Gibson SG Special, Epiphone Rivoli bass, Hagstrom Coronado Bass
Gibson SG SpecialEpiphone Rivoli bassHagstrom Coronado bass
Home | Guitar Model Info | Catalogue Scans | Forum | Other Stuff | Search     









pick a brand

The majority of the instruments profiled on this site were produced by the brands to the left (click for more), although there is also some limited content on the following guitars and amps
Ampeg, Baldwin, Dan Armstrong, Futurama, G&L, Goya, Hayman, Ibanez, Marshall, Musicman, Ovation, Peavey, Rickenbacker, Selmer, Silvertone, Supro and Yamaha, WEM

Or try the site search

Trying to find the value of your guitar?

Gibson Firebird

Solid-body electric guitar

Gibson Index | Firebird
Gibson Firebird III - Some Guitarists Have All the Fun
Gibson Firebird III - Some Guitarists Have All the Fun
1968 Guitar Player advert featuring examples of much of Gibson's late 1960s range: the Gibson B25-12 flattop acoustic, GSS-100 solid-state amplifier, and two electrics, the solid-body Firebird III and the hollow-body ES-330TD. This was one of the first Gibson advertisements not to focus on high-end jazz guitars, or famous musicians, rather instruments more likely to appeal to the general guitar-buying public.

The layout of this advertisement takes it's styling from the then current catalogue (the 1966 Gibson full-line).
Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1963 Gibson catalog

Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1964 Gibson catalog

The Gibson Firebird was launched in 1963 as a descendent of the commercially unpopular Explorer. Once again it took a few years before this futuristic design found popularity, despite being adopted by big stars of the day like Brian Jones and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones. It was initially launched in four variants, with two similar bass models (the Thunderbirds). All were mahogany bodied with a neck-through construction. Necks were initially mahogany, fingerboards Brazilian rosewood (ebony for the Firebird VII). All models sported the same humbucking pickups

Detailed specifications for each model can be found here

The first version of the firebird was manufactured from 1963 to 1965, but sales, although not that small, but were low compared to other models.

Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1966 Gibson catalog

Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1966 Gibson catalogue

In 1966 the instrument was relaunched with a new body shape and set neck (rather than through neck from older models) construction. This was known as the non-reverse Firebird. In addition to the existing Firebird models, a 12-string was also produced. The Firebird I and II were now equipped with P90 single coil soapbars - the humbuckers only on the V, VII and V-12.

Gibson custom colours available on the Firebird and Thunderbird models were as follows: cardinal red, heather poly, inverness green poly, ember red, polaris white, pelham blue poly, frost blue, kerry green, silver mist poly, gold mist poly

The instruments were manufactured in 1966 and 1967, but were still being shipped as late as 1969. Despite a tiny rise in 1966, sales can only be described as dreadful.

In 1972, a few more Firebirds were produced. These were medallion models, made to celebrate the 1972 olympic games. A Medallion Flying V was also reissued at the same time. These were limited edition instruments, made in very small numbers, and have a numbered medallion attached to the body.

Gibson Firebird custom colour chart

Gibson Firebird custom colour chart

 Firebirds
all models*
SGs
all models**
19634345797
196424347419
196522838871
196627355517
19677794005
19682713680
1969836934

* Firebirds I, II, V, V-12, VII
** standard, custom, special, jnr

The Firebird (along with the Thunderbird) was brought out once again during the 1970s, again as a celebration/commemoration - this time the bicentennial anniversay of the creation of America. The Firebird logo on the scratchplate was in red white and blue. This issue never outsold the 1960s versions.

As is shown below, the Firebird decreased in popularity (as determined by sales) throughout the period 1963-79. The production figures show the most abundant firebirds are:
early 60s reverse-body models (63-65) - 5151
mid 60s non-reverse models (66-69) - 3868
late 70s bicentennial firebird (76-79) - 2847
early 70s medallion firebird (72-73) - 366

In fact the change from reverse to non-reverse body happened in mid 1965, so some of the 5151 instruments shipped that year may have actually been no-reverse bodies.

The separate shipping figures for all firebird models, 1963-1979 are as follows

1960s Firebird shipping figures

 Firebird IFirebird IIIFirebird VFirebird V-12Firebird VIITOTAL
19638027262 20434
19644971254510 1732434
19658001020353 1102283
19661164935342248462735
196720046383249779
19681921050 19271
1969342717 583
total2967398114172723829019

1970s Firebird shipping figures

 Firebird V
medallion
Bicentennial
Ebony
Bicentennial
Natural
Bicentennial
Tobacco Sunburst
Bicentennial
White
TOTAL
1972351    351
197315    15
1976 2222682527542
1977 25921516067701
1978 796644 161456
1979  127147148
total366127712541991173213



Latest Gibson Firebird posts on the VintageGuitar forum
forum index | post message

Gibson Firebird Artist
0 replies
last message by jules
15/11/2013 05:15

Banjo tuner for Gibson Firebird??
0 replies
last message by EssentialTension
30/04/2009 18:03

Firebird Pickups
4 replies
last message by Oringo
05/05/2008 15:41


See more Firebird discussion here


Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment




US ebay listings

EPIPHONE LIMITED EDITION CUSTOM SHOP FIREBIRD GUITAR - ORIGINAL - SUNBURST!

