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The Firebird, introduced by Gibson back in 1963, is one of my favourite 'modernistic' shaped models, and this reissue from 2004 is a really nice one.

Gibson had already made a bold statement in 1958 with the introduction of the odd-shaped, totally 'modernistic' Flying V, Explorer and the elusive Moderne. Then, in 1963 came the Firebird, which was created by Ray Dietrich, who was actually an automotive designer (and some say the inventor of the "tail fin"). With its upside down look, it was clearly not mainstream. This was Gibson saying, essentially, "there's nothing conservative about our company."

The Firebird went through some changes, notably backing away from the 'reverse' styling to come up with the 'non-reverse' models a few years later, but I think it's the original design that is by far the most attractive. The use of geared banjo-style tuners, the buttons of which were not visible from the front of the guitar, I have always found particularly appealing, and they are surprisingly nice to use too!

The neck-through construction, and all-Mahogany tonewoods, gives these guitars a great tone. The mini-humbuckers make it less aggressive and over-the-top than, say, a Les Paul or Flying V, And contribute to a tonal character that is all its own. I personally love them! But don't take my word for it - Johnny Winter, Allen Collins, Dave Grohl, Kim Thayil, Brian Jones, Stephen Stills, Duke Robillard and Steve Clark (amongst many others) also use the Gibon Firebird extensively.

This example from 2004 is in extremely good condition. There are some minor marks here and there (see the detailed photographs in the 'more pictures' link below), but the guitar has barely been played. Fret wear is negligible (invisible), there is no belt buckle marking, a truly top-notch guitar. The original, sumptuous dark-grey plush-lined Gibson USA case comes with the guitar, and is also in very good condition and even has the original owner's handbook in the pocket!

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