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SG Firebrand

#1 User is offline   RStabe 

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Posted 16 September 2008 - 07:47 AM

Im really thinkin this must be the "stepchild" of the SG line. Introduced in 1980, it appears to have had a short, vague and misguided life. Its begginings were simple as it was simply a "the SG" (standard) made from natural finish mahogany rather than walnut and getting its name from the Gibson logo fire branded onto the headstock. From there, things get pretty confusing since sources state they were no longer made after 1981 and I have seen them ser# as late as 1983; painted various colors and without the branded logo. My only guess is that after they officially discontinued, they made "shop" guitars out of the leftover pieces parts for a few years. Maybe someone out there can shed more light? Its unique and valued sound should keep this model from the shadows more than what I would expect.

#2 User is offline   custer 

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 05:26 AM

I remember seeing the ads for them when they first came out . I always thought they were pretty cool. How about some pics?

#3 User is offline   MI_Canuck 

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 05:51 AM

You're right about the Firebrand "losing it's way"... I recently had spotted one from the early 80's on my local Craigslist... Besides being red, and having "The SG Firebrand" on the truss rod cover, I was scratching my head as to what "Firebrand" was meant for (thinking maybe because of the red, something to do with Firemen... lol)... Then upon digging discovered that they were originally actually "firebranded" and had that natural wood look to them including the headstock. At that point the "Firebrand" made sense - not so with the later regular looking models. Must be like you say - Gibson just wanted to use up the parts and slapped them some regular SG Specials or Standards. Shame. But models like that come and go unfortunately...


cheers
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'98 Gibson SG Standard - ebony

Fender Super Champ XD amp

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#4 User is offline   RStabe 

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:31 AM

Ok after lotsa research on this, I can only draw a theoretical conclusion. The painted Firebrands appear to be a guitar made for Guitar Center etc.. I know of one that was sold new from there. My guess would be that Gibson prolly had alota hardware left over and some poor wood, so what better way to get rid of it. Ive read of them being made as early as 1980 and late as 1985. So in conclusion I figured the would wait till they had enough poor wood to paint over to make it worth building a batch, get an order and fire em up. This is only speculative but Ide bet Im not too far off the mark. I think they sold for about $300 - $400.

#5 User is offline   MI_Canuck 

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:44 AM

if your theory is correct, maybe they should have called the painted ones "Firesale" SGs... lol ;-)
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'98 Gibson SG Standard - ebony

Fender Super Champ XD amp

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#6 User is offline   RStabe 

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Posted 17 September 2008 - 08:50 AM

Quote

if your theory is correct, maybe they should have called the painted ones "Firesale" SGs... lol ;-)


Haha! Indeed.

#7 User is offline   RStabe 

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Posted 18 September 2008 - 03:34 AM

[quote name='RStabe]Ok after lotsa research on this' date=' I can only draw a theoretical conclusion. The painted Firebrands appear to be a guitar made for Guitar Center etc.. I know of one that was sold new from there. My guess would be that Gibson prolly had alota hardware left over and some poor wood, so what better way to get rid of it. Ive read of them being made as early as 1980 and late as 1985. So in conclusion I figured the would wait till they had enough poor wood to paint over to make it worth building a batch, get an order and fire em up. This is only speculative but Ide bet Im not too far off the mark. I think they sold for about $300 - $400.[/quote']

Also Norlin, the parent company, had Gibson up for sale from 1980 until it was purchased in the summer of 85. Coincidence ? Prolly not.

#8 User is offline   WillyWP 

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Posted 14 August 2015 - 09:51 AM

They started made them in 1979 too, I have one with a 1979 serial number. It is an excellent guitar. I've owned a few SGs and the Firebrand is my favorite. Its ugly, but it plays and sounds amazing. They cost $499 new at the time, which was cheaper than a Standard but for the time not as equally cheap as a lot of the lower end SG models now.

