|1993 Nighthawk CST3|
What’s more, many of the Nighthawk guitars came with three pickups. Each pickup was very unique and quite different.
|Bill Lawrence OBL L-500|
The middle pickup was also manufactured by Bill Lawrence under his OBL (Original Bill Lawrence) brand. This was a single coil pickup.
The bridge pickup was a Gibson mini-humbucker that was manufactured on a slant that was positioned in a very similar pattern to what one would find on a Fender Stratocaster.
The original Nighthawks had a mahogany body was capped with a flame maple top. The saddle/bridge assembly could have been right off a hard-tail Fender Stratocaster. The unit was gold plated and attached to the body with four gold plated wood screws. The strings were fed through the body and attached on the guitars back through six grommets.
Like a Stratocaster saddles, the Nighthawk had six individual string saddles each with two adjustable height screws and a screw to adjust the strings length for perfect intonation.
The bound mahogany neck had 22 frets on its rosewood fret board. The style of the position markers were inlaid based on the version of the instrument.
The headstock was topped with a traditional Gibson flower-pot inlay and the Gibson Logo. Kluson tuners with white caps held the strings in place.
The electronics on this guitar were not the norm for Gibson. Instead of the usual Switch-Craft 3 position toggle switch, a 5-way blade switch ala Fender Strat was utilized. A single volume and a single tone potentiometer with top hat knobs were featured.
The five position tone knob yielded 5 distinct tonal combinations, but the push-pull feature on this guitars tone knob added an additional set of 5 tonal combinations, bringing a total of ten distinct sound combinations.
The dual humbuckers coils were split into differing combinations outlined in the diagram.
These guitars came with similar accoutrements, but the electronics only yielded five distinct tones.
|Gibson Nighthawk - CST3 and CST|
The headstock, neck and body were bound with white trim. The rosewood fret board was topped with crown-shaped pearloid inlays. The instrument was available in either antique natural, fireburst or translucent amber finishes.
The next version was called the Nighthawk Standard with the designation ST or ST3 which signified two or three pickups. This guitar had a flame maple top, but was not quite as decorative as the Custom version.
The colour optons included fireburst, translucent amber and vintage sunburst.
During the mid 1990’s Gibson seemed to stretch things a bit by coming up with some limited edition models of many of their instruments. The Nighthawk was no exception.
|Nighthawk LTD Edition|
It featured two pickups; a P-90 as the neck pickup and an Alnico humbucker for the bridge.
|2010 Nighthawk Standard|
|2011 Nighthawk Standard|
In 2011 the Nighthawk Custom was offered under the Epiphone banner with a reduced price. This guitar was similar to the CST3, however instead of a maple cap, it had a maple veneer over its mahogany body. It came in a variety of finishes.
2013 was an adventurous year for Gibson. They offered three versions of the Nighthawk during this period.
|2013 Nighthawk Anniversary Edition|
|Nancy Wilson Nighthawk|
This is accomplished through the push-pull feature on the tone potentiomer. Gibson’s usual toggle switch determines which pickups are utilized.
The guitar also features a throw-back style Gibson Vibrola tailpiece. The maple neck is glued in and features a rosewood fretboard with 22 frets. Block inlaid position markers adorn the fretboard of the unbound neck.
The headstock features Gibson’s split diamond design inlay and utilizes Grover tuners. The hardware is all done in black anodized paint. It is available in a natural transparent finish, a red transparent finish or a black finish with fancy red pin-striping.
|2015 Epi Nighthawk|
Gibson discontinued the Nighthawk guitar as of 2014, but still offers it under their Epiphone banner.
|2014 Custom Quilt LTD|
The neck pickup is a 4-wire NHR mini-humbucker, the middle pickup is a NSX single coil and the bridge pickup is a slanted NHT 4-wire humbucker.
The mahogany body is topped with AAA+ maple veneer. The glued in neck is also made of mahogany and has a scale of 25 ½”. The body, neck and headstock are bound with white trim. The position markers are inlaid Gibson crown style blocks. The headstock features a Gibson flowerpot design and comes with Grover tuners.
The bridge/saddle unit is once again similar to a Fender hard-tail Strat bridge with strings going through the body and attaching at the guitars back.
Unlike the CST3, the hardware on this guitar is nickel plated. It is a beautiful and versatile instrument.
The 2015 Epiphone Blueshawk Deluxe guitar appears to have two P-90 pickups, but actually has three pickups. One hum-cancelling dummy coil is hidden beneath the body. The neck pickup is an Epiphone P-90R PRO single coil, while the bridge pickup is an Epiphone P-90T PRO single coil.
a Varitone true bypass controller that offers 6 differing capacitors for shaping your tone. The body and neck are bound. The headstock features a double diamond inlay topped with Epiphone Deluxe tuners with Gibson style plastic knobs.
The bridge/saddle is once again the Nighthawk style with through the body stringing.
©UniqueGuitar Publications (text only)