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Gibson Firebird

Solid-body electric guitar

Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1963 Gibson catalog

Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1964 Gibson catalogue

"Bright - Vital - Fast ... the leaders in modern sound". The Gibson Firebird is another of those iconic Gibson guitar designs that is inseparable from the history of rock music. They were not immediately popular, despite being adopted by big stars of the day like Brian Jones and Keith Richards of the Rolling Stones but like so many other Gibson guitars, their appeal snowballed; today the Firebird is a standard part of the Gibson line. As the 1963 advertising suggests, they have a distinct bright and punchy tone, a contrast to the slightly darker tones produced by the larger PAF humbuckers. Like any vintage Gibson, they are great playing instruments, very collectable and command high prices - five figure sums are common for early examples, guitars in great condition, or those with a custom finish. If you see a vintage Gibson Firebird for sale at an affordable price, snap it up.

Gibson Firebird history

The Firebird launched in the second half of 1963, without causing too much of a stir. In some ways was it was a descendant of the commercially unpopular Explorer; it had a similar 'reverse' body style (but with far more curves), and likewise didn't catch on with the public until some years after the original guitars were sold. It was designed by car designer Ray Dietrich, who was resident in Kalamazoo, where the Gibson plant was situated. Dietrich was at the end of his career at this point, but had designed vehicles for numerous manufacturers throughout the first half of the 20th century. But like the Explorer and Flying V, the Firebird design was perhaps a little too futuristic. All production occurred at Gibson's Kalamazoo plant in Michigan, USA. It was initially launched in four variants, Firebird I, Firebird III, Firebird V and Firebird VII, with two similar bass models (the Thunderbird II and IV). 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 'high performance' mini-humbucking pickups. 44 1/2" long, 14 1/2" wide, 1 1/2" deep. 22 frets, with a standard Gibson 24 3/4" scale. Sunburst finish was as standard, though custom colors were immediately available (at a slight premium) though these are certainly less often seen than Sunburst examples.

Although today seen as a rock instrument (largely because of the shape), it was initially pitched as a jazz guitar. The following text comes from both 1963 and 1966 Gibson Firebird literature

A new, exciting, dramatic shape to match the brilliance of their sound, the beauty of their tone new ultra modern solid body guitars by Gibson. The very shape of Jazz - designed for the fast action of jazz artists' fleeting fingers. Thin, light, deeply cutaway for easiest access to every fret, they could only be Gibson.

The Firebird series were first included in the Gibson price list of July 1963. Detailed specifications and original pricing for each model can be found here

Firebird I

1964 Gibson Firebird I in Sunburst finish Image Heritage auctions
1963 Gibson Firebird I promo sheet

The new solid body by Gibson that is priced for the growing economy-minded market. Gives you all of the fine performance of this exciting new series of guitars at a price you can afford. You have to try it to believe it

The Firebird I was equipped with a single mini-humbucker with one volume and tone control. Dot neck markers, unbound fretboard. July 1963 list price $189.50, $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

Firebird III

1963/64 Gibson Firebird III in Sunburst finish Image Heritage auctions
1963 Gibson Firebird III promo sheet

A solid performer in this new line up of solid body guitars from Gibson. Offers you all the range and versatility that you could ask for, plus that sharpness in the treble range, and deep biting bass.

The Firebird III was equipped with dual mini-humbuckers, with volume and tone controls for each pickup, three-way pickup selector switch, Gibson Vibrola, dot position markers and a bound fretboard. July 1963 list price $249.50, $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

Firebird V

1964 Gibson Firebird V in Sunburst finish Image Heritage auctions
1963 Gibson Firebird V promo sheet

Another in this revolutionary new series of solid body guitars by Gibson. Exciting in concept, exciting to play. You find a whole new world of sound and performance potential on this fine instrument

Like the Firebird III, the Firebird V had two mini-humbuckers, but somewhat nicer appointments: Deluxe Vibrola, tune-o-matic bridge, and trapezoid pearloid inlays. July 1963 list price $325, $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

Firebird VII

1964 Gibson Firebird VII in Sunburst finish Image Heritage auctions
1963 Gibson Firebird VII promo sheet

Here is the ultimate in a solid body guitar by Gibson. A completely new and exciting instrument that offers all the sound, response, fast action and wide range that could be desired.

