The FIRENZA Thread!

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GennyFan
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The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by GennyFan » Fri Aug 27, 2010 6:18 am

I know there are a bunch of Firenza owners here besides me. I would like to see if we can't collect our pics, reviews, and general tips about these guitars and put them all in one place.

It's my understanding that there were a total of five (5) different Firenza models made over the years:

Impact Firenza
Impact Firenza AX
Firenza JX
Firenza (soapbar model)
Firenza AX

The first two were the entry level guitars for the Impact Series, which included other "Italian Cities" guitars like the Milano and the Torino (which are not Firenzas).

The Impact Firenzas are the only Firenzas with 6-inline tuners. Both Impact Firenzas came equipped with a HSS pickup configuration and a Gotoh "Power Bend" tremolo. The Impact Firenza AX was the deluxe model and came with locking tuners, graphite bridge saddles, and an ash body. Both of the Impact Firenzas were made in Meridian Mississippi, USA.

The next three Firenzas are sometimes referred to as the "Leakesville Firenzas" because they were made in Peavey's short-lived Leakesville factory between 1997 and 2002. The Leakesville factory was a dedicated guitar making facility located in Leakesville MS, about a two-hour drive south of Meridian.

To date your Leakesville Firenza, the best method is to remove the neck and look inside the neck heel. Most, but not all, Leakesville Firenzas will have the date of assembly written inside the neck heel in pencil.

All three of the Leakesville Firenzas were designed to be mid-priced instruments, with minimal frills and maximum tone. All Leakesville Firenzas have 3-per side tuning machines and a distinctive "Elf Hat" shaped headstock, similar to the EVH Wolfgang guitars which were also made in the Leakesville factory.

One interesting piece of trivia about the Leakesville Firenzas is that none of them say "Made in USA" on them anywhere, although they were definitely made in the USA. Much of the hardware on them is made in Japan by Gotoh, and some these parts are stamped "Made in Japan", so some people initially thought the guitars were made in Japan too.

Also, while the Impact Firenza AX clearly states "Firenza AX" on the headstock, all three Leakesville Firenzas simply say, "Firenza" on the headstock. This lack of labeling, including the lack of a "Made in USA" stamp anywhere on the Leakesville Firenzas, has been the source of some confusion for end-users. Here are the main attributes of the different models and how you can tell them apart:

Firenza JX: HSS pickup configuration, string though body bridge, alder body.

Firenza (soapbar): Two alnico soapbar pickups (sometimes labelled "KMS Old", sometimes labelled "Gotoh". KMS stands for Kaihastu Music Shokai, the Japanese manufacturer that makes these for Gotoh), tune-o-matic stoptail bridge, mahogany body.

Firenza AX: Dual humbucking pickups on a 5-way "super switch" with coil taps to provide both humbucking and single coil tones. Locking tuning machines with thumb-discs and a Gotoh Power Bend tremolo with graphite bridge saddles, ash body.

The list prices on these were originally $599 for the JX, $699 for the Soapbar, and $899 for the AX, and did not include a hard shell case. The hard shell case was available for $99 dollars more. At this point in time, all three Leakesville Firenzas seem to be worth about the same amount on the used market.

I recently did a Google search for Firenza JX and there were any good pics, so here are a few (the chrome volume knob is not original, everything else is...)
PV Firenza JX 003.jpg
PV Firenza JX 003.jpg (88.71 KiB) Viewed 18445 times
PV Firenza JX 004.jpg
PV Firenza JX 004.jpg (83.47 KiB) Viewed 18445 times
PV Firenza JX 005.jpg
PV Firenza JX 005.jpg (68.87 KiB) Viewed 18445 times
PV Firenza JX 006.jpg
PV Firenza JX 006.jpg (49.85 KiB) Viewed 18445 times
PV Firenza JX 007.jpg
PV Firenza JX 007.jpg (135.55 KiB) Viewed 18445 times
Attachments
PV Firenza JX 009.jpg
PV Firenza JX 009.jpg (78.41 KiB) Viewed 18445 times
Last edited by GennyFan on Fri Jul 19, 2013 2:06 am, edited 1 time in total.

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e-merlin
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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by e-merlin » Fri Aug 27, 2010 4:23 pm

Here's my "Soapbar". There are a few cosmetic mods, but it's otherwise stock.

