Now, the company has given us a clearer picture of what it has in store for the remainder of the year, announcing the long-anticipated Epiphone Slash Collection of electric and acoustic guitars, two stunning new Gibson Custom Shop models – the '58 Korina Explorer and '58 Korina Flying V – and three new artist signature models – the Tony Iommi SG Special, Jerry Cantrell “Wino” Les Paul and Nathaniel Rateliff LG-2 Western acoustic in Vintage Sunburst.
All of these new models, as we write this, have yet to appear on Gibson and Epiphone's respective websites, but here's everything we know about them thus far.
First up, let's take a look at the pair of new Custom Shop models, the 1958 Korina Explorer and 1958 Korina Flying V.
The two guitars – which took two whole years to develop – feature Murphy Lab aging, Brazilian rosewood fingerboards and golden-brown Korina wood finishes. The company used 3D scanning technology to scan multiple 1958 Flying Vs and Explorers (1958 was each model's first year of production) and exhaustively reproduce them down to the very last detail.
Even the guitars' original cases – brown with plush pink insides – have essentially been cloned.
19 Explorers and 81 Flying Vs were made in 1958, so, in tribute to those pioneering builds, the Gibson Custom Shop will make the same number of these painstaking recreations – 19 Explorers and 81 Flying Vs.
The guitars are set for a July 27 release, at which time we hope to hear more about what's under the hoods of these beauties.
Coming a year and a half after the Gibson Slash collection, the Epiphone Slash Collection is – like its Gibson predecessor – stocked with a Les Paul Standard available in Appetite Burst, November Burst, Anaconda Burst and Vermillion Burst finishes, a “Victoria” Les Paul Standard Goldtop, and a J-45 acoustic in Vermillion Burst and November Burst finishes.
"We are in a very exciting journey with Slash and today we are announcing the amplification of our collaboration with the launch of the Epiphone Slash Collection,” said Gibson Brand President Cesar Gueikian in a statement.
“Our new Epiphone Slash Collection brings our collaboration with Slash to the next level, expanding the offering of the iconic Slash models to Epiphone with an accessible price point. Slash was intimately involved in every aspect of the development of his new Epiphone Collection, and we are all excited to see his fans around the world rock out with them!”
The Epiphone Slash Collection will, according to Gibson, receive its full airing next Tuesday, June 20. We'll be curious to see then how the guitars are spec'd up, especially in light of Epiphone's recent, kitted-to-the-high-seas Alex Lifeson Les Paul Axcess Standard.
Finally, Gibson announced the upcoming releases of a trio of new artist signature models – the Tony Iommi SG Special, Jerry Cantrell “Wino” Les Paul and Nathaniel Rateliff LG-2 Western Acoustic in Vintage Sunburst.
First teased back in January, the “Wino” Les Paul is, we assume, a recreation of the Alice in Chains guitarist's ’90s Wine Red Custom Shop Les Paul. The Iommi SG Special, meanwhile, follows 2020's Tony Iommi "Monkey" 1964 SG Special.
The Iommi, Cantrell and Rateliff guitars are scheduled to be released on August 17, 24 and 31, respectively, at which point we hope to reveal to you fine readers some photographs and specs of the models.
Obviously, this announcement is less about detailing the guitars in question than telling the world where Gibson Brands is headed in the coming months, so be sure to return to Guitar World on the aforementioned release dates to learn more about all of these new models.