2020 70’s Flying V - anyone else have one?

timichango

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Hey all! New to the forum, and figured it was time for my first thread :)

I’m a fairly recent addition to the Gibson camp — I got heavily back into playing during the early months of pandemic lockdown, and have managed to go from zero Gibsons to three of them in the past ~18 months . Its taken some liquidation of older unused gear, and some great luck (I stumbled into pretty stupidly good used deals on both a repaired 2007 J45 and a basically new 2019 ES-339), and figured that I was done onboarding new gear… and then ran into another deal (>$350 off for a minor finish blemish on the bottom edge) what appeared to be the only 2021 70s Flying V in stock in Canada recently… and I couldn’t resist.

Long short: its an awesome guitar that’s been putting some major smiles on my face for the past couple of weeks. It’s my first V, and I’ve found all of the rumours of weird ergonomics and balance to be unfounded (for me anyways): I habitually play with a strap both standing and sitting, so the leg-slide phenomenon is a non-issue for me, and overall Im finding it to be a lightweight, balanced (no neck dive!), super resonant, and superbly set-up instrument.

I’ve read a handful of threads around the net on various forums, mostly commenting on the spec and how accurate/inaccurate it is as a true “70s” V, but ultimately historical period accuracy isn’t really a top priority for me — I’m simply excited for what it *is*: a great playing guitar that’s giving my 339 (a truly excellent guitar, IMHO, which I immediately bonded with) a run for its money.

I anticipated this somewhat, from some things I’d read/watched online, but the neck is chunkier than I would have thought “slim taper” implied - I had thought that “slim taper” would have been more akin to the neck on my ‘77 Aria Pro II LP copy (thin/fast - but still more meat than the 1990 Charvel I played for years) - but in reality, the neck is actually a smidge fatter than the rounded-C neck on my 339 (which feels similar to the neck on a 2020 Les Paul Special I played for a while at a local shop, in case that size reference helps)! It’s both a bit wider, and a bit deeper, and its fretboard edges aren’t as aggressively rolled as the 339’s. Not much to speak of in any one dimension, but overall it’s noticeable, particularly when wrapping a thumb over the top to grab certain chords. Fortunately I both a) like some chunk in the trunk, and b) really like the overall shape of the carve, and how it plays. Not sure if this is down to some sample variation between guitars, and if they’re generally thinner - but even Trogly mentioned that the one that went through his hands had some heft to the neck, so the “slim taper” designation may be a misnomer?

So what don’t I love about it?

For one, the pickups. As has been mentioned elsewhere, they’re super hot: ~16kohms in both the neck/bridge, and very compressed/tight. Great if your primary objective is dense metal distortion (I did the only reasonable thing to do with a white V with hot pickups, and played a bunch of early Metallica through my Marshall-esque Traynor, and the bridge pickup nails that tone effortlessly), but to me the pickups are a bit of a one-trick pony and limit the tonality of the guitar. The bridge sounds somewhat similar to the J90C that was in my Charvel, which was great for what it was, just not that interesting outside that niche, but In particular, I found the neck pickup to be just a bunch of hot mud, particularly into clean or moderate gain. Sounded just plain muffled and boomy into my tweed champ clone - admittedly not a terribly bright amp, but it sings with more articulate neck pickups in other guitars.

Consequently, I swapped a Japanese PAF clone from the 70s that I had in my parts bin into the neck spot, just for comparison, and I think it’s going to stay there for the foreseeable future - sounds 1000x better, and the fact that it’s a 70s pickup, with T-top bobbins (I understand that these were used by Matsumoku in the 70s?) just adds to the whole 70s mishmash that this “70s” model seems to embody.

After some research, I also just put in an order with for a Vineham “Brown Noser” pickup for the bridge position, to round things out in the pickup department. Looking forward to getting that sucker in there and seeing what this thing can really do.

Anyways - anyone else have one of these things? What’ve your experiences with it been like? How’re you digging it?

-T
 
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timichango

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Hah :)

Ok — this is the only pic I've got on-hand (I'm away from home until this Friday, and sadly the new guitar's not along for the trip). Found myself getting turned around by the different knob arrangement (as compared to the Les Paul 2 x 2 control scheme), so figured I'd swap in some day-glo color-coding from the parts bin to see if that helped some... (it's not helping, really... more of a muscle memory issue, turns out).

939C8E9A-E472-4888-B0B5-90CE8813FCE6.jpg
 
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timichango

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Actually, I do have another shot — here's a shot of the blemish I mentioned (provided by the original store before I had the guitar transferred over to my local branch for further examination) which was responsible for the deal I got on the guitar.

Vscuff.jpg


At first glance, I thought this was some kind of dye transfer mark (eg. from a cable or stand), but apparently it was like this from the factory, and on close inspection, it looks to me to perhaps be a thin spray area that wasn't evident before the clearcoat went on? There's certainly no tactile difference in that area. Who knows. I do know that I'm a fan of the discount it afforded me :)
 

BKS

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Nice guitar, i have a V but it is a '59 reissue with medium c neck according Gibson. Thing just jumped to nr 1. Plays like some creamy smooth butter..... :dunno:
But welcome btw :thumb:
 

timichango

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Nice guitar, i have a V but it is a '59 reissue with medium c neck according Gibson. Thing just jumped to nr 1. Plays like some creamy smooth butter..... :dunno:
But welcome btw :thumb:
Thanks for the welcome! Those 50s Vs look delectable indeed. Is yours Korina?
 
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J-Dizzle

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I think your pickup swap will work well.

I was already going to suggest a PAF clone in the neck and a Super Distortion in the bridge so your Brown Noser and MIJ PAF should work well.
 

BKS

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@BKS I just noticed the hanger your silverburst is on — that's awesome.

But not save for nitro.
 


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