Current price: $399.99
buy it now
Time left: 3h 13m
GIBSON HARD CASE VINTAGE 70'S LES PAUL SG FIREBIRD RED PLUSH

Current price: $109.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 5h 42m
RED FIREBIRD GUITAR VINYL DECAL STICKER THUNDERBIRD

Current price: $25.00
buy it now
Time left: 19d 13h 59m
Unfinished mahogany body Non Reverse Firebird style guitar project

Current price: $120.00
buy it now
Time left: 1d 8h 59m
EPIPHONE FIREBIRD TRUSS TIE ROD COVER (BLACK/WHITE)

Current price: $25.00
buy it now
Time left: 26d 5h 16m
Free Shipping Epihone Firebird Pickguard 1 Ply transparent

Current price: $19.00

Time left: 1d 18h 2m
20 RUSTY RELIC TO REPLACE GIBSON PICKGUARD SCREWS SG FIREBIRD MELODY MAKER ,BASS

Current price: $6.50
buy it now
Time left: 6d 23h 27m
1964 Gibson Firebird & Pin Up Girl Featured on Collector's Envelope *457

Current price: $5.50
buy it now
Time left: 1d 19h 39m
G.M. Mini Humbucker Chrome Firebird style Alnico 5 (4 conductor)

Current price: $16.20
buy it now
Time left: 29d 8h 18m
1958 Gretsch Jet Firebird (Model 6131)

Current price: $4000.00

Time left: 1d 23h 43m
GIBSON FIREBIRD TRUSS TIE ROD COVER (WHITE / GOLD)

Current price: $25.00
buy it now
Time left: 24d 22h 54m
GIBSON FIREBIRD TRUSS TIE ROD COVER (BLK/SILVER)

Current price: $25.00
buy it now
Time left: 16d 22h 16m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

Gibson USA Firebird VII - Rare discontinued colour and model - Copper metallic!

Current price: £2000.00
buy it now
Time left: 12d 21h 59m
2011 Gibson Custom Shop Firebird V Reverse Body Inverness Green W/ OHSC

Current price: £1975.69
buy it now
Time left: 19d 7h 56m
Gretsch G6199 Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird - Ebony Fretboard - Firebird Red

Current price: £1877.53
buy it now
Time left: 4d 21h 54m
Gretsch G6199 Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird - Ebony Fretboard - Firebird Red

Current price: £1877.53
buy it now
Time left: 4d 21h 59m
Gretsch G6199 Billy-Bo Jupiter Thunderbird - Ebony Fretboard - Firebird Red

Current price: £1877.53
buy it now
Time left: 8d 4h 33m
Gibson Firebird Bicentenial 1976

Current price: £1800.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 58m
Gibson Custom Shop Firebird Non Rev Limited Edition Custom Color Frost Blue 2011

Current price: £1778.06
buy it now
Time left: 13d 22h 35m
Gretsch G6131T-TVP Power Jet Firebird Electric Guitar, Firebird Red (Pre-Owned)

Current price: £1695.00
buy it now
Time left: 12d 13m
Gretsch G6199 Billy Bo Jupiter Thunderbird Bass - Firebird Red

Current price: £1663.42
buy it now
Time left: 4d 21h 59m
Gibson Firebird V - Heritage Cherry (1981)

Current price: £1646.95
buy it now
Time left: 11d 2h 54m
BRAND NEW GRETSCH G6131T-TVP POWER JET FIREBIRD W/ CASE FIREBIRD RED TV JONES

Current price: £1581.07
buy it now
Time left: 12d 1h 56m
Gretsch G6131T-1965 FSR Jet Firebird Double Cut TV Jones SuperTron Vintage Style

Current price: £1580.42
buy it now
Time left: 29d 5h 15m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

Gibson Custom Shop - Firebird VII - von Siccas Guitars Gitarrenfachgeschäft

Current price: €1995.00
buy it now
Time left: 8d 2h 9m
GRETSCH 6131D JET FIREBIRD ''PRE FENDER 1989/90 new old stock-new guitar

Current price: €1995.00
buy it now
Time left: 28d 19h 54m
AGED 2011 Gibson non reverse Firebird / Humbucker / Vibrola / (Fender Saiten)

Current price: €1649.00
buy it now
Time left: 20d 17h 44m
Gibson Firebird V 2007

Current price: €1350.00
buy it now
Time left: 17d 22h 4m
GIBSON Firebird CW

Current price: €1295.00
buy it now
Time left: 4d 51m
EXTREMELY RARE VINTAGE 70s FRESHER MADE IN JAPAN FIREBIRD WITH ONBOARD EFFECTS

Current price: €1149.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 19h 18m
See more results on eBay here

There are 1 comments on this article so far. Add your comment
jun Comment left 27th September 2012 07:07:18
Hello, In order to replace four pots of my firebird V USA 1998, I checked pot stamp, resistance value, and curve. I found three x5-44070035, and one 9o 44070035. x5-44070035 300k linear for front pickup volume x5-44070035 300k linear for rear pickup volume x5-44070035 500k audio for front pickup tone 9o-44070035 500k audio for rear pickup tone It is real mess. I am very confuzed.

Comment on this article

All comments are moderated. Name and email details are required.

Name
Email address
Your comments

Anti-spam question - to catch web robots

How many legs does a tripod have?