#9 User is offline   GibSinCity 

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 05:26 PM

http://www.vintagegu...ues/1980_59.php

Posted Image

http://www.vintagegu...m/adDetails/220

Posted Image

#10 User is offline   cjsinla 

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 08:15 PM

View PostGibSinCity, on 16 August 2015 - 05:26 PM, said:


They made a Les Paul Firebrand too if I remember correctly. I think this was the bargain line at the time. It was almost half the price of the higher end stuff. It was probably supposed to be entry level stuff like the Juniors were in the 50's.
Life is too short to play crappy guitars:

1959 Les Paul Jr
1960 Melody Maker
1979 Flying V
1979 Explorer
1982 Heritage Flying V
1982 30th Anniversary Les Paul
2010 SG Classic
2011 50th Anniversary Pete Townsend SG
2011 61ri SG
2011 VOS 1960 Les Paul Special
2012 Gloss Series Flying V
2013 SG Original
2013 Les Paul Traditional
2013 61 Les Paul SG
2013 ES335
2014 Les Paul Traditional

#11 User is offline   GibSinCity 

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Posted 16 August 2015 - 09:58 PM

Yup.

http://www.vintagegu...m/adDetails/348

Posted Image

#12 User is offline   cjsinla 

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 07:31 AM

View PostGibSinCity, on 16 August 2015 - 09:58 PM, said:



Weren't these the forerunner to the LP Studio line?
Life is too short to play crappy guitars:

1959 Les Paul Jr
1960 Melody Maker
1979 Flying V
1979 Explorer
1982 Heritage Flying V
1982 30th Anniversary Les Paul
2010 SG Classic
2011 50th Anniversary Pete Townsend SG
2011 61ri SG
2011 VOS 1960 Les Paul Special
2012 Gloss Series Flying V
2013 SG Original
2013 Les Paul Traditional
2013 61 Les Paul SG
2013 ES335
2014 Les Paul Traditional

#13 User is offline   charlie brown 

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 11:44 AM

View Postcjsinla, on 16 August 2015 - 08:15 PM, said:

They made a Les Paul Firebrand too if I remember correctly. I think this was the bargain line at the time. It was almost half the price of the higher end stuff. It was probably supposed to be entry level stuff like the Juniors were in the 50's.


THAT never would have been on MY radar, at all..."bargain" or not! There's NO beveling (on the front, anyway), in the horn areas, at all! [thumbdn]
The Les Paul might have been a consideration, possibly? But, as many here know, SG's with no horn beveling, and tapering is
NOT the SG, for me. [flapper] [rolleyes] But, to each his/her own! [biggrin]


CB

#14 User is offline   cjsinla 

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Posted 17 August 2015 - 02:46 PM

I didnt consider buying one at the time because they didnt have a proper finish IMO.
Life is too short to play crappy guitars:

1959 Les Paul Jr
1960 Melody Maker
1979 Flying V
1979 Explorer
1982 Heritage Flying V
1982 30th Anniversary Les Paul
2010 SG Classic
2011 50th Anniversary Pete Townsend SG
2011 61ri SG
2011 VOS 1960 Les Paul Special
2012 Gloss Series Flying V
2013 SG Original
2013 Les Paul Traditional
2013 61 Les Paul SG
2013 ES335
2014 Les Paul Traditional

#15 User is offline   DestructorsKillMusic1982 

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Posted 20 August 2015 - 12:38 PM

I have an 83 Firebrand "The Paul", with nothing really "Firebrand" about it - wine red paint job, non-burned gold logo, etc. It's basically like a LP Special: uncarved flat top, neck not angled from the body, dot inlays, 2 T-Top HBs. I added a LP Special pickguard to mine to cover up where the previous idiot owner had attached the truss rod cover where a pickguard would be, god knows why...They also thought a gigantic brass Kahler tremolo would be a good idea too...

