Gibson USA Custom Shop showcased some rather tasty new members to the lineup this year; the infamous Gibson Firebird line from the 1960’s !
I was able to talk to three of the Custom Shop builders this January and try out some of the new models…very impressive! The Firebirds I and V from the early 60’s were incredibly close to the mark on all fronts. Below is an actual 1964 Firebird V…Polaris White.
Sporting the period correct Banjo Tuners, Maestro Vibrola tailpiece, nickel plated brass saddle and alnico 5 magnet mini humbuckers with nickel covers…wow… the reissues are quite well done! Under the hood, 2 500K CTS Volume Pots, 2 500K CTS Tone Pots, Hand-Wired Harness and all the period correct routing.
We did discuss the neck profile somewhat, which admittedly is just a bit off with the infamous ‘taper’ that is such a thrill to feel when climbing up the neck. The comment back (no names here) was the neck is the toughest to re-create and is a work in progress.
On that note, Gibson, in 2020, finally NAILED each year and partial-year neck shapes on the ES-335 re-issues. After going through them all, I will tell you that this is a special year and 2 thumbs up on the accuracy. This will find its way to the Firebird line-up shortly.
The devil is, after all, in the details.