Early '90s Firebird V - construction?

Discussion in 'Guitars in General' started by rog951, Feb 21, 2008.

  1. rog951

    rog951 Member

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    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
     
  2. RickC

    RickC Gold Supporting Member

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    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
     
  3. HEY!YOU!

    HEY!YOU! Senior Member

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    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
     
  4. rog951

    rog951 Member

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    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! ;)
     
  5. skeeterbuck

    skeeterbuck Member

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    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.
     
  6. franksguitar

    franksguitar Member

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    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
     
  7. rog951

    rog951 Member

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    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.
     
  8. jay42

    jay42 Member

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    The 72 (Gold dot) and 76 RIs were two piece. You may have seen one of those.
     
  9. sleepingtiger

    sleepingtiger Supporting Member

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    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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