Vintage 1966 Gibson Firebird III electric guitar

John Shults

Posted on June 02 2020

Vintage 1966 Gibson Firebird III electric guitar


This vintage 1966 Gibson Firebird III electric guitar with original rectangle hard shell case came through the shop a few years ago. It was a great example of the post-1965 non-Reverse body style with set neck. I'm always a vintage Gibson guitar buyer but I especially love the Firebird electric guitars. Contact me here to sell a vintage Gibson guitar

The Firebird models began life as a neck through design with glued on wings. In 1965, Gibson redesigned the guitars with a mirror image body shape and a glued in or "set" neck. The III initially featured two Firebird style mini humbuckers but the non-reverse, post 1965 guitars transitioned to a rare for Gibson, 3 P-90 setup. It's easy to see that these guitars were held in high regard by Gibson because of the high quality Mahogany that was used and the custom made cases that they were sold with. Their light weight and three pickup design make for a very versatile instrument.

This 1966 Gibson Firebird III has survived in beautiful condition and plays like the professional instrument that it was designed to be. The Mahogany that Gibson used for this guitar is both light weight and aesthetically pleasing with gorgeous figure throughout. The three P-90 pickups are strong and original to the guitar. None of the wiring or electronics have been tampered with. All parts are original to this guitar except for a recent fret job done by my personal tech, Jason Burns ( The original frets hadn't been played hardly at all but some well meaning prior technician had filed the shoulders a bit too far in towards the fret board. I decided to have new frets installed so that it would play like it should. Jason used period correct fret wire and touched up the lacquer on the fret ends so that the refret is almost undetectable. Now it plays perfectly all up and down the neck. The only other possible change is that the tail piece appears to have been moved back 1/4".  Many players opt for stringing their Firebirds from the bridge and completely bypass the tremolo to get that LP Jr style resonance that comes from a wrap tail design. The nut is original to the guitar but has been properly reglued. Everything else is straight and original including the original hard shell case from Gibson in 1966. Of the four latches, one has come detached from the case but could be reinstalled if one so desired.

This Firebird is truly a piece of Gibson history but also a professional instrument that will be enjoyed for years to come. This 1966 Gibson Firebird III would be an excellent addition to your collection. (edit: sold!)

red Firebird pickguard 1966 Gibson

Gibson Firebird 3 electric guitar 1960's

Gibson Firebird headstock 1966

Gibson Firebird III electric guitar 1966

non-Reverse body style 1966 Firebird III

Gibson Firebird electric guitar 1960s

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