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1981 Flying V help

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I bought a natural finish 1981 Flying V second-hand in 1990. Other than setting it up and restringing it regularly I've never done anything else to it until now.

The headstock looks genuine, is stamped 'SECOND', and a has serial number indicating a manufacturing date of 20 May 1981, at the Kalamazoo factory. The body cavity is stamped '(A)' and 'APR 23 1981', which fits the neck date, allowing for elapsed time between body manufacture and final assembly. The 'SECOND' stamp, used to indicate a cosmetic flaw, fits the manufacturing date ('SECOND', or '2' stamps were in use up to 1985).

The tuners look like genuine Gibson Schaller Flower type.

The scratchplate is non-standard; it extends down below the tailpiece and I've wondered for years what it's hiding. Now I know.

I'm not sure if the wiring is original, but it shows signs of some re-soldering.

The pickups are labelled 'Duncan Custom' (presumably a Seymour Duncan) in the neck position and 'DD' in the bridge position. I assume these aren't original, but don't know.

The biggest thing is the big rectangular hole in the body, just behind the bridge. It's been filled very crudely with some sort of filler. It looks like a very shoddy patch-up job, after the removal of a tremolo system.

I've included images below.

My questions are:

1) Can anyone positively ID the pickup models for me?

2) Are the pickups original and if not, what would they have been originally?

3) Is the wiring original?

4) What tremolo system would have fitted in that filled hole and would it have been an original Gibson factory fit?

Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.



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Following a bit of trawling around the Seymour Duncan website and forums, I think the pickups look like genuine early Seymour Duncans; the neck might be an SH-5 and I think the bridge is an SH-6b ‘Duncan Distortion, bridge’.

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Looks like someone routed it for a Floyd Rose-type trem.  I would want to chisel the filler out and replace with a fitted block of mahogany.

Obviously not the original pickups, and the wiring looks like a combination of new and old.

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Cheers jdgm,

Yes I definitely want to get rid of that filler. If I can manage to get a reasonable match with a fitted block of mahogany, I think that's probably the best option. If it looks decent enough it would be good to replace that dodgy scratchplate with a proper one.

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  • 4 months later...
  • 11 months later...
the person who filled this hole has really nothing to do in the restoration of instruments, it's not possible to see such a massacre... I've already done this kind of job in a 1981 LP, it's better to put a real identical piece of wood, redo the routing and of course redo several coats of nitro varnish with a month of drying before sanding and polishing. this will improve the tone and sustain because the bridge will be much better fixed and solid
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