Ernie Ball Music Man Offers Caprice and Cutlass Passive Basses

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New passive bass models – offering pure tone with no coloration before 
amplification – provide classic design quality with modern playability

Ernie Ball Music Man (Booth 1122, Hall D), one of the world’s premier guitar, bass and amplifier manufacturers, is displaying its Caprice and Cutlass Passive Basses at the 2016 Summer NAMM Show. The all-new Caprice and Cutlass basses are Ernie Ball Music Man’s first fully passive basses – offering players a more classic bass sound with pure tone and no coloration before amplification.

Ernie Ball Music Man Caprice and Cutlass Bass Promo Flyer

These new instruments, both newcomers to the brand’s iconic bass line, are influenced by the vintage stylings of Ernie Ball Music Man’s recently introduced StingRay and Cutlass electric guitars, combining a familiar and classic design with modern playability and the innovative award-winning engineering the company is known for. Under the direction of Ernie Ball CEO Sterling Ball, the engineering team compared and contrasted a variety of the most sought-after pickups in passive basses, and hand-wound dozens of prototypes until they found the exact tone they were searching for. Each bass features a top-loading chrome-plated steel bridge plate with vintage nickel-plated hollow steel saddles, complemented by a newly designed oversized headstock with the familiar 3+1 tuner arrangement.

The Caprice is a bold new statement in passive design. This workhorse bass is capable of blending two distinct humbucking pickup voicings (inline and offset), offering a variety of tones suitable for any musical environment. The alder body’s offset design provides a body shape that is comfortable and balanced, along with a slim neck profile. This bass has a 34-inch-scale neck with 7.5-inch radius, maple or rosewood fingerboard, ultra-light satin polyurethane finish, and Schaller BM tuning hardware. The Caprice is available with a high gloss polyester finish in black, ivory white, diamond blue and heritage tobacco burst.

The Cutlass bass features rich, vintage tone surrounded by streamlined, modern appointments for ultimate comfort and playabilty. The Cutlass’s many great features include a split-coil humbucking design for that big, round bottom-end tone, a comfortable “C”-shaped neck carve and a lightweight contoured alder body. This bass has a 34-inch-scale neck with 7.5-inch radius, maple or rosewood fingerboard, ultra-light satin polyurethane finish, and Schaller BM tuning hardware. The Cutlass bass is available in black, white, diamond blue and heritage tobacco burst.

Pre-ordering for both Caprice and Cutlass Passive Basses begins July 1, 2016, at street prices of $1649.00 (Caprice Passive bass) and $1699.00 (Cutlass Passive bass).

About Ernie Ball: 
In 1962, veteran player and guitar teacher Ernie Ball created Slinkys®, the innovative light gauge electric guitar strings widely revered by thousands of iconic players including Eric Clapton, Keith Richards, Jimmy Page, Paul McCartney, Metallica, Brad Paisley, Slash, John Petrucci, Angus Young and John Mayer. The strings are all crafted in Coachella, CA.  Ernie Ball also offers state-of-the-art instrument accessories that are carried in more than 6,000 stores in the U.S. and 120 countries worldwide.

Officially purchasing the Music Man® company in 1984, Sterling, joined later by his sons Scott and Brian, has built a team of dedicated professionals based in San Luis Obispo, CA who collectively share a common goal: crafting the highest level of hand-crafted instruments available.  Originally founded by Tom Walker, Forrest White and Leo Fender in 1974, Music Man built its name leading an industry revolution, introducing active electronics on its production instruments. As part of the team during the 70’s, Sterling Ball played an important role on the design and development of the iconic StingRay basses. 

The family-run company maintains its founder’s dedication to preserving the musician’s playing experience and delivering superior sound quality through the development of new products, such as Cobalt Slinkys, M-Steel, Earthwood and the revolutionary Element Shield Packaging, which hermetically seals guitar strings to keep each set as fresh as the day they were made. The company also fosters artist development through musician-focused programs such as the world’s largest and longest running unsigned artist programs, where bands compete each year for the chance to play live on national tours, festivals and events. Visit them online at and

Ernie Ball Music Man is exhibiting at Booth 1122 (Hall D) at the 2016 Summer NAMM Show in Nashville, TN.

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