SG Firebrand deluxe walnut or Mahogany

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by dte21, Aug 16, 2012.

  1. dte21

    dte21 New Member

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    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.

    Thanks
     
  2. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  3. dte21

    dte21 New Member

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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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  4. dbb

    dbb Well-Known Member

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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:thumb:
     
  5. bytor

    bytor New Member

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  6. dte21

    dte21 New Member

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    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:thumb:
     
  7. Col Mustard

    Col Mustard Well-Known Member

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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.
     
  8. donshin27

    donshin27 Member

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    It looks like mahogany to me too, consistent to "Deluxe" name though wrong "Walnut" branding.
     
  9. thatbastarddon

    thatbastarddon Well-Known Member

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    I believe walnut was the color reference. There is usually some reference to the destined color of the guitar stamped, or (more often these days) scribbled in one of the pickup cavities. For example; my 2002 SG faded special with crescent moon inlays is most certainly NOT made of cherry wood. It IS cherry colored though. It has the letters "WCH" scribbled in one of the pickup cavities. It's cousin V just has a "W C" scribbled largely in one of the pickup routs.(it's also a faded cherry color)
    I immagine that someone at the factory delegates each guitar a destined color during production by labeling it clearly in a place that will certainly not show when the guitar is complete.
     
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  10. chilipeppermaniac

    chilipeppermaniac Well-Known Member

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    dte, send said guitar to me right away. I can tell you want to!!!!
     
  11. Yes G

    Yes G Active Member

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    I had thought all "Firebrand" SGs had the Firebranded style logo but I was wrong. That is indeed a Firebrand Deluxe.
     
    Last edited: Jan 4, 2016
  12. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    The wood is definitely Mahogany. The finish is Walnut.

    This is a Walnut bodied "The Paul":

    [​IMG]

    Notice the grain is quite different.
     
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  13. Six String

    Six String Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to ETSG! :smile:
     
  14. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Here's a comment from MLP on the Firebrand Les Paul:

    "Firebrands are the ones that came later around '80 that had the Gibson logo "fire-branded" on the headstock. There are also many of them that came with the typical black veneer with the gold logo. Towards the end of their production they started to do other colors as well. There is also a firebrand deluxe - which is an all mahogany version of this walnut guitar. Those typically sell for a slight premium."
     
  15. donshin27

    donshin27 Member

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    I have the same '82 Firebrand "The SG" Deluxe with "WALNUT" stamped in the bridge pickup cavity.

    I think "WALNUT" is for the walnut finish because mine is mahogany body (Deluxe means it) not in cherry red color, more of walnut brown.

    [​IMG] [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2016
  16. Norlin SG

    Norlin SG Active Member

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    I've always thought that the Firebrand Pauls and SG's were the beginning of the end for the Norlin era. Even my 78 standard had fret issues that I finally fixed by getting it re-freted about 15 years ago.

    On mine, one of the frets was lower that the others making a level and re-crown take a lot of material off. It always has been a great player, but the frets just got so low it could not have the frets leveled again.

    Anyway, I digress. If yours is a great player, it's all good really. I talked my brother into trading this 1930's or 1940's 3/4 scale guitar for a 79? "The Paul" which is a VG example of the era. This one I think Gibson got right.

    Typical conversation with my brother: " Aw, John, who cares about the resale value? As it is, you almost got it for free!!!!!!!! You have a Giibby that is every bit as good a player as just about any Gibby ever made."

    Really an awesome guitar, but he never plays it. If it was a Lefty, I would have snapped it up in a heart beat.

    Last I heard, he had bought a Saturday Night Special that somehow misfired and put a bullet through and through the control cavity of the guitar............
     
    Last edited: Jan 12, 2016

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