Sunday, August 15, 2010

MusicMan Month: Silhouette Special Guitar

As MusicMan month continues, you might say to yourself: ”what can they offer me that is like a Stratocaster?” In my opinion, the Silhouette Special would probably be the hot ticket.

The Silhouette was introduced in 1986, and was one of the first new models to be introduced after Ernie Ball bought the company. One question I often hear is: “What is the difference between the Silhouette and the Silhouette Special?”

I could give some specifications from their website, but Pete over at Dubaldo Music in Connecticut (great guy, order your guitars from him) has already summed up the differences very nicely:

”The Silhouette is a 24 fret Hum-Single-Hum guitar, and the Silhouette Special is a 22 fret, SSS or HSS guitar.

”Both guitars are available with or without the Music Man vintage tremolo, with or without piezo, with or without matching headstock, maple or rosewood fretboard. Both guitars have the "silent switching circuit." The Silhouette Special lists at $35 more, given the same options on both guitars.

The neck single coil on the Silhouette Special is located in the "sweet spot" - right about where the 24th fret would be - just like on a Strat. The Silhouette has the neck humbucker pushed back a bit closer to the bridge because of the 24 frets.

IMHO the Silhouette Special SSS sounds like a Fender Strat wishes it could sound, if that makes sense.” End of quote. Thanks a bunch, Pete!

The guitar we are looking at here was made in 2002. According to Dan over at Ernie Ball, this Sparkle Gold Silhouette Special was made for Matchbox 20. I found it in a secondhand store in Lewisville Texas.

It is a hardtail with a Dimarzio PAF and two Dimarzio single coil pickups sunk into the alder body.

It was in pretty much new condition, played well and looked SPECTACULAR. The photos I took do not give this sparkle finish its due. You have to see this one in person to believe it.

I never intended to keep this guitar, I only got it up because I knew a few people that would really like to have it. It ended up going to Glenn on the east coast, who is a lover of all things sparkly.


  1. Rex, great series. By the way, I still love this guitar, thanx again man for selling it to me!!

    Glenn |B)

    1. Where is this guitar now? Wondering if the current owner might be interested in selling...