NGD 1980 Firebrand Walnut or Mahogany?

Discussion in 'Gibson SG' started by Nozzle28, Dec 9, 2018.

  1. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    Hi all! Can anyone tell me if this is actual Walnut or Walnut stained mahogany? From my research The ''SG Firebrand" trussrod cover indicates this as a Firebrand Deluxe for some reason and they were Mahogany.
    I hope someone here has more expertise in wood types or Firebrands in general.
    Thanks in advance!
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  2. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    If it's an actual 1980, I would assume it to be walnut. I didn't think they made them in mahogany until another two years or so. It does look a little too....idk...bright-brownish, though. Could be just the lighting.
     
  3. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    One question: is the Gibson logo on the headstock "burned" in like a branding, or is it the silkscreen gold logo?
     
  4. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    Hi Rotorhead. It is a 1980. Serial is 8032080. The logo is branded.
     
  5. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    Sweet. I'm jellus btw :D
     
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  6. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    Thanks! I'm having a blast researching. I think the pickups are Tim Shaws but not 100% positive about the bridge.
     
  7. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    It is mahogany and the pickups are T tops.

    What's interesting is, that from the photos it looks like the fretboard is rosewood instead of ebony. What does it look like in person?
     
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  8. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    Flognoth it looks like rosewood in person. I am almost 100% positive the neck pickup is a Shaw. Its dated January 1980 and aside from the T top bobbins it meets all the other criteria. From my research, some of the early Shaws had leftover T top bobbins
     
  9. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    If the TRC simply says "SG Firebrand", then yes, it is a Deluxe with Mahogany body.

    The official spec was Ebony for all Firebrand/The SGs. But anything is possible with Gibson. The T-Top bobbins were used on almost every Gibson pickup at the time, no reason to create a new mold for each pickup. These came with Shaw-designed neck pickups that were a unique part to the Firebrand/The SG and a Velvet Brick in the bridge. All specs here:

    https://solidguitar.wikia.com/wiki/The_"SG"_/_Firebrand
     
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  10. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    I am wondering about the bridge pickup. The Velvet Brick pickups all seem to have 3 holes on one of the tabs to either mount with conventional 2 screw or 3. Mine has just the 2 hole mounting. Aside from a thicker possibly ceramic magnet, It also meets all the criteria for a Shaw. It measures 7.6k, bright copper winding, black and white coil wires, white plastic spacers, brass coil mounting screws.
    [​IMG]
     
  11. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    The Firebrand SG was the only one of the Firebrand series to have the zerba bridge pickup. The other Firebrand models had all black bobbins.

    If the fretboard is rosewood, that's the first Firebrand SG I've ever heard of that doesn't have ebony. As Permission to Land said, anything is possible with Gibson. Interesting though.
     
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  12. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    flognoth, Not sure what the fretboard is. Here is a better pic.
    [​IMG]
     
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  13. flognoth

    flognoth Active Member

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    From the photo, it looks a lot like rosewood to me. The streaks look reddish in the photos.

    It could be undyed ebony, but I don't know if Gibson ever used that back then. Undyed ebony would typically have tan or grey streaks.

    Regardless, it is a cool guitar. I've got one too and it just feels "right".
     
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  14. cerebral gasket

    cerebral gasket Well-Known Member

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    That appears to be a rosewood board because of the open grain. Ebony boards have more closed grain.

    left: rosewood
    right: ebony

    [​IMG]

    There were several versions of these "Firebrands" (branded logo) and "The SG" (decal logo). I have seen some with ebony boards and some with rosewood boards. They probably used whatever they had in stock or was leftover from other builds.

    In addition, I have seen some with Harmonica bridges. By the looks of the inserts on yours, it appears to have a Nashville bridge.
     
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2018
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  15. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    It does indeed have a Nashville bridge.
     
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  16. PermissionToLand

    PermissionToLand Well-Known Member

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    Pretty much every ad describes the neck pickup as a "standard humbucker", but the part number (13075) was unique to The "SG". Shaw's PAF replica was Alinco V and 7.5-8.5k. This was Indox 7 Ceramic and around 7.2k, but indeed also designed by Shaw.

    As for the bridge pickup, in this 1979 ad, you can see it's called the "TGA Super Humbucking pickup". That pickup would later be renamed the "Velvet Brick".

    79 the sg ad.jpg

    You can also see in this other 1979 ad, it is described as a "super hot Ceramic Indox VII" humbucker. That also fits with the Velvet Brick's specs.

    79 the sg 2.jpg

    And finally in the 1980 catalog, it is called a Velvet Brick:

    [​IMG]

    The examples with three mounting screws were used in a Victory MV2. The ones destined for a The "SG" had the typical two-screw mounting design.

    Technically, there were some The "SG"s with a branded logo. These models had a ridiculous number of changes that made little sense.

    They had Harmonicas from early-mid 1979. After that, it was all Nashvilles.
     
    Last edited: Dec 10, 2018
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  17. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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  18. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    Thanks so much for all this information!
     
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  19. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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  20. Nozzle28

    Nozzle28 New Member

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    I am thinking the differences in mine are because of its early production? It dates February 1980 and most of the info I have read referencing the Firebrand series have all been mid to late 1980. It is possible that mine shares a lot of the features of the 1979 "The SG".
     

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