GIBSON | FIREBIRD | 1963 PROMO SHEET

Gibson Firebird V

1963 Gibson promotional sheet

The Firebird V was functionally rather similar to the Firebird III. Both models had identical circuitry: dual mini-humbuckers, three-way pickup selector switch and volume and tone controls for each pickup. The Firebird V, however was a step up, however, in terms of hardware and ornamentation. Most significantly, in terms of playability, was the addition of a tune-o-matic bridge (ABR-5N) - certainly an improvement on the TPBR-85N bridge used by the Firebird I and III. In terms of appointments, the Firebird V had a GV-55N 'lyre-type' vibrola and trapezoid neck position markers; pearloid inlays starting at the third fret.

This promotional sheet was produced in 1963 by Gibson, alongside similar sheets for the Firebird I, II, VII. The list price is $325, with an additional $15 for a custom finish. This was not a cheap guitar! In the months July-August 1963, the period in which this price applies, a Les Paul (SG) Standard was only $290, an ES-335TD $300 and an ES-175D $340. Combine a challenging design with a far-from-cheap price tag, and it is not surprising that these Firebirds were not immediate hits.

Sunburst nitrocellulose was the standard finish, custom finishes available were Cardinal Red, Heather poly, Inverness Green poly, Ember Red, Polaris White, Pelham Blue poly, Frost Blue, Kerry Green, Silver Mist poly and Gold Mist poly.

1963

Gibson Firebird V specifications

The specifications for the reverse body Firebird V were: mahogany body, through mahogany neck, bound Brazillian rosewood fretboard with pearloid trapezoid inlays. Nickel plated hardware, two mini humbuckers, each with volume and tone control. Three-way pickup selector switch. Gibson GV-55N vibrola (nickel plated). Sunburst nitrocellulose finish. 24 3/4" scale. 22 frets. ABR-5N tune-o-matic bridge. Sealfast MH-570T 12 to 1 banjo-style tuning keys. 'Gibson' celluloid truss rod cover. The Firebird V and VII both came with a 'fine quality top grain cow hide padded neck strap'.

Other Firebird / Thunderbird promo sheets in this series

Similar sheets were also produced for the other guitars and basses in the Firebird / Thunderbird series

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