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Gibson U2 ‘SuperStrat’ Metallic Green, 1989

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During the 1980s popular music made new demands on guitarists, and the ‘SuperStrat’, including the Gibson U2 model, became the go-to design for countless musicians.

As the name suggests, the ‘SuperStrat’ concept improves on many aspects of the Stratocaster design – particularly in the range of available vibrato systems and pickup options. Many guitars in this genre use locking vibratos, a mix of high-output single coil and humbucking pickups, and wiring that ranges from very simple to rather complex.

The earliest ‘SuperStrats’ were hand built or modified in limited numbers, usually to custom order for a particular player’s needs. Many of them came from small shops in southern California, and some of those small shops grew and are still in business.

The Gibson U2 appeared in 1987 and was built under that name for two years, and then during 1990 and 1991 as the ‘Mach II’. In November of 1998, a Showcase edition of 200 was offered.  This example dates to January 21 1989 and was built at Gibson Nashville. 

Built with a Basswood body and 24-fret Maple neck with Ebony fingerboard and ‘hockey stick’ headstock, the Gibson U2 features a mortise and tenon or set neck joint rather than a bolt-on as on many SuperStrats. This joint allows for a contoured heel and better access to the upper frets. The scale length is just shy of Fender scale – 25.4 inches or 645mm by my measurement, rather than 25.5 inches or 647.7mm.

For hardware, Gibson chose a Schaller-manufactured licensed Floyd Rose system in black, black tuners, and a SSH or Single-Single-Humbucker pickup set with black covers. The wiring provides master volume and tone controls with a push pot on the volume to split the bridge humbucker, and four pickup switches. Three of the four switches are simple on-off switches assigned to each of the pickups, but the fourth is a ‘lead’ switch that over-rides the other three and turns on only the bridge pickup.

We have to admit – we are more than impressed by the Gibson U2. It feels great, and is very comfortable to play – it feels like a Gibson but with a longer scale length. It has really solid, quality feel. Its metallic green finish is in good shape though it has some marks and a few small chips on the edges. The locking plates for the Floyd nut are missing, but these are available.

The original rectangular brown Gibson hard shell case is included.


 

Price: $1200 CAD
  • Model: U2
  • Year: 1989
  • Finish Metallic Green
  • Class: Vintage
  • Serial Number: 80219718 January 21 1989 at Nashville
  • Country of Origin: USA
  • Condition: Good
  • Date Posted: 11/09/2019

  • Consignment Item

  • Including original Hard case
  • Instrument Weight: 7.8lbs 3.45kg
  • Scale Length: 645mmmm 25.4in
  • Nut Width: 43mm 1.69in
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