The Gibson Frank Zappa Roxy SG

Zappa Roxy SG

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A Legend Hath Wrought a Guitar

Zappa Roxy SG
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Gibson’s brought another guitar to the table that celebrates the timeless music of yet another classic musician. Last time it was Gary Moore. This time, Frank Zappa. Frank Zappa was known for playing about any guitar he could gets his mitts on, but one model that really racked up the frequent flier miles was his beloved 73 SG Roxy.

Frank Zappa’s inventive insight has been celebrated for decades and his music continues to live on. This new replica of Zappa’s SG brings the feel and sound of the guitar he used for several live performances, including the live album Roxy and Elsewhere.

So one might be asking, “what makes this guitar so unique?”


The Roxy SG

The Roxy SG models an already heavily modded guitar built with a mahogany body and a slim 60s mahogany neck. Add a rosewood fretboard to that and you can practically already feel your hands sliding up the silky smooth neck. The girth of the 22-fret neck measures .775” at the 1st fret and .910 at the 12th.

The Roxy is available in a faded nitrocellulose cherry finish with a white headstock.

Were I to bring up the hardware in passing conversation I would be obligated to mention the fine set of Grover tuners that show off their rounded buttons, or maybe the Tune-o-matic bridge. Not to be overlooked is the Maestro-style tremolo with a flat bar handle that features a decorative Lyre tailpiece.

Of course hardware and build styles are one thing, but insofar one would have to ask, “what about the electronics?” Well,

Zappa and Roxy
Zappa and Roxy

funny I should force you to ask that. The Frank Zappa Roxy SG is equipped with a set of military grate 57 Classic humbuckers. Both pickups use four-conductor wiring to recreate the thickness of Zappa’s personified tone. The tone is tweaked with a set of mini-toggle switches for coil-splitting and out-of-phase tones in addition to the traditional three-way toggle switch and pairs of volume and tone knobs.

Other goodies that accompany the Roxy SG include a Gibson hardshell case, a Frank Zappa CD, a manual and adjustment reading material.

Want to get your hands on one?  The Roxy is available for pre-order now at select retailers for $2,249.  It’s slated for shipment on May, 24th.


Reading about the specs of a guitar is cool and all, but when the guitar has a history that traces back to the hands of Frank Zappa why should words alone do what video and audio can do? Though you might have to wait a while to hear the guitars at work. Zappa only played when the song required him to do so, and with the huge band he performed with it’s not always perfectly easy to hear him. But hey. It’s a hell of a performance and worth watching anyway. The performance is that of Roxy and Elsewhere, the concert mentioned above.

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Kyle Smitchens

Kyle Smitchens is the Guitar-Muse Managing Editor, super hero extraordinaire, and all around great guy. He has been playing guitar since his late teens and writing personal biographies almost as long. An appreciator of all music, his biggest influences include Tchaikovsky, Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Steve Vai, Therion, and Jon Levasseur of Cryptopsy.

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