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The Science of Sound.

Tone meets innovation in this incredible marriage of Chameleon Tone Technology and second generation Robot Guitar technology.


Chameleon Tone Technology.

Analog or digital, the Gibson Dark Fire gives you an infinite number of tonal possibilities to let you change the tone of the Dark Fire to match your environment. And it begins with a guitar's most basic element — the pickups. The Gibson Dark Fire combines two of Gibson's most popular pickups — the P90h in the neck position and a Burstbucker 3 in the bridge position. Both are capped with new carbon fiber-like pickup covers, impeccably designed to match the Dark Fire's advanced fade.

Acoustic Capability.

The Dark Fire also gives you the ability to adjust and blend the acoustic sound from the piezo bridge pickup with the sound from the guitar's traditional pickups. It does this by utilizing a revolutionary rotary potentiometer which is part of the pickup selector toggle switch. By twisting the switch's head clockwise or counterclockwise, you can blend the piezo acoustic sound from zero percent acoustic sound (100 percent traditional pickups) to 100 percent acoustic sound (no traditional pickups).

Burstbucker 3.

The Burstbucker 3 arrived on the scene in 1990, and — like the Burstbucker 1 and 2 — represents Gibson's drive to capture and recreate the characteristics of the vintage Patent Applied For humbuckers of the late 1950s. On the shop floor of the original Gibson plant in Kalamazoo, Mich., the earliest Gibson PAF humbuckers were wound using imprecise machines, resulting in pickups with varying degrees of output and tone. The Burstbucker line represents those variations, but with some modern appointments. The Burstbucker 3 provides historically accurate PAF tone with two slightly overwound coils, creating a raw, airy tone packed with enough punch to cut through any mix.

Gibson’s New P-90H Pickup

The new P-90H black soapbar pickup is another example of Gibson's drive to stay one step ahead. This new pickup offers all of the soulful, classic tone of Gibson’s legendary P-90 singlecoil pickup, but with none of the 60-cycle hum that usually plagues traditional singlecoil pickups. Gibson’s pioneering engineers were then able to secure all of the P-90’s vintage sonic characteristics, and deliver the same high output and sweet treble response that still makes the P-90 one of the most desirable pickups in the world.

Piezo Bridge Pickup.

The Dark Fire also features a revolutionary Gibson-designed piezo bridge pickup that actually consists of six individual piezo pickups — one for each saddle/string. These piezo pickups go through a studio-quality active amplifier that allows for a stronger and more natural acoustic guitar sound. Combined, the two classic electromagnetic pickups and the piezo bridge pickup are wired in such a way to allow each individual coil to be used in a switching matrix, giving you over 20 separate combinations of tone and an incredible array of tonal possibilities.

A Real Knock-Out.

The design and shape of Gibson's iconic Les Paul is timeless, and needs no real introduction or explanation. It is simply the most recognizable and functional guitar design in the world, and the new Dark Fire takes it to an entirely new level.

Traditional Flowerpot Inlay.

Gibson's traditional flowerpot inlay graces the peghead of the Dark Fire. This art nouveau inlay was first used in a similar form on the headstock of the 1911 F4 mandolin, and later on the L5's peghead veneer directly below the Gibson logo. This classic inlay also graces the headstock of several other Gibson models, including the Byrdland, the new Longhorn Double-Cutaway, and several other mandolins, banjos and acoustics.

Classic Block Inlays.

The classic block inlays found on the Dark Fire remain one of the most distinguishable features of many traditional Gibson models, including the ES-335s of the early 1960s and today's Flying V Custom. On the Dark Fire, the block inlays are made from acrylic and given a unique, carbon-fiber look for an ultra-modern appearance. They are inserted into the fingerboard using a process that eliminates all gaps and doesn't require the use of fillers. The result is a fingerboard that plays as fast and smooth as it looks.

Chambered Mahogany Body.

Next is the Dark Fire's chambered mahogany body, which helps deliver near-perfect tone, balance and weight. One of the ways the expert craftsmen at Gibson achieve this equilibrium is by carving carefully mapped-out chambers in the solid mahogany backs of the Dark Fire using a Computer Numeric Controlled (CNC) router before the maple top is glued on. The positioning of the routes were first established after careful examination of the resonant characteristics of the Les Paul. Gibson approached this process with the awareness that every change to the formula would have repercussions on the instrument's sound. The results are comfortable, lightweight guitars that are acoustically louder, with increased sustain and resonance.

