In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar

2nd Dec 2009 | 17:08

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
Intro
The new Gibson Dusk Tiger

The first concrete details of Gibson’s new Dusk Tiger guitar have finally emerged. After an initial ‘teaser’ press release that declared it to be “the most innovative guitar in the history of music” set blogs and forums ablaze with speculation, the US giant has now announced that the Dusk Tiger will have a limited run of 1000 units, a list price of £2,799, and will start shipping 7 December.

A quick dig through the latest press release reveals the guitar will probably not be the most innovative of all time, but requisite marketing bravado aside, the Dusk Tiger does pack some pretty cool features. Let’s take a look…

UPDATE: Click here for an exclusive first look at the video for the Dusk Tiger with more exclusive video on the way!

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
The predecessor
Gibson's Dark Fire

At its heart, the Dusk Tiger succeeds Gibson’s innovative Dark Fire guitar: a Les Paul-shaped model which refined the company’s Robot Guitar self-tuning system and introduced a new tone modelling system plus a FireWire connection which splits the output from the axe's individual strings into six separate channels.

The Dusk Tiger appears to retain and improve on these features and also lower the list price by a few hundred dollars (presumably a result of sorting the manufacturing problems which so plagued the Dark Fire’s production). Like the Dark Fire, though, it’s a limited-run model.

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
The top
The Dusk Tiger has a modern and exotic look

The Dusk Tiger sports an arresting exotic hardwood top alongside a chrome pickguard which will likely divide opinion…

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
The back
The back looks... well, tiger-y

…as will the rear of the guitar, which features a tiger-like finish.

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
Impedance circuit
The LP-Z swtich and Neutrik combo jack

The Dusk Tiger also has some brand new features. An impedance circuit and switch (dubbed the LP-Z in honour of the late Les Paul) will supposedly better match the impedance of the guitar’s output to your effects chain and amp, yielding “an improvement in fidelity […] not unlike seeing HD video compared to standard definition,” apparently.

Gibson has also opted for a Neutrik combo jack providing XLR, stereo jack or mono jack output options.

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
Tuning, tone and RIP
The Master Control Knob serves as the control panel for the guitar's more futuristic features

The Dusk Tiger adds an extra bank of tuning and tone presets, the latter of which can be edited in Gibson’s improved Chameleon Tone software. There’s also a new tuning option which can display the exact frequency of the note you’re playing on the Master Control Knob’s display.

The RIP (the FireWire Robot Interface Pack used to split the guitar's output into independent string channels, plus carry the piezo and traditional pickup outputs to your computer) has been upgraded, too - an overhaul featuring an “improved” audio stream.

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
Batteries
The new quick-loading battery compartment will prove handy if you run out of juice mid-gig

The RIP will no longer charge your batteries, mind. In fact, the proprietary Gibson-type battery of the Dark Fire which recharged via the RIP has been totally replaced by standard camera-style batteries and a dedicated charging unit.

In pictures: the Gibson Dusk Tiger guitar
Conclusions?
RRRAR! We have no idea why Gibson included this picture in the press release.

So that’s the Dusk Tiger. An innovative guitar for sure, but quite how Gibson fans and the wider guitar community will react to this traditionally ‘classic’ manufacturer putting out yet another robo-guitar remains to be seen. It’s inevitable that the design and cosmetics of the thing will also polarise opinion - here at MusicRadar, we honestly can’t make up our mind as to whether we love its looks or hate them. Props to Gibson for a bold move then.

One thing we are sure of, however, is that we really want to get our hands on one. Look out for a full review of the Gibson Dusk Tiger, coming soon

UPDATE: Click here for an exclusive first look at the video for the Dusk Tiger with more exclusive video on the way!

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