The Firebird VII was the most ornate of all the Firebirds. It had large pearl block inlays in an ebony fretboard, three mini-humbuckers, and gold plated hardware throughout. July 1963 list price $445, $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

 Firebird, all models*SG, all models**
* Firebirds I, II, V, V-12, VII ** SG standard, custom, special, jnr

Gibson custom colors 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. Although shipping data does not specify the number of custom finish Firebirds, it is safe to assume that these were shipped in vastly smaller numbers than those in the standard Sunburst. It is quite possible that some Firebird variants were never available in some of these colors.

The original reverse body version of the Firebird was only manufactured from 1963 to 1965, but sales, although not that small, but were low compared to other models. The peak year of the reverse body Firebird was 1964, though sales were still only a third of SG sales in the same year.

'Non-reverse' Gibson Firebird

Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1966 Gibson catalog

Gibson Firebirds - as advertised in the 1966 Gibson catalogue

Gibson Firebird custom colour chart

Gibson Firebird custom colour chart

In 1965 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 models, a 12-string Firebird 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. The first price-list inclusion of the non-reverse Firebirds was in June 1965. All models actually decreased in price from the previous (February 1965) listing.

Firebird I

1966 Gibson Firebird I in Sunburst finish Image Heritage auctions

The non-reverse Firebird I was significantly better equipped than the reverse body model, with two P90 single coil pickups, each with volume and tone control, and a Gibson vibrato. The June 1965 list price was just $189.50, $15 extra for Duco custom colors - the same price as the single pickup reverse body Firebird I two years earlier.

Firebird III

1965 Gibson Firebird III in Cherry finish Image Heritage auctions

The non-reverse Firebird III was fitted with three P90 single coil pickups. The June 1965 list price was $239.50, $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

Firebird V

1966 Gibson Firebird V in Sunburst finish Image Heritage auctions

The non-reverse Firebird V was functionally identical to it's reverse body equivalent, but less ornate: it had no neck binding, and just simple dot position markers. The June 1965 list price was $289.50, $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

Firebird V-12

1966 Gibson Firebird V-12 in Sunburst finish

The Firebird V 12 string had the same features (except vibrola) as the Firebird V, but a slightly higher price. The June 1965 list price was $309.50, $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

Firebird VII

Gibson Firebird VII in Pelham Blue finish

Again, the non-reverse Firebird VII had somewhat lesser appointments than it's reverse body predecessor. The fretboard had simple dot inlays, and was now rosewood as opposed to Ebony . The June 1965 list price for this model was $379.50, with $15 extra for Duco custom colors.

The instruments were manufactured from 1965 until 1967, but were still being shipped as late as 1969. Despite a tiny rise in 1966, sales can only be described as dreadful. It was no surprise that the Firebird was quickly deleted from the Gibson line.

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).

Medallion Firebird

In 1972, a few more Firebirds were produced. These reverse body guitars were known as the 'medallion' Firebirds, 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. Just 366 of these guitars were produced between 1972 and 1973.

Bicentennial Firebird

The Firebird (along with the Thunderbird) was reissued once again during the 1970s, again as a celebration/commemoration - this time the bicentennial anniversary of the creation of America. The Firebird logo on the scratchplate was in red white and blue. This issue never outsold the 1960s versions, but still sold in significant numbers, especially in 1978. Oddly this guitar never appeared in any US Gibson catalog or price list, though it did appear in the New Models 1977 brochure, printed in the United Kingdom. Why this was the case is not clear, however a Firebird with identical specifications (save the Firebird logo) was included amongst numerous other models in the 1981 Gibson Specials folder.

Firebird II

The Firebird II was a short-lived limited edition model, only produced briefly between mid 1981 and early 1982. It was first described in the 1981 Gibson Specials folder, but never made it to a US catalog proper. It was, however, shown in the Japanese (Arai) Gibson and Epiphone catalog (probably late 1981), and the UK (Rosetti) 1982 catalog. It was listed in US price lists (January and June 1982) at $999, and was gone by 1983.

