MUSIC MAN
Model Search
Select Category
MUSIC MAN
See Ernie Ball/Music Man for models produced 1984-current. Instruments previously produced in Fullerton, CA between 1976 and 1982.
The original Music Man company was put together in March of 1972 by two ex-Fender executives. Tom Walker (a chief salesman) and Forrest White (ex- vice president and general manager of Fender) made their mark early, with a successful line of guitar amplifiers. In 1976, Music Man introduced new solid body guitar models designed and built by Leo Fender. After abiding by a ten year "no compete" clause in the sale of Fender Electrical Instrument Company (1965-1975), Fender´s CLF Research factory provided Music Man with numerous guitar and bass models through an exclusive agreement.
Leo Fender and George Fullerton (another ex-Fender employee) began building facilities for CLF Research in December of 1974. Fullerton was made vice president of CLF in March 1976, and the first shipment of instruments from CLF to Music Man was in June of the same year. Some of the notable designs in early Music Man history are the Sabre and Stingray series of guitars and basses.
In 1978, the controlling interest at Music Man expressed a desire to buy the CLF factory and produce instruments directly. Fender and Fullerton turned down repeated offers, and Music Man began cutting production orders. The controversy settled as CLF Research stopped manufacturing instruments for Music Man in late 1979. Fender then began working on new designs for his final company, G & L.
Music Man´s trademark and designs were purchased in 1984 by Ernie Ball. The Ernie Ball company, known for its string sets and Earthwood basses, set up production in its San Luis Obispo factory. Ernie Ball/Music Man has retained the high level of quality from original Fender/CLF designs, and has introduced some innovative designs to their current line (See Ernie Ball/Music Man).
The three year span of the original Music Man company saw the release of such models as the Sabre I and Sabre II, as well as the Sting Ray I and Sting Ray II guitars. Perhaps even better known are the Sabre Bass, Sting Ray Bass, and Cutlass Bass. The Sting Ray was available with either strings through the body or strings through the bridge. It is estimated that less than 300 Cutlass basses were built.

From Blue Book Publications:


No part of this information may be reproduced in any form whatsoever, by photograph, mimeograph, fax transmission or any other mechanical or electronic means. Nor can it be broadcast or transmitted, by translation into any language, nor by electronic recording or otherwise, without the express written permission from the publisher.