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Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG Electric Guitar with Case

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Product Description

The Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG Electric Guitar is a fantastic recreation of the heavily modified SG Special Zappa used in the performances with his band The Mothers at the Roxy Theatre in Hollywood from December 1973 and after! To Zappa fans, that guitar is as iconic as any other he played. Gibson USA brings together all the details of that guitar in the Frank Zappa Roxy SG. For Zappa fans or anyone seeking an extremely versatile, and superbly playable modified-vintage SG, it doesn’t get better than this!

Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG Electric Guitar Features

  • Grade-A mahogany body with iconic double-horned design
  • Mahogany neck with Frank-preferred slim ’60s profile
  • Bound rosewood fingerboard with pearloid dot inlays
  • White headstock just like Zappa’s SG
  • Pair of split-coil '57 classic pickups
  • Two mini-toggle switches yield coil-splitting for single-coil tones, and out-of-phase tones
  • Maestro-style vibrola with decorative Lyre tailpiece and flat bar handle
  • Grover tuners with 16:1 tuning ratio
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 Frank’s guitar, the Frank Zappa Roxy SG still functions perfectly as a straight-up vintage-reissue SG when desired.

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 Zappa’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 a solid Grade-A mahogany body with 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 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 Zappa’s guitar, the headstock is white.

Pickups and Electronics
The modified electronics on Zappa’s original Roxy SG were a big part of that guitar’s mojo. Gibson loads this guitar with two enhanced ’57 Classics with four-conductor wiring to 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.

Hardware
Tremolo was a key part of Frank’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.

Case
Every Frank Zappa 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 Customer Service.

Product Specifications
Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG Electric Guitar Specifications
  • Body: Mahogany
  • Neck: Mahogany, matched to his original guitar, with holly head veneer, only satin finish no color
  • Fingerboard: Bound Rosewood, Dot Inlays
  • Hardware: Chrome Tune-o-Matic, Schaller Style Tuners, Lyre tailpiece with flat bar handle
  • Electronics: 57 classic pickups with 2 mini toggles with phase switch and coil split
  • Plastics: Black, small pick guard
  • Special Notes: Taken from the SG he played at the Roxy concerts from 1973. Vintage gloss finish to match original look
  • Case: Hard shell
Helpful Info about the Manufacturer
Phone:  800-444-2766 Warranty:  Limited Lifetime
Backwoods Mister from Parker, CO USA
Overall Rating
General
Quality
Tone
Finish
Subject
Frank Zappa? More like a Bug Zapper.
General
Your general opinion of this product.
First off, the thing plays like butter. Best guitar I've ever held in my hands, bar none. The tone possibilities are vast, the external craftsmanship, the wood, it's all exquisite. But then there's the... BUZZING. I read a couple reviews online about the buzzing, but man is it terrible. Playing through the clean channel, it's barely noticeable but add some gain to it & it is awful. Sounds like a cold solder issue. I can't record this thing, even using a noise gate. Just too loud. AMS has agreed to exchange it & hopefully the next one is dead quiet or I will opt for an SG Reissue or the like and go buy it from a place with a storefront in case any issues arise.
Quality
Would you consider this product to be made well? How dependable?
I think it's a beauty, but how can you give it a thumbs-up on quality when it has such a glaring electronics issue after supposedly being "quality-checked?" Nope. Bad electronics = bad quality.
Tone
Bright and snappy? Dark and smooth? Were the pickups hot, mellow, thick, thin?
Endless tone possibilities, given all the control knobs/switches. That is, if you can get one that doesn't sound like a bug zapper.
Finish
How did the stain or paint job look?
The most beautiful thing I've ever laid eyes on. One solid piece of perfect wood, with a beautiful satin, rusty finish.
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