Here we have a 2005 Gibson Custom Firebird acoustic guitar. You don’t see these very often!
These guitars were built to commemorate a wild fire which in 2001 threatened the Gibson Montana factory, where the Gibson acoustics are built.
This guitar has barely been used. There are no flaws of note. It has very minor play wear, but no dings, dents, or scratches.
To me, there are two things which set this guitar above almost all other dreadnoughts Gibson is building: First, the inlay on the front of the headstock. The abalone and pearl firebird inlay is one of the most beautiful headstock inlays Gibson has ever utilized. It is stunning. Second, the figured maple used on this guitar is absolutely ridiculous. Look at it! The quilted back and sides are as good as any you will find. Try to find a guitar with better maple! The neck maple is also extremely flamed and gorgeous. You just don’t find wood like this very often on guitars.
The guitar features an ebony fretboard. If you look at the Firebird Custom Acoustics currently in stock at Guitar Center or Sweetwater, they all have rosewood fretboards. That’s because Gibson isn’t using ebony to build fretboards anymore. If you’re like me, a rosewood fretboard just isn’t good enough on a custom acoustic. The ebony on this guitar is jet black and tight-grained.
Here are a few of my thoughts regarding the difference between guitars built by the Gibson Custom Shop, as opposed to the non-Custom Shop Gibson guitars:
-The Custom Shop has a much higher standard of quality than Gibson USA does. The finish flaws usually found on Gibson USA models are nearly non-existent on the Custom Shop models. The luthiers at the Custom Shop have more experience.
-The Custom Shop uses better cuts of wood, such as the maple and ebony cuts used for this guitar. Even the current J-200 Custom has a rosewood fretboard, as opposed to the ebony of this Firebird Custom acoustic. The woods used to build Gibson USA guitars are inferior – trust me, I’ve owned them.
-This last item is an observation of mine, but I haven’t technically verified it: It seems to me that the Gibson Custom Shop braces its guitars lighter than Gibson USA does, giving Custom Shop Guitars a better tone. This could be because Gibson knows that the people buying Custom Shop guitars have more knowledge about guitars and are less likely to overload the top. When people overload the top, Gibson ends up paying for warranty repairs, leading them to brace the guitars slightly heavier to prevent that from happening. My Custom Shop guitars have all been lighter than my Gibson USA guitars.
Included with this guitar is the original hardshell case.
Please feel free to call me with any questions: 435.406.9281