Gibson Gothic Flying V : tjon901's user review
"Black 98 limited edition V"
This is one of the earlier Gibson Gothic models. This was back when Gibson thought painting a guitar black automatically made it good for metal. Later gothic models came with active pickups including for a short while EMG's. While these earlier models are good they are not as good for metal as the later ones. This model is actually based on a pretty rare Flying V made in 1998 that blended the body of the 67 reissue with the control layout of the 58 Flying V. The guitar is made from solid mahogany with a mahogany set neck. The neck is 22 frets with a ebony fretboard. The neck is not bound. The fretboard is clean of all inlays except for a circle thing on the 12th fret. It has two volume knobs and one tone knob and a 3 way pickup selector. It has 496R and 500T ceramic magnet pickups in the neck and bridge respectively. These pickups are Gibsons own design. It has a traditional Les Paul style tune-o-matic bridge and stop tailpiece.
Being based on the 98 limited edition there are small differences. The main difference with the 1998 limited edition Flying V is the way the knobs are arranged. This guitar has the knobs arranged 3 in a row. I like this setup better than the newer one because on the 60s Flying V's the knobs are in a triangle shape and they can seem a little bunched together. Because of the V design the upper frets are easier to reach than on a Les Paul. The set neck design means there is a bit of a heel at the neck joint but on this model it is not bad. Because of the shape you may have to play in a classical position when you play sitting down.
The pickups the V comes with are generic Gibson pickups. They are good at everything but not great at anything. The mahogany wood give the guitar a really deep sound even though the body is not that big. If you want to play heavier music you may want to change out the pickups. The Gibson pickups are medium output and are voiced more for classic rock. The 496R is voiced for the neck and some people say it is a little bright. If its in the neck position in the right guitar it will balance out the neck position sound perfectly. Its sound is pretty smooth albiet bright. The brightness helps balance out the neck position tone which can give you good clarity in the neck position. With a guitar with a metal Image like this you really want to swap in some metal pickups. A set of EMG's would sound and look perfect in this guitar.
These guitars might become collectors items in the future but I doubt it. I guess when they made the 98 limited edition V they made too many to be able to price them as limited guitars like they wanted to so they threw some black paint on some and started another model. If you are looking for a Gibson flying V to play metal on this is a pretty good choice, just remember that the sound isnt as heavy as the looks so you may need a pickup swap.