In terms of specifications it was quite unlike the regular Firebird, having a bound maple body with figured maple veneer top, and set maple neck, and upgraded hardware such as the TP-6 bridge. It also had the same active series VI pickups, and Moog circuitry (bright mode and expansion/compression) of the RD Artist.

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 Firebird are:
early 60s reverse-body models (63-65) - 5151
mid 60s non-reverse models (65-69) - 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 totals for all Firebird models, 1963-1979 are as follows

Gibson Firebird shipping totals

1960s Firebird shipping figures

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

1970s Firebird shipping figures

 Firebird V
Tobacco Sunburst
1972351    351
197315    15
1976 2222682527542
1977 25921516067701
1978 796644 161456
1979  127147148

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Classic 1976 Gibson Firebird Bicentennial Edition - Natural - w OHSC -

Classic 1976 Gibson Firebird Bicentennial Edition - Natural - w OHSC -

Pompano Beach, Florida, 330**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Classic 1976 Gibson Firebird
Bicentennial Edition
Made in the USA
Serial Number: 00247741
Pro Set Up by Lays Guitar
Comes with Original Hard Shell Case
Nut: 1 65
1st Fret- .75
12th Fret- .96
Radius: 12 "
Weight: 8 lbs
$$$ Professionally Set Up and Dialed in for Immediate Rocking. Truly Stage or Studio Ready / Worthy! (Fret work, Action Set, Truss Rod Adjusted & Intonation is Spot On)
This bird is ready to spread its wings and help you fly away on a ... more
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1981 Gibson Firebird II FM Artist CMT Sunburst

1981 Gibson Firebird II FM Artist CMT Sunburst

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale is a super cool and hard to find 1981 Gibson Firebird II FM Artist CMT Sunburst. CMT stands for curly maple top and apparently this variation was only offered for a short time in limited numbers. This instrument came out of a collection of guitars that came from an ex Kalamazoo Gibson employee. It is marked "second" indicating a finish flaw or ding when it left Gibson. This is likely how the original owner ended up with it. This is the first and only time this guitar has been on the ... more
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Gibson Firebird 1965 - Original Inverness Green, Super Rare and Beyond Cool

Gibson Firebird 1965 - Original Inverness Green, Super Rare and Beyond Cool

Commerce Township, Michigan, 483**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


How do describe a guitar that's this rare? Gibson offered Custom Colors in 1965 for the radical, space-age Firebird Non-Reverse, but 95% of the time produced sunbursts. About 60 years have passed now, and how many Inverness Green Firebirds have survived in the dynamic guitar marketplace? Here is one in unfaded glory! The killer combination of 3 Vintage P-90s, effective Maestro trem, lightweight, massive tones, accurate innotation, Brazillian rosewood, aged mahogany, beautiful checking, simple ... more
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all original 1964 Gibson FIREBIRD I Sunburst

all original 1964 Gibson FIREBIRD I Sunburst

Carbondale, Illinois, 629**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Add Me to Your Favorite Sellers
Olivia's Vintage would like to present this 1964 Gibson Firebird I in its original Sunburst finish. It has a great playing neck with great frets. It's all original and 100% complete with the only exception being one small chipped corner of the pickguard. The original hardshell case is included. This Firebird looks great with some nicks + dings, finish checking and other cosmetic wear. There is one filled screw hole near the bottom corner of the pickguard ... more
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1981 Gibson Firebird II w /  Moog Active Electronics

1981 Gibson Firebird II w / Moog Active Electronics

Benicia, California, 945**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Introducing a true rarity, the 1981 Gibson Firebird II Artist. This guitar is a collector's dream, boasting a super unique time period for Gibson and retaining all of its original electronics, which still perform flawlessly. With its striking sunburst finish and maple body, this Firebird II Artist exudes vintage charm and undeniable coolness. The set-construction maple neck, adorned with a rosewood fingerboard and dot inlays, offers a smooth playing experience with excellent resonance and ... more
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1965 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse Vintage Guitar Sunburst w /  Case

1965 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse Vintage Guitar Sunburst w / Case

