Gibson partners with Gene Simmons for new signature G² Thunderbird bass guitar

Gene Simmons with his new signature Gibson G2 Thunderbird bass
(Image credit: Gibson)

Last January, Gibson announced a multi-year partnership with Kiss bassist Gene Simmons.

The partnership, Gibson said at the time, would involve a new signature G² line of bass guitars, the first of which – the G² Thunderbird – the guitar giant has finally launched in full today. 

First teased upon the announcement of Simmons' deal with Gibson, the G² Thunderbird is built with your traditional mahogany body and mahogany neck, but features an ebony fretboard with pearloid reverse split diamond inlays.

Like your typical T-Bird, the bass is outfitted with a pair of Gibson Thunderbird pickups – each with their own volume knob, plus a master tone knob. 

In the hardware department though, the bass features a Hipshot bridge and Hipshot Mini Clover tuners (rather than the respective 3-point adjustable bridge and Grovers you'd find on a standard T-Bird) and a Graph Tech nut.

The mirror plex pickguard, meanwhile, features Simmons' skull-'n'-guitars logo, with all hardware finished nicely in black chrome.

Gibson Gene Simmons G2 Thunderbird bass

(Image credit: Gibson)

Given that this is the signature instrument for a man who once sold a box set of his solo material in a $2,000, 38-pound literal vault, the G² Thunderbird is surprisingly devoid of flashy touches, but it does – aside from the aforementioned pickguard logo and inlays – feature the G² logo on the back of the headstock.

More colorful than the bass itself, however, is the '80s-style infomercial Gibson released to commemorate its launch. In it, Simmons describes his signature four-string as a "vehicle for maximum self-confidence" and something that can cure "Ugly Bass Syndrome," which is said to result in a lack of bottom end and punch, and poor intonation.

As far as we can tell, there are no side effects from the acquisition of the bass, either.

“Gibson is an outstanding company and has earned its place as a leading guitar brand with fans around the world,” Simmons said in a press release. “The new G² Thunderbird basses are all handmade in the USA, with a sound that is off the charts. The design is so beautiful and collectible, they are simply works of art.”

The Gibson Gene Simmons G² Thunderbird bass guitar is available now – in an Ebony finish and with a modern hardshell case included – for $2,799.

For more info on the bass, point your browser on over to Gibson.

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Jackson Maxwell

Jackson is an Associate Editor at He’s been writing and editing stories about new gear, technique and guitar-driven music both old and new since 2014, and has also written extensively on the same topics for Guitar Player. Elsewhere, his album reviews and essays have appeared in Louder and Unrecorded. Though open to music of all kinds, his greatest love has always been indie, and everything that falls under its massive umbrella. To that end, you can find him on Twitter crowing about whatever great new guitar band you need to drop everything to hear right now.