Early '90s Firebird V - construction?

rog951

Silver Supporting Member
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5,828
I've been on a Firebird hunt for a while now and it looks like I'm about to finally purchase a '91 F-bird V in vintage burst. I haven't seen the guitar yet but it just hit me that I'm not even 100% sure how Gibson put these things together in the early '90s! I'd been assuming that the neck was the same 9-piece lamination as the current models, but I'm not really sure when they started doing that.

I know the originals had a 1-piece mahogany neck-thru, but I have no idea when Gibson switched over to the current construction and if there might have been any other steps along the way. I know somebody around here has the scoop on F-bird history.

Thanks in advance! :AOK
 

RickC

Member
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7,894
If I recall my Firebird history correctly, the very earliest birds circa '63 had a 2-piece neck-thru design. There may have been a 1-piece neck-thru prototype? Gibson was famous for doing weird one-offs like that. But I think they really started at 2-piece (I've owned one of these), and rather quickly changed to the 9-piece neck-thru design we all know and love for the bulk of the '63 - '65 reverse body run. The later non-reverse glued in necks, '65 - '68, were all 1-piece.

But as to your question, I own a '90 Firebird V and it has the correct 9-piece neck-thru construction, just like the original early 60's models. The pickups are a little harsh sounding compared to the originals, but these are otherwise great guitars.

/rick
 

HEY!YOU!

Senior Member
Messages
3,795
There was never a ONE piece neck thru FB.

9 ply neck thru for the reverse.

Non-reverse.....well, not really a FB, IMO, but set neck, one piece.

I'm selling my '98 Historic/Custom FB V. pm me if interested
 

rog951

Silver Supporting Member
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5,828
Thanks for clearing that up guys!

HEY!YOU!, I'll PM you but I'm kinda cheaping out and yours sounds too nice for me! ;)
 

skeeterbuck

Member
Messages
1,670
IIRC The reason the newer reissues pickups are harsher is because the pickup magnets are ceramic. The originals used alnico.

IMO the firebird is not for everyone. I had 4 of them over the years. I love the looks and tone but the reverse style were awkward to play. Two were the non-reverse and they were fine.
 

franksguitar

Member
Messages
3,683
I have a 91 reissue reverse Firebird V and at one time had a 63 reverse Firebird I (got stolen backstage in early 70's) but the construction seems true to the originals
 

rog951

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
5,828
Thanks everybody. I'm going today to try out what I hope to be my new F-bird. I saw some pix and it's definitely got the 9-ply neck. Hope it plays and sounds as well as it looks! Don't know where I got the idea that the originals had a 1-piece neck...I mus've been looking at a non-reverse.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,391
The 72 (Gold dot) and 76 RIs were two piece. You may have seen one of those.
 

sleepingtiger

Member
Messages
4,329
IIRC The reason the newer reissues pickups are harsher is because the pickup magnets are ceramic. The originals used alnico.
The new ones are also WAY overwound! Like 18k versus 6k on 60'sthrough 80's'Birds(also2-piece necks). I own a '64, '80 & a '90 & have owned quite a few others. Want real Firebird tone...get some vintage-style units!
Tony
 




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