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Gibson Firebirds - How do they feel.

Discussion in 'Other Guitars, other instruments' started by Ed Boyd, May 26, 2017.

  1. 24 track

    24 track Doctor of Teleocity Ad Free Member

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    I have an Epi firebired , Its one of the only guitars I can play upside down that does not feel awkward ( But i had to put a harmonica bridge on it to get it to scale properly) the long scale is an illusion due to the deep cutaway to 16th fret and the amount of body after the bridge.

    P1011553.JPG
     
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  2. sbrnrmf

    sbrnrmf TDPRI Member

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    I've had 2 Epiphone Firebirds: one was a bolt-on made in Korea and the other was a red one with a set neck and 3 minis. The first one was really nice. The second one sounded really muddy. I didn't care for it. I finally broke down and got a 2016 Gibson Firebird and it's very nice. I'd also picked up a Gibson Firebird Non-reverse studio with 3 P90's in Pelham blue and that sounds great too!
     
  3. telecastertodd

    telecastertodd Tele-Meister

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    For me, the small amount of body on top of the neck feels weird. I imagine playing one of those little square guitars with no headstock (Steinberger?) would feel the same way.

    Love the way they look.
     
  4. thunderbyrd

    thunderbyrd Poster Extraordinaire Silver Supporter

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    i had a firebird for a little while and didn't get along with it at all. the first thing that threw me off was the neck shape. i couldn't play it. and the overall awkwardness of the whole thing was uncomfortable.

    i always thought i wanted one, so i got it and then shortly thereafter traded it off, and marked it off the guitar bucket list. other guitars on my list were SG and 335, i like those much more.
     
  5. mojocasterman

    mojocasterman Friend of Leo's

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    well, life is funny. After posting in this thread a few days ago, I sold my Firebird yesterday. Timing is everything, as they say.
     
  6. Speedfish

    Speedfish Tele-Holic

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    I own a 2016 T and enjoy it so much that I also picked up a 2017 T. I'm going to replace the 17's minis with humbuckers for playing my Motorhead and Ministry.
     
  7. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    I have a 1990 FB V.. two of my aussie guitar idols when I was growing up played FBs so i just had to get one.. it's everything that everyone has said in the earlier posts.. neck heavy, scale feels loooong, unwieldy, neck (on mine) is chunky but not too bad, bright pickups (alnicos in mine) and the Cadillac analogy is spot-on ... but if my house was on fire, it would be the first one i would grab (i have a small collection just into the double digits, from indonesian squier up to this and one other gibson).. until then, when i want to pretend I'm a fully blown badass mofo of a six string slinger (which I'm not!), i reach for the 'bird and i pick and grin..

    And did i mention the luggage case with hot pink fur lining??
     
  8. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

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    Gibson Firebird V and Epiphone VII 63 RI. These guitars have a totally different vibe! Saw an article recently about the auction of Johnny Winter's Firebirds. I think the sunburst went for around $200k and one in Inverness Green for about $60k.

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  9. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    What's the tremolo like on the Epi?
     
  10. wyclif

    wyclif Tele-Afflicted

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    Alex Chilton played a Firebird for a while, when Big Star was still gigging. If you want to hear what that sounds like, check out the "Nobody Can Dance" live album.
     
  11. Southpole

    Southpole Tele-Holic

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    Works well now that I have installed a roller bridge. In fact I think roller bridges are absolutely critical for any vibrato where the string is going to move over the saddle.
     
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  12. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    I'm checking out the Firebirds & Johnny Winter's version of Help Me, comes on my random computer play rotation!
     
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  13. AngelDeville

    AngelDeville Tele-Afflicted

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    IT's not random.... Google... it gets in your head!
     
  14. Frank'n'censed

    Frank'n'censed Doctor of Teleocity

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    I've probably owned about a hundred guitar/basses, but never a Firebird...Johnny, Gate' & others, are trying to Help Me!
     
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  15. richiek65

    richiek65 Friend of Leo's

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    I read another description of them a year or so ago comparing them to that funny looking kid in class that no one would hang around, but you knew he had something going on underneath the weird exterior..so you decide to spend some time with him and find out that he's actually got some hidden talents, was super cool when you dug a bit deeper and got to know him and eventually you realise that the effort required to discover what it was that made this guy so unusual in the first place is worth the payoff of the amazing hidden qualities that were there all the time.. something like that anyway..

    Oh and i also have heard a firebird described as the best telecaster that Leo never made

    [emoji3]
     
    Last edited: May 31, 2017
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  16. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    You know, giving some consideration to this, I wrestle with mine, not physically but mentally. Tried to gig with it last Friday, and couldn't get a DANG thing out of it, so I switched over after about half a dozen songs to a Tele I had brought.

    Fiddled with pickup height and action all week, and got some great sounds through the Top Hat CR and DRRI ... gonna try it again THIS weekend for the Friday night gig ... Saturday I'm usin' the Nighthawk, which never fails to deliver ...
     
  17. P-Nutz

    P-Nutz Tele-Afflicted Silver Supporter

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    Also, space is a HUGE consideration with one of these; they are LONG! Outdoor show last week and a BIG @$$ indoor stage this Friday ... something to think about ...
     
  18. Silverface

    Silverface Poster Extraordinaire Platinum Supporter

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    It looks long because of the way the guitar is constructed - it's impossible to tell the difference between 24.75 & 25.5 from a picture anyway (unless you know typical vs Gibson scale lengths)

    As far as buying a Firebird goes, I can't stress enough that the OP needs to play one first. They have an extremely unique feel and while many love them, some hate the neck position.

    It's also difficult to pick a good one over the internet. Although new ones are fairly consistent, depending on the balance and weight some can be neck heavy, suffering from "neck dive", where the headstock wants to move towards the floor.

    they also do not have what one would think of as a "typical" Gibson tone - fat and round, with some bite. Instead they have *lots* of bite, and while they usually have a bit more mids than (for example) a Tele they are voiced much more towards the treble end than a Les Paul.

    All that being said I love 'em. Once you learn the ins and outs you can get a fairly fat tone, but with a ton of snarl when you dig in. They're also surprisingly versatile, working well for rock, blues - even country.
     
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  19. Tele5015

    Tele5015 Tele-Meister

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    I played a Custom Shop firebird at Guitar Center not that long ago and it felt terrible. It would not stay in tune and it had the 59 baseball bat neck that I dislike a lot.
     
  20. BigDaddyLH

    BigDaddyLH Tele Axpert Ad Free Member

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    [​IMG]
     
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