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Where are they now...

Norton

Active member
Joined
Jun 18, 2019
Messages
96
wtf is going on with the electronics on that thing??
As StringsJr said it's a set of moog electronics from the RD artist line. There was an article about it years ago in Guitar World IIRC. Gibbons talked about the switches being hidden behind El Paso. I have absolutely no idea how I remember that, I would have thought I'd killed that brain cell by now.
 
Joined
Feb 27, 2020
Messages
30
Finally, I have an interesting May 1980 cavity-stamped SG Firebrand (127th day serial number) that I think is transitional in its own way (mahogany body despite it still being a Firebrand standard instead of a later deluxe). The original owner swears it's all stock and it looks so despite a TRC that just reads "Standard" (perhaps that day there were no more Firebrand appropriate TRCs?). I bought it thinking Velvet Brick and T-Tops as I'm a huge fan of T-Tops and generally prefer them, but the April stamped neck pickup looks and sounds like a Tim Shaw though people say the earliest ones are June or maybe May. Perhaps it was a more gradual change as parts got used up? The Velvet Brick has a black T-Top bobbin and a creme Shaw bobbin with its extra squared hole, so it seems so! The neck pickup definitely sounds very different from my February and September 1979 neck pickups in my The Pauls, even accounting for body/wood differences.
Hold onto your seat because the history of the Firebrands is a convoluted mess. The Mahogany Firebrand was introduced in January 1980 while the Walnut bodied version was still called The "SG" (as it had been since 1979). By July 1980, these models both became part of the "Firebrand Series" and were renamed as The "SG" Standard and The "SG" Deluxe.

Your TRC would not be original. The original on that guitar would say "SG Firebrand". More info here: https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/The_"SG"_/_Firebrand
@Strings Jr. how long did you work at Gibson? I recall Gibson website in the late 90s or early 2000s posted a Custom one off/prototype SG.

It had a flat top and back (no bevels) with binding on the front and back. Top of the body had a hot rod style flame paint job. Possibly block inlays and Custom style headstock, but can’t recall for certain.

It was one of the coolest SGs I have ever seen. Probably not very ergonomic. Wish someone had a pic of that one.
I was able to find the pics and specs of that guitar from an archive of EverythingSG.com

 

jrgtr42

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 24, 2005
Messages
2,249
Hold onto your seat because the history of the Firebrands is a convoluted mess. The Mahogany Firebrand was introduced in January 1980 while the Walnut bodied version was still called The "SG" (as it had been since 1979). By July 1980, these models both became part of the "Firebrand Series" and were renamed as The "SG" Standard and The "SG" Deluxe.

Your TRC would not be original. The original on that guitar would say "SG Firebrand". More info here: https://solidguitar.fandom.com/wiki/The_"SG"_/_Firebrand

I was able to find the pics and specs of that guitar from an archive of EverythingSG.com

Thanks on the additional history of that model. My number one guitar, as I mentioned a ways back in the thread, is a Firebrand Deluxe SG. It does have the Firebrand TRC. Mines a late March date code (081.) |(that works out to March 21st; damn, I missed it's birthday...) I've had it since 1992, and it was pretty beat down when |I got it. |It's accumulated it's share of love since then, a fret job, a couple levelings, electronics work... I honestly wasn;t really a fan of the stock pickups, so for it's 21st birthday it got a Duncan Pearly Gates in the neck and an Alnico 2 in the bridge. I got the drinks.
 

techter71

New member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
19
Hey Randy, I was hoping maybe you had some info on my 1980 Les Paul Custom Silverburst serial 80180688. I'm the second owner as the original was a good friend of mine that passed away last year and left this to me. This has been my dream guitar for a very long time and I came across this post and thought maybe you might have more info. When I get home I will have to look for initials in the TRC cavity. Thanks!!

275724356_5275086849170704_1778114075077644318_n.jpg 274952039_265495935736759_277502705584202822_n.jpg 275936506_10101070025023718_7648755769252478207_n.jpg 275930616_10101070024978808_6552243907797764603_n.jpg 275943281_10101070024255258_5506480400007826993_n.jpg
 

Strings Jr.

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Jan 17, 2016
Messages
629
Hey Randy, I was hoping maybe you had some info on my 1980 Les Paul Custom Silverburst serial 80180688. I'm the second owner as the original was a good friend of mine that passed away last year and left this to me. This has been my dream guitar for a very long time and I came across this post and thought maybe you might have more info. When I get home I will have to look for initials in the TRC cavity. Thanks!!
Hello there! Thanks for your message. Those were great guitars. I didn't see your number in my records. In my opinion, the Kahler was not factory installed. Here's why. The factory installed Kahlers were Gibson branded. Also, I don't show any guitars in my records built with Kahlers until '83. The white wire in your control cavity pic appears to be a string ground. That also would not be factory, but a legit mod if it has continuity to the strings.
BTW, I didn't put my initials under the TRC. Mine would be mostly in the control cavity or a pickup cavity. The person who filed the frets put their initials in the truss rod pocket. These guitars played great and sounded great. I think the proof is on the back of the neck.

Thanks!
Randy
 
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techter71

New member
Joined
May 14, 2015
Messages
19
Hello there! Thanks for your message. Those were great guitars. I didn't see your number in my records. In my opinion, the Kahler was not factory installed. Here's why. The factory installed Kahlers were Gibson branded. Also, I don't show any guitars in my records built with Kahlers until '81. The white wire in your control cavity pic appears to be a string ground. That also would not be factory, but a legit mod if it has continuity to the strings.
BTW, I didn't put my initials under the TRC. Mine would be mostly in the control cavity or a pickup cavity. The person who filed the frets put their initials in the truss rod pocket. These guitars played great and sounded great. I think the proof is on the back of the neck.

