AS ONE OF the most recorded guitarists of all time with a few thousand sessions on his résumé, Steve Lukather certainly knows great guitar tone. Since 1994 he’s put that know-how to good use in collaboration with Ernie Ball Music Man on his signature Luke solid-body electric model. The latest version — the Luke III — was introduced back in 2012, but, like most Music Man models, changes, tweaks, and upgrades are often made along the way after the initial release. For 2020, Music Man has made several significant changes to the Luke III, most notably new pickups and a more powerful built-in preamp/boost. If you’ve held the line on buying a Luke, this version is one you don’t want to miss — she’s a beauty.
FEATURES The 2020 version of the Music Man Luke III comes in two configurations — a dual-humbucker model and a humbucker/single/single. We looked at the latter. While the Luke III still has passive pickups, this version features a newly designed Ernie Ball Music Man high-output covered humbucker and a pair of Ernie Ball Music Man Sixties-style Cutlass single-coils with staggered polepieces. The boosted output of the active preamp, activated with a push/push switch on the master volume knob, is factory set at 12dB but can be adjusted by the user to at least 20db. Users can also decrease the maximum amount of boost and adjust/match the output levels of the pickups via trim pots inside the control cavity.
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