Category: Flying V

Flying Shame

The Gibson Flying V, seen by many as a metal guitar but loved by those in the know because it is a rock n’ roll machine. Don’t forget Hendrix used a V, he had a few of them, the king of UK glam rock Marc Bolan used to spank one and blues legend Albert King loved his V so much that it is etched onto his tombstone. Apart from the great tone that can be coaxed out of these guitars the prices are usually pretty good, due partly to people thinking they are not cool, for me it’s about the tone and feel of that v profile neck that got me into them, a greatly underestimated guitar. This Flying V was doing the rounds on eBay.

From a distance all seems good, a late 70’s or 80’s style headstock, (over the skinnier ’67 reissues that are currently produced), 70’s style knobs, a nice heritage red finish (sadly not available at the moment) and what appears to be a much older style case. All appears to be pointing to a 70’s model.

A look at the truss rod cover starts to show signs that all is not well. The Gibson logo is not correct, the logo should be the usual one you see on nearly all Gibson guitars. On the back another pointer to this being a fake, this Flying V has a bolt on neck, now contrary to popular belief there have been some Gibson guitars with bolt on necks, the Marauder (with Flying V style headstock) and the Challenger spring to mind but the Flying V has never had this configuration so it’s easy to tell that this is a fake. For lots of great information on the Gibson Flying V check out The Gibson Flying V Website.


Ok, I give credit where credit’s due and I found this V on a site selling very dodgy Gibson copies by reading a post by Double Basser in the Ultimate Guitar forums. In his post he tells of this website and goes on to post his entire msn conversation with the “scammers”. Definitely worth a read.

Now I’m a fan of the Gibson Flying V, I don’t know why but I am, I’ve had a couple of Les Pauls and an SG but for me the V just has a certain something. I always thought it would be hard to tell a fake Flying V from the Ted McCarthy designed original and it’s various revamped successors, especially the ’67 as the only main difference to look at can be a name on a truss rod cover.

Well thankfully whoever banged this one together decided to make it easy. As usual the Gibson logo looks about as convincing as Robert Mugabe’s recent re-election and as before on the Phoney Flying V the truss rod cover says “Les Paul Custom”, do they think we can’t read?

Note the lack of a serial number on the back of the headstock, they didn’t even bother with the usual fake stamp or “Made In USA” found on so many of the Chinese imports. Zakks silhouette is also noticeably absent, the dodgy Les Paul Customs at least have an attempt at one on the back of their peg heads. The other giveaway is once again the price, $249; So that’s cost price on the pickups and the rest is free right?

Phoney Flying V

I love my Gibson Flying V and every now and again I flick through the pages of the worlds biggest auction site to see if there are any interesting examples available, well this week there is. (see picture above)
Not sure Les Paul ever endorsed the Vee, (notice the Les Paul Custom truss rod cover).

I don’t think Gibson ever used a pickup selector switch quite like that on a Flying V, (not outside the Custom Shop anyway). Ships from… The imaginary Gibson Factory in China!(pictures from eBay listing)