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1965 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse Vintage Guitar Sunburst w/ Case


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Up for sale, a 1965 Gibson Firebird III Non-Reverse in excellent condition and in perfect working order. The basic elements of the Firebird design add up to a resonant and powerful platform, with mahogany set-neck construction and a thick Brazilian rosewood fretboard. Acoustically, the guitar has a very clear and resonant voice with a chime and cut that translates well through the trio of original P-90 pickups.

The bridge pickup has great midrange kick, harmonic density and a glassy, percussive cut. The middle position engages the Bridge and Middle pickups out-of-phase, and this setting balances both thickness and spank, meatier-sounding than most pickups when combined in this fashion. The neck pickup has girth and warmth without sacrificing focus, with a touch of compression when pushing a tube amp. Professionally setup here at Mike & Mike's Guitar Bar, this Firebird III weighs 7lbs 7oz, strung with fresh 10-46 strings, dialed in with low action and accurate intonation.

The one-piece mahogany neck has a slender C-shaped profile carve at the nut, with a gradual and appreciable increase in additional heft and shoulder up the fretboard, measuring .810” at the 1st fret and .990” at the 12th. The original medium jumbo frets have plenty of meat with fairly flat crowns, showing sparingly little wear, playing cleanly up the straight neck and 24 3/4" scale. The nut has been upgraded to bone, measuring 1 9/16" in width. On the headstock, the original Kluson nickel double-line deluxe tuners are intact, and the "Gibson"-silkscreened truss rod cover is a modern replacement that faithfully matches the original. A small amount of compression of the original truss rod anchor has pushed the acorn nut for the rod upward fractionally, and the rod is responsive and optimally adjusted. Very minor fretboard separation from frets 1-2 has also been professionally addressed.

All of the electronics work as they should with untouched solder joints and CTS pots which date to '65. All three P-90s retain their original windings with clean bobbins and strong output. The body routes are untouched, and stock hardware includes the short frame Maestro Vibrola, which has a very smooth, touch-sensitive response. The MojoAxe bridge has correct compensation for a plain G, ensuring optimal intonation with most string gauges (the original bridge is also included, compensated for a wound G string). Plastics include the original pickguard, which sits flat and has a couple small missing corners, retaining the Firebird graphic. The original quartet of gold reflector cap knobs are also present, all retaining the text on their caps, and the three stock pickup covers are intact too, with some minor splitting along the pole pieces of the neck pickup cover.

The original Sunburst gloss nitro lacquer finish is 100% original with no touch-up or overspray, exhibiting very tight lacquer checking. There are various dings and finish chips on the body as a whole, largely on the perimeter, with some additional localized finish loss on the lower bout edge near the rear strap button, and subtle buckle wear across the edge of the belly carve. The gloss is retained on the profile length, with a few small shallow chips and nicks, worn smooth from contact with the palm.

A modern (Epiphone-branded) hardshell case is included.