Goodbye to my Music Man Albert Lee HH “Ball Family Reserve”


Am sad to let this one go but trying to be respnsible (yeah right!!).  In all seriously, I’m just downsizing and let go of guitars that can be, more or less, covered by other guitars.  In my case I have a few dual humbucker guitars and while some I just can’t get rid off (ie. Music Man EVH model), for others it is redundant to own both.


For this example, I was tossing up between the 2011 Music Man Albert Lee HH (non-trem model) and the 1998 PRS McCarty Model guitars.  Both guitars have mahogany body (the PRS have a maple top while the Music Man is extremely light-weight).  The PRS have a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard while the MusicMan have an all-rosewood neck and fingerboard (this neck feels amazing and made this decision a hard one).


While both guitars uses dual humbuckers with some single coil sounds, they’re implemented differently.  The PRS uses a push-pull tone pot that splits the coil and using that with the 3-way pickup selector toggle, you get six different tones:

  1. bridge humbucker
  2. both humbuckers in parallel
  3. neck humbucker
  4. bridge single coil  (tone pot pulled up)
  5. both pickups in single coil (tone pot pulled up)
  6. neck single coil (tone pot pulled up)

The Music Man Albert gets it’s single coil sound using a 5-way pickup selector:

  1. bridge humbucker
  2. both pickup’s outer coils (like a Tele in-between tone)
  3. both humbuckers in parallel
  4. both pickup’s inner coils (like a Strat’s in-between tone)
  5. neck humbucker

One other reason why it was kinda hard letting this one to was because of the “Ball Family Reserve” plate on the neck.  When Music Man first released the Albert Lee model, it was a 3x Single Coil model (and later they added 3x P90s version).

In 2010/2011, Music Man released these special models of Albert Lee HH (BFR) which proved to be very popular and a couple of years later they decided to make it a production model with similar specs except for the BFR inlay on the 12th fret.


Anyway, decided to sell the Music Man Albert Lee HH over the PRS McCarty as you cannot buy the McCarty model that I have anymore plus I have other Music Man dual-humbucker guitars as well.  Here are some pics of my 1998 PRS McCarty..

I’ve made some regretful sales before so am hoping that in the years to come, this won’t be one of them…


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