Gibson Gene Simmons G2 Thunderbird review

Shout it out loud! The God of Thunder's Gibson collaboration is here, and it's pretty darn awesome

Gibson Gene Simmons G2 Thunderbird
(Image: © Gibson)

Guitar World Verdict

There’s a lot to like about this costly Thunderbird, from its searing hot tones to that striking mirror-on-black aesthetic.


  • +

    Great playability.

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    Impeccable tones.

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    Surprisingly versatile.


  • -

    The Kiss aesthetic won’t appeal to non-fans.

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    It's expensive.

You can trust Guitar World Our expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing guitar products so you can choose the best for you. Find out more about how we test.

Gene Simmons has played all sorts of instruments over the years, from the Charlie LoBue custom bass guitar heard on the early Kiss albums to his own Punisher and Axe signatures, although for a while in the mid-’70s Simmons did experiment with Gibson Grabbers and Rippers. 

Last year’s news that he was launching his own G2 brand – pronounced ‘G squared’ –through the American giants nevertheless came as a surprise, the new collaboration pledging to release a whole range of guitars and basses built with the Demon’s personal seal of approval.

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Amit Sharma

Amit has been writing for titles like Total GuitarMusicRadar and Guitar World for over a decade and counts Richie Kotzen, Guthrie Govan and Jeff Beck among his primary influences as a guitar player. He's worked for magazines like Kerrang!Metal HammerClassic RockProgRecord CollectorPlanet RockRhythm and Bass Player, as well as newspapers like Metro and The Independent, interviewing everyone from Ozzy Osbourne and Lemmy to Slash and Jimmy Page, and once even traded solos with a member of Slayer on a track released internationally. As a session guitarist, he's played alongside members of Judas Priest and Uriah Heep in London ensemble Metalworks, as well as handled lead guitars for legends like Glen Matlock (Sex Pistols, The Faces) and Stu Hamm (Steve Vai, Joe Satriani, G3).