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Gibson Flying V II

Solidbody electric guitar

PART 1 Flying V | PART 2 Flying V2 | PART 3 adverts and catalogues

Gibson Flying V2 guitar
Pickups Gibson boomerang pickups with gold surrounds
Scale 24"
Body Five-ply walnut/maple. Length 43 1/2", width 16 5/8", depth 1 9/16"
Neck Five-piece walnut/maple neck with 22 fret, dot-inlaid, ebony fingerboard and brass nut. Width at nut 1 11/16"
Hardware Gold plated throughout. Tune-o-matic bridge mounted by 5/8" brass studs. "Posi-Lok strap" buttons and deluxe machineheads with "crank" button from late 1980. Five-ply mini scratchplate
Controls Two volume, one tone control. Three-way pickup-selector switch
Finishes High gloss natural walnut or maple finishes
Pricing 1st June 1979 $1199
1st July 1980 $1299
June 1979 Gibson price list, featuring the second generation Flying V II
June 1979 Gibson price list, featuring the second generation Flying V II
Cover of the 1981 Gibson pre-owners folder, featuring the Flying V II and the active ES-Artist
Cover of the 1981 Gibson pre-owners folder, featuring the Flying V II and the active ES-Artist

The Flying V2 was introduced in mid-1979, taking pride of place on the cover of the June '79 price list, and then appearing in the 1980 Gibson catalogue; the first Flying V in a price list since 1968, and the first in a catalogue since its inception in 1958. By the time of the April 1981 list it was gone; though it was shown on the cover of the '81 Gibson specials pre-owners folder. Many of these models were effectively deleted already; this loose-leaf 'catalogue' could perhaps be seen as a last push to move on older stock.

The V2s construction was interesting; body and necks were five-ply walnut and maple, either w/m/w/m/w or m/w/m/w/m; initially the guitar was walnut-topped with a maple-topped version following in mid-1980. This was or course very different to the older V models that had initially been korina, but more often mahogany.

This was a very fine guitar, as its launch price testifies. It was Gibsons second most expensive solidbody; the active Les Paul Artist was initially $100 more, but by 1980 both were the same price: $1299. It was very definitely a 'high-end' instrument, and in keeping with this position, it was rather finely appointed: gold hardware, an ebony fingerboard and a mother-of-pearl inlaid logo. Towards the end of 1980, two new features were added to the V2 (and many other Gibsons): "Posi-Lok" strap buttons and a machine head "Crank" button.

Gibson Flying V2s

Shipping figures are not available for the 1980s, but in 1979 just 157 V2s were shipped. Admittedly this is just half a years sales, and such a high-end instrument is not expected to sell in particularly huge numbers, but almost 800 regular Vs were shipped in this year, without any publicity whatsoever, not even being mentioned in the price-lists.

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