Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG

Gibson unveils the Frank Zappa Roxy SG, a recreation of the modified guitar used in Zappa's Roxy album.

Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG

This new model expands the playability and tonal versatility of the SG by following the circuit and design modifications found on Zappa's instrument.

The original Roxy guitar is actually an early '60s model with a fast and slim neck profile. The new recreation from Gibson also uses this model as the basis for the core guitar design, including the small pickguard, the faded nitrocellulose cherry finish, along with the natural neck and white headstock. This means that the Frank Zappa Roxy SG looks and functions like a vintage-reissue SG, while having the added benefits of coil splitting, out of phase switching and a Maestro-style vibrola with Lyre tailpiece.

The body of this guitar follows tried and tested recipe of solid mahogany wood carved into the SG's distinctive double cutaway shape. To make it more comfortable and to add to its aesthetics, the edges of the body are beveled. The neck is made of mahogany, featuring the slim early '60s profile found on the original, measuring 0.775" at the 1st fret and 0.910" at the 12th. The neck is topped by a rosewood fingerboard that has 22 jumbo frets and pearloid dot inlays. Following the design of FZ's original guitar, the neck is natural mahogany while the headstock is white.

The new Frank Zappa Roxy SG follows the modified electronics found on the original . Gibson USA used two enhanced '57 Classic Humbuckers with four-conductor wiring to replicate the pickup Zappa had installed. The pickups are then routed to two mini-toggle switches mounted on the pickguard that allows you to change how the humbuckers behave.

One switch lets you control coil-splitting, which gives you access to single-coil tones, while another switch gives you the same out-of-phase tones that Zappa utilized to create his signature tone. Traditional SG controls are retained, including a three-way pickup selector and independent volume and tone knobs for each pickup.

Another important aspect of Zappa's playing is the tremolo, so Gibson had the Roxy SG equipped with a Maestro-style vibrola that follows the same Lyre tailpiece design and flat bar as the original. Intonation is ensured by a tune-o-matic bridge and a set of Grover tuners with historic rounded buttons.

This guitar was created with the help of the Zappa Family Trust, they gave Gibson a hands-on access to the original guitar to ensure that the signature model follows the details.

The Frank Zappa Roxy SG has an MSRP of $3,749. For more information, you can head over to Gibson.

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