Sunday, January 4th, 2009 at 11:01 am
When it comes down to iconic guitars there aren’t many that capture the imagination in the same way as the Gibson’s Flying V it’s just something about it’s shape that makes it so interesting – The Flying V design has been around since the 1950’s – and since it’s first introduction it garnered admiration from many of the worlds top artists (from Hendrix to Lenny Kravitz). There’s been a variety of issues and reissues over the years and in to this mix Gibson has recently added the V Factor Faded.
Manufactured in Gibson’s main factory in Nashville – the V Factor Faded Flying V attempts to provide the classic Flying V that vintage – well worn look and feel while underpinning it with the usual quality that Gibson’s manufacturing process adds.
The guitar features a Mahogany body (3 piece), shaped in the iconic V design – the neck is mahogany also and features a rosewood fingerboard – 22 frets and perloid dot inlays. The neck has a rounded profile and seems sculpted for those fast legato runs. The hardware is all chrome and features a traditional stop bar tailpiece – Tune-o-matic bridge.
Electronics wise – the Faded V has a two volume – one tone combination with the usual 3 way pickup switch. Output is provided by two Gibson humbuckers – a 496R in the neck position and a 500T in the bridge – the pickups are of the ceramic magnetic variety and offer a great high output sound – which fits the bill nicely for what this Flying V was made for – Rock!
Ceramic pickups are a great choice for Rock guitars as they tend to have an enhanced mid range with punchier bass which is great for the more aggressive tones. Coupled with the mahogonay body (great for that dark warm tone) the Faded V growls and purrs with the best of em – this guitar certainly isn’t for those looking for a pure clear tone (unless you want grit with it!) and it can be a bit noisy – however for rock aficionado’s it’s the business and it produces that thick trademark Gibson tone with aplomb. There’s some subtle differences in tone between the two pickups with the 500T producing some seriously heavy sounds while the bridge pickup is a little more mellow (only a little though!)
Available in “worn cherry” the look is down to your own taste and we’re shure that some will love it while others will equally hate it – with a bit of a look around you’ll note that the finish varies widely from guitar to guitar so do shop around to get the right finish for you.
With a retail of $1,000 (but actually available at much less) the faded V is one of the more economical Gibson’s available – so if your up for that authentic Gibson tone but don’t want to shell out on a Les Paul – and you like the styling then the Faded V is definitely worth a look
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 11:06 am
The Gibson 335 was the worlds first semi-hollow bodied electric guitar and has proved to be one of Gibson’s most endearing designs having been in production since it’s initial release.
The guitar was initially released in 1958 for around $300. It featured a solid maple block running through the center of the guitar and hollow sides featuring violin style “f-holes”. It also featured a mahogany neck with rosewood fingerboard.
The 335 features two humbucker pickups and featured two double cut-aways allowing access to uppermost frets. The pickups were controlled by a three way pickup selector switch enables the guitar to produce a variety of sounds.
The Gibon 335 has a wide sonic range and is suitable for a wide variety of music from blues and jazz to rock. It has a mellow “woody” tone and is capable of high sustain.
Today there are a variety of 335 versions, in later years Gibson has through it’s budget range Epiphone has released a variant called the Dot which has proved immensely popular. The 335 has also been widely copied by other manufacturers and the original design has become somewhat iconic.
Well known players of the 335 include B.B. King (who has a famous 335 called “Lucille”), Oasis’s Noel Gallagher, Chuck Berry
More info on the Gibson 335 – Gibson Home Page
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 11:05 am
With it’s angular body, and sharp headstock the Gibson Explorer is instantly recognisable. First released by Gibson in 1958 (along with the equally famous Flying V guitar) the Explorer was a radical departure from its more famous sibling the Gibson Les Paul.
The original Explorer called the X-Plorer (or the Futura as it was initially named) came equipped with twin humbucker pickups, two tone controls and a 3 way pickup switch. The angular Headstock featured the tuning keys on the top of the headstock rather than the traditional Gibson three each side. With its looks the guitar was radically different from others in the marketplace.
The design of the Explorer was so years ahead of it’s time that initial sales were low and the guitar was quickly discontinued. Needless to say those early models are now highly sought after collector’s item.