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  • Attached Image: Firebrand Paul.jpg

2001 Gibson Les Paul Standard, Wine Red w/ Dimarzio Virtual PAF & Super Distortion p/u's
1996 Gibson Les Paul Studio, Alpine White
1982 Gibson "The Paul" Firebrand, burgundy, w/ brass Kahler tremolo
1993 Gibson SG Standard, Classic White
1999 Gibson SG Standard, black, w/Maestro vibrato
1973 Gibson SG Standard, natural, w/3 p/u's & Bigsby vibrato
2001 Gibson SG Gothic, black
2007 Gibson Flying V '84 reissue, silverburst, Guitar of the Week #40
2006 Gibson Explorer, black, w/ TP-6 bridge
2012 Gibson Firebird 70s Tribute, vintage sunburst
1981 Gibson Sonex 180 Deluxe w/ Seymour Duncan Invader & Dimarzio Super Distortion p/u's
199? ESP Custom Shop M-I, graphic finish (from Warren Demartini's 'Frenchie' Charvel), w/ EMG 81 p/u
1998 ESP M-II Deluxe, black, w/ Seymour Duncan JB p/u
200? Fender Stratocaster (probably MIM), olympic white
2007 Fender Jaguar Modern Player, wine red
1987 Aria Pro II SL ST-3 w/Epiphone Alnico V p/u
198? Kaman GTX 33, purple/rainbow tiger-stripe graphic finish
1987 Epiphone S-310, w/Floyd Rose, EMG 81 p/u & Dimarzio HS-2 & HS-3 p/u's
1972 Epiphone Classic EC-23A nylon-string classical acoustic
200? Ibanez acoustic-electric, black
196? Elger 12-string flat-top acoustic
194? Broman Pride archtop f-hole acoustic
197? Vantage bass
199? Steinberger Spirit bass


Marshall JCM900 Model 4100 100w head
Marshall 1960A 4x12" cabinet
Marshall 1960B 4x12" cabinet
Randall RG230SC 2x10" combo
Line 6 Spider IV 15w 1x8" combo
Line 6 Spider IV 15w 1x8" combo

#16 User is offline   treedroppings 

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Posted 22 August 2015 - 10:52 PM

Had a 1996 'the Paul II'. I think that Gibson advertised them as Firebrands.

Once I put an underwound Tom Short paf (7.2 kOhms/ A5)in the bridge, it was my favorite guitar ever!

It is a memory now, since I had a headstock break, then gave it to a friend who could afford to fix it.

It took care of me, so I repaid the favor. (Only cost $550 with an Epi HSC).

Airy sound and'old style' wiring, it brought many a smile to my life!

Think it was chambered, since it was so 'resonant' (in the 'colloquial' sense).

#17 User is offline   cjsinla 

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 04:59 PM

View Posttreedroppings, on 22 August 2015 - 10:52 PM, said:

Had a 1996 'the Paul II'. I think that Gibson advertised them as Firebrands.

Once I put an underwound Tom Short paf (7.2 kOhms/ A5)in the bridge, it was my favorite guitar ever!

It is a memory now, since I had a headstock break, then gave it to a friend who could afford to fix it.

It took care of me, so I repaid the favor. (Only cost $550 with an Epi HSC).

Airy sound and'old style' wiring, it brought many a smile to my life!

Think it was chambered, since it was so 'resonant' (in the 'colloquial' sense).

Tim Shaw PAF?
Life is too short to play crappy guitars:

1959 Les Paul Jr
1960 Melody Maker
1979 Flying V
1979 Explorer
1982 Heritage Flying V
1982 30th Anniversary Les Paul
2010 SG Classic
2011 50th Anniversary Pete Townsend SG
2011 61ri SG
2011 VOS 1960 Les Paul Special
2012 Gloss Series Flying V
2013 SG Original
2013 Les Paul Traditional
2013 61 Les Paul SG
2013 ES335
2014 Les Paul Traditional

#18 User is offline   Mikeo 

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Posted 23 August 2015 - 07:00 PM

I know a guy that owned a Firebrand Les Paul and how I know him is in 1980 I bought his Fender strat from him and with the money I gave him for his 1976 strat, he took the money and bought a Firebrand LP.
The Firebrand stuff is kind of heavy too.


I still have the 76 Strat too


I wish I had a better photo of it, but I don't. It has a large headstock.
A new Strat in 1980 was costly and I had already purchased a Gibson SG Standard, which I also still have.


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Note the larger head stock on the SG. I also have a SG Classic with the P90's and that has a smaller headstock. I like the feel of the Standard and Humbuckers better than the fatter neck and P90 on the Classic. Plus the SG Standard has been with me for 35 years now.

Many complain about the Norlin years, but I have a few very nice pieces from those years.

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