite acrylic resin coated body cavity and aluminum control cover
Controls: Custom Music Man® active preamp; push/push volume for gain boost, 500kohm push/push passive tone for custom spilt pickup configurations - .022µF tone capacitor
Switching: 3-way lever pickup selector
Pickups: SH - Music Man® custom wound staggered pole piece single coil (bridge) and humbucker with chrome covers (neck)