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I think we are all aware that the bulk of Gibson’s electric guitar business is from the sales of various LP, SG and 335 based models – Add a few Firebird, V’s and Explorer’s to compliment the range – After that, Gibson have released many many models, over a 60 year period, or so, with the aim to bring fresh ideas to the market place – Some have been better sellers than others, but at best, the term ‘mediocre sales’ is about right – Yet equally, despite a few total flops within such new releases, there have been some cool, weird, odd ball and interesting models – Some with a longer run within the catalogue than others – The Gibson Nighthawk was released around 1993 and ran for about 6 years, with various models within the range, in the usual Gibson way, with less trimmings on the basic model, or fully loaded with cosmetic extras on the more elite model – Whilst not an exact Nighthawk replica, the Gibson Blueshawk, was released in 1994 and actually had a longer production run, through to around 2006 – Yet I see more used Nighthawk models as and when they come up for sale – There was a 3rd model, which is very rare, based on the Blueshawk and that is the Blueshawk Little Lucille, which is effectively a Blueshawk with a BB King/Lucille style TP6 tailpiece – Today I can offer for sale a used Gibson Blueshawk Maestro, from 1998, with a cool ‘chicago blue’ finish, so read below, in no particular order, a host of details :-

Feel + tonal character :-  The neck feels more like playing a  good Tele – In part down to the neck profile  with a medium depth to it, coupled with a hint of a soft V – Whereas most Gibson Guitars favour a 43mm (1 11/16″) nut with, the Blueshawk is spec’d with more of a Fender-esq 1 5/8″ nut width – Medium jumbo size frets – So overall it has more of a Fender flavour about how it feels and plays – Remember it still has a 12″ fingerboard radius  – If this was all original, in the electric department, it would have a dummy coil to eliminate any single coil noise and a pair of P90-esq single coil pick-ups – But they can sound a bit thin and weedy – The previous owner had it upgraded with a pair of custom wound Seymour Duncan Antiquity P90 Soapbar pick-ups – Bottom line is that it has seriously enriched the guitars voice and character – Far more snarl, guts, body, twang and bite – Probably a mix between a hot Tele voice from the early 50’s ‘black guard’ era and an SG Special with P90’s – More raw than cultured, but not an out and out party animal – Think The Kinks to Green Day – The neck pick-up can be more lush and rich, but the bridge pick-up is a shin kicker, so no shortage of balls and attack – All this is described with the push/pull option not in place, hence the Varitone is by passed – On models like the 345/355/Lucille, then I’ve never been a fan of the Varitone – Yes it works but I’ve never found an option that I’d want to use – So at first I wanted to ignore the push/pull option on the Blueshawk – But on this model it is effective and useable – Not sure how much of this is down to the single coil clarity and character of the Soapbar pick-ups – But the bottom line is that it can be a useful option as/when required – Effectively with the push/pull pot, on the tone pot, up or down, it instantly gives you 2 different voices – Maybe the easiest way to describe it is like the out of phase voices on a Strat, found on position 2+4 of the 5 way switch – So an extra set of voices to use as required – Great tones, with less gain on the amp, for hot country esq styles that offers no shortage of twang – Add a touch more gain for some Keef/Stones crunch rhythm – Load the amp with gain for more of a punk based Green Day tone – All the time, the volume pot will effectively control the gain on the amp – As such with the volume pot on 10, it possesses more of the ‘full on’ approach – Yet you can trim this a touch, as required, when you roll it back towards 6 or 7

If I was being fussy, my only complaint with the Blueshawk is that around the pots, switch area, with the trem arm there as well, it is a bit cramped for space – Maybe you’ll get used it – Less of an issue for studio/home use, but maybe it will take a few mins of playing it live to get use to ‘feeling’ that you are instantly touching the right control – But overall great fun and no shortage of character that I’m sure will only compliment additional guitars in your collection  – If I had to sum up the Blues Hawk in the hands of one well known guitar player I’d probably say it is Keith Urban – Hot blues, country, pop in one package

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Guitars4You is not another corporate high street guitar store - My selection of premium grade guitars is about quality not quantity. Every guitar has been selected, inspected and approved by me, with particular attention to the set-up and playing performance. Every sale, phone call, email and mail order transaction is handled by me. A journey that is now over 40 years old, has fuelled my knowledge, experience, love, devotion and passion for exceptionally fine guitars.