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Gibson launches the BB King Lucille Legacy, giving the ultimate blues guitar a regal makeover

BB King Lucille Legacy
(Image credit: Gibson)

Gibson has given the most iconic blues guitar in history a new look, with the BB King Lucille Legacy entering the Custom ES Collection in classy Transparent Ebony finish that shows off a highly figured maple veneer.

But there’s no mistaking this for any other model – not with the Lucille MOP headstock inlay and a gold truss rod cover engraved with BB King’s name. Like the King of the Blues’ original Ebony finish, this is an ES-355 all dressed up in tuxedo, with split mother of pearl block inlays, gold hardware, and multi-ply binding on the headstock, neck and body completing a classy look.

We’ve seen them in Cherry Red, Ebony, Alpine White. Transparent Ebony is a new one. But all the ingredients are here to make this high-end electric guitar a veritable tone machine. The body is a three-piece laminate build, with poplar sandwiched between the aforementioned figured maple and maple for the inside. A maple centre block is in situ to guard against feedback. Following a similar logic, the F-holes are gone, too.

The Lucille Legacy has a SlimTaper mahogany neck with long neck tenon that’s glued to the body in customary style. The fingerboard is ebony, with a 12” radius. BB King was a player for whom intonation was everything, and so the Lucille Legacy comes fitted with a TP-6 tailpiece with fine tuners, and a set of gold Grover Tulip tuners.

A pair of Custombuckers are fitted in the neck and bridge positions, and are controlled by a two volume and two tone pots, a three-way pickup selector switch, and a mono six-position Varitone switch. 

When you are making a guitar for the King, you can’t skimp on the details; Gibson has used a high-quality Switchcraft switches and 1/4” output jack, and under the hood, the circuit features 500K CTS pots, Paper in Oil Bumblebee capacitors, with the harness hand-wired. 

As for the dimensions, the Lucille Legacy is on-brand Gibson, with a 12” fingerboard radius, and a 24.75” scale length.

The Lucille Legacy ships with a hard case and a certificate of authenticity, and is priced £6,099 / $6,999. If that price gives you the blues, then there is always the Epiphone Lucille, which assumes a more traditional gloss Ebony look.

For more details on the Lucille Legacy, head over to Gibson.

Jonathan Horsley has been writing about guitars and guitar culture since 2005, playing them since 1990, and regularly contributes to MusicRadar, Total Guitar and Guitar World. He uses Jazz III nylon picks, 10s during the week, 9s at the weekend, and shamefully still struggles with rhythm figure one of Van Halen’s Panama.