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The Next Wave of John Petrucci Signature Guitars
Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci’s newest installment in his long-lasting lineup of JP Music Man as of NAMM when Petrucci personally presented the JP13 model. This new model is no doubt designed to be the most indestructible guitar known to man as to properly resist Petrucci’s tendency to snap his guitars in half. In fact I’m pretty sure that’s the only reason new models get released. Music Man designers are constantly researching a way to make guitars last longer before he makes them explode into a miniature big bang of splinters.
But enough talk about Petrucci’s unrelenting muscles. We’re running a guitar site here, so we’re going to talk more about guitars.
Despite popular belief the JP13 is not built out of titanium, but rather basswood. The basswood body connects to the maple neck with bolts while the neck holsters the rosewood fretboard. How convenient. It comes installed with a set of DiMarzio humbuckers – a LiquiFire in the neck position and a Crunch Lab in the bridge position – which are controlled via a 3-way toggle switch as well as a second 3-way piezo / magnetic toggle switch, and features stereo output.
The hardware setup includes the set of Schaller M6-IND locking tuners and a standard Custom John Petrucci Music Man floating tremolo made of hardened steel with solid steel saddles. An optional piezo bridge with solid steel saddles is also available.
The John Petrucci Guitar Timeline
While I was loitering around the internet I decided to look at the history of John Petrucci’s signature guitars. He’s been known for playing Music Man guitars for a long time now, but he’s had several incarnations of his own model and for a time before that he had a signature run of Ibanez guitars. So for the remainder of this article we’re going to look at some of the models Petrucci used at pivotal moments in his career. Considering how many guitars he has to his name alone and how many he uses on a given album this isn’t going to be as flawless as I’d prefer, but hey. It’s all in good fun anyway.
Our tale starts way back to circa 1989 when Dream Theater was recording When Dream and Day Unite. Petrucci was primarily using a BC Rich Assassin at the time when Ibanez had first reached out to him. They gave him some guitars to tinker with which shortly after led to his endorsement with Ibanez.
From about 1990 on he played a variety of Ibanez guitars including the Universe models and RG models with the biggest differences being the pickups installed. In 1995 his first signature guitar, the JPM100 was released.
For a few years after that the general idea behind the model remained the same only with a few tweaks here and there. New pickups, some 7-string models, and some extra experimental paint finishes.
His contract with Ibanez came to an end around 2000, give or take a few months, and Music Man’s guitars started popping up around. Not being a company to pass on an opportunity they got some of their guitars into John’s hands and he’s been a believer since. Six Degrees of Inner Turbulence was the first album to be recorded with his new signature Music Man.
Soon after that he expanded his guitar collection quite a bit with a 6-string / 12-string double neck guitar being added to the collection and some 7-string models along with in time for Train of Thought.
While he added more models over time the differences have ultimately boiled down to pickup changes, the number of strings, the woods used, or other details. He did acquire a few baritone guitars along the way, but the core design has remained relatively unscathed. Though he did acquire some models from the Ball Family Reserve line of more prestigious guitars.