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1980 Gibson Flying V2

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1980 Gibson Flying V2

VERY RARE 1980 model features a unique 5 piece sculpted body of walnut and maple. Walnut set neck with walnut/maple laminate and ebony fingerboard. Brass nut. 21 1/2 frets! Two Boomerang pickups. Brass bridge saddles and brass tailpiece. B/W/B/W pickguard. Gold tuning machines. Original hardshell case.

Brief synopsis by Zachary R. Fjestad

"President Ted McCarty noticed that Gibson’s solidbody guitars were looking too old and traditional compared to Fender’s futuristic designs. He assembled a team to design three new instruments and the Flying V was one of the results of their research – this guitar was officially unveiled in 1958, along with another futuristic-looking guitar called the Explorer. Very few people caught onto the design and less than 100 Flying Vs were produced during their initial run between 1958 and 1959. However, Gibson never let the project die completely, releasing three variations based on the original design during the late 1960s and into the 1970s.

Tim Shaw began working at Gibson in late 1978 and one of his first projects was to design an entirely new Flying V that would be a companion to the new E2 Explorer. The guitar you have is a 1980 Gibson V2, the result of Shaw’s work in the late ‘70s. This guitar has several unique features that set it apart from earlier Flying V designs. The body is constructed out of a five-piece sandwich design; the contoured edges allow the different layers from the front and the sides to be visible. Brass studs for the bridge, a brass nut, and a brass tailpiece were used to increase sustain (check out the October 2007 Trash or Treasure for more information on brass hardware).

Despite all of these design changes, the pickups are what really make this guitar stick out. These V-shaped “boomerang” pickups were designed to produce single coil pickup tone with the noise reduction provided by humbuckers. The design of these pickups is quite complex, and there isn’t room in this article to offer up all of the details. Note the notch at the end of the fingerboard, needed due to the pickups’ unusual shape.

There is no doubt that this Flying V came into existence during one of Gibson’s bleakest times, but based on uniqueness and originality, the V2 is one of the few bright spots during this era and collectors are beginning to take notice of this unusual V."

Instrument is in VERY GOOD CONDITION with a number of dings front and back as well as a few on back of neck. None are serious and do not affect playing or sound. It appears that the pickup selector switch was replaced at some point (old switch is in case) and it also appears that a previous owner planned to replace the pickup rings as there are two new rings in the case which we are including in the package. We left the worn ones on the instrument. You can replace if you want. Other than this the guitar looks to be all original with the original hardshell case.