After it was initially teased way back in February earlier this year, and after Gibson announced it was headed for an October release date, Epiphone has finally unveiled the much-awaited B.B. King Lucille electric guitar.
Described as a “lovingly crafted tribute” to the late blues guitar legend, Epiphone’s Lucille aims to emulate the tone and feel of King's original six-string, while also equipping some more modern hardware appointments.
As per our initial speculation, a cursory glance at the spec sheet reveals a number of expected features. The semi-hollow guitar, which faithfully leaves out the f-holes due to King’s original desire to prevent feedback, features a Lucille-standard TP-6 Stop Bar with fine tuners, as well as an Epiphone LockTune Tune-O-Matic bridge.
Build-wise, the ES-335-shaped Lucille boasts a five-ply layered maple body with spruce binding and a maple center block, and makes use of multi-ply top, back and headstock binding. A rounded C maple neck is paired with a 12”-radius ebony fingerboard, which is topped with 22 medium jumbo frets and block pearloid inlays.
At the top of the guitar, the six-string is fitted with a ‘60s Kalamazoo headstock, which accommodates mother-of-pearl Epiphone and Lucille logos, a Brass Bell B.B.King-engraved truss rod cover and Grover Rotomatic tuners with Keystone buttons.
The hardware department also includes a two-way adjustable truss rod, five-ply bound tortoise pickguard, black mounting rings, a 1.69” Graph Tech nut and gold pickup covers.
On the subject of pickups, the Lucille comes equipped with two Alnico Classic Pro humbuckers, which are wired to a six-position Varitone switch and a three-way toggle switch. Other controls include two volume and two tone CTS Potentiometer knobs.
The control layout is treated to a cream switch tip, gold Varitone switchwasher and black control covers.
Speaking last month during the guitar’s release date announcement, Chairman of the B.B. King Music Company Vassal Benford said, “I am especially proud of the forthcoming new Epiphone guitar and delivering a true work of art that will be broadly accessible, awakening B.B. King’s life and legacy to new artists.
“Gibson is a tremendous partner and they have demonstrated a sincere alignment with our mission to not only preserve the legacy of B.B. King, but to expose new artists to his music,” he added.
The Epiphone B.B. King Lucille is available now for $949.
Head over to Epiphone to find out more.