In the Mid 1970′s, prompted by the success of other manufacturers tributes to the Explorer, Gibson reissued the guitar – sales were strong and the instrument quickly became a mainstay for many artists.
The Explorer is a particularly versatile guitar and produces a wide variety of tones. With the pickup selector in the middle position, it produces sounds reminiscent of a Les Paul. Select the bridge position and you have a solid rock tone, finally the neck pickup has a warm and subtle jazzy tone. The Explorer’s large body produces a lot of its tone and although heavy the guitar is full of character and its trademark Gibson bite makes it ideally suited to rock music.
Today, many famous artists can be seen using the Explorer. One of the most well known Explorer users is U2′s The Edge. His Explorer (picked up on a shopping trip in New York is the early days of the group) created much of the bands early sound and the guitar is still used on tour and in the studio today.
There are many other famous users of the Explorer such as James Hetfield, Eric Clapton, Dave Grohl to name but a few.
These days Gibson has many editions of the Explorer and its future is secure. With its trademark looks and versatile sound the Gibson Explorer can comfortably take its place in the guitar hall of fame.
For more information on the Explorer check out The Gibson Guitar companies homepage
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 11:02 am
The Les Paul was introduced by Gibson in 1952 around the same time as Fender’s Stratocaster and Telecaster. Over the years the Les Paul has become one of the most enduring and popular musical instrument models in the world and along with the Stratocaster and Telecaster is instantly recognizable.
The Les Paul model was designed by the Jazz guitarist Les Paul and the Gibson Company. The 1952 Les Paul featured two single-coil pickups, and a one-piece, ‘trapeze’-style bridge and tailpiece. The Les Paul is a heavy instrument and is famed for it’s sustain and tone. These characteristics are largely due to the Les Paul’s construction and choice of materials.
The new guitar was an expensive response to the seemingly plain, “manufactured” construction of the Stratocaster and Telecaster. Gibson already manufactured hollow-body guitars since the 1930s, but the Les Paul proved a radical move with some contrasting differences between fender models. .
Today’s Les Paul consists of a set neck, 3 on one side tuners, usually two humbucking pickups, and a single cut away body w/ a 3 way pickup selector switch. The Les Paul now comes in many variants Standard, Custom, and Deluxe. Each variant has a choice of finishes and fittings making the instrument wide ranging in it’s the music it can be applied to.
Many recording artists have used the Les Paul, in the 60′s artists such as Eric Clapton and others from the British Blues Bloom realized the potential of the guitar and it became very popular. Today guitarists such as Slash, Joe Perry are widely associated with the instrument.
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 11:01 am
By Michael Casamento
Gibson guitars have been around forever. It’s funny, but although Gibson has produced some of the most amazing guitars in history, perhaps the company’s largest contribution to music has been through their advancements in pickup technology. Gibson’s first electric guitar the ES-150 was produced in 1936, and is still considered one of the best sounding electric jazz guitars in the world.
In 1946 Gibson introduced the P-90 single coil pickup, which was eventually used on the first Les Paul model in 1952. The Les Paul was Gibson’s first solid body electric guitar. In 1957 Gibson introduced the legendary Humbucker pickup on the Les Paul model, and an instant classic was born. The P-90 and the Humbucker quickly became the pickups of choice for Gibson’s expanding line of solid body electric guitars.
1961 marked the introduction of one of Gibson’s most successful models ever, the double cutaway SG. This was followed by the Firebird, and Flying V models, each a classic in its own right. In addition to electrics, Gibson produces some of the finest acoustic guitars available.
Gibson’s commitment to excellence, and support of top musicians is demonstrated most deeply through its well known Custom Shop. The Custom Shop produces specialty instruments for artists, and discerning musicians. In addition, many well known historic classics have been faithfully reproduced by the Gibson Custom Shop, allowing a whole new generation of guitarists to experience Gibson’s hallmark guitars.
© Written By: Michael Casamento
Michael Casamento is the founder of Guitar Pages Online – a comprehensive resource for guitars and guitar related merchandise on the Internet.
