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Gibson Flying V - fact or fiction?

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,337
I came across this on the Gibson site:

Ted McCarty’s earliest 1957 prototypes were made of mahogany, and had the ‘V’ sides but a rounded Les Paul-like rear bout. These were simply too heavy, so the cut-out bottom was added to the design and the wood changed to Korina (aka Limba). “One of the design team guys said, ‘that looks like a flying ‘v’,’” recalled McCarty, “and the name just stuck.” Pickup designer Seth Lover once claimed the cut-out was actually his idea and was done so the guitar could be stood-up vertically against a wall with ease.



I've never heard of this before:

"had the ‘V’ sides but a rounded Les Paul-like rear bout"

Has anybody else heard of this? Do any photos exist?


quote taken from:

http://www2.gibson.com/News-Lifestyle/Features/en-us/gibson-flying-v-0614-2011.aspx
 

vortexxxx

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
11,337
This is from Gibson's article and is wrong:

All Flying V's have two humbuckers, with the exception of the VII (two “boomerang” single-coils) and the V90Double (one ‘bucker, one single coil).

I have a V2 and the boomerang pickups aren't really single coils. They have 2 sections under the covers. Each section has 3 polepieces. Each section cancels the noise when wired together. They were also referred to as humbuckers in the old Gibson catalogs.
 

Cody

Well, look who’s undead!
Messages
5,531
Has anybody else heard of this? Do any photos exist?
Yes, I've heard it before. No, never seen or even heard of any photos.

It must have been very early in the process, as even the patent drawings show what we now think of as a Flying V. That's saying something, as the Explorer design was not yet finalized at the time of the patent - it was still in its Futura stage:

...
 

Gally99

Member
Messages
177
Someone told me once that the Flying V was built as such to accommodate vertical Spanish style playing.

The crotch of the V would rest on your thigh.
I have absolutely no idea if the person who told me this had anything to back it up or if it was just a theory.
 

Corinthian

Member
Messages
1,904
Someone told me once that the Flying V was built as such to accommodate vertical Spanish style playing.

The crotch of the V would rest on your thigh.
I have absolutely no idea if the person who told me this had anything to back it up or if it was just a theory.
I think it's more like that's the best way to feasibly play it sitting down. The lower point is a bit big to make it comfortable, and also there's a rubber grip on the lower side ostensibly to make it possible to play on the knee like a conventional guitar (not that it works very well).
 

DrumBob

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
18,755
Gibson's prototypes were all made of mahogany back then, and it's true that the V had a rounded bottom. They made the cutout that turned it into the V shape to lessen the weight. Seth Lover, the pickup designer, named it the Flying V when he saw it, and the name stuck. They decided to use limba (korina) because it looked good and they could get it for a reasonable price.
 

Flogger59

Member
Messages
11,883
This is from Gibson's article and is wrong:

All Flying V's have two humbuckers, with the exception of the VII (two “boomerang” single-coils) and the V90Double (one ‘bucker, one single coil).

I have a V2 and the boomerang pickups aren't really single coils. They have 2 sections under the covers. Each section has 3 polepieces. Each section cancels the noise when wired together. They were also referred to as humbuckers in the old Gibson catalogs.
Seth Lover desiGned both Gibson and Fender hum bucking pickups at around the same time, the PAF for Gibson,and the P Bass for Fender. Notice the strategy that he used in order not to bump up against himself in patent court.
By the time the V2 came out the patent protection had expired, so you saw anFender style bucker in a Gibson.
 

Gally99

Member
Messages
177
I think it's more like that's the best way to feasibly play it sitting down. The lower point is a bit big to make it comfortable, and also there's a rubber grip on the lower side ostensibly to make it possible to play on the knee like a conventional guitar (not that it works very well).
In almost 20 years of playing guitar, I've barely ever played sitting down, and I've only had a couple opportunities to play a Flying V. It was only a couple years ago that I finally figured out what the grippy thing was there for. My mind was blown.
 

tim gueguen

Member
Messages
3,098
Seth Lover desiGned both Gibson and Fender hum bucking pickups at around the same time, the PAF for Gibson,and the P Bass for Fender. Notice the strategy that he used in order not to bump up against himself in patent court.
By the time the V2 came out the patent protection had expired, so you saw anFender style bucker in a Gibson.
Lover had nothing to do with the P Bass pickup. In fact Fender didn't advertise as humubucking to avoid having problems with Lover's Gibson patent.
 




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