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The Bird has Landed (Marvbird)


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Posted (edited)

Deep searches and what ended up a little luck and I found a beauty with a story.

I've been searching for a H-357 for awhile now. Contacted owners of the one's I owned that weren't willing to sell and I don't blame them. 

I found this custom that was ordered by Paul Munden in Iowa. He was from what I hear a good luthier down there for years. Paul recently passed and

a friend of his is helping his adult children move all the guitars and equipment and what sounds like hundreds of parts for them. His name is Tony Gonzales.

Tony was great to work with, tough negotiator but we agreed on a price and I received it the other day. 

The whole time I was talking to Tony I was in conversations with Marv. At first he wasn't recalling the guitar. I sent Marv some detailed pictures of the guitar

and Marv called me the next day and he remembered the whole build. Paul wanted all Maple in the build and Marv started making it. Marv while sanding the

neck went a little deep and into the truss rod channel. He didn't want to send this guitar to him with a repair so he started all over and put that one in his scrap

collection by his bench. Well he built this one for Paul which is over the top and I'm fortunate to own it.

The story continues on. Marv was going to finish original one and keep it for himself. He never got around to it so it just sat there in the pile. 

Many years went by and Marv became friends with Frankie Ballard being a local talent.  Frankie spotted that unfinished guitar on one of his visits and asked

Marv if he would finish it for him. Marv kept telling him no he was going to keep it for himself. Well every time Frankie visited he bugged Marv about that guitar.

Frankie was building his brand and was in line to sign a recording contract. On one of his visits Marv finally told Frankie if you sign that contract I'll finish that for 

you. He signed the contract and Marv made good on the promise.  Frankie tells the story in a YouTube video. It's a good watch.

Here are some pictures of the beauty.

 

Marv Bird small.jpg

Marv Bird.jpg 5 small.jpg

Marv Bird.jpg 3 small.jpg

Marv Bird.jpg 4 small.jpg

Edited by skydog52
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I don't know what happened with the text alignment.  Can't change it.

A few more pics. The Abalone is beautiful and has some green it for the win.

 

marvbird yellow green.jpg

Marvbird YG .jpg 6 (2) small.jpg

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I wish Heritage would reintroduce this one (or introduce for the first time) into their lineup. These are truly unique models and a great take on one of my favorite guitar designs.  I'm sure there are other builders out there doing Firebird style guitars, but I'm a Kalamazoo guy and partial to stuff made in the old factory.

That is a stunner.  If you ever decide to sell this guitar, please PM me. 

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Ah, the journey is finished with a good ending.  Congrats!  That didn't take too long.  Nice Snatch!

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Posted (edited)

Wow - I'm reading along, thinking, "great story", really a story of two guitars... and then
GREEN!

Quelle surprise.

Edited by SouthernCanuck
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Holly cow! 

If you described the colour I might have thought what what but the photo shows wow wow!

 

Big negative on the truss rod cover....  that one off beauty deserves something more worthy.

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4 hours ago, kzoolou said:

I wish Heritage would reintroduce this one (or introduce for the first time) into their lineup. These are truly unique models and a great take on one of my favorite guitar designs.  I'm sure there are other builders out there doing Firebird style guitars, but I'm a Kalamazoo guy and partial to stuff made in the old factory.

That is a stunner.  If you ever decide to sell this guitar, please PM me. 

Thank you. I will.

3 hours ago, Steiner said:

Ah, the journey is finished with a good ending.  Congrats!  That didn't take too long.  Nice Snatch!

Good journey that ended well. Thanks

3 hours ago, Gitfiddler said:

Congratulations, Paul!

Thank you Tim.

1 hour ago, SouthernCanuck said:

Wow - I'm reading along, thinking, "great story", really a story of two guitars... and then
GREEN!

Quelle surprise.

Emerald Green. I named her Dorothy!

23 minutes ago, Spectrum13 said:

Holly cow! 

If you described the colour I might have thought what what but the photo shows wow wow!

 

Big negative on the truss rod cover....  that one off beauty deserves something more worthy.

Thanks. New cover already ordered.

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congratulations,
mini HBs is best choice IMO
enjoy it

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Posted (edited)

Got a chance to play it a little. The pickups are very articulate and punchy. Definitely needs a string change. 

Needs a little fine tuning on set-up so still evaluating. This guitar is very minty. Not played much at all. I'm a lucky and grateful soul!

Some specs on it:

Ebony finger board, multiple bound.

Trapezoid abalone markers.