For more information visit:http://www.guitarpagesonline.com
This article may be freely reproduced so long as the above resource box is included in its entirety.
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 11:01 am
The Gibson SG was initially released in 1961. The guitar was released to improve the Gibson’s sales (Sales of the Les Paul had begun to wane.) The SG has proved very popular and has been in constant production since it’s release.
Initially named the Standard it was renamed SG (Solid guitar) after the first few years of production. It’s design features two “sharp” double cutaways and featured an optional whammy bar. It featured two humbucking pickups a three way selector switch. The guitar has a mahogany body and set neck.
The SG is much lighter than its sibling the Les Paul and features a shallower neck. It is quite a versatile instrument and produces a powerful tone suitable for loud rock solos.
The guitar has been featured with numerous artists such as ACDC’s Angus Young, Tony Iommi. Eric Clapton also used one during his time with the band Cream.
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 11:00 am
By Steve Morgan
The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is one of their most loved guitars. Players of Gibson guitars often wonder how the great Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is made. Made in Nashville, Tennessee, the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is made much like their other models. To begin with, the wood is chosen for the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model. The top of the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is glued up into 2” thick block, and most of the backs are solid. Machines put the front and backs together for the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model. Most are surprised by the machine assembly of the guitars, however the Gibson Guitar Hummingbird and all other models have been built by machines for over 100 years.
The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model’s neck is made of up to three different pieces. The pieces of the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird are laminated and cut. The wing blocks are added to the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird and the fingerboards are assembled. Most of the fingerboards on the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird are made of rosewood or ebony. The Gibson Guitar Hummingbird, like all other Gibson guitars, is hand-fretted. When everything is put together, the Gibson Guitar Hummingbird is ready to go.
Many musicians have loved the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird over the years. The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird is one that offers the signature Gibson sound and quality. Durability is one thing that draws artists to the Gibson Guitars Hummingbird. The Gibson Guitars Hummingbird model is a lovely instrument that is also a piece of art.
Steve Morgan makes it quick and easy to find the best guitars. Read expert information here.
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 10:58 am
The Gibson Les Paul Faded Double Cutaway Electric Guitar is reminiscent of the Les Paul special and features a “worn” style finish and double cutaway design. It’s clear that with the pickup selection and paint job that Gibson are appealing to the vintage enthusiasts among us and they are aiming to produce the same feel as the Les Paul specials and Juniors from the late 50’s and early 60’s
With the new models manufactured in Nashville, the Double Cutaway features a mahogany body. A slim profile mahogany 60’s style 22 Fret glued in neck with rosewood fingerboard and pearloid dot markers. The stopbar tailpiece and tune-o-matic bridge are finished in chrome which looks ok and fits in nicely with the vintage vibe. One area of compromise seems to be the tuners which are standard white button tuners, authentic maybe but perhaps could be updated to some locking tuners.
While aesthetically the Double Cutaway doesn’t have the same visual appeal of the Classic Les Paul it does offer something a little different – there aren’t a lot of color options (red or yellow) but the faded effect produce a “vintage” looking piece that will get some attention at the next open mic night.
Electronics wise the double cutaway features two Gibson Vintage P90 pickups, two volume two tone controls (in the traditional Les Paul configuration) and a three way pickup selector switch which is positioned just above the volume /tone controls on the lower butt of the body. It’s fairly comfortable to play and unplugged has a nice acoustic twang through not though perhaps lacking a little in the sustain department.
Sound wise the P90’s offer a good combination of high output and high end response – combined with a tube amp those sounds the double cutaway can produce some Townshendesque bite. This is all good stuff – and as this guitar is aimed at the “vintage” market the sounds are as expected and the P90’s happily trade that middle ground between Fender’s single coil and a Gibson humbucker making this guitar suitable for a range of styles from pop through to Jazz however my guess is that those buying this guitar will be buying it for a certain sound and while these aren’t the liveliest P90’s we’ve heard they do the job adequately enough and provide enough rumble on the right settings (although add extra distortion with care as the sound can get a trifle mushy.)
