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Firebird II?

#1 User is offline   bmckeen 

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Posted 11 March 2008 - 01:56 PM

Hi
i recently picked up this guitar which I've heard called either a Firebird II, CMT or Artist. It is serial number 82961008. I'd appreciate any details you can give me on the model, how many were made, etc. I will post some pictures if I can figure it out. Please let me know. thanks..
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#2 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 03:05 AM

Pics, we need pics!

From the eight digit serial number alone, it was 8th guitar to roll off the Kalamazoo assembly line on the 296th day of 1981. Firebird II was never a model designation, the Firebirds were always odd numbers, I, III, V or VII, reverse body or non-reverse.

Not familiar with a CMT model, but the Artist name you mention might be a model Gibson called the "RD Artist". It was a reverse type slab body somewhat of a Firebird shape, usually painted black.

Pics, we need pics.
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#3 User is offline   bmckeen 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 04:02 AM

Yes, it's the RD Artist style with the Moog electronics. I a newbee to the group, can someone tell me how to post pictures? I can't seem to find it.
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#4 User is offline   bmckeen 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 11:48 AM

try these links

Posted Image

Posted Image
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#5 User is offline   L5Larry 

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Posted 12 March 2008 - 05:18 PM

Wow, that is one odd bird (pun intended). Certainaly built around an RD Artist body, with a reverse to non-reverse transition period Firebird set-neck. Never seen anything quite like that before.
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#6 User is offline   sangandongo 

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Posted 15 January 2009 - 05:48 AM

Firebird IIs were indeed the correct designation for this guitar. They were kin to the RD series, but this was typically called a Firebird II Artist CMT. They featured the same Moog electronics as the RD Artist did and were very similar in sound. They're great guitars, but if you're used to a Firebird's through body neck, you'll notice a difference for certain, not to mention the fact that it had full sized humbuckers.

It looks like you've got a pretty well kept specimen. Nobody jacked with the electronics, did they? The mini switches are still functional?

Another problem with these set necked Firebirds were the short tannen and shallow neck pockets. It was an effort by Norlin to reduce cost. Not really a big deal, most late 70s models featured this short tannen/pocket issue. They still sound good. =D>

Anyhow, that's a great guitar. Hope you like it.
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#7 User is offline   Oringo 

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Posted 16 January 2009 - 07:46 PM

Just to back up Sangandongo, the Firebird II was an official Gibson model, and if my info is correct, one of the higher end models of its time.
After the 70's Medallion and Bicentennial Firebirds, which were very close to the original reverse body spec (major differences were stop tail, no fender style back contour, gold hardware, un bound neck), in the 80's Gibson seems to have made a Firebird I, neck through with mini-humbuckers, and the Firebird II, with set-neck, mahagony body with figured maple top and one piece binding, Moog active electronics.
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#8 User is offline   firebird-ii 

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 07:29 AM

Well, I just found this thread, and, as you may guess from my username, I have a bit of an interest in this guitar. I've had one for nearly 10 years:

Posted Image

Posted Image

No idea how many were made. I was told 'about 150' when I bought the guitar, and then I posted this into a Harmony Central review shortly after. I've since seen a disturbing number of on-line comments agreeing with this phrase exactly (from a German guitar shop with an example currently for sale, to eBay auctions from the US). Conclusion? they all read my review! Great player; a handful live because of the complex RD electronics, and the compressor acting as a pre-amp. But very well finished; a high-end model indeed -look at the neck flames on mine- and a real sleeper!
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#9 User is offline   Oringo 

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Posted 06 May 2009 - 03:53 AM

That's a beautiful guitar!
When all is said and done about Norlin-era cost-cutting, 80's Ibanez-inspired guitars, re-issues of re-issues, Gibson has managed to come up with some really neat "oddball" guitars over the years. After the kids are done with school, the mortgage is paid off and all that, I imagine trying to assemble a collection of my favourite Gibsons that most people never knew existed:
Nighthawk
Blueshawk
Firebird V-12
Firebird II
L-5S
ES-335S...

