JP60-PRB John Petrucci Signature Review
The JP60-PRB John Petrucci Signature model is a very beautiful guitar. The picture on this page is the ‘pearl red burst’ version, but it’s also available in sterling silver or metallic black. It features a basswood body, a 24 jumbo-fret maple neck, 2 high output humbucker pickups, and an SMBB designed modern trem bridge.
Although John Petrucci himself plays a Music Man guitar, the company responsible for this signature series is Sterling Guitars. These are a bit like Epiphone are to Gibson, and were named after Sterling Ball who bought Music Man in 1985.
However, this doesn’t mean that the JP60-PRB John Petrucci signature is of any less value and quality! The sleek features and comfortable, contoured forearm scoop and “JP Sheild” inlays were all built to John’s Music Man JP6 specifications. It even comes in a left handed version, which is exactly the same (but reversed) and includes a specially made left handed version of the SBMM modern tremolo bridge.
The specially designed bridge offers smooth operation, accurate intonation and excellent tuning stability. It is included on all the John Petrucci signature series guitars and looks more like the bridge of a strat than a floyd rose vibrato unit…and they insist on using the misleading term ‘tremolo’, which actually refers to changes in volume, rather than ‘vibrato’ which means changes of pitch.
John Petrucci– in case you were wondering- is probably best known as a founding member of the band ‘Dream Theater‘. If you haven’t heard of them, and are into your progressive metal, then I definitely suggest you check them out!
Mostly notably, in 1995 John released the acclaimed (and highly recommended) instructional video called “Rock Discipline”. Which is still one of the best instructional videos out there for speed and metal playing and soloing! He has also appeared in many Guitar magazines as a guest columnist, teaching his own technique and the secrets to his speed.
Mr. Petrucci has also played with Joe Satriani and Steve Vai on their G3 tours, along with Eric Johnson and Paul Gilbert. Adding to that, he is regularly endorsing Ernie Ball and Music Man in clinics and masterclasses all over the world.
Features of the JP60-PRB John Petrucci Signature
- 25.5” Scale Length
- 42mm nut width (52mm at 12th fret)
- Sculpted Basswood body
- Maple neck
- Rosewood fretboard
- Locking tuners
- Chrome hardware
- 5 Bolt neck joint
- 24 jumbo frets
- 16” fretboard radius
- 3 Way pickup selector switch
- Two SBMM Designed humbucker pickups
- Sterling Modern Tremolo bridge
- Pearl Red Burst
- Strung with Ernie Ball Regular Slinky, (.010-.046)
- Case Included
What We Liked
Well, there are many things to like about this guitar, not least the great setup and playability. It’s definitely designed with the shredder in mind, as it’s so easy to play fast on this guitar (heh, maybe that’s even Petucci’s secret!). The neck is so easy to whizz up and down compared to other guitars- even ones that are much more expensive.
I suppose this makes a lot of sense, considering who has helped to design is instrument! The JP60-PRB John Petrucci Signature is a real ‘guitar player’s’ guitar, being great for fast lead work, or chordal rhythm playing without fret hand fatigue. Although you shouldn’t expect this guitar to make you play any faster than you already can!
You might think that the lower action of this guitar kills your sustain…nope! Sterling have somehow found just the right balance between lower action (for playability) and sustain (for more melodic lines and longer notes). Usually one is sacrificed for the other as lower strings tend to be closer to the pickups.
The pickups in an electric guitar are essentially magnets, which is great for picking up a vibrating metal string, but not so good when it comes to tone. Why not? Because- as you probably know- magnets stick to metal. This means that the pickups will try to ‘grab’ the string and stop it vibrating. Over time this slows down the vibration of a string, and so your note slowly dies out- hurting the sustain. Somehow these physical laws don’t apply to John Petrucci’s guitars.
This guitar even manages to stay perfectly in tune- even with constant use of the ‘tremolo’ vibrato bridge. Those locking tuners are really effective at stopping the strings from detuning.
What We didn’t like
Well, to be honest, this section would be completely blank if it were not for the fact that there is a much higher-end version of this guitar by Music Man themselves. As I said before, Sterling (who make the JP60-PRB John Petrucci Signature) are as to Music Man, as Epiphone are to Gibson, so they’re not that far off…and are still technically part of the same company.
This guitar would be great for you if you’re into John Petrucci’s sound and don’t have a few thousand dollars to spend- which is probably the majority of people. Also, this is definitely a rock/metal guitar. So, don’t expect it to be the best blues guitar (although, it’s certainly not a bad one!).
I’m pretty sure John Petrucci, along with whoever is making his guitars, is using some sort of magic. These guitar look and sound amazing, and I can’t find much fault with them to be honest! Of course, I say that after having watched his Rock Discipline instructional video, and I firmly believe that there is no substitute for hard, serious practise.
Also, I found this video that makes me a bit suspicious about the source of Petrucci’s amazing ability…