Epiphone Firebird - Have You Played One?

10kDA

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I have a Gibson Firebird and an Epiphone Thunderbird bass, and it seems to me the neck dive thing is due to the placement of the strap button. The strap supports the mass between the two points where it is attached to the body, so without a "projection" on the upper part of the body like a Strat or Fender bass etc, where a strap button could be located, everything beyond the strap button is unsupported by the strap. SGs can have this issue too but it doesn't seem to be as bad. Though I have to say I relocated the strap button on one of my SGs to the back side of the upper cutaway and as far forward as I could - problem solved. But there's nothing there on a Firebird or Thunderbird body to do that. Wrapping the strap across the top of the upper body Collins-style definitely helps, though. And if you use a leather strap, the rough side of the strap on your shoulder takes care of most of the issue.
 

RedHouse59

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I bought one of the new Epi Firebirds 2 (or 3) months ago, everyone was "out of stock" for months but AMS got some in and I bought one.

I'm REALLY impressed with the build quality on it, plays great, no neck dive, lighter than I expected it to be, but no neck dive issues even with the "Grover" (Ping) tuners. I have an recent made Epi 335 and I'd swear the Firebird was made in a different factory, with better craftsmanship going on.
(my Epi 335 is a fine built guitar too though)

If I was a young person starting up these days I wouldn't hesitate to buy an Epi made recently they are really ramping up on their QA.

The only thing I'm not in love with (so far) is the pickups, but I knew that going in.
(super bright tone)

Having said that, they can sure do the Johnny Winter thing all day long. I'm going to keep trying to get used to the firebird pickups, give it another 6-8 months, if we cant bond I may route and install normal humbuckers.

I love the body shape, which it turns out is actually very comfortable to play even in sitting position, and the neck through construction is very cool.
 
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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?
The Firebirds do have a unique sound and feel. I'm not too fond of them for two reasons: they are SO BIG!!! And they have a unique sound which doesn't work for many guitarists. If you are into Johnny Winter or Lynyrd Skynyrd, it'll work for you. Mind you, the ones with P90's do have a much more flexible sound than the fill caps mini-humbuckers.

I've owned FBs over the years. Apart from the model with the 2 regular humbuckers, I didn't like them (and again, they are so big). If you like PRS', I don't think the FB would work for you.

When I began playing guitar, I remember (it's a LONG time ago) seeing Brian Jones with one (it must have been a reverse sunburst - the TV was in black and white). It was the coolest guitar I had ever seen. Of course, I wanted one. When I finally purchased one, years later, It wasn't my cup of tea. I saw recently the Squire Super Sonic, which resembles the FB and with 2 HBs. I acquired one and its a pleasant guitar with the fastest neck I ever came across. It's a bit of a shorter scale and the body is much more comfortable than the super large FB. I didn't like the pickups very much (Atomic Humbucker). So, I had a DiMarzio installed in the bridge (it's the PU I used 90% of the time). Another good point: it's cheap in price, though well made apart from the generic sounding PUs. If you like the look , here's more info:


They are available second hand (2020) in different colours than the sparkle blue and pink.


 

Wildeman

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I had a '65 Spudbird (non reverse), it was badass with two P90s, hella light but had a tiny pencil neck. I could probably get along better with it if I had it now, I know which chords to stay away from on those necks, but at the time I couldn't bond with it. I LOVE the funky ass non reverse birds though, if Epi did a good one I'd have to git it.
 

KraftyBob

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The Firebirds do have a unique sound and feel. I'm not too fond of them for two reasons: they are SO BIG!!! And they have a unique sound which doesn't work for many guitarists. If you are into Johnny Winter or Lynyrd Skynyrd, it'll work for you. Mind you, the ones with P90's do have a much more flexible sound than the fill caps mini-humbuckers.

I've owned FBs over the years. Apart from the model with the 2 regular humbuckers, I didn't like them (and again, they are so big). If you like PRS', I don't think the FB would work for you.

When I began playing guitar, I remember (it's a LONG time ago) seeing Brian Jones with one (it must have been a reverse sunburst - the TV was in black and white). It was the coolest guitar I had ever seen. Of course, I wanted one. When I finally purchased one, years later, It wasn't my cup of tea. I saw recently the Squire Super Sonic, which resembles the FB and with 2 HBs. I acquired one and its a pleasant guitar with the fastest neck I ever came across. It's a bit of a shorter scale and the body is much more comfortable than the super large FB. I didn't like the pickups very much (Atomic Humbucker). So, I had a DiMarzio installed in the bridge (it's the PU I used 90% of the time). Another good point: it's cheap in price, though well made apart from the generic sounding PUs. If you like the look , here's more info:


They are available second hand (2020) in different colours than the sparkle blue and pink.


Thanks for your feedback. Good points on the music style that I really need to look into a little deeper.
 

lespaul339

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A firebird is one of the guitars I'm gassing for. I've been looking at the Epiphone version. I would probably swap out the pickups for p90's and do a bigsby vibramate kit on it. Like Fitz, I wish they'd make a vibramate kite for the maestro, because those look killer on the firebirds.
 
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wmachine

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I have an EPI Firebird, but it doesn't really count for what you are looking for.

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KraftyBob

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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.
The newer model Epi’s don’t have banjo tuners. Doesn’t really matter as new Firebird’s are practically non-existent - and I need to buy new for various reasons.
 

eastsidecincy

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I bought an Epi Firebird last year...just walked in Sam Ash...and there it was...after looking years for one....it sounds even better than my Gibson LP...the body is awkward and large...but it sounds great thru my Origin20...if you can find one..buy it!
 

yladrd61

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I have a '97 Gibson Firebird V from it is a reimported export model from Japan. It is in the shop getting Mojotone Alnico 5 Johnny Winter signature pickups installed with Vitamin Q PIO caps and CTS pots.
 

Thevenin

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I have a '97 Gibson Firebird V from it is a reimported export model from Japan. It is in the shop getting Mojotone Alnico 5 Johnny Winter signature pickups installed with Vitamin Q PIO caps and CTS pots.
The Mojotone JW pickups are great and improves the tone IMO. The originals were hot and sounded good, but rolling off the volume made it sound thin quickly. I think you'll love the JWs, the YT demos captured it well.

As far as banjo tuners keeping it "real", unless someone can prove a difference in tone, it's all optics. Both work just fine.
 

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