The “reverse bodied” Firebird VII was a revolutionary design when it first left Kalamazoo 50 years ago, and has remained about as “custom” as it gets in the years since. This special 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue captures all the radical design elements and key features of this groundbreaking instrument in a guitar whose looks befit its status, with a stunning Golden Mist Poly finish in nitrocellulose lacquer, gold hardware, a 20th Anniversary medallion covering the rear control access cover, a custom-fitted dust cover with retro 1993 Gibson Custom logo, and a one-of-a-kind, hand-made, framed Certificate of Authenticity. It’s such a stunning collector’s piece we’re even including a pair of white gloves for careful handling. Only 100 will be available worldwide.
Period-correct features on the 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue include the labor-intensive nine-ply mahogany and walnut “neck-through” design, solid mahogany body wings, three Mini-Humbuckers, banjo tuners on a stylish reversed-six-in-line headstock, nylon 6/6 nut, Maestro vibrato, a three-ply white pickguard with Firebird emblem, and of course the accurate “reverse-body” styling conceived by legendary Duesenberg car designer Ray Dietrich. In addition, the 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue will be among the last Gibson guitars to be made with an ebony fingerboard. All in all, it’s a gorgeous tribute to the world’s best-respected Custom house.
Body and neck
Like the original 1965 Firebird, the 20th Anniversary Firebird VII Reissue is based on the complicated “neck-through” design that includes a multi-ply mahogany and walnut neck and body-center section with solid mahogany wings, all resulting in superb resonance and sustain. The iconic “reverse-bodied” styling was named for its approximation of a more conventional offset double-cutaway guitar flipped front to back. The neck is carved in a period-correct Firebird profile, and measures 0.830” at the 1st fret and 0.980” at the 12th. A genuine ebony fingerboard carries 22 medium-jumbo frets and traditional pearl block inlays, and is topped with a nylon 6/6 nut cut on Gibson Custom’s PLEK.
Pickups and electronics
The 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue carries three of Gibson’s new breed of re-engineered Firebird Mini Humbucking pickups for superb tonal power and versatility. Loaded with ceramic magnets and wound with 44 AWG wire in the neck position and 45 AWG wire in the hotter bridge position, these dual-blade humbuckers achieve classic Firebird tone with added punch and clarity. They’re wired in the traditional manner through a three-way toggle switch, with two volume and two tone controls.
Hardware and plastics
The 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue comes equipped with an ABR-1 Tune-o-matic bridge, a Maestro vibrola with long cover, and a set of period-correct banjo tuners, which were originally included in the design to avoid spoiling the radical profile of the Firebird headstock. All hardware is gold-plated. The guitar features a period-correct black truss-rod cover with gold Gibson logo, gold Top Hat knobs with gold inserts, and three-ply white pickguard with red Firebird graphic.
Case and extras
In addition to its Custom Shop case and adjustment literature, each 20th Anniversary 1965 Firebird VII Reissue comes with a framed, handmade, one-of-a-kind Custom Shop 20th Anniversary Limited Edition Certificate of Authenticity, along with a custom-fitted dust cover with retro 1993 Custom Shop logo, a pair of white gloves (for careful handling), and a stamped brass “20th Anniversary” rear control cavity cover (with a spare standard plastic cover in the case).