Technicals of Dark Fire Robot Guitars

The Dark Fire is Gibson’s second robot guitar in so many years. This one is a beast. Three state-of-the-art pickups, robot-accurate frets and neck, “revolutionary rotary potentiometer.” Wonder what that is? The Dark Fire guitar “can play every single guitar tone ever.” Seem like a stretch? Come with me, and we shall spell out the doom that is the Dark Fire… !

Spelled out below are the important pieces of the new robot guitar from Gibson- read them out of order if you like, or read the parts you are interested in. If you’d like to discuss any part of the guitar, make sure to speak in layman’s terms for us laymen and women who don’t know what it really means to play 25 minute solos and shoot rockets out of the neck of the ax.

We begin with the pickups:

P-90H Pickup (neck) Takes the 50-years-and-running Gibson P-90 single-coil pickup and advances it further. The P-90E has “none of the 60-cycle hum that usually plagues traditional singlecoil pickups.” No hum on a single coil! Defying science!

Burstbucker 3 Pickup (bridge) Is the latest attempt at perfecting the humbucker. A Humbucker is a type of electric guitar pickup patented by Seth Lover of Gibson Guitars. A Humbucker pickup is two coils facing opposed, creating common-mode rejection to keep guitar feedback and hum in check while allowing the electric guitar to make noise. The Burstbucker 3 corrects the original imprecise construction and “provides historically accurate PAF tone with two slightly overwound coils.”

Piezo Pickup (bridge) This piezo bridge pickup consists of six individual piezo pickups (protip: look up Piezoelectricity.) Six piezo pickups for six strings, all going through a “studio-quality” active amplifier.

Pickup Combo: Two electromagnetic pickups and the piezo bridge pickup. This setup is “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.”

Next with the other main components:

Accoustic Capability using a “revolutionary rotary potentiometer.” A potentiometer is a knob, usually used for volume, etc.; in this case, a rotary potentiometer works in a more physical manner, (like a rotary phone works, in a way,) turning the switch clockwise or counterclockwise to move between 0% and 100% acoustic sound.

Powerhead Tuners: Automatic or by-hand, the tuners can be adjusted to any preset tuning in less than a second. That means some crazy crap could go on in live performances with this thang. Radically different sound, strum to strum.

Battery Box: The battery on the Dark Fire is such that it can sustain 500 tunings. And, like all good things chargeable, the Dark Fire can be played while it charges.

RIP: The Robot Interface Pack of the Dark Fire allows you to easily work live or in-studio with outputs galore, working soundly with Mac and Windows and etc. Programs Ableton Live 7 Gibson Studio Edition and Native Instruments’ Guitar Rig 3 come with the Dark Fire. With Guitar Rig 3, download tone presents of famous artists like Ace Frehley and play like you’re completely awesome (like Ace Frehley.)


Perfection Achieved: The Dark Fire is cut as close to perfect as we’ve yet achieved on the planet earth. The technology that brings this about is the PerfectSetup™ by Deutsch company PLEK. The PerfectSetup™ ensures that every string sits on every fret in as perfect a way possible for the player of the guitar.

Upgrade Robot: This ain’t no Apple product. You don’t have to buy all-new, you can upgrade the robot guitar you bought last year easily, morphing it into the Dark Fire. (It’s like praying to the great Rock Demon for a more deadly sound.)

And extras:

Also… Locking tuners, Teflon-based frictionless nut, stud-locking bridge, and “a chambering system that gives each one near-perfect tone, balance and weight.” All these features creating “one of the best-sustaining Les Pauls ever produced.”

Did I skip anything? Yes, I did. That’s how much stuff is going on with this guitar.

Designer: Gibson USA