The Ernie Ball Music Man Jason Richardson 7 String Cutlass guitar is the latest collaboration between the award-winning Ernie Ball Music Man design team and multitalented virtuoso guitarist and composer Jason Richardson. Featuring innovative design characteristics engineered specifically for Jason’s exacting technique, the Richardson Cutlass 7 offers unique features and aesthetics that will give players a fresh look at one of our most popular models.
Watching Jason Richardson play guitar will stop you in your tracks. Between his seismic riffs, lightning-flash solos and melodic flair, this US virtuoso is one of the most fiercely individual guitarists on the metal scene, blazing twin trails as a solo artist and in the lineup of metalcore titans, All That Remains. As a rule breaker and visionary, Jason called for a one-off instrument, and his Artist Series 7-String Cutlass is the only guitar that can take the focus off those quicksilver fingers. From hardware to electronics, this new model spells revolution – but it’s the jaw-dropping Buckeye Burl top that means your Cutlass is truly unique.
A lot of people ask me, ‘What finish is that? And I’m like, ‘It’s just wood, there’s no paint involved’. Ernie Ball Music Man crushed this thing so hard.
If you’ve followed the Ernie Ball Music Man timeline, you’ll know the Cutlass is one of our best-loved electric guitars, hailed as a modern classic upon its launch in the early-’80s. As a diehard disciple of John Petrucci, Jason had previously picked out the Dream Theater legend’s Ernie Ball Music Man Majesty as his go-to electric. But when it came to dreaming up his own signature model, the Cutlass proved the ideal foundation for Jason’s blue-sky thinking, as he rebooted the design in a seven-string format, with a roasted maple neck, a shaved-down body and cutaway horn for stellar access, plus custom humbuckers instantly coil-splittable via the push-push tone pot for a rainbow of tones. Alder was a trusty timber choice for the lightweight Cutlass body – but with the buckeye burl top, Jason and our designers tore up the blueprint.
Force of Nature
There’s nothing else in nature quite like buckeye burl. Growing at the roots of trees native to the northern Sierra mountains of California, this rare timber is known for its stunning marble pattern that is never repeated between specimens, meaning that every swirl is unique and colors can span from a moody blue-black to a glorious white-gold. But that beauty comes at a steep price. With 90% of the burl produced at the tree’s underground root wad, extracting and processing this timber is an arduous process, involving back hoeing, power-washing the root to reveal the burl ball, milling the wood into transportable blocks, and refining those into 1/2-inch tops to fix to our Cutlass body blanks. Along the way, our craftsmen have to discard up to 75% of the burl – and get this – they even risk disturbing the rattlesnakes that often nest inside the burl voids!
I absolutely love this thing, and I’m stoked for all of you guys to try it.
More than a half-century after the guitar design boom of the ’50s, you might think you’ve seen it all. But when the Jason Richardson 7-String Cutlass made its world debut at the 2019 NAMM show, the wide-eyed response of the music press said it all. A buckeye burl top might be the ultimate labour of love – but all that hard work, cost, and danger is worth it to give everyday players a one-off electric guitar and the pride of knowing that nobody else on the planet owns the exact same instrument.
Jason Plays his Artist Series Cutlass 7
Watch as Jason Richardson walks us through his Ernie Ball Music Man Artist Series Cutlass 7 string guitar.