Image

Image

Image

Sorry that the pics are a little dark. I was just learning the camera and didn't have access to good lighting at the time.
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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by studiodtk5 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 5:35 pm

I like the chorme appointments on your e-merlin. They look nice.

I will ppost my photos next week. i don't have access to the photos at the moment.
Darren
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Peavey stuff I have: Masterpiece 50, Custom Shop 212, Stereo Chorus 212, T-60, T-40, Signature Select, Odyssey II Prototype, Generation Custom EXP, Firenza P90-ACM, VB-2, Stomp Boxes, Radial Pro 1000, lots of mics, etc...

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by studiodtk5 » Fri Aug 27, 2010 9:33 pm

I know this is a bit of topic, but still relavent to the Firenza. I know it was not marked Made in USA, but the argument for why is weak when you compare to other Peavey products.

For example I was just cleaning the jacks & pots in an old Peavey AOD pedal. It was made in the late 80s. The pots & the ICs were marked JAPAN. I am sure that is true for most of the electronics that Peavey has made; amps, mixers, effects processors, etc. All of those products that were assembled in the USA factories were marked Handcrafted in USA.

So why not the Firenza? Because the pickups and hardware came from Japan? That doesn't seam like a good reason. But I guess it is all we have.
Darren
ITOC: 08-00190

Peavey stuff I have: Masterpiece 50, Custom Shop 212, Stereo Chorus 212, T-60, T-40, Signature Select, Odyssey II Prototype, Generation Custom EXP, Firenza P90-ACM, VB-2, Stomp Boxes, Radial Pro 1000, lots of mics, etc...

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by GennyFan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:17 am

studiodtk5 wrote:I know this is a bit of topic, but still relavent to the Firenza. I know it was not marked Made in USA, but the argument for why is weak when you compare to other Peavey products.

For example I was just cleaning the jacks & pots in an old Peavey AOD pedal. It was made in the late 80s. The pots & the ICs were marked JAPAN. I am sure that is true for most of the electronics that Peavey has made; amps, mixers, effects processors, etc. All of those products that were assembled in the USA factories were marked Handcrafted in USA.

So why not the Firenza? Because the pickups and hardware came from Japan? That doesn't seam like a good reason. But I guess it is all we have.
No argument from me. I don't know why or why it wasn't labelled made in USA. I think it was probably just another one of Peavey's famous marketing glitches.

I think the most likely explanation is that, just as the Leakesville factory was getting up a full head of steam in 1998, Uncle HP's heart was elsewhere...

I believe that the Limited Series, also made at Leakesville, was also unlabelled as to country of origin.

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by e-merlin » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:12 pm

GennyFan wrote:I think the most likely explanation is that, just as the Leakesville factory was getting up a full head of steam in 1998, Uncle HP's heart was elsewhere...
With all due respect to the Peavey family,

Your taxpayer dollars hard at work... :?
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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by GennyFan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 5:53 pm

e-merlin wrote:Your taxpayer dollars hard at work... :?
With all of the tax dollars created due to the specific efforts of Melia Peavey, I think the above motion was more than justified.

I have gone back and forth on posting about this in the past. I remember asking some pointed questions about why everything at Peavey seemed to fall apart in 1998 and 1999, when I had no understanding of the personal and family dynamics involved.

A senior member of the forum PM'd me and tactfully explained to me what had happened... In retrospect, I feel embarrassed that I had been so insensitive.

In the context of the Leakesville factory, these events are relevant. Having some understanding of what the Peavey family was going through at the time helped me to put a human face on things, and understand that things are rarely as black and white as they seem at first.

Melia Peavey had a heart of gold and left a lasting impression on everyone who knew her. She was directly involved in many of the best things that ever came out of Peavey. In some ways, it's a miracle that the company has survived without her.

Time is a great healer, and it took some time to pick up the pieces. Unfortunately, by then the Leakesville factory was already history.

While the company has survived, it is fair to say that it will never be the same.

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by GennyFan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:06 pm

Five Firenza JX's, all in a row:
PV Firenza JX 041.jpg
PV Firenza JX 041.jpg (96.35 KiB) Viewed 18378 times
The Lipstick Red and Bass Boat Gold Sparkle are both completely stock.

The others I added a chrome Tele-style volume knob.