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1965 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse in excellent condition and in perfect working order. The basic elements of the Firebird design add up to a resonant and powerful platform, with mahogany set-neck construction and a thick Brazilian rosewood fretboard. Acoustically, the guitar has a very clear and resonant voice with a chime and cut that translates well through the trio of original P-90 pickups
The bridge pickup has great midrange kick, harmonic density and a glassy, ... more
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1966 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse Polaris White 100% Original w /  Case

1966 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse Polaris White 100% Original w / Case

Seattle, Washington, 981**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for sale, a 1966 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse in 100% original, collector-grade condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Reengineered with a non-reverse body in 1965 and limited in its production totals, this particular Firebird III sports a custom color Polaris White nitro lacquer finish
Tonewoods include solid mahogany construction paired with a rosewood fretboard, and this Firebird weighs only 7lbs 11oz. The trio of P-90 pickups have ... more
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1982 Gibson Firebird Cherry

1982 Gibson Firebird Cherry

Antioch, Tennessee, 370**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Very good condition Gibson 1982 Firebird in Cherry. All original. Gibson mini humbuckers. Shows general signs of play and use, and has had a neck break with a bit of an ugly repair job, but is rock solid and has held up very well over the years. Original pickups are super responsive and thick while having a nice bit of bite to them. One tone knob is missing as pictured, but I have it in a bag and will include it in the case upon purchase. Super killer player grade example of an 80??s Firebird. ... more
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Vintage 1974 Gibson Les Paul ES-335 Firebird Harness Pots caps Switch

Vintage 1974 Gibson Les Paul ES-335 Firebird Harness Pots caps Switch

Fort Wayne, Indiana, 468**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Rare Vintage 1974 Gibson Les Paul, ES-335, ES-175, Firebird Harness Potentiometers Pots Switch... more
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Gibson 1982 Firebird II Artist CMT in Sunburst w /  Moog Active Electronics

Gibson 1982 Firebird II Artist CMT in Sunburst w / Moog Active Electronics

Minneapolis, Minnesota, 554**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Here's a rare early 80s Firebird in great condition. It has the Moog designed electronics seen in the RD Artist series. The electronics are active- unlike normal tone controls these can provide a vast difference in tones. There's a compressor / expander in there as well as as some Moog magic- this thing is a testament to the electronics transformation we saw in the 80s. This Firebird is an great condition- with minor dents and surface scratches you'd expect from a 40+ year old instrument and ... more
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2023 Epiphone Inspired by Gibson 1963 Firebird V Electric Guitar w /  Hard Case

2023 Epiphone Inspired by Gibson 1963 Firebird V Electric Guitar w / Hard Case

Forked River, New Jersey, 087**, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA


Up for Sale Today:
2023 Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Electric Guitar
Ember Red
Guitar is in mint cosmetic condition.
Neck is straight with low action. No bowing
Tested and working properly
OEM hard case w / key is included
Please see pictures for more detail and feel free to ask any questions as we'd be happy to help
Comes exactly as pictured
Free Shipping within the contiguous USA
This item is for sale through eBay ONLY!
Please don't ask us to ... more
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1976 Gibson Firebird Bicentennial Limited Edition Sunburst

1976 Gibson Firebird Bicentennial Limited Edition Sunburst

Timmins, Ontario, P4N***, CANADA

C $6900

This 1976 Gibson Firebird Bicentennial Limited Edition Sunburst is a rare gem that any guitar enthusiast would love to own. With its stunning sunburst finish and unique design, this electric guitar is a true work of art. The limited edition bicentennial model adds to its rarity and makes it a valuable addition to any collection Crafted by one of the most respected guitar manufacturers in the world, this Gibson Firebird features high-quality construction and exceptional sound. Its electric ... more
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Here??s how Gibson describes this guitar in the 1964 catalogue??
?A solid performer in this in this new lineup of solid body guitars by Gibson
Offers you all the range and versatility you could ask for, plus that sharpness in the treble range, and deep biting bass
FEATURES: New style and construction. Two humbucking pickups. Brazillian rosewood fingerboard with pearl inlaid position dots, bound edges. Gibson Vibrola?? exclusive Gibson offset body bridge. Three position toggle ... more
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1 cover ONLY
* was replated with a THICK golden layer
* has wear from being stored
... more
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* nickel has wear... more
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Gibson Custom Shop Walnut Limited Edition Firebird 2017

