Undeniably one of the most influential players in the history of metal, Kirk Hammett has expressed unparalleled power, tone and talent in his nearly 30-year career with Metallica. Listed at #11 in Rolling Stone's "The 100 Greatest
Guitarists of All Time,” Hammett has also proved himself an enduring and multi-dimensional artist, coining timeless riffs and contributing to classic hits year after year in a genre that is more often known for flash-in-the-pan successes and rapid burnouts.
Kirk and Metallica have conquered not only the metal world but the entire music universe, becoming members of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in the process. Throughout this time Kirk has played a 1979 Gibson Flying V. In celebration of his amazing career,
Gibson Custom introduces the Kirk Hammett Flying V, a meticulous recreation of Kirk’s own Flying V and trusted companion throughout his playing career with Metallica, the biggest metal band in music history. This tribute to Kirk Hammett’s achievements
will be produced in strictly limited numbers: 50 guitars will be aged and signed by the artist himself, with a further 100 guitars aged only.
To recreate the Kirk Hammett Flying V in intricate detail, the acclaimed luthiers at Gibson Custom digitally
scanned Kirk’s original 1979 Flying V and precisely measured every significant specification, sparing no effort in the task of reproducing this iconic guitar’s tone, feel and mojo for a limited number of players. The body is crafted from a single
piece of resonant mahogany, with a glued-in, three-piece, quarter-sawn mahogany neck. The rosewood fingerboard carries 22 jumbo Jescar frets, as used on Kirk’s own guitar, and pearloid dot inlays. In a similar nod to absolute accuracy, it is topped with
a rounded ’70s V headstock with no headstock veneer, and the Gibson logo is engraved on the enlarged, white truss rod cover. The neck profile is carved to the fast but comfortable shape of Kirk’s own guitar, and like many Flying Vs from the ’70s,
it has a relatively narrow width of 1.562” at the nut, widening to 1.975” at the 12th fret. A luscious black Ebony finish is hand-sprayed in genuine nitrocellulose lacquer, then hand-aged to mirror the appearance of this legendary guitarist’s
The Kirk Hammett Flying V is powered by Kirk’s choice of an EMG™ 81® in the bridge position and an EMG™ H® in the neck position. These scorching active pickups yield sizzling lead tones and thick, rich,
bluesy tones, respectively, all with unprecedented sustain and clarity. They are routed through the ’70s Flying V’s complement of two independent volume controls and a single master tone, with traditional three-way switch for pickup selection.
The chromed hardware is all aged to match the wear of Kirk’s own treasured Flying V, and includes a modified tune-o-matic-style bridge (using Stars Guitars engineering, with permission) with stopbar tailpiece, and Schaller™ M6® tuners. Each
guitar comes protected in a red fur-lined Custom Shop case and includes a leather-bound Certificate of Authenticity, related care and adjustment literature, and is covered by Gibson Custom's Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.
Only 150 guitars in total were made available—50 aged and signed by the artist, 100 aged.
The Gibson Custom shop went all out on the Kirk Hammett Flying V. You get a hand-aged
ebony finish and a '70s-style headstock with no veneer. You also get the same dings, scratches, and scrapes as Kirk's original guitar. Gibson went to great lengths to use accurate tuners and bridge hardware. The re-creation is so accurate that you'll wonder
whether they made a mistake and sent you Kirk's actual guitar. From the aged hardware to the taped back, this Custom Shop Flying V oozes authenticity. Get the Gibson Custom Shop Kirk Hammett Flying V and own a piece of metal history.
Flying V, through and through
Gibson's Custom Shop Kirk Hammett Flying V is a classic V, through and through. You'll love the rich midrange character and sustain you get from its mahogany body. The set mahogany neck feels fantastic, thanks to its fast
neck shape. It comes topped with a rosewood fingerboard and large frets, for that familiar Gibson feel. The symmetrical headstock makes a perfect platform for the Flying V's Schaller M6 tuners.
Pickups that changed the metal world
Since the earliest days of Metallica, Kirk has used EMG pickups onstage and in the studio. Gibson equipped the Kirk Hammett Flying V with an EMG H humbucker at the neck and a hot EMG 81 humbucker at the bridge position. From mammoth rhythm tones to searing
leads, these pickups have produced some of the heaviest music in history.