Orville by Gibson Firebird Vintage Sunburst 1990
Orville Firebird, vintage sunburst, made in Japan 1990. Orville was Gibson's adventure into licensed Japanese manufacturing, operating from 1988-1998. The idea was to fill the gap in the local Japanese market between the lower priced Korean made Epiphone models and the expensive USA Gibson branded guitars. This is a fairly early example; it made in the Terada factory that still produces high end guitars for Gretsch and other brands today. The 'Orville by Gibson' models in the line were the higher end of the Orville spectrum, so you get legit Gibson USA pickups, a nitro finish, premium grade timber and hardware and a whole lot of love and care in the build quality. The quality is certainly on par or superior with many USA made examples; the workmanship and precision on display is very good. The neck is fairly slim and feels well balanced against the body, plus the frets have been recently dressed and polished so it's feeling very smooth in the hands. The snappy, snarling tone of the mini humbuckers is a whole lot of fun. There's an immediacy and punch to the tone you don't get from an LP, while maintaining a warmth and body to the growly nastiness that evokes the memory of a quality single malt travelling down the gullet. It barely needs to be said, but it's an extremely good looking item. The sunburst finish has aged gracefully and those vintage-futuristic lines emit near dangerous levels of swagger. It's Or-some... oh gosh, help me please.
Model: Orville by Gibson Firebird
Made: 1990, Japan, Terada plant (serial G005389)
Finish: vintage sunburst, gloss nitro
Neck: mahogany, rosewood board, satin black finish, 24.75" scale, 12" radius
Mods: Bigsby Tailpiece added and removed at some point, original tailpiece installed
Pickups: Gibson USA Mini Humbuckers
Case: Deluxe SKB moulded ABS hard case, excellent quality and condition
Cosmetic condition notes: minor finish wear. Headstock has some minor chips on the end and top and bottom edges, nothing big. The neck is pretty clean save for a scratch in the lacquer approx 6cm long on the back, behind frets 7-9 approx. The back has some minor dimples sand very light scratches on the middle and top sections, no major marks though. Sides have a few minor marks: dimples on both horns and near the jack, the shoulder has a couple of tiny chips and dimples. The front is pretty clean, just some dimples behind the bridge and on the top horn, a couple of very small extra holes from a since removed Bigsby and Vibramate set and some very light play wear on the guard and top horn. Overall: very good condition (7.5/10).
Playing condition notes: Neck is straight, action is low, intonation is good, truss rod works. All electrics tested and working properly. Frets have been recently dressed and look great, 9/10 for life left. No headstock breaks. Wearing fresh 11-49s.