Gibson Custom Shop Walnut Limited Edition Firebird 2017

Bayreuth, 95447, GERMANY


All guitars are subject to differential taxation according to $ 25a USt and are checked for functionality before shipping. We ship our guitars throughout Europe via DHL. A 14-day return policy and a 1-year warranty apply. Since pictures say more than words, we provide a variety of photos instead of a long description. Please contact us at +49 176 98824817 or at [email removed by eBay] if you have any urgent questions Beautiful and stunning firebird from the gibson custom shop in walnut with worn... more
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1965 Gibson ES 335  /  SG  /  FIREBIRD TONE POT USA

1965 Gibson ES 335 / SG / FIREBIRD TONE POT USA



250 K tone pot
* 1 ONLY
... more
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* NO tremolo arm included
... more
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* 3 latch version
* total length inside is 111 cm=double check it with your guitar
* golden interior has stains
* has 3 smaller cracks on the sides
* 1 foot is missing
* gaffa tape residue at top end
* check ALL PICS
Over 1000 more
TAKE A LOOK !!!... more
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1 cover ONLY
* was replated with a THICK golden layer
* has wear from being stored
... more
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jun Comment left 27th September 2012 17:05:18 reply
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.


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1971 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1968 Selmer guitar catalogue

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1963 Vox Super AceThe Vox Super Ace was a mid-priced British solid body electric guitar, produced by JMI at their factory in Dartford, Kent. It was broadly modelled on the Fender Stratocaster, and a sibling model to the dual-pickup Vox Ace. Both the Ace, and Super Ace (along with several other models), were redesigned in 1963 with a new body shape, headstock style, and pickup layout - only increasing the resemblance to the aforementioned Fender. The Super Ace had a 1963 price tag of 47 5S. It's a pretty nice playing guitar with some lovely sounds - check out the videos on this page, and in the Vintage Guitar and Bass supporting members area

1966 Vox New Escort

1966 Vox New EscortThe Vox New Escort was Vox's version of the Fender Telecaster, at a time when American guitars were out of reach for most British musicians. It was made by JMI in England, for the British market, and unlike the majority of other models, didn't have an Italian-made equivalent. But the New Escort wasn't a slavish Fender copy, adding Vox's stylish teardrop headstock to the tele-style body, with a stop tailpiece and two Vox V2 single coil pickups. And it's a pretty substantial, and nice playing guitar, with a very comfortable neck. Check out the images, specifications, and watch a video of it in action. There is also extra content in the vintageguitarandbass supporting members area.

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin' Care

1969 Fender catalog, Fender Lovin CareCatalog scan. The 1969 Fender Lovin' Care catalog consisted of 48 pages of electric guitars, basses, amplifiers, steel guitars, acoustic guitars, banjos and keyboards. Like the previous catalog, this featured the company's guitars in a variety of interesting settings around California, from the Whiskey-A-Go-Go, to the Hollywood Bowl. Several instruments were making their first appearance amongst it's pages: the Telecaster bass, Montego and LTD jazz guitars, and the Redondo acoustic. It was the final catalog appearance, however, of the Electric XII, Bass V, Duo-Sonic, Coronado I and Coronado Bass I.

1973 Eko Ranger Folk

1973 Eko Ranger FolkThe Eko Ranger series of guitars was incredibly popular in the second half of the 1960s and through the 1970s, selling in very large numbers. The Ranger Folk was 1 1/4" smaller, and 1" shallower than the Ranger VI and XII - and with a narrower waist. Not a bad guitar; a little quiet, but pretty playable. These were great value in 1973, and because they sold so many, they are easy to find and excellent value today.

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitar

1966 Vox Symphonic bass guitarThe Symphonic bass was built in the UK, by Vox parent company JMI. It was the Vox equivalent to the Fender Precision bass, and was one of the most expensive Vox guitars produced. It was actually a great playing bass, rather similar to the Precision in feel and sound, but was probably just too expensive compared to an actual Fender and consequently sold poorly. When Vox hit financial problems in 1968, unsold guitars and basses were passed on to Dallas Arbiter, who briefly sold the excess Symphonic bass stock as model 4537. This bass, although with a neck date of February 1966, was most likely one of the unsold Vox guitars sold on by Dallas Arbiter. Check out the bass, and the two video demos through 1960s Ampeg and WEM amplifiers.