Thanks!
Randy
Thanks Randy! Yes I did know the previous owner put the Kahler on a few years after he bought it, I have pictures of him playing it before the Kahler was unfortunately added ha! The white ground wire was from me, the ground wire it had was very short so I used a piece I had laying around to extend it. Thanks for getting back to me!! I'm sure you saw some very cool stuff leave the factory back in the day!
 

Sacowylde

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Joined
Apr 5, 2022
Messages
1
Hello from Chile Randy! you were recommended on the gibson forum to help me with a question, I hope you can. I have a '95 Les Paul Custom and in the neck pickup cavity it is handwritten "JW", do you know what does that mean? Thank you!
 

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Strings Jr.

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Jan 17, 2016
Messages
629
Hello from Chile Randy! you were recommended on the gibson forum to help me with a question, I hope you can. I have a '95 Les Paul Custom and in the neck pickup cavity it is handwritten "JW", do you know what does that mean? Thank you!
Hello! Thanks for your message. I left Gibson in 1990, so I can't tell you specifically what it means. It appears to have been made by a wax pencil on top of the finish. Did you buy it new? If you bought it used it could have been made by a previous owner. My personal opinion is that they are not initials. If you turn your photo to the left 90 degrees, you will see the number 37, with the three over the seven.
 

IMMUSICRULZ

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Joined
May 25, 2021
Messages
616
There was a jazz guitarist named Mitch Holder who used to work alongside Rick Turner at the research and development center at Gibson in the early eighties. This was when Gibson was making thicker wood for their guitars. Mitch eventually became a teacher at California Lutheran University teaching guitar, and he played a lot of Gibson guitars and Gibson amps, as well as a Fender Twin Reverb reissue amp. I just wrote a letter to him asking about his experience with Gibson. I suppose somebody on this forum knew Mitch?
 

El Gringo

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Apr 8, 2015
Messages
5,349
There was a jazz guitarist named Mitch Holder who used to work alongside Rick Turner at the research and development center at Gibson in the early eighties. This was when Gibson was making thicker wood for their guitars. Mitch eventually became a teacher at California Lutheran University teaching guitar, and he played a lot of Gibson guitars and Gibson amps, as well as a Fender Twin Reverb reissue amp. I just wrote a letter to him asking about his experience with Gibson. I suppose somebody on this forum knew Mitch?
Mother nature makes wood , not Gibson .
 

djcmusician

Active member
Joined
Apr 29, 2015
Messages
198
I was able to find the pics and specs of that guitar from an archive of EverythingSG.com

Wow! That’s it. Awesome and thank you! I wonder where that guitar is today.
 

Dpjjg2022

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Joined
Jun 5, 2022
Messages
2
Hi Randy. Very cool reading through this thread! I have a couple older Gibsons that would be very interesting to learn more about and if you built them. Am pretty sure this first one was just before you started working at Gibson. It’s a Les Paul custom with 3 pickups, 76 serial number and pots, but no pancake body and build date early 77. Serial number is 00119070. Second one is an 81 or 82 335, serial number 80752510. I sold the 335 a few years ago to a buddy, but still have pictures if interested. Thanks for your time! - Dave
 

Strings Jr.

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Jan 17, 2016
Messages
629
Hi Randy. Very cool reading through this thread! I have a couple older Gibsons that would be very interesting to learn more about and if you built them. Am pretty sure this first one was just before you started working at Gibson. It’s a Les Paul custom with 3 pickups, 76 serial number and pots, but no pancake body and build date early 77. Serial number is 00119070. Second one is an 81 or 82 335, serial number 80752510. I sold the 335 a few years ago to a buddy, but still have pictures if interested. Thanks for your time! - Dave
Hello Dave and welcome to the Forum!
Yes, early '77 was a little before my time. I didn't start until December '77. I'm pretty sure Nashville was making 3 pickup Customs at that time though. I loved the early 80's 335 Dots. I did 566 of them in '82. I didn't have your number, but I built 80752509 on April 6th, 1982. Yours would have been built on or about that date as well.
Thanks for your message!
Randy
 

t_clark

New member
Joined
Oct 20, 2017
Messages
1
Hey Randy way cool for you to share the memories and your part of the stories for so many cool guitars!
Here's another couple of Les Paul Customs for you to consult your little book of tasty nuggets for!
80 LP Custom SN 83050078
83 LP Custom SN 82293560
Any chance you worked these pieces?
 

Strings Jr.

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Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
629
Hey Randy way cool for you to share the memories and your part of the stories for so many cool guitars!
Here's another couple of Les Paul Customs for you to consult your little book of tasty nuggets for!
80 LP Custom SN 83050078
83 LP Custom SN 82293560
Any chance you worked these pieces?
Hello and thanks for your message. I would say welcome to the forum, but it looks like you have been here a while. And this was your first post? I'm flattered!! Your 80 Custom was built in Kalamazoo. When the last three digits of the serial number are less than 500, they were Kalamazoo.
But, I did build your 83 Custom. She was born on August 30th, 1983. I think by then we were back to mahogany necks, better dish on the top, crank tuners, and Shaw pickups. Awesome guitars. Congrats!!

 

Nick-O

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Joined
Aug 12, 2015
Messages
217
Mr. Randy, have you ever discussed that amazing LP in your avatar?
It looks perfect!!
 

Strings Jr.

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Joined
Jan 17, 2016
Messages
629
Mr. Randy, have you ever discussed that amazing LP in your avatar?
It looks perfect!!
Yes I did, and yes it is a great guitar. Here's the thread. I believe you commented in post #20.

 

Reddart

Active member
Joined
Feb 26, 2004
Messages
249
Hi Randy, I believe you had said before that you weren’t involved in building after 1988? I have a 1989 custom so that would be after you had any info on them?
 
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