My 2019 Gibson Flying V Review
Today I pulled the trigger on a 2019 Gibson Flying V. I owned a 2007 model Flying V back in the day and they have always been great sounding guitars. I am actually thankful to Gibson for releasing some new left handed models in 2019. As a left-hander, I am not used to such a great selection of instruments.
Odds are if you’re reading this there’s a 9/10 change you are a right handed guitarist. The good news is, the guitars are identical so you will still get some value out of this review.
One thing that will surprise you is how light the new 2019 Flying V actually is. This is my lightest electric guitar by quite a lot. The 2019 Gibson Flying V is even lighter than my Fender Stratocaster and PRS SE guitars. The body is made of Mahogany and is finished with a Nitrocellulose gloss coat that looks great. This colour and finish are exactly what I like from a Flying V.
The tone of these Humbucker pickups is exactly what I was hoping for. Gibson has used Burstbucker humbuckers in this 2019 model and they sing. They have lots of clarity on the top end and don’t sound too overwound which is awesome. One of my big complaints about some Humbuckers is their lack of clarity. These almost have a mini-humbucker type of snap to the top end. I dig it! The pickups have a similar tone to PRS SE actually. Burstbuckers are nice and clear and respond great when digging in.
Thanks to the Grover tuners, tuning is not an issue on this instrument. Amazingly, this guitar was practically in tune straight out of the box. It also stayed in tune very well once I stretched the strings out.
Fit and Finish
This is what surprised me the most! There is not a blemish on this guitar and everything looks fantastic. The Nut has zero problems and the action on the guitar is great out of the box. Gibson has really stepped it up on this department. I’ve avoided their guitars for a number of years but if they are all as nice as mine, then it’s a big-time win.
The Included Hard Case
The included hard case is so big it’s almost comical. I forgot how large these cases were! The case in the box just fit into my car – I kid you not! Unlike a lot of their studio model guitars the hard case you get will be roadworthy. It seats the guitar perfectly in place and also has enough latches to keep the guitar safe in transport or storage. Inside the case, we are greeted with a plush red interior and that famous “Gibson Smell“.
Who is this guitar for?
These days most people associate a Gibson Flying V with metal or heavy styles of music. The Truth is, you can play anything on it. One of my main inspirations for getting a Flying V is Albert King. Albert King is my favourite blues guitarist and he was using Flying V’s long before Metal was even a thing. There are many other artists who have played them including Jimi Hendrix, Chris Cain, Michael Burkes, Lonnie Mack, and well… Me! haha
If you play Metal, Rock, Blues, Funk, or whatever the Gibson Flying V will work fine. Just make sure you’re happy standing and playing. These guitars are not good for sit-down players.
Reach and Balance
One thing that concerned me initially was if this guitar was well balanced when standing up. Gibson SG guitars have the inherent issue of being very neck heavy. What this means is if you are playing standing up then the guitar will fall towards the ground on the neck side.
The Balance of the Flying V is as rock solid as a Stratocaster or Gibson Les Paul. There’s not even a hint of having anything fall neck side down thankfully.
The Reach on the Flying V is also a huge positive. you can get all the way up to the 22nd fret no problems at all. I would compare the flying V to a PRS custom 24 in terms of being able to reach the entire way up the neck.
Below are two videos.
- The first is my actual review
- The second video is an unboxing playtest video that was streamed live on my YouTube channel.
Is Gibson back on Track in 2019?
I can’t believe I now have a Gibson in my lineup. I have been a huge advocate for Tokai Guitars over the last few years after my dissatisfaction with Gibson products and lack of quality control…and the Robot Tuners. It really feels like Gibson is back. I also had a chance to test out a few more Gibson guitars as well at the time of purchasing and filming this so keep checking back for more videos and reviews, I have more on the way. Well done, Gibson! I am shocked I purchased this today and the real test will come when I get to play it live. I can highly suggest checking these out in person.
Body Material: Mahogany
Finish: Gloss Nitrocellulose Lacquer
Neck Material: Mahogany
Neck Profile: Slim Taper
Scale Length: 24.75″ / 62.865cm
Fingerboard Material: Rosewood
Fingerboard Radius: 12″ / 304.8mm
Number of Frets: 22
Frets: Low – Cryogenically Treated
Nut Material: Tektoid
Nut Width: 1.69″ / 43.05mm
End-of-Board Width: 2.26″ / 57.4mm
Inlays: Acrylic Dots
Hardware Finish: Chrome
Bridge: Aluminum Nashville Tune-O-Matic
Tailpiece: Aluminum Stopbar
Tuners: Grover Rotomatics w/ Kidney Buttons
Pick Guard: White 3-ply
Control Knobs: Black Top Hats with Silver Reflector
Switch Tip: Black
Neck Pickup: BurstBucker 2
Bridge Pickup: BurstBucker 3
Controls: 2 Volumes, 1 Tone & Toggle Switch
Strings: .009, .011, .016, .026, .036, .046
Case: Hard Shell Case
Included Accessories: Includes Gibson Accessory Kit
Check it out here at Guitar Center.