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Old 11-22-2012, 11:37 PM   #1
ConcertShooter
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Question ebay: 1964 Gibson Reverse Firebird 1 with 3 humbuckers?

So I'm bidding on this 1964 Gibson Reverse Firebird 1 with 3 humbuckers and no toggle switch. The seller is apparently in Great Britain while the guitar is just up the street from me.

1964 GIBSON REVERSE FIREBIRD GUITAR
http://www.ebay.com/itm/11097951957...984.m1426.l2649



I've sent the seller a message that he has yet to respond to concerning payment and pickup. Since the instrument is just up the street so to speak I'd rather pick it up in person and pay for it in cash. Don't want it shipped and take a chance on damaging it.

I've also asked a question but even ebay doesn't acknowledge my question having been asked. I'm beginning to get a little concerned since I've entered a much higher bid than is what is currently being shown.

Now that said, has anyone ever seen a Firebird 1 with three humbuckers and no toggle switch? It appears genuine as best I can tell and the case appears genuine but the seller and guitar being on two different continents strikes me as peculiar. That and the seller hasn't responded to my message yet albeit it is Thanksgiving in America, but is it a holiday in GB?

Any comments or suspicions regarding this guitar would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks in advance!

Last edited by ConcertShooter : 11-22-2012 at 11:41 PM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:35 AM   #2
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I'm not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, but that headstock doesn't look quite kosher to me. Comparing it to the one owned by the guitarist in one of my favorite new bands:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-MA0m1K2jW4&sns=em

The headstock of the one you're bidding on looks like its lacking some details. And the lack of a switch seems hinky to me.
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Old 11-23-2012, 12:54 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
The headstock of the one you're bidding on looks like its lacking some details. And the lack of a switch seems hinky to me.


The neck and headstock of the guitar in the video you posted is bound. The '64 I'm bidding on isn't. Here is another '64 Reverse Firebird 1 with an unbound neck and head stock and no toggle switch although it does have the Gibson logo on the headstock truss rod plate whereas the one on ebay doesn't.



From my understanding the one I'm bidding on is supposed to be identical to the one in this post excepting it has two additional pickups and an extra volume and tone control knob. The serial number on the head stock seems to match the '64 line of Gibsons.

I had a 1991 Reverse Firebird reissue that was the vintage brown as seen in the above specimen although it had a bound neck two humbuckers and a toggle switch for bridge and neck pickups. It was more similar to the one in the video you posted excepting for it's color. Will be interesting to see how high the one I'm bidding on will sell.

Last edited by ConcertShooter : 11-23-2012 at 12:55 AM.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:26 AM   #4
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One thing I've noted is that few of the Firebirds of the '64 era had black knobs. The majority (99%) had gold knobs although I've seen pics of a couple with black knobs.

Also performed a search on Google images and found the same pictures as seen in the ebay auction on a website called gumtree.com If you do a search on Google images with the terms "1964 Gibson reverse firebird" and scroll down five rows you'll see two of the images of the auction guitar there with links to the gumtree.com website.



This gumtree website seems to be some amateurish selling type of website but I can't find the Firebird anywhere on that site.
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Old 11-23-2012, 02:32 AM   #5
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Actually, I was referring to the apparent lack of "Gibson" on the headstock- I can't see it in the picture of the guitar you're looking to buy.
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Old 11-23-2012, 03:33 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dannyalcatraz
Actually, I was referring to the apparent lack of "Gibson" on the headstock- I can't see it in the picture of the guitar you're looking to buy.


I noticed that too, but one thing I've seen in other Firebirds of this era is that the Gibson on the head stock truss rod plate seems to have faded on many of them. I can't see it on the Firebird on auction but I can't see it either on many Firebirds of that era as they seem to fade over time and are very subtle. I suspect it may be the case with this one.

Regardless, the instrument is alleged to be 184 miles from me and well within driving distance. If I win the bid I'll go pick it up and give it a good once over before the exchange of cash. I've sent three messages to the seller and still no answer.

I kick myself for selling my '91 Reverse Firebird reissue and would love to have the real deal, but I am not going to put myself in a position where I'm taken for a fake. I'm too old and it won't go well with the seller if that happens to be the case.
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Old 11-23-2012, 05:34 AM   #7
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It's modded if it's a I. The VII had the three pickups and a Maestro, but it also had the switch. The tuners are correct for that guitar from that time.

Quote:
Originally Posted by The Seller
Supposedly there were Firebirds that were held over at the factory unsold, and then completed and sold off later.


That kinda makes me suspicious, along with the find of the same one on Gumtree.
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Old 11-23-2012, 08:27 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisthekiller
That kinda makes me suspicious, along with the find of the same one on Gumtree.


I don't know about the actual guitar itself, I know next to nothing about firebirds, but as a seasoned gumtree user, I see a lot of people putting the same guitars and pictures on both ebay and gumtree. So I wouldn't let this put you off at all
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Old 11-23-2012, 11:11 AM   #9
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I stopped bidding at $1,200. Too many questions for me. I see Reverse Firebirds from that era selling in the $7,000 to $10,000 price range and that this one only sold for US $1,465.93 somewhat confirms my suspicions. I would be interested in knowing the history on it, but the seller never answered any of my three messages to him. I think I did good to back out of that one although I'd enjoy a vintage Firebird in the collection.
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Old 11-23-2012, 01:04 PM   #10
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no it's not a holiday in the UK
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Old 11-23-2012, 04:46 PM   #11
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I really the look of the Firebirds, kinda different. I've only seen it played once in a video and that was by Ronnie Wood with The Stones in the Stripped gigs on Dead Flowers. My local guitar shop has one, it's around £800. I don't know what year it is. I might have to play it.

Anyway, on the video it sounded nice and I think I've read a few things on here of people not liking them much, any ideas why?
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Old 11-24-2012, 12:42 AM   #12
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Neck dive sucks on them and mini-humbuckers aren't for everyone.
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Old 11-24-2012, 01:56 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisthekiller
Neck dive sucks on them and mini-humbuckers aren't for everyone.


completely agree, thats the reason i don't have one.
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:26 AM   #14
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Well there we go. Thanks. :-)
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Old 11-24-2012, 04:37 AM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wisthekiller
Neck dive sucks on them and mini-humbuckers aren't for everyone.


This was a big problem on my '91 reissue but I've been drawn to the Reverse Firebirds since seeing Allen Collins playing one on the cover of One More From the Road with Lynyrd Skynyrd (the real Lynyrd Skynyrd of the early to late 1970s, not the poser band by the same name).

There are plenty of videos of L.S. where Collins can be seen playing the Firebird rather handely on Freebird while at the same time performing acrobatics. lol.

I just like the body style and like Wisthekiller said, the mini-humbuckers aren't for everyone. The futuristic 50s-60s styling are what draw me to the model and I kick myself for selling mine to pay a stinking car note.

Last edited by ConcertShooter : 11-24-2012 at 10:53 PM.
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