The Ernie Ball Music Man Silhouette line of guitars have been flagship models of our company for decades. Though they bear the same instantly recognizable look, what you don’t know about these two guitars may surprise you.
Silhouette guitars have always been an in-house favorite with Ernie Ball Music Man. Their ability to go from shimmering clean to growling over-driven tones, combined with their compact and ergonomic design, have lent themselves to numerous limited-edition takes on the model, such as the 20th Anniversary model and the glamorous Silhouette Gold Roller.
Guitars in the Silhouette line lend themselves to all types of players, from country pickers like Johnny Hiland to all time greats like Keith Richards. No matter your style, this Silhouette is a fantastic addition to any guitarist’s arsenal.
The Music Man Silhouette is Ernie Ball Music Man’s first guitar model. Originally introduced at the New Orleans NAMM Show in 1985, the Silhouette was initially given the eponymous name “Ernie Ball Music Man Guitar,” and was the forerunner of Ernie Ball Music Man’s legacy of electric guitar innovation. The Silhouette was introduced with the concept of housing a modular electronics design, featuring a “swimming pool” pickup routing and swappable pickguards, to accommodate for nearly any pickup configuration. Many of the features found on the original Silhouette have become staples of Ernie Ball Music Man’s guitar and bass design, such as our smaller neck shape and body profile (compact enough to fit in an airline overhead bin), 4+2 headstock design, and truss rod adjustment wheel. Available with either a hardtail or Music Man Vintage tremolo bridge.
Buy this if you want a Silhouette with 24 frets and an HSH pickup configuration.
The Silhouette Special was released 10 years later in 1995, as a streamlined sister guitar to the original Silhouette. The Silhouette Special features a similar body shape and neck to the Silhouette, however it contains an HSS pickup configuration, Music Man’s patented Silent Circuit technology, and comes standard with a Music Man vintage tremolo system. This model also features 22 frets, which moves the neck pickup to the sweet spot. Unique to both the Silhouette and Silhouette Special are the DiMarzio Virtual PAF humbuckers and custom single coils wound specially for Ernie Ball by DiMarzio. The Virtual PAF humbuckers are currently discontinued by DiMarzio, and the Silhouette line of guitars are the only way to play them.
Buy this if you want a Silhouette with a tremolo bridge, HSS pickup configuration and the Silent Circuit.
Last but definitely not least is the Silhouette Bass Guitar, the only one of its kind available from Ernie Ball Music Man. A guitar for bass players and a bass for guitar players, the Silhouette Bass Guitar was developed to meet an ever-increasing need among today’s musicians for a special range of sound. The Silhouette Bass Guitar features a poplar body, custom DiMarzio split humbuckers made specially for Ernie Ball Music Man, and a unique series/parallel pickup mode knob to provide a huge range of tones for the discerning player. Available in either an E-E or A-A tuning configuration.
Buy this if you want a bass that plays like a guitar, or a guitar that goes deep into bass territory.
Current Eagles guitarist Steuart Smith recently used his limited-edition Silhouette double-neck 6/12 guitar to play “Hotel California” at the Kennedy Center Honors.
|Silhouette||12-1/4" wide, 1-3/4" thick, 36-1/2" long (31.2 cm wide, 4.5 cm thick, 92.7 cm long)|
|Silhouette Special||12-1/4" wide, 1-3/4" thick, 36-1/2" long (31.2 cm wide, 4.5 cm thick, 92.7 cm long)|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||12-1/4" wide, 1-3/4" thick, 38-1/2" long (31.2 cm wide, 4.5 cm thick, 97.8 cm long)|
|Silhouette||6 lbs, 5 oz (2.86 kg) - varies slightly; 7oz (0.2 kg) more with tremolo|
|Silhouette Special||6 lbs, 12 oz (3.06 kg)|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||7 lbs, 0 oz (3.18 kg) - varies slightly|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Poplar|
|Silhouette||Standard - Music Man® strings-thru-the-body bridge of chrome plated, hardened steel with solid steel saddles; Optional - Music Man® vintage tremolo of chrome plated, hardened steel with bent steel saddles|
|Silhouette Special||Music Man® vintage tremolo of chrome plated, hardened steel with bent steel saddles|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Music Man® strings-thru-the-body bridge of chrome plated, hardened steel with Schaller roller saddles|
|Silhouette||10" (25.4 cm)|
|Silhouette Special||10" (25.4 cm)|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||10" (25.4 cm)|
|Silhouette||Only 5-7/8" (14.9 cm) long|
|Silhouette Special||Only 5-7/8" (14.9 cm) long|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Only 5-7/8" (14.9 cm) long|
|Silhouette||24 - High profile, medium width|
|Silhouette Special||22 - High profile, medium width|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||22 - High profile, medium width|
|Silhouette||1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut, 2-1/4" (56.9 mm) at last fret|
|Silhouette Special||1-5/8" (41.3 mm) at nut, 2-1/4" (56.9 mm) at last fret|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||1-3/4" (44.5 mm) at nut, 2-1/4" (57.2 mm) at last fret|
|Silhouette||Select maple neck|
|Silhouette Special||Select maple neck|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Select maple neck|
|Silhouette||Select maple or rosewood|
|Silhouette Special||Select maple or rosewood|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Select maple|
|Silhouette||Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend|
|Silhouette Special||Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Gunstock oil and hand-rubbed special wax blend|
|Silhouette||Schaller M6-IND locking|
|Silhouette Special||Schaller M6-IND locking|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Schaller M6LA|
|Silhouette||Adjustable - no component or string removal|
|Silhouette Special||Adjustable - no component or string removal|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||Adjustable - no component or string removal|
|Silhouette||5 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting; Sculpted neck joint allows smooth access to higher frets|
|Silhouette Special||5 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting; Sculpted neck joint allows smooth access to higher frets|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||5 bolts - perfect alignment with no shifting; Sculpted neck joint allows smooth access to higher frets|
|Silhouette||250kohm volume and tone - .047µF tone capacitor|
|Silhouette Special||250kohm volume and tone - .047µF tone capacitor|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||250kohm volume and tone - .068µF tone capacitor|
|Silhouette||HSH - 1 DiMarzio custom single coil; 2 DiMarzio Virtual PAF humbucking|
|Silhouette Special||HSS - 1 DiMarzio custom humbucking; 2 DiMarzio custom single coils|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||HH - 2 DiMarzio custom split humbucking|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||No|
|Silhouette||5-way lever pickup selector|
|Silhouette Special||5-way lever pickup selector|
|Silhouette Bass Guitar||2-way rotary series/parallel selector; 5-way lever pickup selector|