Gibson / Firebird I "Non-Reverse" / 1965 / Sunburst / Guitar For Sale
Asymmetrical three-piece solid body with extended upper horn. This very early "non-reverse" guitar weighs just 6.90 lbs. and has a nut width of just under 1 5/8 inches and a standard Gibson scale length of 24 3/4 inches. Solid mahogany body, one-piece mahogany neck with a very fast thin-to-medium profile, and unbound rosewood fretboard with 22 jumbo frets and inlaid pearloid dot position markers. Headstock with gold-painted "Gibson" logo on black plastic truss-rod cover. Serial number ("350796") stamped on the back of the headstock. Dual-line Kluson Deluxe six-in-a-line strip tuners with oval metal buttons. Two black soapbar P-90 pickups with outputs of 8.10k and 7.90k. Three-layer (white/black/white) plastic pickguard with a "Firebird" emblem painted on in red on the upper bass side. Four controls (two volume, two tone) on the lower treble bout, plus three-way slide selector switch on the upper treble side of pickguard. Gold plastic bell-shaped knobs with metal tops. Stud bar bridge/tailpiece with pre-set ridges and factory Gibson short Vibrola tailpiece with walrus tooth tip. The pots are stamped "137 6502" (CTS January 1965). Apart from some very minor shrinkage to the pickguard just affecting two of the screw holes on the bass side and two tiny little surface marks on the top edge of the headstock, this totally original guitar is in absolutely mint (9.50) condition. One of the first of the "non-reverse" Firebirds to appear in mid to late 1965. Housed in the original Gibson rectangular black hardshell case with checkered cloth lining (9.50). With the original hang tag ("FB-I"), case keys, and bill of sale, dated July 9, 1966. This guitar can only be described as NOS (new old stock) and is most probably the finest example extant.
"Announced in Spring 1963, the original Firebird series was conceived as an attempt to produce less conventional electrics likely to appeal to Fender players. Four different models, identified by odd Roman numerals, were marketed simultaneously...The four models produced between 1963 and 1965 (a.k.a. the 'reverse' Firebirds) share the same body specifications and differ only in fretboard style, electronics and hardware...The original Firebird electrics are primarily characterized by: a neck-through-body construction; a reverse body shape with extended lower horn; a reverse peghead with the treble E tuner nearest to the nut; banjo-style tuners with rearwards buttons; and they are all equipped with mini-humbuckers built without adjustable polepieces. The early samples are characterized by a 2-piece full length neck and a convex heel where the neck blends into the body. By late 1963, production models were released with a stronger 9-piece lamination and a smaller squared-off heel. A painted-on red Firebird emblem was also added on the white pickguard...The Firebird V was the equivalent of the SG (ex Les Paul) Standard and, compared to the FBI, the model is characterized by: a bound rosewood fingerboard with trapezoid inlays; two pickups; individual volume and tone controls for each pickup; a 3-way toggle switch for pickup selection; a fully adjustable Tune-O-Matic bridge; a Deluxe Vibrola tailpiece with lyre-engraved coverplate…CMI and Gibson took the decision to discontinue the original Firebirds in early 1965 and by June a new breed of models (a.k.a. the 'non-reverse' Firebirds) was announced" (A.R. Duchossoir, Gibson Electrics -- The Classic Years, pp. 198-199).
"The Firebirds flew. They didn't soar, but they were no turkeys. Then Gibson 'fixed' them. The first fix was understandable: putting the tuners on the bass side of the headstock for easier access. But then Fender complained that the Firebird infringed on its patented offset-waist body design, so the body was changed to a non-reversed shape and made shorter and fatter-looking. The neck-through was replaced by a glued-in neck. And on the lower two models, single-coil soapbar pickups were substituted for the Firebird-style humbuckers: The only thing that was really fixed was the Firebirds' goose. They were gone by 1969" (Walter Carter, Gibson Guitars: 100 Years of an American Icon, p. 237).
Fretted Americana , USA
We specialize in acquiring and offering the finest specimens of American vintage electric guitars with particular attention to those in their complete, original state. We are the only dealer to embrace a written code of ethics (in Terms & Conditions). We encourage you to read it.
HOW WE WORK
We want to inspire and win your trust and confidence. You don't want to have any negative surprises upon receipt of an instrument that you've invested yourself as well as your money into. Nor do you want any untoward surprises should you decide to sell it in the future.
To that end, every guitar that we offer is catalogued to a degree and depth of detail that is fast becoming the standard in the trade. When we declare an instrument to be completely original, it is. If it is not, we tell you exactly in what manner it has been altered.
We photograph each guitar at many angles to provide you with the broadest, clearest sense of its appearance. We will, upon request, provide you with images of all electronic components, inside and out.
Each guitar we acquire is skillfully and painstakingly dissected by David Brass, who is a trained luthier as well as a dealer and collector. All parts, no matter how small, are meticulously examined. We have an enviable reference library of wide breadth and scope that we refer to when necessary for crucial facts. The instrument is put under a black-light: original finish or refin? Even the most skillfully masked ding is uncovered. David then fastidiously reassembles the instrument. It is then cleaned with the finest products available for wood and metal.
An inspection certificate of authenticity signed by David is provided with every guitar you purchase.
We keep our inventory relatively small and highly select. We choose our guitars with extreme care so we can offer you the finest examples of the finest rare guitars in the world.
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It is our fervent wish to establish a long-term relationship with you.
CODE OF ETHICS
We wish to establish an ongoing relationship with you based upon your trust in our knowledge and judgment.
To that end:
We meticulously inspect in detail every guitar that we offer. We check the finish, all of the electrical components, serial numbers, etc. With over thirty years of experience collecting and handling vintage guitars and our enormous reference library, we bring to bear all that is known about guitar manufacturers, models, and annual production.
We provide full, detailed descriptions and specs to each guitar.
We openly disclose any and all flaws we discover in writing. If the instrument is not completely “straight,” we will tell you so and why.
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We will deal fairly and ethically; no surprises, flim-flam, dubious business practices or shenanigans.
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We allow a full 48 hour honeymoon period when you buy a guitar from us. If you are not 100% satisfied with it we will refund the purchase price in full, less shipping, upon return of the guitar in the same condition as sold. Please call us before returning the instrument.
Please inspect your new guitar immediately upon receiving it. If any guitar we offer is found to be not as described, we will happily refund the full purchase price, less shipping, upon return of the guitar in the same condition as sold. Please call us before returning the instrument.