We’re always keen to see something other than a traditional Les Paul or Strat so the Gibson Les Paul Faded double cutaway instantly appeals to us – The Les Paul Double cut-away retails for around $800 so should appeal to those Gibson seekers on a budget – and for those looking for a certain 60’s sound would do well to take a look.
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 10:55 am
Gibson produce tons of Les Paul’s from signature models through to budget versions in loads of colors and finishes that it really takes something to catch your attention now when you see a Les Paul – the Supreme is aimed to do just that. Featuring a bucket load of luxury the Supreme is really something to lust after.
With every part studiously selected to exude class Gibson have pushed the boat out. Based on a chambered mahogany body (for a ligthter weight and better resonance) the Les Paul supreme features AAAA maple top and back with fantastic seven ply top – three ply back binding.
With a Mahogany neck and Ebony fingerboard (with deluxe pearl-on-ebony fingerboard inlays) luxury is again piled on with gold tinted alloy frets; and an abalone, pearl, and brass globe inlaid on the Gibson LP headstock. Hardware is gold and as usual the Supreme features the traditional Les Paul fixtures and fittings in a Stopbar tailpiece, tune-o-matic bridge. Tuner’s are Grover locking tuners.
Electrics wise it’s packed with a 490R humbucker in the neck and a 498T in the bridge position. Gibson say of the 490 “feature tonal characteristics similar to the ’57 Classic, but deliver a slight increase in the upper mids, for a more contemporary humbucking sound. The special Alnico II magnet gives these beauties a singing quality that delivers on demand.” While of the 498 “With its higher output and emphasis on mid-ranges and highs, the 498T is the perfect rock pickup.”
While there are higher output Gibson pickups available (eg the Burstbucker) the supreme – doesn’t lack tonally – warm natural tone which is both articulate and deep (the chambered body also seems to add bags of sustain) – maybe not that versatile – but if you want Les Paul – then it delivers – crank it up and enjoy how Rock guitars were meant to sound.
As far as value for money goes – well this guitar retails at around $3,000 so it’s by no means cheap and perhaps this is where the problem lies – in recent years Gibson has taken a bit of a challenge on it’s quality control – the odd duff guitar has perhaps slipped through the net and tainted it’s image –for $3,000+ you need things to be perfect so it’s definatley worth trying before you buy – and checking out the finish, binding and the fretwork on the fingerboard to ensure that everything passes muster.
As a gigging guitar well – it’ll look the business but the finish and hardware will probably give you a few sleepless nights as well – when it comes out fo the box you just want to drool over it – I can well imagine a few tears if it picks up the usual dings and scratches that gigging guitars do –
Overall – well it’s a Les Paul – Iconic looks and Iconic tone – not much to go wrong really – with looks and finishing touches that put it towards the top of the Gibson tree. Gibson Guitars
Friday, January 2nd, 2009 at 10:52 am
Having emerged from California’s punk seen in the early 1990’s Green Day have seen their popularity rise and they have become one of the world’s most popular rock acts around today. Gibson have now released a signature guitar for Frontman Billie Joe Armstrong the Bille Joe Armstrong Les Paul Junior.
The guitar features a mahogany body and is modeled closely after the guitarists 56 model. The Junior started out as a budget model and features the now traditional single cut-away design
The guitar features a vintage correct non-compensated wraparound tailpiece, nickel hardware and white button strip tuners. Controls are minimal with one tone and one volume and the guitar is finished off with Billie Joe’s signature on the reverse of the headstock.
The neck, mahogany like the body, features a 60’s style slim tapered neck which coupled with the 24 ¾” scale length and light weight body makes for a comfortable guitar to play. The neck is finished with a Rosewood fingerboard featuring 22 frets and perloid dot inlays.
Whilst being fiercely loyal to the Les Paul Junior design – Gibson have managed to make a few changes here and there – the pickup is a new design – a stacked double-coil dogeared H90 pickup – The pickup has a great punch tone that suits a bit of drive being added – but even when nice and dirty the sound is articulate enough to be clear in a band mix.
For around $2000 the Junior is not the cheapest Gibson have to offer and whilst there are some nice touches that differentiate this guitar from similar Les Paul juniors we have to admit that this guitar will probably appeal to Green Day fans first and foremost.