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is this a Mint 64 Firebird with untouched soldering?

ThomasGoldfield

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Oct 17, 2021
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Hi guys i am offered to buy a vintage 64 Firebird. The potentiometer code "137 6415" indicates that these were made by CTS during the 15th week of 1964. The serial no on the headstock 191031 also confirms this. Of course it's expensive so I want to make sure that is it not a modded "player grade". Does it have the original pickups and the original soldering? I am no soldering expert so can someone help confirm this? thanx in advance
 

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AA00475Bassman

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Player Grade most players I know of don't even have $5.00 loaned .

I would have a pro look at the guitar in hand .

In the not so far past there has been bad advice opinions given on vintage guitars on this board .
 
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ThomasGoldfield

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Oct 17, 2021
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Youre right, its not mint. I used the wrong term. My interrest is more regarding if the Electronics looks original
 

Keefoman

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What’s with the masking tape on the black wire from the output?
 

poor man's burst

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Besides the overall condition, at least the part that we can see, I've never seen an output jack other than the black plastic one in a Firebird of this era. The masking tape around the black wire could confirm that it may have been changed which is no big deal, unless the seller advertised the guitar as 100% original. More unusual is the bridge pickup's black sleeved wire with white plastic inner wire insulation.
 

Keefoman

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Besides the overall condition, at least the part that we can see, I've never seen an output jack other than the black plastic one in a Firebird of this era. The masking tape around the black wire could confirm that it may have been changed which is no big deal, unless the seller advertised the guitar as 100% original. More unusual is the bridge pickup's black sleeved wire with white plastic inner wire insulation.
No big deal, but my point is that a professional, or even someone who at least have some clue to what they are doing regarding electronics, wouldn’t insulate a wire with masking tape. If that is what it is.
 

poor man's burst

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No big deal, but my point is that a professional, or even someone who at least have some clue to what they are doing regarding electronics, wouldn’t insulate a wire with masking tape. If that is what it is.
No doubt that masking tape insulation is amateurish, to say the least. My point was that a changed output jack is a rather minor issue. What I feel is more concerning is if the seller advertised the guitar as mint.
 

latestarter

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OP, the wiring is good. I took the 30 seconds to pop the back off my 64 and your blue ground wire, non plastic switch craft jack etc look the same as mine. Orange drops n all.

Figure out the mint bit, knowing that the wiring looks good.

Ps - is the inside of the back plate also a bit sliver sprayed? Mine has that anti electro spray on it which someone scratched a number into…
 
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poor man's burst

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OP, the wiring is good. I took the 30 seconds to pop the back off my 64 and your blue ground wire, non plastic switch craft jack etc look the same as mine. Orange drops n all.

Figure out the mint bit, knowing that the wiring looks good.

Ps - is the inside of the back plate also a bit sliver sprayed? Mine has that anti electro spray on it which someone scratched a number into…
Out of curiosity, is the bridge pickup of your guitar also wired with black plastic sleeved wire or the usual braided and coton insulated wire?

BTW, those are ceramic disc capacitors, not polyester orange drop capacitors.
 

latestarter

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Sorry, ceramic discs…round orange caps. Like the pic.

Right, I understand - the plastic wire doesn’t look right from the pickup. I was talking about pots, caps etc. agreed, it should be braided.

I would be removing the pickups for a proper look. Clearly there has been some soldering going on re the pickups grounding onto the pots.

My comment is limited to the inter-pot wiring and caps, including the jack. The rest needs proper due diligence. Hopefully that’s clearer.
 

poor man's burst

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Sorry, ceramic discs…round orange caps. Like the pic.

Right, I understand - the plastic wire doesn’t look right from the pickup. I was talking about pots, caps etc. agreed, it should be braided.

I would be removing the pickups for a proper look. Clearly there has been some soldering going on re the pickups grounding onto the pots.

My comment is limited to the inter-pot wiring and caps, including the jack. The rest needs proper due diligence. Hopefully that’s clearer.
I agree.
 

El Gringo

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Player Grade most players I know of don't even have $5.00 loaned .

I would have a pro look at the guitar in hand .

In the not so far past there has been bad advice opinions given on vintage guitars on this board .
Hey Buddy ! Was Gibson using orange drops in 64 ? Seems kind of early for that ?
 

poor man's burst

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As stated earlier, these are not orange drop capacitors but ceramic disc, which were standard on Gibson before '64 (like SGs)
 

El Gringo

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Yup. Had 'em in earlier guitars than that...
Really , did not know that . Was this an attempt to cost cut way back when by Gibson ? or was there an actual sonic advantage ? I know there have been countless sound tests comparing Paper In Oil Bumble Bee Caps versus Mylar Bumble Bee Caps , but I wonder where the ceramic disc Orange Drop caps measure up on the sonic spectrum ? in comparison to the earlier mentioned Bumble Bees ?
 

renderit

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I am pretty sure they were out in the mid 50's but were probably more expensive than the paper/oil variety at the time because they were 'high tech'.

I suspect they only used them when they were out of the cheaper ones.

Or maybe they only used them on repairs, I don't know.

But I had seen and owned at least 3 so equipped through the years and they were considered 'perfectly normal' years ago when I had some appraised.
 
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