1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog

1968 Shaftesbury catalogThe 1968 Shaftesbury 'Electric Guitars' catalog was just four pages long, and contained four guitar models: the six string Barney Kessel-style 3264; and three Rickenbacker-styled semi-acoustic models: the six-string 3261, the twelve string 3262 and the 3263 bass. Shaftesbury was the house-brand of major UK distributor Rose-Morris, and seems to have been launched as a response to the company's loss of it's distribution deal with Rickenbacker. The guitars were mid-priced, and built in (initially) Japan, and later Italy, by Eko

1970 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns Celebrated Classics' catalog

1970 Rose_Morris catalog1970 Rose-Morris catalog, dated April 1970. It featured 6 electric guitars, 32 acoustic guitars, 3 basses and 1 steel guitar. It contains the following instruments, over 20 pages: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3262, 3264, 3265, 3400; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Colorado, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12; Aria 1674, 1675, 1676, 1679, 1680, 1695, 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk; Rose-Morris 15-11, Kansas, Georgian, Florida; Suzuki 1663, 1664, 1665, 3054, 3055, 3060; Tatay 1713, 1714, 1715; Peerless 3052; Steel guitar: Aria 3425

1971 Rose-Morris 'Exciting Electrics Wonderful Westerns' catalog

1971 Rose_Morris catalogThe sixteen-page 1971 Rose-Morris catalog featured electric guitars by Rose-Morris' own brand, Shaftesbury, and budget brand Top Twenty; aswell as acoustics by Eko, Aria, and for the first time Ovation. The catalog contains the following instruments: Electric guitars: Shaftesbury 3261, 3264, 3265, 3400, 3402; Top Twenty 1970; Bass: Shaftesbury 3263, 3266; Top Twenty 1971; Acoustic guitars: Ovation: Balladeer, 12 String, Glen Campbell, Glen Campbell 12 string; Eko Rio Bravo, Rio Bravo 12, Ranger, Ranger Folk, Ranger 12, Colorado, Ranchero, Ranchero 12, Studio 'L'; Rose-Morris Florida; Aria 'John Pearse' Jumbo, 'John Pearse' Folk

1972 Fender Precision bass

1972 Fender PrecisionA detailed look at an early 1970s Fender Precision bass guitar in custom black finish, with rosewood fretboard. 1972 list price, $307.50. The Fender Precision had been shipping since at least very early 1952 - with just one re-design circa 1957. This example, then, shows a model already two decades old, but barely changed since the '57 revamp. Fender got it right first time around, and although there are numerous minor cosmetic differences, the essence of this bass is effectively the same as it was in '52: a simple, single pickup instrument with a GREAT sound. Check out the demo video through an old Ampeg B15. It's no wonder this is the bass that everybody wants!

1967 Vox Stroller

1967 Vox StrollerThe Vox Stroller was the brand's entry level electric solid body guitar, fitted with just one pickup and a fixed tailpiece. Although aimed at student guitarists, it wasn't a terrible instrument, but did lack somewhat in adjustability, having no accessible truss rod and only a floating rosewood bridge. But this example is actually quite an improvement on earlier versions, with a standard 1/4" jack and a solid mahogany body. 1967 price £18 2s. JMI ceased UK guitar production in late '67, and combined with decreasing demand for the Stroller, this surely must be one of the last examples shipped.

