You only have to take one look at the Majesty Monarchy to know it’s a premium guitar. Not just any premium guitar, but a sensational collaboration between Ernie Ball Music Man and John Petrucci, who has a range of signature guitars under the American brand. This high-end beauty has been personally designed by the virtuoso himself but comes in at a hefty price tag. Needless to say, we’re expecting nothing but the best…
The Majesty Monarchy truly lives up to its name – it’s a guitar fit for a king… the feel of the neck, the finish on the body, and the overall sense of premium that oozes from this guitar. Despite its big size it sports a 25.5” scale length body with a distinctive double-cutaway shape that is so well contoured and beveled, you’ll find it hard to stop smoothing it. This is finished in gloss on the top with a contrasting matte back, coming in a range of colors (although both Black Knight and Imperial Blue are highlights).
The body itself is made of African mahogany with a maple top, while it features a sturdy mahogany through neck with a sleek matte finish. Playing this guitar is a dream and that’s no coincidence – as Petrucci himself explained, the neck lets you be the best guitarist you can be by pretty much getting out of your way. This is capped with an ebony fretboard and a full 24 stainless steel jumbo frets, with custom John Petrucci acrylic inlays, while the headstock offers JP’s signature – he’s very proud of this guitar (we would be too…). Full marks for this section.
The Majesty Monarchy is loaded with two searing-hot DiMarzio Sonic Ecstasy passive humbuckers, which are as high-end as the rest of this beautiful guitar. In addition to these, the bridge is equipped with a piezo pickup, for even more tonal depth and range.
Controls deserve a section for themselves in this review as they are so extensive. You get your standard volume and tone knobs, both with their own push/pull functions – the tone control allows for pickup configurations, while pushing the volume knob offers you a 20dB gain boost. There’s also a piezo volume control, and a variety of controls to switch between the various pickups.
The rest of the hardware stands up to scrutiny too, with Schaller M6-IND locking tuners complementing the Custom John Petrucci Music Man Piezo floating tremolo bridge. Of course, it also comes with a hardshell case, which is no less than expected at this wallet-draining price tag.
If you thought the body and the hardware was premium, prepare to be blown away by the sound! The two DiMarzio humbuckers offer an astoundingly big output with a rich syrupy tone that’s full of thick aggression. However, at high volumes and with huge distortion, it’s important that the tone remains crystal clear and well-balanced, and this is something this guitar certainly delivers. Along with the piezo system – which offers full-bodied acoustic tones on demand – and the myriad controls, it’s a hugely versatile instrument. A joy to listen to and another section deserved of top marks.
There’s little surprise to find out that we absolutely adore this model. John Petrucci has poured his heart and soul into the Majesty Monarchy and it shows. We’d also be inclined to agree with the legend, who describes it as ‘the greatest instrument on the planet’ – he should know.
For a rather dramatic look at this sensational guitar, check out the video below: