Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Review & Prices

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Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Review
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  • From Gibson Custom's 2022 Modern Collection series
  • B.B. King Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Figured Maple top
  • 3-Ply Maple/Poplar/Maple body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • TP-6 with Fine Tuners bridge
  • Slim Taper Set neck
  • 22 Vintage frets
  • Grover Tulip tuners
  • Compare Specs >
  • From Gibson Custom's 2022 Modern Collection series
  • B.B. King Signature
  • Made in United States
  • 6 strings
  • 24.75"'' scale
  • 12" Fretboard Radius
  • Figured Maple top
  • 3-Ply Maple/Poplar/Maple body
  • Mahogany neck
  • Ebony fretboard
  • Bridge pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • Neck pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker/Passive)
  • 2 volume and 2 tone Bell knobs
  • 3-way Switch
  • TP-6 with Fine Tuners bridge
  • Slim Taper Set neck
  • 22 Vintage frets
  • Grover Tulip tuners
  • Compare Specs >

Our Scores and Tone Evaluation

Playability 75
Sound 74
Build quality 73
Value for money 59
Overall Score 74
Tone Evaluation
  • Heavy Metal
  • Hard Rock
  • Jazz
  • Blues
  • Funk
  • Country
Strengths & Weaknesses
Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Varitone Pickups
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No High-Quality Nut
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Tremolo
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Videos

B.B. King Lucille Legacy
TONE CHECK: Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Demo
The Gibson Custom Shop BB King Lucille Legacy is here
How does Gibson's Custom Shop Lucille Legacy compare to the REAL Lucille? (I've played B.B. King's)
Gibson Custom Shop honours BB King with the Lucille Legacy
More Videos

Price: is the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy a Good Deal?

Its average competitor's price is $4000, which means that the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy costs around 75% more than the competition. It might be due to it having additional features, but know that you can find cheaper similar alternatives. This takes into account all guitars of the same category in our database with 6 strings and Fixed bridge that are made in United States.

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Your feedback

Not all guitars are created equal, and there are many important things they won't tell you about the guitar you're buying. That's why it's important to have different opinions. Here's what our visitors who have played this guitar say. If you've played it before, help others by voting for your experience below.

Weight

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Heavy
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Slightly heavy
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Lightweight
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Very lightweight
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Tuning stability

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Won't stay in tune
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Sightly unstable
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Not bad
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Holds tune well
0
Won't get out of tune
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Neck speed (thickness)

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Chunky
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Slightly chunky
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Balanced
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Fast
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Herman Li fast
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Neck access to high frets

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Very Hard
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Hard
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Normal
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Easy
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Very Easy
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Neck profile shape

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Baseball / U
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V
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Asymmetrical
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C
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D
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Fret edges

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Very sharp
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Slightly sharp
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Smooth
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Pickups noise

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Noiseless
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Slightly Noisy
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Noisy
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Pickups power

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Clean
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Slightly Hot
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Hot
0

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Is The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Easy to Play?

The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, which means that it's a good guitar to start with as a complete beginner. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players to get used to.

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy
New Player Friendliness
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Wide nut
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • Locking tuners
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets

Hand Size Comfortability

After taking into account the neck profile, scale size, fretboard radius, and nut width, we can conclude that the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's construction favors people with relatively small hands.

Nevertheless, this comes down in the end to personal preference. Make sure you test this guitar—or another one with similar characteristics—before buying.

Big Hands
Small Hands

Scale Length

Scale length is the distance the strings will span between the bridge and the nut. It can tell you a lot about the overall playability and tone of the instrument. A longer scale length means longer distance between frets, brighter tone and more string tension—which means lower action, but more difficult bending of the strings.

Here's the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's 24.75" scale length compared to other common sizes:

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Scale Length Comparison
Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's scale length (at the top) compared to other popular sizes

This is the scale length used in most Gibson guitars. If you like the playability of a Gibson, this guitar will feel pretty similar. It's a lot shorter than the typical Stratocaster (25.5'')

As you can see from the picture above, a shorter scale length also means shorter separation between frets. If you got really small hands, you probably will feel more comfortable playing this guitar than a Fender Stratocaster.

This scale length also allows for easier bends and vibratos because the strings will have lower tension due to the shorter scale.

Finally, another thing affected by scale length is tone. A shorter scale will give less room for the harmonics, thus resulting in a warmer, more 'bassy' tone.

Still, remember that you string gauge plays an important part in all of this. A lighter gauge will make it easier to perform bends, vibratos and will also give you a brighter tone.

