JP70 review by Sterling by Music Man

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  • Features: 10
  • Sound: 7
  • Action, Fit & Finish: 5
  • Reliability & Durability: 9
  • Overall Impression: 7
  • Reviewer's score: 7.6 Good
  • Users' score: 7 (1 vote)
Sterling by Music Man: JP70
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Price paid: € 940

Purchased from: Arkadia

Features — 10

  • Indonasian made
  • Came with gig bag
  • Transparent green burst
  • Scale: 25.5"
  • Nut Width: 50mm
  • Neck Width, 12th fret: 60mm
  • Body Wood: Basswood
  • Neck Wood: Maple
  • Fretboard Wood: Rosewood
  • Tuning Machines: Locking
  • Hardware: Black
  • Neck Joint: 5-bolt
  • Frets: 24
  • Fretboard Radius: 16"
  • Pickup Selector: 3-way
  • Pickups: H/H, SBMM Design
  • Bridge: Modern Tremolo
Really liked the guitar. It's unique and has got everything what I needed. 7 string, floating trem bridge (not Floyd Rose which I don't like), bolt on neck, locking tuners, contoured body and pickup selector switch position is at the right place. To be honest everything is at the right place, very ergonomical guitar. Had to wait for almost four month to get the instrument (not the shop's fault).

Sound — 7
The sound is ok but not mindblowing. It's because the pickups. A little dull sounding specially with heavy distortion what I don't really use anyway. Sound is not too articulate and fluid. Doesn't responds to dynamics very good. Had to use the amps EQ to create a decent sound but after that it was fine. The bridge and neck position sounds very separate and that's great. The neck pickup feels better. The tone pot does its job. Tested it with Laney VC50 and VC30. It could have a better pickup for not more money.

Action, Fit & Finish — 5
The set up was done but obviously I had to do it again for my taste and hand. This isn't a problem at all, I always do it. The problems were the little flaws. This guitar is really overpriced in Europe! At this price range an instrument shouldn't have these kind of flaws like this one! I owned Gibsons, Fenders, Framus, Ibanez etc. And never experienced this before just cheap guitars showed these signs. The quality control is in the US and I have a badge: inspected in Orange CA. They should consider to sell a guitar with these little flaws in this price range. At the neck joint you can't feel but can see the scratches caused by sanding paper. There's a very small (but still there) paint defect. At the pickup and tremolo cavity are issues also with the painting. Really not nice.

The most annoying problem is the fret buzz! I don't know who inspected this guitar but on the high E string at the 15th and 16th fret there is a buzz! Again, this shouldn't be at this price! The neck is comfortable and good, the fret job (except those 2) is also nice.

Reliability & Durability — 9
Seems solid but it's very fresh and didn't play on stage yet. It has a 3 piece body and a one piece neck but wasn't there when they build it so time will tell. Hope that the modern tremolo's mounting studs and knifes will last ages. It stays in tune nicely and does the job perfectly, responds very well but not good for deep dive bombs, besides that it's a very versatile guitar. The locking tuners are fantastic and very sensitive. Very easy and quick to restring this thing. The knobs are ok too, turning smooth, not tight not loose.

Overall Impression — 7
The "problem" is, it has a unique and ergonomical shape and design, comfy neck, good floating bridge and these combination I couldn't find in any other brand. Petrucci and MM did a great job to create this guitar. At first and second glance it's beautiful. If those little flaws wouldn't be there I would give it a 9 but sadly doesn't deserve it yet. Sterling has to work on build quality and quality control. When that happens the JP70 will easily worth the money. At this moment I think for 1000 Euro you can get a better quality guitar.

1 comment sorted by best / new / date

    pierre178
    I have to make a correction. The fret job is TERRIBLE! Checked it with a fret rocker and there are more than just 2 problematic frets. I have to file almost the whole neck. I'm really pissed of now. Experienced this with a 250 euro guitar but with this axe?!?! Shame on Sterling, shame on quality control!!!