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Unread 08-16-2012, 10:52 AM   #1 (permalink)
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SG Firebrand deluxe walnut or Mahogany

I have had my 1982 Firebrand deluxe for about 17 years it has the "FIREBRAND The SG Deluxe" motif on the truss rod cover. I was cleaning up the the guitar today etc and looked under the pick-ups for the first time ever. I was a bit surprised to see that it had the word walnut branded into the wood. I was under the impression that Firebrand deluxe's were made of Mahogany. Or is the walnut brand indicating the finish as per the blerb about firebrands on this web site.

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Unread 08-16-2012, 12:30 PM   #2 (permalink)
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our motto here at ETSG: "Pictures, or it didn't happen..."
but check this out in our reference section:
SG Guitar Forum | Firebrand / The "SG"

it says there that this model at this time was made in both Walnut and Mahogany...
(I don't think that's just the finish) The 'Standard' version was Walnut while the 'Deluxe' version was Mahogany. (which sounds backwards, but the word Deluxe is a marketeer's term for "here's a cheaper version which we just marked up in price..."

I've always hankered for a Walnut SG, and I think yours sounds very cool. if it's really Walnut, then maybe the TRC ought to say 'Standard." But it's thirty years later. If the guitar plays well and has given good service for 17 years, that's all that ought to be important. If you're looking to flip it for profit, you can check the serial number with Gibson and they'll tell you exactly what you have, and what it's made of.

In 1982 Gibson was in very serious trouble... The Norlin Corporate bosses were preparing to close it down due to their own mismanagement and arrogance in many ways. So figure low morale on the factory floor, and employees looking for other jobs while still going to work at Gibson. The fact that they made some good guitars then is a testimonial to their professionalism maybe.

So someone could have set a walnut body in the line doing the 'deluxe' version, or could have screwed on the wrong TRC while they were worrying about what they would do if the plant closed, and how they would pay for their Jeep CJ.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 10:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Thanks for you comprehensive reply Col. I have some pictures here, its a bit beat up and knocked about (one of the volume Knobs was missing when I bought it). However she plays like a dream and I would never dream of selling her. So I do have a walnut body with a deluxe TRC.
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Unread 08-16-2012, 10:27 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hi dte21,

What you do have, no matter what the wood, is something I love- those Norlin-design SG's with the neck pickup mounted right by the fingerboard, which are among my favorite ugly ducklings of the SG world.

My copy of that sort of SG has an Alder body; I've seen them with basswood too. Walnut is a fine guitar wood, just not the traditional mahogany of normal SG.

Keep her, treasure that guitar! as if you need me to tell you
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Unread 08-28-2012, 12:11 PM   #5 (permalink)
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It is supposed to be Mahogany if it is a Firebrand. I have a 1980 "The Paul" Firebrand and it is all Mahogany. I can't find the 1982 catalogue from Gibson, but the 1980 catalogue says it is Mahogany.

1980 Gibson guitar, bass and banjo catalogue - page 59 - The "SG" (Deluxe)
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Unread 08-28-2012, 01:08 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bytor View Post
It is supposed to be Mahogany if it is a Firebrand. I have a 1980 "The Paul" Firebrand and it is all Mahogany. I can't find the 1982 catalogue from Gibson, but the 1980 catalogue says it is Mahogany.

1980 Gibson guitar, bass and banjo catalogue - page 59 - The "SG" (Deluxe)

Yeah that is what I have seen, but it definitely says walnut under the bridge pickup. Either way I bought all that time ago because it was the guitar for me, that has not changed
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Unread 08-28-2012, 04:30 PM   #7 (permalink)
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looking closely at the photos you posted, it looks kind of like mahogany to me, which would be consistent with ETSG's reference section and the 1980 catalog. I'm not an expert woodworker tho. If you really wanted to know what your guitar is made of, a local cabinet maker or gunsmith ought to be able to tell you by looking at the unfinished parts, like inside the control cavity or under the p'ups. Or a Gibson staffer might be able to look it up using the serial number.

but I'll bet you don't really care what she's made of, that doesn't change how she feels in your hands or how she sounds when you wind her up... just like I don't care how many pieces of mahogany Gibson glued together to make my SG... mine looks and sounds great and is my pride and joy. Thanks for the pictures, this has always been one of my favorite versions of the SG, whether it's solid walnut or not.
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