Gibson Unveils Frank Zappa Roxy SG -
Frank Zappa has long been hailed as one of the most inventive
rock guitarists ever to have graced the stage and studio. The live
performances with his band The Mothers at the Roxy Theatre in
Hollywood from December 1973 and after-documented in the album Roxy
& Elsewhere and on subsequent DVD releases-are often considered
to display the pinnacle of his unbridled invention.
The heavily modified SG Special used in those shows is an iconic
instrument among Zappa fans, and now Gibson USA recreates that
legendary SG in perfectly faithful detail to bring the Frank Zappa®
"Roxy" SG to anyone seeking an extremely versatile, and superbly
playable modified-vintage SG Standard.
Zappa's original SG Special was an early '60s model with a fast,
slim neck profile and the smaller pickguard characteristic of the
era, which would have been made with P-90 pickups originally. While
it reflects the heavily modified state of FZ's guitar, the Frank
Zappa® "Roxy" SG still functions perfectly as a straight-up
vintage-reissue SG when desired. But just flip either of the two
mini-toggle switches to split the uncovered humbuckers' coils, or
to throw the pickups out of phase, and you leap into funky
Zappa-certified tones-all aided by the highly functional
Maestro-style vibrola with Lyre tailpiece. And with its natural
neck and headstock, and a carefully color-matched rendition of FZ's
faded nitrocellulose Cherry finish, the Frank Zappa® "Roxy" SG
looks every bit as distinctive as it sounds.
Body and Neck The Frank Zappa®
"Roxy" SG begins with the same time-tested tonewoods that helped
to make the SG Standard legendary in the first place. The body is
crafted from solid Grade-A mahogany in the iconic double-horned
style with beveled edges for enhanced playing comfort. A solid,
quarter-sawn, Grade-A mahogany neck is carved in the slim early
'60s profile that Zappa preferred, which measures 0.775" at the 1st
fret and 0.910" at the 12th, for superb speed and comfort. It's
topped with a Grade-A rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays
and 22 frets made from wire based on precise measurement of the
jumbo frets on the original "Roxy" SG. Like FZ's guitar, the neck
is natural mahogany, and the headstock is white.
Pickups and Electronics
The modified electronics on FZ's original "Roxy" SG were a big
part of that guitar's mojo, and Gibson USA goes all out to
replicate that versatility in the Frank Zappa® "Roxy" SG. Two
enhanced '57 Classics with four-conductor wiring replicate the same
thick, juicy tone of the humbuckers Zappa added to his guitar. They
are routed through a pair of mini-toggle switches mounted in a
channel under the pickguard, to yield coil-splitting for
single-coil tones, and out-of-phase tones, both of which were a big
part of Zappa's signature sound. The remaining control complement
includes the traditional three-way toggle selector and an
independent volume and tone control for each pickup.
Hardware and Plastics
Tremolo was a key part of FZ's signature sound, and the Frank
Zappa® "Roxy" SG is loaded with a Maestro-style vibrola with
decorative Lyre tailpiece and flat bar handle to give the same
creative kick to your own playing. A Tune-o-matic bridge offers
precise intonation, while a set of Grover™ tuners with historic
rounded buttons are both efficient, and true to the look of the
original guitar. The guitar carries the smaller early '60s five-ply
SG pickguard with special dimensioned neck spacer to alter the
position of the neck pickup to match FZ's original guitar and a
traditional black truss-rod cover. Cases and Coverage Every Frank
Cases and Coverage
"Roxy" SG comes protected in a black Gibson hardshell case, and
includes a Zappa CD, an owner's manual and adjustment literature,
and coverage by Gibson's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365
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