1963 Vox Clubman Bass (left handed)

1963 Vox Clubman Bass left handedA nice example of the Vox Clubman II bass, built by JMI in Dartford, Kent in 1963. This is a lightweight bass, short (30") scale and very easy to play. It is an early example, and as such has a thin black scratchplate and side mounted, coaxial output jack. JMI offered left handed examples of their solid body Vox guitars and basses at 10% premium. Production numbers are unclear, but left-handed examples rarely come up for sale

1977 Gibson ES Artist 'prototype'

1977 Gibson ES Artist prototypeNot to be confused with the Gibson ES Artist launched by Gibson in 1979; this ES Artist was an early model designed by the Gibson research and development team in Kalamazoo in 1977, the instruments themselves constructed by Gibson artist Chuck Burge. It was planned for launch as a high end semi acoustic with 335-style construction (central maple block) and innovative circuitry - but was pulled at the last minute, being deemed too expensive. Apparently, several examples were produced with varying specifications, though exactly how many actually left the Kalamazoo plant is unclear. Certainly two guitars were sold to LaVonne Music by Gibson in around 1980. Read more about the development of this guitar, with details from Chuck Burge and the story of it's sale to LaVonne music

1959 Hofner Committee

1959 Hofner CommitteeThe Hofner Committee was a truly beautiful guitar produced in Germany, primarily for the UK market. It was a large bodied (initially 17 1/2") guitar with a carved spruce top, available as an acoustic or electric guitar. By the early sixties the carved top was replaced with a laminate, and although still a very fine guitar, the earlier carved top examples, with frondose headstock (like the example shown here) are far more highly prized amongst musicians and vintage guitar collectors.

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean

1965 Gretsch Chet Atkins TennesseanThe Gretsch Chet Atkins Tennessean, or model 6119 was Gretsch's best selling hollow body of the 1960s. This wonderfully faded example from 1965 was originally Dark Cherry Red, but has turned a mid-orange brown. The original color, however, can be seen underneath the pickup surrounds. 1965 specs: maple body, two-piece neck, Brazilian rosewood fretboard and Hi-Lo 'Tron single coil pickups. Nickel plated Gretsch Bigsby tailpiece.

1965 Gretsch 'For the Spectacular Sound of the Times' guitar and amp catalog

1965 Gretsch catalogThe 1965 Gretsch catalog, or catalog #32, featured 10 hollow body electric guitars, including the newly launched Gretsch Viking; four solid body electrics, including the Astro Jet - making it's only catalog appearance; just one bass, the single pickup PX6070; nine acoustics and 12 tube amplifiers. Pride of place went to the Chet Atkins Country Gentleman that adorned both the front and back covers. 24 pages, six of which are in full color.

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret ends

Guitar Repair: fixing fret buzz and sharp fret endsLoose frets are especially problematic in certain old guitars, but are generally very easy to fix. You'll be amazed at the difference you can make with just a few tools, a bit of knowledge, and a little time. Fixing loose frets can eliminate fret buzz, remove sharp fret ends, and greatly improve the tone of any guitar. If your luthier bill will be greater than the value of your guitar, definitely time to have a go yourself!

1966 Hagstrom 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog (Merson USA)

1966 Hagstrom guitar catalogHagstrom guitars were distributed in the mid-1960s United States by Merson of USA. This eight page 'worlds fastest playing neck' catalog, printed in two-colors contained six solid body electrics, three solid body basses, two electric acoustic guitars, two electric acoustic basses and five acoustics.

1965 Hofner President

1965 Hofner PresidentThe President was produced by Hofner in Bubenreuth, Germany, specifically for Selmer, who distributed the brand in the United Kingdom, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and other commonwealth nations. The President was a hollow body electric acoustic, available as a full body or thinline, and with blonde or brunette finish. It was a great playing guitar that sold fairly well in the second half of the 1950s, throughout the 1960s, and into the very early 1970s. The example shown here is a full-body depth guitar in blonde - and as a 1965 guitar, one of the last to feature the rounded Venetian cutaway. From late 1965 until 1972, the President sported a sharp Florentine cut. Naturally, such an electric acoustic suggests jazz and blues, but many of the original British Hofner President players were part of the rock 'n roll, skiffle and beat scenes of the late 50s and early 60s.

1963 1964 Fender catalog

Fender 1963 catalogue"The Choice of Professional and Student Musicians Everywhere" This eight page catalogue was included as an insert in the 1963 annual "school music" issue of Downbeat magazine (September 1963). As well as keyboards and pedal steels, this catalog contains seven guitars, three basses and ten amplifiers - from student guitars such as the Musicmaster and Duotone to professional models like the new Jaguar.