Gibson Nighthawk Standard ST3 Fireburst 1996
Gibson Nighthawk Standard ST3, fireburst finish, made in USA 1996. The Nighthawk was critically acclaimed upon it's release in 1993, but it only lasted til 1998 as a production model before disappearing for a couple of decades. It's a great piece of design: take the maple cap on mahogany body, set neck, bound board, classic Gibson headstock and a few other stylistic touches from the Les Paul Standard, but add a five way switch, splittable humbuckers and a middle single coil, a 25.5" scale, a lightweight slim body and a string-through bridge, all nods to Fender. The results are spectacular: this is an absolute belter of a guitar. The neck is slick and slim, with great access to upper frets, classy nibs on the fret ends and great weight balance against the body. At 3.2kg, this would be light for a Strat; as a Gibson it's a marvel. The 5 way switch and coil split on the tone knob offer ten different tonal combinations; absolute madness. My personal favourites are the slanted bridge HB in all it's glory alone, which is a grindy and rich tone with heaps of body and slice, as well as the split neck pickup and middle; a Strat-ish tone that wails with glassy clarity and punchy attack. The maple top is a thing of beauty; it's surely gorgeous and looks all the better for a bit of honest wear and some clouding on the gold hardware. Some of the 'deep cuts' Gibson models are a bit of a let-down, but this, friends, is pure fire.
Model: Gibson Nighthawk Standard ST3
Made: 1996, USA (serial 94036540)
Finish: fireburst top, cherry red back/sides/neck
Body: maple cap, unchambered mahogany body
Neck: mahogany with rosewood board, 25.5" scale, 12" scale
Pickup: Gibson M Series Mini Humbucker (neck), NSX single coil (middle) and M Series Slanted Humbucker (bridge)
Case: Gibson deluxe hardcase, pink lining, few rips and marks, good condition
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. Headstock has some minor dimples and scuffs on front and back and end, no major marks though. The neck is smooth in the hands, minor dimples on the back only. The back has widespread light scuffs and dimples but no major marks. The sides have light scuffs around the whole body and some rub wear along the edge of the belly carve, but no major marks. The front is pretty clean, just a chip next to the binding near the knobs, a few dimples around the body and some rub wear from play. Overall: good condition (7/10).
Playing condition notes: Action is low, neck is straight, intonation is good, truss rod works. Frets have some normal wear, but there's plenty of height available and no major buzz issues, 7/10 for fret life left. No headstock breaks! Setup with fresh 10/52 Moonshiners strings.