New Bass Day--Gibson Flying V (short review)

Discussion in 'Basses [BG]' started by evenintheshower, Apr 16, 2012.

  1. I was looking for a nice short scale and I found it. I know, of course, that the Flying V is not everyone's cup of tea and that Gibson is not the most popular bass manufacturer here on TB, but this is a REALLY nice bass!

    I have only played it out once so far and that was for an Easter church service that I was asked to do.

    The box was still stapled shut and the original packing tape was still in place, so I must have been the first person to handle it after it left the factory. Its date of manufacture was 3/16/2012, according to the factory inspection page included in the case. It has a mahogany body, baked maple fretboard (looks just like rosewood), chrome Grover Shamrock tuners, 3-point bridge, nitro finish, and comes with a really nice case.

    I did the usual setup stuff. Adjusted intonation, action, truss rod, and so on, but it did not need much work at all. The fretwork is excellent, the paint job is gorgeous, and everything is solid. There is nothing cheesy or weird going on with the bass. I have the action set at 6/64" on the bass side and 5/64" on the treble side. Just a beautiful looking instrument that also feels well made. This is what I expect of an instrument in this price range.

    The thing that worried me most was balance. I am happy to report the this instrument has great balance. I do not like headstock dive at all and the Flying V does not even have a hint of dive! It stays in place nicely and is incredibly easy to play. Playing the bass while seated requires one to use a classical guitar approach to positioning. I played classical guitar before playing bass, however, so this is a very comfortable playing position for me, but YMMV.

    My first impression of the sound is that it is fat, warm, powerful, and sits in the mix nicely. It does not cut through the same way that many jazz basses do, but that was not what I was expecting anyway. The Thunderbird Bass pickups shine. Some of the people who heard me play remarked that the bass sounded nice, full, and could really be heard in the music (in a positive way). It can "cut" using the bridge pickup and playing with the settings on the amp.

    Gibson really did a great job with this bass! I know most people did not like the ones that came out in the 80s, but this is a different animal with the different woods used and different pickups, too. The only thing that I don't like is that after a while of playing, I can smell the burnt smell of the baked maple fretboard. It isn't a strong odor, but the first time I caught a whiff of it, I turned around to look at my amp to make sure it wasn't smoking, only to realize it was the fretboard wood's smell.

    You don't have to be seeking attention while playing or be a hair metal fanboy to appreciate this bass. Yes, I am still in the honeymoon phase, but I have not found anything that detracts from the instrument at all. The photos aren't great, but I know the rule: No photo, no bass!

    Attached Files:

  2. DiabolusInMusic

    DiabolusInMusic Functionless Art is Merely Tolerated Vandalism

    Not my bag but glad to hear your enjoying, looks nice.
  3. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    They really did right their wrong from the 80's version and made this bass the way they know will sound good. Mahogany & TB pickups. Its a win win. Nice bass.
  4. TBird1958

    TBird1958 As a matter of fact....I am your Queen! Staff Member Gold Supporting Member

    Mar 13, 2008
    Seattle Washington
    Endorsing Artist Mike Lull T Bass pickups
    Congratulations on a beautiful bass!

    I'd so own one if it were long scale. I'll save the money for another Thunderbird.
  5. mr.mow


    Feb 11, 2009
    Endorsing Artist: BBE/G&L Basses
    I'd rock that mo'fo loud and proud!!
    Love it man!! Now if they just came in a natural finish with gold hardware.. Ooh baby..
  6. Stranger Danger

    Stranger Danger Feel Like A Stranger Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    Denver, CO
    No neck dive? Really? Wow I would have thought the neck dive would be epic.
  7. Lazarus.Bird

    Lazarus.Bird Mr. Personality

    Aug 16, 2010
    Congrats! That is a killer looking bass. I love 4 string Flying V's.
  8. klejst

    klejst Guest

    Oct 5, 2010
    Looks cool, congrats.
  9. I have played Flying V guitars in the past that had great balance, so I was optimistic that the V bass would be similar. Wherever I put it, it stays there.

    It is an incredibly comfortable bass to play. It isn't heavy at all. I haven't weighed it, but I know it is lighter than my other basses (a P, a J, a 5-string J, and MM SUB).

    I don't want to pick on Gibson, but years ago I tried playing a Nikki Sixx Signature Blackbird, just to try it out. The damn thing felt like it had lead weights for tuners. The headstock just kept reaching for the floor and I knew it just wasn't right for me. My new Flying V is exactly the opposite.
  10. metalmariachi

    metalmariachi Guest

    Jun 11, 2006
    Olney, Maryland
    Nice bass, I’ve gassed for a korina V myself.

  11. Barkless Dog

    Barkless Dog Barkless to a point

    Jan 19, 2007
    You don't have enough of them yet!
  12. looks cool.