Yesterday I went to the official unveiling of the Gibson Dusk Tiger at the Hard Rock Café in Paris. Thanks to Pierre Journel from La Chaîne Guitare (The Guitar Channel) for the tip. I was expecting a biggest crowd for this rather innovative guitar that Gibson announced a few weeks ago. Surprisingly we were about 40 people to see, and listen to this new riff machine, the unique model present in France to date. Unfortunately, as my cam is out of order, I won’t have any sounds to share nor pictures (except the crappy one that I took with my mobile phone).
I’m not going to simply copy and paste the specs of the Dusk Tiger as you can check all the information you want on the official Gibson website. I rather would give you my impressions about this high tech guitar made by one of the oldest firm in the musical instruments business. Oldest but still trying to bring novelty in the guitar field far from some recent controversies. It’s worth mentioning.
The Design of the Dusk Tiger is Great
The Dusk Tiger is even more beautiful for real than it is on every picture you’ll see on the interweb. No bullshit!! The model presented yesterday has a raw finish with a thin non glossy nitrocellulose varnish. I had a quick touch behind the slim profiled neck, and I barely felt a varnish there too. The flat top is a combination of marblewood and ebony, and believe you me it is just amazing to see (don’t believe my crappy picture). The tiger-striped back is darker than I expected it to be, yet it is classy.
The raw aspect of the woods contrasts with the shiny metal pick-ups surrounds, and the pick-ups covers left me wondering what’s beneath them. Speaking of PUs, these are a Burstbucker 3 (bridge), and a P-90 (neck) with a hum-canceling extra-magnet that they call P-90h ( I’ve always thought these were P100, but I might be wrong). It is also equipped with 6 individual piezo pick-ups. The demo was performed by guitarist Vincent Martinez on an Epiphone Blues Custom amp, and a Blackstar HT Dual pedal. He proved us that the Burstbucker/P90-h combination works well. It has a clean, balanced and robust tone as you would expect a Les Paul to sound. But the real interest of the Dusk Tiger is its onboard technology.
The Dusk Tiger Displays some Awesome Features
I won’t tell you about the robot self-tuning function as it is more or less an improved version of the Robot Guitar released last year. You strum… It self-tunes! That’s almost magic! The Dusk Tiger also features the LP-Z High Definition Impedance Circuit directly inherited from Les Paul belief that guitars must have low impedance pick-ups to reach a high-definition tone. Basically, the output jack contains a switchable DI and multi-output jack allowing the guitarist to select either the traditional high impedance or activate the low impedance output. However this was not demonstrated live so I can’t tell if there is any significant improvement of the signal.
The features that caught my attention are the functions that transform the Dusk Tiger into a versatile studio guitar. The RIP (Robot Interface Pack) box allows the guitarist to customize its tones on the computer which enhances the possibilities for recording. Yet this is not just a studio guitar as it is possible to upload the preset tones to the guitar, and then get the studio tones on stage.
The most impressive feature to me is the use of the 6 individual piezo pick-ups to individually assign an effect to each string if desired. The demo proved that it is like being David Gilmour and the whole Pink Floyd crew in one man. That is amazing to have a distorted sound on the low strings and a clean acoustic tone, flanged or delayed tone on the other strings. This must be a real creativity booster. Yet a question remained. I still don’t know if this feature is usable on stage as this part of the demo was performed via a Mac computer and the edition software provided with the Dusk Tiger. However, nothing prevents you to plug a guitar and a computer on stage… Though the most traditionalists will have a heart attack.
It was a nice evening with the Gibson crew at the Hard Rock Café though the demo was kind of disappointing because it was rather short, and the volume was a bit low. There will be only 1000 Dusk Tiger worldwide to be sold… So if you’re a Gibson fan and high tech guitar geek, you will have to hurry. As for the rest of us, there will be plenty of videos to watch, and maybe one day such technologies will be available for the mainstream guitarists audience.
Check some official videos of the Gibson Dusk Tiger.
Pictures from Gibson.com: