Here are our Top 5 Strangest Gibson Guitars ever produced!
Last year Gibson released the brand new 2018 series which we were thoroughly impressed with, including new finishes and designs that made us all want to buy Gibson. So that got us thinking about some of the strange and unusual guitars that Gibson has created in the last 60 years, and my gosh we were not disappointed.
While Gibson produced plenty of Les Pauls and 335’s, they were also quite bold in producing new “outside of the box” models to separate themselves from the everyday guitar. Take a look below for our Top 5 strangest guitars Gibson ever produced!
The Gibson Corvus was part of a series of guitars created to bring back interest into the Gibson brand, which was experiencing a low point of popularity at the time. The guitar was supposedly intended to look like a crow in flight when seen from the side – hence the name “Corvus,” which is Latin for crow. After a few months, musicians who purchased this guitar gave it the unlucky nickname “the can opener” due to it obviously unintentionally looking like a can opener.
This Gibson Corvus is sporting only a single pickup. There were three models created in the Corvus line: the I, II, and III. The II and III comprised of three single-coils and two humbuckers. An upscale version of the Corvus with a set neck rather than bolt-on neck was marketed under the name the “Futura”, later down the line.
The Gibson Moderne was first designed by Gibson in 1957. It was designed alongside the Flying V and Explorer-Futura as part of an advanced stylistic image line of electric guitars. The Gibson Moderne was only available as a prototype for roughly 30 years due to the bad reception it received when it was revealed at its first NAMM showing. In the 1980s, it was sold for a very short period of time and has recently been reintroduced and seen with musicians such as James Hetfield and Billy Gibbons.
In the 1950’s a few prototypes were made, and no authentic example is currently known, the “rare” 1958 Moderne has been nicknamed the “mythical great white whale” of collectible guitars.
The Moderne is the missing link between the Flying V and the Explorer, containing a mix of both designs. The guitar didn’t succeed during its first reissue, and because of this, the 1980s models are quite rare and somewhat of a collector’s items. So if you catch one on eBay, you know what to do!
The Gibson Nighthawk was introduced in 1993 and represented a radical change from traditional Gibson designs. With its maple-capped mahogany body and set neck, this guitar is very similar to the classic Gibson Les Paul, but the Nighthawk also had a number of features more commonly seen with Fender guitars. Although Gibson was still trying to branch out, the Nighthawk was not a success. Production was discontinued in 1998 and ceased to deliver its expectations only after 5 years.
In July 2009, Gibson brought back the Nighthawk with the Limited Edition Nighthawk 2009. The current production models includes the 20th Anniversary Nighthawk Standard the Nighthawk Studio and the 2013 Nancy Wilson Nighthawk Standard. Some of these newer models are faithful recreations of the original Nighthawk, but others are only visually similar with some upgraded features.
Gibson Firebird X
Say hello to the Gibson Firebird X guitar, a high-tech guitar that brags about its automatic tuning, built-in audio effects and support for apps that you can download at home. We really feel that Gibson hoped to join the two worlds of music and electronics in one sweet package. They didn’t. Available in a tasteless red and blue-swirl finish, this futuristic piece of kit was priced at a wallet-crushing $5570! Oh, and did we mention it didn’t come with a manual.
With only 1800 limited-edition three-humbucker instruments made, this two-hour long battery life guitar had so much going for it at a time but was just executed poorly, and again had Gibson pulling them from the shelves as soon as they hit stores.
Straying away from the negativity of this R2-D2 guitar, there is an upside! It is now a collector’s item. Because these guitars were so unsuccessful, they are now successful with collector’s paying good money to hang this guitar on their walls.
The Gibson Victory MVII was designed to appeal to the upcoming music of the era and hard rock metal players. It was Gibson’s first Superstrat style guitar, and for a company known for the Les Paul and ES-335, you’d be surprised just how good of a job Gibson did hitting that niche. Well… okay they just about hit the target.
The Gibson Victory featured two humbucking pickups, a master tone control, master volume control, a three-way selector switch and a coil-split control. The Coil-split humbuckers didn’t sound like single-coils, but they were a close enough replicate that this guitar could pull off some surprisingly Strat-like tones. So if you’re in the market for a vintage super-strat style guitar but not a fan of Fender, this guitar is for you!
If you liked reading this article and checking out some of the crazy guitars Gibson has created, why not head over to our other blog where we look at The Top 5 Weirdest Fender Guitars ever made!