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Bought a 1964 Firebird

gtrfinder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,719
OK, so this thing is a total mutt, but cool (to me) nonetheless.
It was a 1964 Firebird I that suffered a headstock break. Someone decided that while fixing the break they would have it refinished in Cardinal, as well as add a neck pickup, trap inlays, and a lyre (effectively making it a Firebird V)

Anyways here is a shot:


First impressions are that 60's Firebird pickups are nothing like the newer ceramic pickups made by Gibson. These are a lot more open sounding, with no icepick.
The neck pickup could be a dead ringer for a great Strat neck pickup.
It is a LOT lighter than any new Firebird I've ever come across. I'd heard that some of the original Firebird I's were in the 5 lb range (insane!). This one, though more than 5 lbs, is probably closer to a good Stratocaster in weight, while some of the newer birds I've played were boat anchors.

More info and pics to come after I get it back from a good setup.
Cheers
 

dougk

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
6,122
SO FRIGGING AWESOME!

Man I love Firebirds! That is such a great find... even if it is a mutt!
 

Bruceman

Member
Messages
1,041
I saw it advertised as you mentioned. Did they actually do the mods or are they guessing? Reason I ask is I was lucky enough to find a similar deal where the guy "was sure" it was a III turned in to a V. I've been around these guitars since 68 and I can tell mine's a V.

How'd'ya know for sure? (I know, you might not care.) I wouldnt either that much. If it was mine I'd just like to know tho'...
If you sanded the area where the stop tailpiece should have been you'd see where it was filled.
 

HEY!YOU!

Senior Member
Messages
3,795
I saw it advertised as you mentioned. Did they actually do the mods or are they guessing? Reason I ask is I was lucky enough to find a similar deal where the guy "was sure" it was a III turned in to a V. I've been around these guitars since 68 and I can tell mine's a V.

How'd'ya know for sure? (I know, you might not care.) I wouldnt either that much. If it was mine I'd just like to know tho'...
If you sanded the area where the stop tailpiece should have been you'd see where it was filled.
Look at the vol/tone pots/knobs.
It was a FB l
 

mc5nrg

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
10,434
An original III would probably have the bar bridge and the vibrola without the engraved metal piece. And a bound neck. And dot inlays.
 

bluesjuke

Disrespected Elder
Messages
24,149
Cool find and a cool amp too.
Why the blue masking tap on the amp logo and handle?
 

gtrfinder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,719
To be honest guys I don't have the expertise that some of those who posted in this thread do. I talked with the dealer I bought it from at length about the guitar. I gained a level of trust I was comfortable with and I bought the guitar.
The neck is unbound (sign of a Firebird I), but the most sure indicator to me was that the neck pickup was added. I can tell by inspecting the pickup route that it did not come that way from the factory. It does not look amateurish, but you can tell that the Gibson assembly line was not involved.

Thanks
 

gtrfinder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,719
Cool find and a cool amp too.
Why the blue masking tap on the amp logo and handle?
Thats funny, I forgot about that.
The amp is an old Gibson Discoverer modded by Jim at Southbay Ampworks. His speakers (Scumback) used to be called Scumbag speakers. The amps logos have been replaced with the word "Scumbag". I had family over for the holidays, including some smaller children, and didn't want to have one of them coming up to me and asking what a scumbag was.

Thanks
 

amigo30

Member
Messages
8,009
That guitar is cool as all get out..

It looks like one that was meant to be played hard..
 

gtrfinder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,719
Thanks guys. The guitar is in the shop for a setup, so perhaps I'll provide a more detailed review and some pics when I get it back.
I love old Firebirds, especially custom colors, but I'm not going to shell out for a 60's bird at the going rates. I'll bet this gets me very close for a fraction of the price.
 

infiniteposse

Member
Messages
1,762
Really beautiful guitar. I'm a big fan of mutts myself and actually think I prefer them. Great score. I'd love a Firebird.
 

gtrfinder

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
3,719
Really beautiful guitar. I'm a big fan of mutts myself and actually think I prefer them. Great score. I'd love a Firebird.
Yeah, I like mutts too. I don't worry about them as much when playing them out, and they are easier on the wallet too.
 

RickC

Member
Messages
7,897
Ha, I was eyeing that one myself. Looks like a good score. Congratulations. Great color for an old bird!

:beer
 




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