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Vinnie1971

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  1. Vinnie1971

    Gibson J45

    That’s a tricky one. None of the Gibson serial number decoders recognise that Number following the 6 digit pattern. Are you sure you typed it correctly? The 6 digit patter is from 2000 onwards with the first 2 digits representing the last 2 digits of the year. it could be though that it’s 85 and there’s a 6 digit code pattern in the 80s. have you checked here. There could be something I’ve missed https://www.gibson.com/Support/Serial-Number-Search
  2. Hello all. I have a 2009 Firebird V. It’s a work of art. I love the banjo tuners. I have replaced the pickups with Armstrong’s- hand wound by Aaron Armstrong in the U.K. they sound dead on 60s Firebird. The neck is 6.2k The bridge is 7.15k so it’s not quite as brittle but still very spanky, but I feel the 300k Volume pots are a blanket over them So I got round to thinking.., why not go all out and make this bird historic? so I have Gibson historic 500k pots on order to replace the 300k volumes and I’ve already reconfigured the pots so the volume controls are above the tone controls - which I think on a Firebird makes sense. The controls are closer together than on a Les Paul so this way round the bridge volume is more to hand. snyone else done this to their Modern FB? If so, How did it turn out?
  3. I just swapped out the not so good pickups out in my otherwise amazing Firebird V. I nearly went for the Sky Kent Armstrong pickups - yes I know they’re not quite the same as real Firebird pickups but on the strength of the video below they put gibson pickups to shame. I think gibson took the design for the first generation of the 70s tribute Firebird pickups but used alnico 2. anyway as I’m in the UK I gave Dan Armstrong a call to wind me a proper set but go slightly hotter on the bridge SD o there’s no chance of the bridge sounding brittle. They’re alnico 5 with the bridge 7.15k and the neck 6.2k. the result is perfect I now have a Firebird that sounds the real deal. Even so I bet the Sky versions are still a pretty decent alternative on a budget. https://youtu.be/Iv56tGPvUEQ
  4. This is very common. Sometimes you can fix it by turning the springs the other way round I’d one end is wider that the other. Failing that then taking a pair of pliers to the pickup legs and bending the ears slightly will fix it. its only a cosmetic issue though. The effect in tone is negligible.
  5. this is an excellent and informative post that unravels the myriad models. to the OP - where you are on your journey and your budget should be the determining factor. out of all the above I’d go for the faded with the 490r 490t or the studio with 57 classics. my reasoning they are great value, only cosmetics are keeping the costs down. Those pickups capture the essence of what the Les Paul was all about when humbuckers were first added ( yes the burst buckers are probably better but those guitars cost way more only really experienced ears will hear that difference ) the 498T I find is a bland compressed modern generic sounding pickup played clean but with a bit of gain it’s sings but compared to the 490s and 57s I don’t like it. 490s are a bit brighter in the top end than 57s so I think work better in a solid mahogany body. But the 57s have very smooth mids. I would try those 2 out, A/B them.
  6. I got a 2009 Firebird V. I love everything about this guitar except the pickups. The Bill Lawrence designed and made under license in Korea OBL pickups in my old Epiphone Firebird are better in terms of sounding like a vintage Firebird. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t hate these pickups, after lowering they sound alright. But if you wanted a 50s strat and you got a Lone Star Strat then it’s not going to sound very 50s. I love my Lone Star Strat by the way... On the the Firebird pickups. I managed to find Firebird themed pickups on amazon that are wound to 7.8k and 7.9k. No that’s not 1963 vintage DCR but it’s close enough and is certainly going to get me closer than the 495s. They’re beautifully made, nice fibre bobbins, not overly wax potted and have nickel base plates and vintage braided single conductor hook up leads. They were cheap. £18 each approximately 20 bucks USD. Down side: under the Firebird cover they’re just twin rail minihumbuckers with a fat ceramic bar magnet between the rails. No problemo. I pulled the magnets and rails out. Temporarily I’ve put in ceramic Firebird magnets to work out phase and I’ll use the rails as the magnetic conductor plates once my alnico 2 Firebird pickups arrive as they are the right size to bridge the bottoms of the magnets. the first picture shows the twin rail mini humbucker, the second where I’ve removed the rails and bar magnet and temporarily placed the Ceramic Firebird magnets so I know which way round to put the alnico 2 ones in. The rails are just the right size to use as the steel magnetic field conductor plates to go across the bottom of the magnets
