Up for sale, a 1960s Firstman Broadway Special in excellent, 100% original condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original hardshell case. Only produced from 1967-69, this hollowbody was the brainchild of Japanese electronics genius Kazuo Morioka. Morioka is perhaps best known for his work producing Japanese Mosrites in partnership with Semie Moseley, and his work also spans Kawai and Teisco.
Reminiscent of Gibson's Trini Lopez Custom with its full-depth body, diamond soundholes, and dual Venetian cutaways, this Firstman has a clear, resonant natural acoustic quality channeled faithfully by the humbucker pair. These blade pickups are virtually identical in appearance to the Hofner pickups produced in this era, metering in the low 6k ohms range. The tone is warm and round, with a rich midrange, broad low end, and sweet treble character. The humbuckers handle gain surprisingly well too. Lightweight at 6lbs 5oz, this Firstman has been professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and spot-on intonation.
The three-piece maple neck has a chunky U-shaped profile carve with round shoulders and lightly rolled fretboard edges, measuring .880” deep at the 1st fret and .995” at the 12th. The bound rosewood fretboard features pearloid block inlay and stock slender fretwire which is in great shape with well-rounded crowns, showing only light wear beneath the plain strings on frets 1-7. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod. The nut measures just a hair under 1 9/16" in width, in-line with late '60s Gibson spec. The headstock features a raised chrome Firstman badge, and the closed-back tuners turn smoothly and hold accurate pitch, with notably clean chrome plating.
All of the electronics function as intended, with the blade humbuckers wired to the stock harness, governed by a three-way pickup selector switch and individual Volume and Tone controls. Hardware includes the original quartet of “V” and “T”-embossed machined aluminum knobs, Bigsby-style vibrato, and floating bridge with a rosewood base and roller saddles. Plastics comprise the black pickup rings and the unique four-ply black parallelogram pickguard. The Firstman logo on the pickguard has been scuffed away by strumming over the years, and is only faintly visible.
The gloss Red finish is framed on top and back by cream binding, with some vertical finish checking on the treble side of the top. Cosmetic wear includes an area of buckle rash on the back central to the lower bout, a handful of small chips on the back along the binding, and some faint scratches and pinhead-sized nicks on the body as a whole. The gloss finish on the neck profile is smooth and clean.
The original hardshell case is included, retaining the original latches and handle.