More guitars with the same scale length:

Neck Profile

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Neck Profile
Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's neck profile

The neck profile tells you the thickness (neck depth) and shape in cross section. Every difference will completely change the feeling and comfortability of the neck. This is a highly subjective thing, but most players indeed prefer certain types of necks (like Cs and Ds) because they feel nice in most hands.

It has a C type neck. C-shaped necks like this have been the most popular for the last years. The reason is that they feel good in most hands. It's generally a thin neck that doesn't get in your way when playing fast, but that also has enough mass to give your hands a comfortable grip for chords if they aren't too big.

Thin necks like this make it easier to move your hand across the neck and it helps when playing fast solos, especially if you like to leave your thumb free while playing high on the fretboard. However, thinner necks are also weaker and will need adjustment more often than a thicker neck.

More guitars for different hand sizes

Fretboard Radius

When it comes to fingerboard radius, personal preference will dictate which one is better for you. However, most people seem to agree that a more curved (lower) radius will make it easier to play chords while a less curved (higher) radius is better for soloing and bending.

The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy has a 12" fingerboard radius. Here's an image comparing this guitar's fretboard radius to other popular choices:

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Fretboard Radius Comparison with Fender Stratocaster and Gibson Les Paul
Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's fretboard radius compared to other guitars

This is the same radius that Gibson uses in most of their guitars. When compare to the other popular radius of Fender Stratocasters, you can see that it's a lot flatter. Guitars with this radius are usually made to bring a good balance between single-note and chord playing.

Compound radius fingerboards give the best of both worlds. Unfortunately, the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy has the same radius across the board.

More guitars with the same fretboard radius:

Playability compared to main competitors

24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.693'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius
24.75'' Scale Length
C Neck Profile
1.688'' Nut Width
12'' Fretboard Radius

Nut Width

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Nut Width
Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Nut Width

The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy has a nut width of 42.9mm (1.688''). This size is also known as 1 11/16'' and it's the most common size. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Frets

The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy has 22 frets. Even though 24 frets has become really popular, there's still a good reason to get fewer frets; the pickup at the neck position will be further away from the bridge. This makes the neck pickup achieve a warmer tone. You might want this if you're playing Jazz or similar genres.

However, if you don't care about the warmer neck pickup, more frets will always be better. It's always nice to have the option to play higher notes if you want to.

It comes with nickel silver frets, so they won't last as long as stainless steel frets. If you use your instrument a lot, you might need to replace the frets after a few years. But this is unlikely as most people change instruments before this happens.

More guitars with the same amount of frets:

Fret Size

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Fret Size Comparison
Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's fret size (in orange) compared to other popular sizes

Finally, let's talk about fret size. Some people prefer tall frets because it's easier to press the strings and perform bends since there's less friction against the fretboard. On the other hand, some people like shorter frets because they like to touch the fretboard when playing, or because they got heavy hands and tend to press too much on the string and alter the of the note pitch accidently.

The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's frets are Vintage size. This is one of the shortest fret sizes you can find. Most modern guitar players prefer taller frets because it's easier to bend and press down the strings. However, some people love the feeling of a small fret that lets them feel the fretboard while playing. We recommend newbies choose a taller size for an easier experience.

More guitars with the same type of frets:

Playability Score

Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 70
Playability 75

Does the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Sound Good? Tone Analysis

Wood will have little influence in the final tone of an electric guitar. Instead, the hardware, especially the pickups, will be the most important thing to look at. Bur first, let's see the quality of the wood.

Wood Used in the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple Body
Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany Neck
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony Fretboard

Maple Body: This is one of the most popular types of wood used in all kinds of guitars. It's heavy, strong and compact, which makes it great for necks. However, it's also used for fretboards, bodies and tops due to its light color, resistance and beautiful patterns. When it comes to tone, it highlights the mid and high frequencies.

Mahogany Neck: This is the type of wood found in many top-of-the-line guitars, so that's a positive point for the build quality. This red-looking wood Mahogany is found in Africa and Central America and has great sustain and a warm tone due to its high density. The downside about this type of wood is that it's relatively heavy.

Ebony Fretboard: This is one of the most expensive woods there is, which is why it's mostly used for fretboards. It is dense, heavy, highly resistant and comes in a really dark color that gives any guitar a classy touch. Tone wise, it helps the high side of the spectrum and provides good sustain.

Pickups

This guitar comes with pickups from one of the top brands: Gibson Custom. So you can expect well built pickups with great sound that shouldn't need an upgrade anytime soon.

