Lucille!B. B. King is blues royalty. Can we agree on that? The man was playing the blues before most of us knew what a guitar was. For many of his early years, the man played an ES-335 before moving on to a Gibson ES-355. Said King in The Electric Guitar - An Illustrated Guide, "I knew I liked the 335 from the first time I played one...the neck was so thin and the body was so shallow so it was comfy to play." Eventually, King named his favorite guitar, Lucille. And eventually, the man hooked up with Gibson to make the B. B. King Signature Edition, not surprisingly named "Lucille." Special touches include a fine tuner tailpiece, a semi-hollowbody design with no f-holes, multi-ply binding and Varitone circuitry. Hey, if you've ever heard this man play live, you know just how sweet or saucy he can make his guitar sing. The Gibson Lucille model is just like B. B.'s!
Gibson B. B. King Lucille at a Glance:
- Semi-hollowbody design with maple / poplar / maple top, back and sides in Ebony finish with multi-ply binding.
- Two Alnico magnet humbuckers - 490R (neck) and 490T (bridge)
- Rounded '59 profile maple neck with ebony fretboard and genuine pearl block inlays
It's Got B. B.'s Personal Touches
When King was playing ES-335s and 3555s, he used to stuff the f-holes to eliminate feedback. So when it came time to design his own dream guitar, his first request was to get rid of those f-holes, which Gibson was happy to do. Another touch is the special fine-tuner tailpiece. Gibson has had a few similar tailpieces through the years, but this one is the best of the lot. Finally, B. B. decided he wanted to keep the six-position Varitone rotary switch, which essentially rolls off highs in a quite different way than by using the standard tone control. Add an Ebony finish and you've got the King's guitar!
Not Too Fat, Not Too Thin
No, we're not talking about the newest fad diet, we're talking about Lucille's special rounded neck profile. It's not as big as those gigantic 1958 Les Paul necks, but neither is it as thin as the 1960s so-called "slim taper" neck profiles. In any case, the combination of a nice, rounded 3-piece maple neck and the richness of an ebony fretboard with genuine pearl block inlays is what this instrument is all about. It's not for everyone, naturally. But if you picture yourself as the next blues legend, take a tip from the King and get "Lucille." She won't let you down.
Two Gibson Humbuckers Onboard
When you're talking about "tone for days," you're talking about humbuckers. They've got it all: Complex midrange, punchy lows and a smooth top end that won't make your teeth hurt. For those seeking the often overused "out-of-phase" session sound which ruled the airwaves back in the 1980s, this is not the guitar you're looking for. If you're looking for a pickup that starts out clean and can really smoke when your amp is on 11, well then, strap one on!
Gibson B. B. King Lucille Features:
- Color: Ebony
- Top: Maple/poplar/maple
- Back: Maple/poplar/maple
- Sides: Maple/poplar/maple
- Neck: 3-piece maple with rounded profile
- Fingerboard: Ebony with pearl block inlays
- Number of frets: 22
- Pickups: Two Gibson humbuckers with Alnico magnets
- Controls: Two each tone and volume with three-way pickup selector switch and six-position Varitone rotary knob
- Machine heads: Grover
- Hardware: Gold plated
- Case: Black smooth levant