The black one on the left is Betty. The black one on the right has a pickup cover inherited from a Korean Predator Plus. I call that one the Oreo. :wink:

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by GennyFan » Sun Aug 29, 2010 10:33 pm

Sorry for posting three in a row, but this is too cool:
PVFirenzaSurfGreenCraigslist.JPG
PVFirenzaSurfGreenCraigslist.JPG (96.73 KiB) Viewed 18377 times
I emailed the seller for more pics, hopefully they'll come through.

Looks like a prototype to me. Notice that, unlike most Leakesville Firenzas, the body is contoured. It has the tune-o-matic bridge of the Soapbar model but the dual zebra humbuckers like in the AX.

This surf green Firenza is very similar to a guitar called the Triumph that was briefly made in Leakesville after the Firenzas. The Triumph had a painted headstock, like the Limiteds, as well as the contoured body you see here.

This "Firenza" is most likely a Triumph body with a Firenza neck... There are probably no more than a dozen actual Triumphs in existence. I know Roger Crimm has one.

Almost all of the Triumphs that I've seen had the soapbar pickups, but I have one that, like the surf green "Tri-enza" in this ad, also has the dual zebra humbuckers...

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by e-merlin » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:39 pm

GennyFan wrote:
e-merlin wrote:Your taxpayer dollars hard at work... :?
With all of the tax dollars created due to the specific efforts of Melia Peavey, I think the above motion was more than justified.
I don't disagree at all with this, I'm just saying that there's way too much of this stuff everywhere in government. I'm sure it can be justified in every case, but is it really what they should be doing?

Anyhow, back to our regularly scheduled program.
"Tone is in the fingers, chops are in the woodshed." e-merlin

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by e-merlin » Mon Aug 30, 2010 3:42 pm

That Surf Green one is very cool.

Also, don't let the sparkle nuts on TDPRI see that gold sparkle Firenza. Their heads might explode.
"Tone is in the fingers, chops are in the woodshed." e-merlin

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by studiodtk5 » Tue Aug 31, 2010 9:16 pm

Well it looks like it is just the three of us interested in the Firenza series. Here are a few eamples of the Firenza ACM. It is a little know custom shop model of the Firenza. It is equiped with the Ghost saddles and a neck piezo for the acoustic sounds along with the P90s. Great combination.
Attachments
Peavey Firenza ACM
Peavey Firenza ACM
Peavey Firenza ACM.jpg (604.34 KiB) Viewed 18339 times
Darren
ITOC: 08-00190

Peavey stuff I have: Masterpiece 50, Custom Shop 212, Stereo Chorus 212, T-60, T-40, Signature Select, Odyssey II Prototype, Generation Custom EXP, Firenza P90-ACM, VB-2, Stomp Boxes, Radial Pro 1000, lots of mics, etc...

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by GennyFan » Wed Sep 01, 2010 1:30 am

studiodtk5 wrote:Well it looks like it is just the three of us interested in the Firenza series. Here are a few eamples of the Firenza ACM. It is a little know custom shop model of the Firenza. It is equiped with the Ghost saddles and a neck piezo for the acoustic sounds along with the P90s. Great combination.
Dude, that is way cool. 8)

Promise me you will never sell that to anyone other than a loyal Peavey forum member with at least 525 posts! :P :wink:

If I have any guitars you want let me know and I'll put you in my will... And please do the same for me with that ACM Firenza!

Seriously, where did you get her? Did you find her on eBay or did your local music store have it in stock? Or did you come into it some other way?

I know there are a lot of people out there who like Firenzas, but they don't always post here at the Peavey forum. Hopefully this thread will generate search engine traffic and more Firenza owners will check in over time.

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Re: The FIRENZA Thread!

Post by e-merlin » Wed Sep 01, 2010 5:54 am

That ACM Firenza is very cool, but I have absolutely no use for a guitar with acoustic pickups, which is one reason I never bought a Generation ACM.
"Tone is in the fingers, chops are in the woodshed." e-merlin

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@gennyfan

Post by etechstan » Wed Sep 01, 2010 7:49 am

Thanks for providing a great service with your explanation of the different models. A couple years ago I went into a music store naive about Fender Strat models and bought a MIM Squier Series Strat (not a Squier, but a Fender Squiers Series) for $300; about twice it's actual value. I'm always on the prowl for MIA Peaveys and the non-Impact Firenzas are now on my short list of guitars to seek out and purchase.
Fury V

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