Gibson Melody Maker, Harmony H22 bass, Vox Ultrasonic
1969 Gibson Melody Maker guitarHarmony H22 bassVox Ultrasonic guitar, with built-in effects
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?
Vintage guitar parts for sale


Vintage guitars for sale

Gibson Firebird

Solid-body electric guitar

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



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

Gibson Firebird Artist
1 replies
last message by rustystrings

Banjo tuner for Gibson Firebird??
0 replies
last message by EssentialTension


See more Firebird discussion here


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



Back to the GIBSON INDEX | comment




US ebay listings

GRETSCH SOLIDBODY GUITAR CASE DUO JET PRO FIREBIRD

Current price: $99.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 22h 28m
Gretsch Masterbuilt 1959 Jet Firebird Custom Shop

Current price: $4699.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 20h 13m
GRETSCH G5421 ELECTROMATIC JET CLUB FIREBIRD RED

Current price: $549.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 19h 56m
BEHRINGER FIREBIRD GX108 AUTHENTIC 15-WATT 60'S STYLE CABINET AMPLIFIER

Current price: $55.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 19h 19m
GRETSCH G5421 ELECTROMATIC JET CLUB FIREBIRD RED

Current price: $299.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 18h 40m
GIBSON CUSTOM SHOP TAK MATSUMOTO FIREBIRD VINTAGE SUNBURST

Current price: $4150.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 17h 42m
Gretsch G5448 LE Electromatic Pro Jet Electric Guitar Firebird Red 888365664019

Current price: $493.99
buy it now
Time left: 29d 15h 21m
HOT! Afanti Music Firebird style electric guitar kit (AFB-105K)

Current price: $183.00
buy it now
Time left: 9d 15h 16m
Gibson Tailpiece Early Mid 1960'S Compensated TPBR Firebird SG Special Stoptail

Current price: $50.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 14h 25m
KLUSON FIREBIRD KBT-9006SLN/M 6 INLINE TUNERS W/ KEYSTONE BUTTONS NICKEL GIBSON

Current price: $119.95
buy it now
Time left: 6d 3h 33m
USED Gibson Custom Shop TAK MATSUMOTO FIREBIRD VINTAGE SUNBURST JapaneseBand B'z

Current price: $3990.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 3h 7m
Handmade 2 1/2" Leather Guitar Strap DJW Firebird Design Black

Current price: $59.99
buy it now
Time left: 4d 1h 33m
See more results on eBay here


UK ebay listings

GRETSCH SOLIDBODY GUITAR CASE DUO JET PRO FIREBIRD

Current price: £68.60
buy it now
Time left: 29d 22h 28m
Gibson Firebird Studio 70s Tribute

Current price: £330.00
buy it now
Time left: 6d 21h 25m
2003 GIBSON FIREBIRD VII (7) BLUE MIST MINI HUMBUCKERS! VERY COOL!!

Current price: £1895.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 17h 26m
Tokai FB80 "Firebird" electric guitar, candy apple red, brand new, rare!

Current price: £499.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 16h 38m
Gibson 2015 Japan Firebird Non Reverse Headstock in Faded Pelham Blue with Case

Current price: £899.00
buy it now
Time left: 29d 10h 27m
KLUSON FIREBIRD KBT-9006SLN/M 6 INLINE TUNERS W/ KEYSTONE BUTTONS NICKEL GIBSON

Current price: £82.30
buy it now
Time left: 6d 3h 33m
2012 Gibson Firebird Studio Electric Guitar Plays Great w/ Original Gig Bag

Current price: £685.42
buy it now
Time left: 28d 23h 10m
SKB Explorer / Firebird Type Guitar Hard Flight Case

Current price: £139.99
buy it now
Time left: 8d 13h 18m
KLUSON FIREBIRD KBT-9006SLG/M 6 INLINE TUNERS W/ KEYSTONE BUTTONS GOLD GIBSON

Current price: £96.02
buy it now
Time left: 5d 6h 35m
Left Handed Firebird Electric Guitar full size pack 4/4 full size best gitar UK

Current price: £119.00
buy it now
Time left: 7d 20h 31m
KLUSON FIREBIRD BANJO KBT-9004SLC/P 2 + 2 TUNERS W/ PLASTIC BUTTONS CHROME

Current price: £54.85
buy it now
Time left: 4d 3h 41m
KLUSON FIREBIRD KBT-9006SLC/M 6 INLINE TUNERS W/ KEYSTONE BUTTONS CHROME GIBSON

Current price: £82.30
buy it now
Time left: 4d 3h 32m
See more results on eBay here


German ebay listings

GIBSON Firebird V 1965 Limited Run 2015 VS Vintage Gloss

Current price: €4599.00
buy it now
Time left: 10d 12h 58m
1981 Gibson Firebird 76 No.2 - Cherry - rare Custom Color!!

Current price: €3255.00
buy it now
Time left: 2d 9h 18m
1981 Gibson Firebird 76 - Cherry - rare Custom Color!!

Current price: €3255.00
buy it now
Time left: 5d 16h 45m
GIBSON Firebird Lyre Tail Proprietary FPB

Current price: €1999.00
buy it now
Time left: 13d 14h 27m
GRETSCH 6131D JET FIREBIRD ''PRE FENDER 1989/90 new old stock-new guitar

Current price: €1995.00
buy it now
Time left: 22d 14h 42m
Gibson Firebird Lyre Tail Vibrola 2016 Vintage Sunburst LIMITED RUN

Current price: €1899.00
buy it now
Time left: 12d 9h 20m
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 spider have?