  7. thanks. its a real work of art. I just wish the pickups were better. But that’s easy to resolve. I even contemplated getting the Gibson’s pickups wound to 6.5k to 7k with 42 gauge wire and then replace the magnets with Alnico 2 but I’ll try my conversion project first. and I love the banjo tuners
  8. Thanks to those who gave me the right advice. I managed to track down a Gibson Firebird V in the UK and the seller took my a Epiphone Firebird III and Fenix by Young Chang Stratocaster ( which I go great trade values for) the bird is a 2009 model and it surpasses my expectations ( I played a Gibson 2016 LP standard that left me disappointed - too many little QC issues ) and it’s flawless. but I’m inclined to agree with the general consensus about the pickups- I would not say they’re horrible - after adjustment they sound ok. But they’re too compressed snd have a harsh clanky sound too them especially clean. They break up well though. the Bill Lawrence designed OBL (made under license in Korea) pickups in the Epiphone are much better and do sound more like proper Firebird pickups. I have some Firebird themed pickups ( on the outside look like Firebird pickups on the inside there twin rail mini humbuckers with a magnet in the base like the older Gibson 70s tribute Firebird pickups) which measure between 7k and 8k which are nicely made in all other respects- I’ll pull out the blades and magnets and put alnico 2 Firebird magnets in the bobbins and a steel plate on the bottom and report back. I’ve done this before on a Telebird using artec mini humbuckers as a base - they are 6.k alnico 5 and sound authentic- certainly better than the 495s in my Gibson. edit - added more pictures
  9. good advice- I’ve tracked down a 2009 Firebird V and trading my Epi Firebird and s Fenix strat - I’ve decided I’ll keep the LP - I got the “Randy Rhodes” combo in that - DiMarzio Super D and PAF pro I’ll wait til I have really played and adjusted the dialled the Firebird into my amps to see how I like the pickups.
  10. I will get a chance to A/B the SG and Firebird together. Both are offered for sale by the same guy and he’s a trader and will do a deal. It would be interesting to hear how my Epiphone Firebird compares with its OBL Firebird pickups. I guess what I really want is a proper Firebird like an older Firebird V but at the moment I don’t see many around in the UK.
  11. I would love a Firebird V but they’re not easy to come by in the UK. By expensive brethren I am not talking about the Firebird V, I’m am specifically referring to the 2019 ones with Grover tuners and 18k neck / 23k bridge ceramic pickups which I do t think sound much like a Firebird. I can trade both my guitars for one of those and I’m tempted. I could get used to Grover tuners and I could source lower DCR alnico Firebird pickups .... The tribute pickups, ok they’re more like mini humbuckers under the cover with a bar magnet sat under a pair of steel rails, being circa 6 k and using alnico 2 magnets are tonally more in the correct ballpark in my opinion. i can always pull the covers off and remove the rails and magnets, drop in alnico Firebird magnets into each bobbin and put a steel plate across the the bottom of the magnets to make them proper Firebird pickups. At least the DC resistance is correct to start with. And it’s the most affordable option...
  12. Yes, I’m leaning that way but I think I’d wish it was an older V with banjo tuners and through neck. But those pickups sound great.
  13. A good plan in pro coy but.... It’s gonna take a while to save up for one as they are expensive in the UK. Plus While the body neck are right the pickups are not on the new ones so I’d have to search for an older one or budget for pickups too.
  14. Hi i have an opportunity to trade one or both of my Epiphone standard Les Paul and Epiphone Firebird for one of the above. I was mostly thinking I’ll trade my LP for the SG and keep the epi Firebird but I’m a Firebird nut and while the tribute is more of a slab body and not a neck through its pickups have all the tone of a proper Firebird unlike its more expensive brethren. I’ll probably have to trade both against the Firebird tribute as it’s a good bit more more expensive. so I’m torn. My Epiphone Firebird has the right tone but it’s a bolt on neck. This has no effect on sustain or tone but it just looks wrong. im thinking keep my Epiphone Firebird and go for the SG but then I may regret not getting the Firebird help me decide please regards vinnie
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