“When I hold her close to me, I immediately feel less anxious”: Epiphone’s signature WAXX Nighthawk Studio revives an underrated Gibson model, beloved by the French guitarist and producer

WAXX holds his Epiphone WAXX Nighthawk Studio
(Image credit: Epiphone)

Epiphone has announced a new signature guitar collaboration with French musician, producer and influencer WAXX: the WAXX Nighthawk Studio.

The model is a recreation of his go-to electric guitar, a customized Gibson Nighthawk Studio. For those not familiar with the ’Hawk, it’s a single-cut design introduced by the guitar giant in the early-’90s. 

It has appeared in various iterations (usually you can tell by the pickup configuration) and finishes since then, but WAXX’s personal model seems to be based on the HH-configured Gibson Nighthawk Studio launched in 2011 – albeit with a custom truss rod cover.

The Nighthawks were once derided but have developed their own sub-section of fans over the last 30 years, with the Nighthawk Studio – a close sibling to Gibson’s Les Paul Studio – considered something of an underrated gem.

WAXX’s Epiphone signature follows the template of that model – right down to the original Pelham Blue finish. It uses a solid mahogany body and set neck construction, Indian laurel fingerboard and a pair of Epiphone ProBuckers (as opposed to the original’s BurstBuckers). 

The neck is a rounded C profile, with 22 medium jumbo frets and a GraphTech NuBone nut. On the electronics side, you’ve got a single volume and single tone control with Black Top Hat knobs and a three-way blade switch. Then there’s extra flexibility available from the coil-splitting push-pull tone knob. 

The bridge is a Nighthawk through-body unit, while at the other end of the instrument you’ll find Epiphone’s Deluxe tuners and that WAXX truss rod cover.

A nice benefit is the included Epiphone hardshell case, with a luxurious plush interior and some custom stickers reminiscent of the adornments on WAXX’s own Gibson model.

“The guitar, but particularly this one, it has a huge place in my life,” says WAXX of his Nighthawk. 

“When I hold her close to me, I immediately feel less anxious. So, for example, when I do a concert that might be stressful because there are thousands of people… Well, when I'm with this guitar, I feel protected.

“The feeling that we're one. It's really important to me that this guitar is a first guitar... but can also be a guitar for a lifetime. A bit like what I experienced with my model. Because that's my mantra: long live the music. Music for everyone, all the time, everywhere.”

Epiphone WAXX Nighthawk Studio

(Image credit: Epiphone)

The WAXX Nighthawk Studio is (pretty much) exclusive to the EU but you can also order them direct from Epiphone. Price is TBC but European retailers have it for a price of approx $829 (excluding shipping), which puts it in the neighborhood of an Epiphone Les Paul Custom.

It is that NAMM-adjacent time of year, but Epiphone has been busy on the signature front, lately, unveiling the Epiphone Kirk Hammett Greeny, the Rex Brown signature Thunderbird Bass and its final Adam Jones Les Paul Custom Artwork model, the Queen Bee, in the last few months.

For more information on the WAXX Nighthawk Studio, head to Epiphone.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a staff writer for GuitarWorld.com. Before that he spent 10 years as a freelance music journalist, interviewing artists for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.