Epiphone Firebird - Have You Played One?

KraftyBob

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I’ve been eyeing a new Epiphone Firebird lately but wanted to get some thoughts from those that have played one. I’ve heard feedback from a few friends that it can be awkward to play due to the physical style of the guitar - that the neck feels like it sticks out really far. My SG feels like this compared to my other guitars but it doesn’t bother me at all. However, does the Firebird feel like it’s even further out than the SG?

No stores around me have a Firebird (Gibson or Epi) that I can try out. I know if I buy online I can return it but nobody seems to have these in stock.

Ultimately if the Epi doesn’t work out I may end up getting the new PRS Tremonti SE - which is a close second on my list. Just trying to determine how long I should wait on the Epi before pulling the trigger on the PRS?
 

fitz288

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I’ve heard feedback from a few friends that it can be awkward to play due to the physical style of the guitar - that the neck feels like it sticks out really far. My SG feels like this compared to my other guitars but it doesn’t bother me at all. However, does the Firebird feel like it’s even further out than the SG?
I don't have the Epi, but I have a Gibson FB.
It's a long(er) guitar, compared to an LP or SG.
There is a definite balance / center of gravity issue that will seem unusual compared to other guitars.
Here's a side by side pic of mine.
fb-lp-sg.jpg
Note where the body mass meets the neck around the 21st fret on the FB & SG compared to the LP at the 17th.
Neck dive is an issue - my SG is much better since the Bigsby, but I'd describe the FB as suicidal...
 

jeffb

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Wrap the strap over the top of the body like Allen Collins.

I had a Firebird Studio model back around 2005, and it didn't really have the neck dive issue- granted the construction was like an SG (glued in neck vs neck thru), but some of the Studios had the dive too.

collins-jpg.238151
 

Thevenin

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I have a 2017 Gibson Firebird and a couple Gibson SGs. The Gibson SG with the Maestro Vibrola is the most balanced among the SGs and the Firebird is also balanced, maybe since it has Steinbergers tuners instead of banjos. I'm 6'-4" and the Firebird is one of the few guitars that feels "right sized". There is a feeling like everything is shifted to the left 2-3" though. Firebirds have a unique sound and there's good YT videos out there comparing it to a Les Paul.
 

fitz288

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Wrap the strap over the top of the body like Allen Collins.
Do you have a better pick of this?
Everything I've seen on "fixing" this is related to ass weights, neck button extenders, or friction straps across your shoulder.
 

fitz288

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The Gibson SG with the Maestro Vibrola is the most balanced among the SGs and the Firebird is also balanced, maybe since it has Steinbergers tuners instead of banjos.
Huge improvement to the balance on my SG when I added the Bigsby.
My HP Firebird balance improved a lot when I ditched the robos and put in Steinbergers.
I wish they made a Vibramate style adapter for a Maestro.
I'd put a Maestro on the Firebird without a second thought.
 

jmp45

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Departing from the clip above my 2016 FB T pot layout is same as an LP not like the custom shop FB in that clip.
 

fitz288

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Departing from the clip above my 2016 FB T pot layout is same as an LP not like the custom shop FB in that clip.
My FB controls are also standard LP configuration.
 

Wildeman

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I've played a red Epi Firebird 7 before, I should've bought the damn thing too, it was killer. It was a older one with a bolt neck iirc.



.
 

KraftyBob

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I have a Gibson Firebird, for perspective with my LP it is huge. When you sling it, the way it rides it's not really an issue. The neck is wide and fat on this one.

firebird01.jpg
This pic really shows the difference in what I was reading about - thanks for posting.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback. I’ve read a lot about neck dive which some state can be resolved by relocating the strap button forward. Aside from the aesthetics, I really like that the Firebird has a tone all it’s own. I’ve heard it described as a powerful Tele. I also know the Epi pickups are different than the Gibson so there’s that.

I’m not giving up on the Epi just yet so hopefully I can find one. Again, thanks for the feedback.
 

jmp45

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This pic really shows the difference in what I was reading about - thanks for posting.

Thanks to everyone for your feedback. I’ve read a lot about neck dive which some state can be resolved by relocating the strap button forward. Aside from the aesthetics, I really like that the Firebird has a tone all it’s own. I’ve heard it described as a powerful Tele. I also know the Epi pickups are different than the Gibson so there’s that.

I’m not giving up on the Epi just yet so hopefully I can find one. Again, thanks for the feedback.

It really is a unique instrument. I played it today thru the SLP, I'm still content with it. I'm not hearing anything like a Tele with it. I tried the strap over the top and it may help if you experience neck dive. I'm not having an issue with that. I've been using Levy's cotton straps for many years, they help keeping any neck dive in check and comfortable.
 
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jeffb

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Do you have a better pick of this?
Everything I've seen on "fixing" this is related to ass weights, neck button extenders, or friction straps across your shoulder.
Plenty of pics if you do a google search- he did the same thing with his Explorer as well.

All I did was type in "Allen Collins Firebird".
 

Georgiatec

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I have a 2015 Gibson reverse Firebird V and love it. The wider neck and adjustable nut with zero fret isn't an issue for me. Yes, they are longer overall, but very comfortable to play. No neck dive issues with mine, maybe due to the banjo tuners. When a Les Paul sounds too thick and a Strat too thin, then the Firebird is my go to. Also great to use as a double track guitar with either LP or Strat.
remember there are Firebirds and Reverse Firebirds. My daughter's boyfriend has a non-reverse model that is also very nice....all the pics in this thread (so far) are Reverse FB's
 
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TheCount0212

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I have two Epiphone Bonamassa Firebird I's, made in 2016. Supremely well-built guitars. My favorite neck shape (nice fat/wide U). If it doesn't have the neck-through design and banjo tuners, it's not a Firebird.

Neck dive is no problem. I've always used 2.5" suede straps.
 

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