Exeter showroom, Strictly by Appointment Only


Music Man History

Music Man is a name that will need no introduction to any guitar enthusiast. Its historical significance and and influence are well recognised and its family of instruments has helped inspire and develop much of today's modern guitars with the contemporary features it has pioneered. Offering players an extensive range of different models that will appeal to all styles of musician including the demanding modern day player and also those who enjoy and appreciate a more classic feel and look. But when and where did it all start and what's behind this remarkabale series of American crafted bass guitars and 6, 7, and 8 strings.

An ex Fender sales representative called Tom Walker and Forrest White approached Leo Fender to put some money into a fledgling guitar company called Tri Sonix. Leo initially became a silent partner. Leo didn't much like the name and in 1974 this was changed to Music Man. Leo was voted in as the president of Music man in 1975 and by the time we get to 1976 this new name in musical instruments had a basic selection of bass guitars and electric 6 strings to offer along with amplification.

The structure of the company was a little disjointed as music Man was using a separate Leo Fender company called CLF research in Fullerton California. The 2 companies were inextricably linked but treated as separate entities.

In 1979 CLF, Leo Fenders other company, stopped working with Music Man and Leo and George Fullerton moved ahead and created G and L guitars leaving Music Man to stand on its own. Over the next few years Music Man sales struggled against the back drop of the Hi Tech keyboard and Synth revolution. Music Man tried hard to develop interesting finish options and they developed some new concepts that have in time gone on to be regarded as extremely important ideas and directly contribute towards the development of some of the most up to date designs we see today.

But the figures didn't stack up and music Man entered a period of very slow sales and finance pressure that it couldn't shake off. The company barely found a way to stay in business and a buyer was sought. After looking at a few offers Music Man was sold to Ernie Ball on March 7, 1984.

With the financial backing of the hugely successful and cash rich Ernie Ball company behind the name music Man guitars steadily developed and built some classic models during the 80's and the brand started a meteoric rise in popularity that continued today. Under the Ernie Ball family ownership Music Man can now rightfully be recognised as one of the big few very successful world wide names that can offers both traditional designs along with state of the art cutting edge contemporary models.