All flamed maple construction with mahogany strips.

Custom finish color.

Bartolini pickups. Jury is still out on them.

All gold hardware with banjo type tuners, pearl buttons.

5 ply pickguard

7.67 lbs.

Some more pictures

marvbird 1.jpg

marvbird 1.jpg 2.jpg

marvbird 1.jpg 3.jpg

marvbird 1.jpg 4.jpg

marvbird 1.jpg 7.jpg

marvbird 1.jpg 6.jpg

Edited by skydog52
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Posted (edited)

I’m “_________” with envy!  Enjoy . . .

(you fill in the blank💀
 

Seriously though, curious what you think about the Bartolinis.

Edited by myoldfriend
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16 minutes ago, myoldfriend said:

I’m “_________” with envy!  Enjoy . . .

(you fill in the blank💀
 

Seriously though, curious what you think about the Bartolinis.

 

Thanks. Green?

My first impression to my ears is not good. I have to change the very old strings and set-up a little to make a good evaluation.

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Posted (edited)

Congrats....I’m a long time user and big, big fan of  Bill Bartolini pups.

All maple? Must be a bit on the heavy side?

Hows the overall tone...being maple and all?

Edited by loudtubeamps
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1 hour ago, loudtubeamps said:

Congrats....I’m a long time user and big, big fan of  Bill Bartolini pups.

All maple? Must be a bit on the heavy side?

Hows the overall tone...being maple and all?

Thanks. 7.6 lbs. 

First impression of pickups are they are very tight and punchy. It needs new strings and a good setup. I will see after that.

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I remember the Frankie Ballard story.   That's a bit of a Paul Harvey "Rest of the Story", isn't it.

Normally a green guitar isn't my favorite, but I like the way he did the burst on that one.   Very cool looking!

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26 minutes ago, TalismanRich said:

I remember the Frankie Ballard story.   That's a bit of a Paul Harvey "Rest of the Story", isn't it.

Normally a green guitar isn't my favorite, but I like the way he did the burst on that one.   Very cool looking!

Marv told me they actually sprayed blue over the yellow to get the emerald green color. He thought if he didn't spray it Floyd did.

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22 hours ago, skydog52 said:

Thanks. New cover already ordered.

I'm imagining a TRC made of ebony with a MOP inlay of a mushroom....  

Curious to know about the person who originally owned the guitar.  Other than the infamous Jack B, I heard rumors of another collector that had the largest collection of 357's.  Something in the neighborhood of 10+ 357's...

Anyone know if there is truth to that rumor?

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Posted (edited)

There is truth to that rumor, he lives just Southwest of me (a few miles) and was an active musician, well known by Mr. Lamb. I bought an H160v from him at a guitar show. He is the leader of the C.J. Stanley Band.

Edited by pressure
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1 hour ago, DetroitBlues said:

I'm imagining a TRC made of ebony with a MOP inlay of a mushroom....  

Curious to know about the person who originally owned the guitar.  Other than the infamous Jack B, I heard rumors of another collector that had the largest collection of 357's.  Something in the neighborhood of 10+ 357's...

Anyone know if there is truth to that rumor?

I've talked to CJ a few times recently looking for a H-357. Great guy. I think he said he has 19 of them but I couldn't talk him into selling me one. He has had a band a long time and his son plays with him. He told me he uses them all. Marv told me he made a all walnut one for him that CJ provided the wood for it.

He did say he'd keep my info if he changed his mind.  

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1 hour ago, DetroitBlues said:

I'm imagining a TRC made of ebony with a MOP inlay of a mushroom....  

Curious to know about the person who originally owned the guitar.  Other than the infamous Jack B, I heard rumors of another collector that had the largest collection of 357's.  Something in the neighborhood of 10+ 357's...

Anyone know if there is truth to that rumor?

Paul Munden from Iowa. It's in the OP

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Congrats on that guitar! Good to see minis in it, because I think they are part of the classic Firebird tone. I used to love the tone Johnny Winter got out of his. Hopefully it just needs a string change, but, if you aren't happy with the Bartolini pickups, check out Klein for their take on Firebird pickups which have true vintage construction with Alnico 5 Bar magnets and the steel reflector plate. And they are the right heat too. Klein makes a special set called the Kauer wind with a slightly overwound bridge pickup which I think is needed and even more so on a maple body. And speaking of maple bodies, I can't believe how light your is. That is great!

https://www.kleinpickups.com/c-32-firebird-deluxe-minis.aspx

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