2004 Gibson B.B. King “Lucille”


Summary: When B. B. King was playing ES-335s and 355s, he used to stuff the f-holes to eliminate feedback. When it came time to design his signature guitar, his first request was to get rid of those f-holes, and “Lucille” was born. With a fine tuner tailpiece, a semi-hollow design with no f-holes, multi-ply binding and Varitone circuitry, the Gibson “Lucille” model is just like B. B.’s.

Body: Semi-hollowbody design without f-holes. Solid maple center block. Maple/poplar/maple top, back and sides in cherry finish with multi-ply binding.

Neck: Three-piece maple with rounded ’59 profile. 22-fret bound ebony fingerboard and real pearl block inlays. “Lucille” inlaid in mother-of-pearl on the headstock. “B. B. King” engraved on gold truss rod cover. 24.75” scale length. 1 11/16” nut width.

Electronics/Hardware: Two Alnico magnet humbuckers: 490R (neck) and 490T (bridge).   Two tone and two volume controls with three-way pickup selector switch and six-position Varitone rotary knob. Stereo/mono jacks. Gold-plated hardware. Nashville Tune-o-matic bridge with fine-tuner TP-6 tailpiece. Grover tuners with metal tulip buttons.

Cosmetics: This guitar is in excellent cosmetic condition. The finish shows very little sign of wear beyond some light swirling and the gold-plated hardware is bright and unspotted. There is a pin-head sized finish chip on the bass-side tip of the headstock. The fretboard is nice and dark and the frets are full with little wear.

Playability: The round ’59 neck profile is not as big as the ’58 Les Paul necks, but neither is it as thin as the 60s “slim taper.” It’s chunky, but comfortable and fast. The action is low and playability is smooth with no buzz or dead spots. The pickups are voiced well for rock and electric blues, with punchy lows, complex mids and a smooth top end. The six-position Varitone rotary switch, which rolls off highs in a quite different way than by using the standard tone control, substantially widens the tonal palette.

Weight: 10 lbs, 4 oz.

Case: Original hard shell.