The Dark Fire Finish.

Each of the Gibson Dark Fire Limited Edition First Run guitars features a dramatic Dark Fire nitrocellulose finish created especially for this exclusive run. It is one of the most striking finishes ever to leave a Gibson factory and is achieved by combining the time-tested techniques of applying a standard nitro finish with several new procedures that help bring out the natural beauty of the wood. The result is a stunning, deep gloss color that naturally highlights each piece of wood's distinctive grain patterns. The mahogany back and neck of the Dark Fire are given a satin finish, while the top and peghead face are sprayed with a gloss finish.

Dual Black Binding.

The body is also bound with dual black binding, which accents the Dark Fire's exclusive finish perfectly and provides both the protection and beauty of traditional Gibson binding. The process of applying the body binding to the Dark Fire is the same process employed by Gibson craftsmen for over 100 years. And while some question the value of adding binding to a guitar, Gibson believes it to be an essential part of is rich guitar-making history, and a vital design element that adds elegance and helps protects the edges of the body.

Finishing Touches.

Other exclusive design elements limited to the Dark Fire are a distinct nut made from a special Teflon-based material that allows for smoother and faster tuning action, a truss rod cover made from anodized aluminum, black top hat volume and tone knobs with chrome inserts, and a super fast and comfortable asymmetrical neck profile design with Gibson's PerfectSetup™, which is made possible by the revolutionary computer-controlled PLEK system, acknowledged as the most precise guitar set-up technology in the industry.

Chameleon Tone Technology.

The original Robot Guitar took the guitar world by storm when it was first introduced in December '07, but the new Dark Fire from Gibson is simply the most advanced guitar system ever developed. In fact, many of the technological advances on the Dark Fire were virtually inconceivable just a few years ago; the Robot Tuners™, the tuning brain, the battery function and the sonic capabilities of a fully digital guitar make the new Dark Fire a virtual upgrade in every respect. Perhaps most impressive is Gibson's new Chameleon Tone Technology, which allows you to change your guitar's tone to match countless environments and to recreate any guitar sound you ever lusted after. The Dark Fire has arrived, and it's guaranteed to give you a new, stunning level of tonal and functional freedom. Release your creative potential.

500 Tunings from a Single Battery Charge.

The Dark Fire's battery system and power circuit have also been significantly improved to last nearly twice as long, even with the guitar's enhanced performance. You can now expect nearly 500 tunings from a single charge. As an added plus, you can also play the Dark Fire while the battery system is being charged. In addition, there’s a 12-volt DC connector for the Robot Interface Pack's power supply (see right), which both powers the RIP itself and recharges the Dark Fire’s battery when required.

Faster, Lighter, Smaller Robot Tuners™.

The redesigned Robot Tuners™ on the Dark Fire are significantly smaller and lighter, and more in line with the size and weight of conventional tuners. They're also radically faster. You can now access any preset tuning in less than one second, which means you can realistically change tunings in the middle of a song, if needed. What's more, the tuners are now automatically engaged to operate both electronically or individually by hand.

Dark Fire-Specific Audio Equipment Coming.

Gibson is already developing a range of audio equipment designed specifically to work with your new Dark Fire, some of which is already scheduled for release in early 2009, including a small transmitter module designed to work with Bluetooth wireless technology, allowing you the ability to connect wirelessly to your computer or laptop.

Let it RIP.

While the heart of the Dark Fire’s abilities lie within the guitar itself, the compact Robot Interface Pack (RIP) interface can connect this versatile guitar to Windows or Mac computers to release Dark Fire’s ultimate tonal versatility — live or in the studio. In fact, the RIP lets you realize the full potential of Gibson’s new Chameleon Tone Technology
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Master Control Knob.

The key to controlling the powerful functions of the Dark Fire is the Master Control Knob (MCK), which has been completely redesigned with much improved ergonomics and a sophisticated full color matrix display featuring LEDs and high-tech light pipe technology, all to deliver a more powerful and easier to see visual display under any light condition. In addition to the MCK's top mounted display, LED-lit symbols now adorn its outer edge, which blend with the color of the knob so that they're only visible when lit. The Dark Fire's new MCK also controls the ability to change pickups and coils, allowing you the ability to adjust tone and tunings automatically and simultaneously, even several times during the same song.