Any other suggestions for an "oddball" hall of fame?
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#10 User is offline   DogBreath 

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Posted 04 February 2011 - 04:32 PM

That Gibson Firebird Reverse Serial Number 82961008 used to be my guitar.
I was owner number two. The original owner placed those toggle switches there that causes the electrical current in the pickups to travel in a reverse manner that has a coarse sound.
I believe that's why it takes a nine volt battery.
Original owner also ruined the guitar's warranty before he sold it.
I bought it at; Rudy's Music Stop, Inc. 169 West 48th Street, New York City on July 3, 1982

I won't say for how much, tho' I just found the receipts for it.
Used in a New Jersey band called Dog Breath. From the New Brunswick / Edison area.
Songs included some Ramones, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin and some originals.
Zappa's Big Leg Emma was a hit with that guitar's slide effects.
Sold in a fit of depression as everything was going downhill.
Maybe around 1995-ish. ...

One last item, the lead singer of Dog Breath is looking for that guitar.
We both flew south a long, long time ago leaving New Jersey.

Take Care of it, for it had a name of a mean rotten scratchy cat. )
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#11 User is offline   Shadesofcraig 

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Posted 18 May 2011 - 11:44 PM

Hello I am the original owner of a 1981 Gibson Firebird II that is in mint condition. I have heard production numbers of 6 to 250 but really have no idea how many were made not that it matters. I have seen two on eBay, one that was butchered and one that was original. Believe it or not I have no idea what the two micro switches do. The guitar was in the October 2008 Issue of Premier Guitar Magazine's Trash Or Treasure. The only thing I found out there and from Gibson is that one of the switches activates the Active/Bright electronics.. I would love to find out what the two switches do and which one does what.. It is a great guitar.. Thanks for any info or help...

Posted Image
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#12 User is offline   slappy 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:32 PM

i bought a new 84' gibson firebird 2 (is what it said on the tag). the serial # is 82961021. it looks exactly like the one pictured below. (with the exception of the pick-guard. i was a kid. i didn't know any better, but i hated the white guard and replaced it with a cream colored one and tossed the original). it uses a 9 volt battery. i think i paid $600.00 for it in 84'. seems like a lot, but i didn't care because i couldn't find a firebird and needed one, for my hero johnny winter played one. lol. now i'm unemployed and so broke i can't even pay attention. anyone know what i could expect to get for it?
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#13 User is offline   slappy 

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Posted 27 January 2012 - 10:50 PM

i also have an old gib acoustic # 800191. no clue what that is. i bought it from a friend in around 78'.
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#14 User is offline   bmckeen 

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:14 AM

Hi
I've seen dealers askIng $2000. These days I would think you could get around $1000-1500.
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#15 User is offline   bmckeen 

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 07:15 AM

Post picture. Maybe someone can help identify it
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#16 User is offline   pfox14 

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Posted 28 January 2012 - 09:40 AM

I have to admit that I've never seen or heard of a Firebird II. Learn something new everyday on this forum. Very cool looking guitar. Love the top binding on the body.
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#17 User is offline   Ed Harrison 

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Posted 31 May 2018 - 07:03 PM

View PostDogBreath, on 04 February 2011 - 04:32 PM, said:

That Gibson Firebird Reverse Serial Number 82961008 used to be my guitar.
I was owner number two. The original owner placed those toggle switches there that causes the electrical current in the pickups to travel in a reverse manner that has a coarse sound.
I believe that's why it takes a nine volt battery.
Original owner also ruined the guitar's warranty before he sold it.
I bought it at; Rudy's Music Stop, Inc. 169 West 48th Street, New York City on July 3, 1982

I won't say for how much, tho' I just found the receipts for it.
Used in a New Jersey band called Dog Breath. From the New Brunswick / Edison area.
Songs included some Ramones, Frank Zappa, Led Zeppelin and some originals.
Zappa's Big Leg Emma was a hit with that guitar's slide effects.
Sold in a fit of depression as everything was going downhill.
Maybe around 1995-ish. ...

One last item, the lead singer of Dog Breath is looking for that guitar.
We both flew south a long, long time ago leaving New Jersey.

Take Care of it, for it had a name of a mean rotten scratchy cat. )


Not trying to be mean...but you don't know very much about firebird 2's
they are also very hard to get parts for. Wait until you get one with a Victory neck.
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