Music Man's JP13 John Petrucci Signature Guitar Marks a Dramatic Turn of Events

by Richard Bienstock
Posted Nov 1, 2013 at 4:56pm

John Petrucci’s relationship with Music Man stretches back more than a dozen years and encompasses a variety of signature-model guitars.

But in their long history together there’s never been anything quite like Petrucci and Music Man’s newest creation, the JP13.

In addition to now-standard JP model features—a basswood body with a maple top, a 24-fret neck, custom John Petrucci Music Man Piezo floating bridge—the new iteration boasts a variety of options not available on any other guitar in the line.

Most significantly, the JP13 features an onboard active preamp, which, Petrucci says, “is probably the biggest change to the design. And it really was something that I was very much not used to. I had been using cables for the longest time, and what I didn’t realize was that the cables were really loading down my pickups. So the preamp makes the new guitar sound so much more alive.”

The custom preamp allowed them to add a boost circuit. “You just tap the volume knob and it pops up to let you know it’s engaged,” Petrucci explains. “You can adjust the amount of dB increase, and it slams the front of the amplifier. If you’re playing through a distorted amp, it brings up the sustain and the saturation and the gain, and on a clean or semi-clean amp you can really hear the clear boost in level.”

The new guitar’s neck has undergone some revisions as well. Whereas recent JP’s have sported a flat, 20-inch radius and ebony fretboard, the 13 has a rounder 17-inch radius and a rosewood board. According to Petrucci, these modifications stemmed from his desire for a guitar that offers maximum comfort.

“There’s something about rosewood that feels very friendly to me,” he says. “And the 17-inch radius also had a real familiarity. It’s a good balance between having a little bit of a curve and being flat enough to be able to really dig in for shredding.”

Screen Shot 2013-11-01 at 4.58.58 PM.png

Finally, the JP13—which is available in both six- and seven-string versions—comes loaded with custom DiMarzio Illuminator humbucking pickups at the bridge and neck, Petrucci’s newest collaboration with the manufacturer.

Says the guitarist, “The direction I’ve been going in with my pickups lately is for something that offers a wide sonic range, with a low end that stays really tight and articulate and can make single notes feel smooth and liquidy. And part of the reason we called this pickup the Illuminator—other than the fact that there’s a song on the new album called ‘Illumination Theory’—is that it sheds light on the guitar’s tone. The idea behind the pickup is very similar to that of the preamp, which is to open up the sound.”

But for the best explanation of what the JP13 has to offer, Petrucci says that people should merely listen to the new Dream Theater. “It’s the guitar I used during the recording sessions, and I think it definitely influenced the big, aggressive sound of the album.”

He continues. “The truth is, I love all of the models I’ve done with Music Man, and I take them all out on the road with me when we tour. But the JP13 is really unique and special. And obviously the preamp makes it very different from the others, so it just has its own personality. So it’s my favorite of all my guitars right now. I absolutely love it.”

For more information about the guitar, visit music-man.com.


Add a Comment
0 Comments

Similar Guitar News

John Petrucci's 'Wild Stringdom' DVD Offers More Than 60 Minutes of Lessons (8/8/2014)
There's a new Guitar World DVD at the Guitar World Online Store! John Petrucci's Wild Stringdom is available now for
John Petrucci of Dream Theater Discusses Rush's '2112' — The Record That Changed My Life (7/23/2014)
Dream Theater guitarist John Petrucci chooses (and discusses) the record that changed his life. Rush2112 (1976) “If I had to pick a favorite band of all time, it would be Rush. "As a teenager, I was already familiar with the group and its album...
Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Using Triad Arpeggios to Imply More Complex Chord Qualities (4/24/2014)
This month, I’m going to demonstrate how one can utilize simple triadic shapes and patterns in order to imply more complex and varied chord qualities. I find this to be a very cool and useful improvisational tool, because you can apply it to pl...
Betcha Can't Play This: John Petrucci's Descending E Mixolydian Run (4/2/2014)
This is a descending E Mixolydian [E F# G# A B C# D] run that moves across the strings and eventually down the neck in a cascading type of contour. It’s based on a recurring nine-note melodic motif of three 16th-note triplets, with three altern...
Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Combining Triad Arpeggios to Form Polytonal Chordal Allusions (2/26/2014)
This video is bonus content related to the April 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now or at our online store. As I have discussed in previous columns, I of...
Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Moving Across the Fretboard in Unusual Ways to Produce Unique Runs (1/2/2014)
These videos are bonus content related to the February 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store. Over the years, people have noticed th...
John Petrucci Talks Dream Theater's Along For The Ride Tour, Grammy Nomination and Gear (12/20/2013)
Earlier this week, guitarist John Petrucci and Dream Theater announced a new series of North American dates, the “Along For The Ride” tour. Following a set of European shows that begin early in January, a coast-to-coast run picks up on March 20 ...
Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Visualizing Melodic Shapes on the Fretboard (12/4/2013)
These videos are bonus content related to the January 2014 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store. This month, I’d like to delve deeper in...
Ernie Ball Music Man Unofficially Introduces John Petrucci Majesty Guitar (12/2/2013)
Late last week, Sterling Ball of Ernie Ball Music Man posted the following blurb on the Ernie Ball Music Man forum. In it, he unofficially introduces the new Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty model, which bears the signature of Dream Theater guitari...
Thirty Veteran Guitarists — Including Slash, Steve Vai and John Petrucci — Choose the Song They'd Most Want to Be Remembered By, Part 2 (11/18/2013)
From the GW Archive: This feature originally appeared in the May 2002 issue of Guitar World. The story has a "time capsule" theme: We asked several veteran guitarists to choose the one song they'd most want to be remembered by after many years. ...
Dream Theater's John Petrucci: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time (11/18/2013)
Read more about Dream Theater's John Petrucci: my top 5 not-so-guilty pleasures of all time at MusicRadar.com
Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Relocating Familiar Scalar Patterns to Different Areas of the Fretboard (11/6/2013)
These videos are bonus content related to the Holiday 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store. Let’s continue with a topic that I addr...
Wild Stringdom with John Petrucci: Recognizing Repetitive Fretboard Shapes on All String Groups (10/8/2013)
These videos are bonus content related to the December 2013 issue of Guitar World. For the full range of interviews, features, tabs and more, pick up the new issue on newsstands now, or in our online store. Hello, and welcome to my new Guitar Wo...
Dream Theater's John Petrucci: How to Play "On The Backs Of Angels" (9/25/2013)
These videos are bonus content related to the November 2011 issue of Guitar World. For full print reviews, lesson tabs and more, look for the November 2011 issue of Guitar World on newsstands now, or purchase this issue in our online store here....
Photo Gallery: John Petrucci of Dream Theater Performs at Sweetwater's Performance Theater (9/24/2013)
On August 26, Dream Theater guitarist (and current Guitar World cover star) John Petrucci performed for an overflow audience at Sweetwater's Performance Theater. He's pictured below performing solo — and with Sterling Ball, owner of Music Man G...