These are passive pickups, so you can expect a moderade level of hot output instead of the overwhelming output that distinguises active pickups in metal.

The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's configuration is HH. With this pickup combination, you'll get warmer tones and more output than using single coils. Humbucker pickups cancel the noise that single-coil suffer from, which also results in a warmer tone. This pickup combination isn't only for high-gain music like Hard Rock or Heavy Metal. Their warmness is also popular for Jazz, Indie, R&B, Blues and more.

More guitars with the same pickups

22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Custombucker Bridge Pickup
Custombucker Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Custombucker Bridge Pickup
Custombucker Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Custombucker Bridge Pickup
Custombucker Neck Pickup
22 Frets
Fixed Bridge
Custombucker Bridge Pickup
Custombucker Neck Pickup

Versatility

It comes with the popular 3-way switch that is present in most guitars. For more versatility, guitarists tend to prefer a 5-way switch, although it all depends on what you want to use your guitar for.

It has a Varitone option. It's a switch that you can use to reduce the frequencies at specific points along the frequency spectrum.

Diagram

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy's switch options

What music genre is the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy good for?

As a 6 strings, Semi-Hollow guitar with HH configuration and Passive pickups, we'd recommend it for genres like Jazz or similar. However, you can use almost any guitar for any genre. This is just the typical type of music for this kind of guitar.

Sound Score

Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 64
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 74

How well is the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Built?

Where is the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Made?

Knowing where the guitar is produced is a good way to know how well it's built. Some manufacturing countries are known for having higher quality standards. For example, most expensive guitars are made in the US or Japan, but there are some exceptionally great countries—like South Korea—that are building a good reputation.

The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy is made in United States. Guitars made in the USA have the reputation of being the best instruments you can get. This statement isn't as accurate as a few years ago, but you should still expect top-quality from a guitar made in this country.

More guitars made in United States

Bridge

TP-6 with Fine Tuners: The advantage of fixed bridges is that they don't require any kind of set-up. This makes it extremely easy when changing strings because you don't need to adjust anything besides tuning the guitar. Also, the fact that the bridge is directly attached to the body will help to increase sustain. The disadvantage is the lack of versatility since you can't create the same vibrato effects as with tremolo bridges.

More guitars with the same type of bridge:

Nut Material

Another important thing to analyze is the nut material, as it's one of the most important aspects that can affect the sound and playability of your guitar. A well-cut nut will make sure the guitar stays in tune and will make it more comfortable to play.

In this case, the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy has a Corian nut. It's a synthetic nut made to be similar to Bone. It's easier to work with for the luthier when compared to Bone, but it's not as hard and doesn't have the same lubricating properties. Still, it's a good material for guitar nuts.

More guitars with the same nut material:

Neck Joint

The neck joint is the part where the neck of the guitar meets the body. There are three main techniques to attach both parts together: Set-In, Bolt-On and Neck-Through. The latter two provide different advantages, although neck-throughs are the most expensive.

This guitar has a Set neck joint. This type of neck joint consists of using different pieces of wood for the neck and the body of the guitar. Both pieces are then glued together. This is more expensive to make than a bolt-on neck, but it's cheaper than a neck-through guitar. Some people believe that this gives more sustain than a bolt-on neck due to both pieces having a 'better connection' than with bolts. Still, it's something difficult to prove.

However, this type of neck joint does have the disadvantage of not allowing you to easily swap the neck for another. This makes this type of neck joint less mod-friendly.

More guitars with the same build:

Build Quality Score

Quality of materials 60
Features 60
Quality Control 100
Build Quality 73

Most Popular Comparisons With The Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy

Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy Specs

General
Brand: Gibson Custom
Year: 2022
Configuration: HH
Strings: 6
Made in: United States
Series: Modern Collection
Colors: Black
Left-Handed Version: No
Body
Top: Figured Maple
Type: Semi-Hollow
Body Material: 3-Ply Maple/Poplar/Maple
Bridge: TP-6 with Fine Tuners
Neck
Neck Joint: Set
Tuners: Grover Tulip
Fretboard: Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany
Decoration: Mother of Pearl Split Block
Scale Size: 24.75"
Shape: Slim Taper
Frets: 22 Vintage
Fretboard Radius: 12"
Nut: Corian
Nut Width: 42.9mm (1.688'')
Electronics
Switch: 3 Way
Knobs: Bell
Pickup Mods: Varitone
Volume Controls: 2
Tone Controls: 2
Bridge Pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker / Passive)
Neck Pickup: Custombucker (Humbucker / Passive)

User Reviews of the Gibson Custom B.B. King Lucille Legacy

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