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353 Firebird V guitars were built in 1965. This is one of a handful of guitars finished in cherry from all of the mid 60s production - hailed as one of the most rare vintage Gibson guitars out there.
So many of these guitars have seen devastating damage, due largely to the design of the original case, which allowed the high E tuner to bottom out on the case. This issue causes headstock breaks when the cases simply tip over or fall by transferring stress to the neck when the tuner hits the back of the case. Another typical issue is seen around the control cavity, where the body can crack if the guitar is dropped or otherwise mistreated.
This guitar has survived both of the above fatal issues, which could plague as many as half of the original builds, perhaps more.
The Firebird follows the Flying V and Explorer as one of Gibson's most innovative and original designs, icons in solid body guitar history. The guitars are distinctive symbols of rock and roll and truly are things of beauty.
This particular Firebird retains all the original parts, including the frets, which have been perfectly polished.
The hardware shows the character that makes nickel the coolest with age, that "fog" patina that screams vintage coolness. This is mirrored in the checking of the original finish, which shows strong retention of the cherry color that can fade when over exposed to daylight.
The guitar plays like a dream and the tone is that which you can get only from this design.
The one issue with this guitar lies in the original bridge pickup. It appears that the pickup has been out of the guitar and the cover has been removed and reinstalled. It is likely that the pickup was either repaired or rewound. The output of the pickup is in line with the neck and with other pickups of the era. This is a sign that the pickup has been repaired. Skilled pickup rewinders can find issues with the coil wire, winding it back to a break and re-soldering it to the output. I've had this work performed in the past, successfully retaining the output and character of a pickup that might otherwise get a full rewind with new wire. The pickups do match in tone, so I am of the mind to believe that this is what happed to the bridge pickup.
Otherwise, all solders are original, as is everything else on the guitar.
Included is what appears to be the original case and an SKB flight case that protects the guitar far better than the original.
- Color: Cherry
- Weight: 8lbs 13.3ozs
- Body: Mahogany
- Neck: Mahogany
- Fretboard: Brazilian Rosewood
- Inlays: Mother Or Pearl Trapezoids
- Frets: Original
- Fret count: 22
- Nut material: Bone
- Nut width: 1 11/16"
- Scale: 24 3/4"
- Radius: 10"
- Neck thickness at 1st fret: 0.82"
- Neck thickness at 12th fret: 0.96"
- Action 1st String at 12th Fret: .055"
- Action 6th String at 12th Fret: .065"
- String gauge: 10-46"
- Hardware Color: Nickel
- Bridge Pickup Brand: OEM Gibson
- Bridge Pickup Reading: 6.157k
- Bridge Pickup Original?: Yes
- Neck Pickup Brand: OEM Gibson
- Neck Pickup Reading: 6.37k
- Neck Pickup Original?: Yes rewound
- Pickguard: Original
- Bridge: Original
- Tuners: Original
- Switch: Original
- Pots/Codes: Original 137 6448
- Case: Hard Schell Case