Up for sale, a late 1960s Firstman Liverpool 67 Special in exceptional condition and in perfect working order, complete with the original case, hangtags and Firstman-branded strap. Firstman was the brainchild of Japanese electronics genius Kazuo Morioka; perhaps best known for his work producing Japanese Mosrites in partnership with Semie Moseley, Morioka’s work also spans Kawai and Teisco. This Firstman Liverpool 67 Special is among the most unique and rare Japanese-made guitars of its era, and purportedly only around 200 were produced in the model's sparingly short two-year run. Sporting an aggressive violin-esque hollowbody design, scroll headstock, and Bigsby-style vibrato, this Firstman is the little brother of the Liverpool Deluxe, which was originally designed in ‘67 for/with Tsunaki Mihara of the Blue Comets.
The hollow body is crafted from maple, with a maple neck and a bound ebony fingerboard, and this guitar has a bright, chiming acoustic presence with ample natural projection and the glassy articulation inherent to the ebony fretboard. The pickups are an ideal blend of sweet surfy sparkle and midrange warmth, delivering percussive cleans with twangy high treble cut in the bridge position and a fuller, rounder sound at the neck that remains notably articulate. This Firstman weighs 6lbs 7oz, professionally setup here at Mike & Mike’s Guitar Bar with 10-46 strings, low action, and accurate intonation.
The maple neck has a substantial C-shaped profile carve with well-rounded shoulders, measuring .910” deep at the 1st fret and 1.040” at the 12th. The bound ebony fretboard features pearloid block inlay, refretted with flawless slender fretwire. This guitar plays cleanly up the 25” scale with a straight neck and a responsive, optimally-adjusted truss rod, and the nut measures 1 5/8“ in width. On the carved scroll headstock, the original tuning machines function smoothly.
All of the electronics function as intended, and both pickups meter at a healthy 6k+ ohms, governed by a three-way selector switch and Master Volume and Tone controls. The chrome-plated pickup covers and bridge cover have plenty of shine, and the bridge's threaded roller saddles and pinned rosewood base work in tandem with the Bigsby-style vibrato to ensure easy actuation and ideal stability. The guitar has also been fitted with a vintage pair of machined aluminum barrel knobs similar to the originals, and the stock four-ply black pickguard is present, retaining some of its silkscreened text.
Cosmetic wear on the gloss Black finish is limited to an area of faint scuffing on the back that falls shy of “buckle rash,” light finish checking on the top, and just a handful of minor nicks and finish scratches on the body as a whole. The smooth gloss on the neck profile is immaculate.
The original hardshell case with form-fit interior is included, along with the hangtags and Firstman-branded strap.