Jump to content
Gibson Brands Forums

Firebird Questions


69 Son

Recommended Posts

Of all of the current model Gibsons, the Firebird is the only model I haven't played (or an RD) Well I have a line on one online that seems like a good deal and I'm a little intrigued. It's Firebird V with the banjo tuners--not the Steinbergers.

 

Are these always neck heavy? Any other playability or ergonomic issues why some wouldn't like it?

 

I get the tone is it's own thing, which is another thing but that can be modded to taste, and that's fine, what I've heard I've liked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is a very personal thing. Firebirds, especially reverse FB's, are neck heavy and need a good wide strap to play comfortably standing up. I personally don't mind at all, and I know plenty of guitarists who aren't bothered by it, but I also know others who just can't get comfortable with it. Unless you're getting it cheap enough to sell it on without a loss, I'd try one first to make sure.

 

Another issue could be that the neck is out to the left more than most guitars, so what often happens is if you switch from a Strat you might find yourself playing two frets higher than you think without looking. :rolleyes:

 

Above all else, they have a unique sound and a unique look, and those of us who love 'em are hooked for life.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

All agreed so far...the Firebird does require an adjusted playing stance, which I quickly found comfortable

Sometimes with the neck pointing up more to balance the weight

It is a terrific looking guitar which attracts favourable comment

Mine is completely standard...

Seymour Duncan make a vintage replica and two hotter upgrades for those inclined

The styling is exciting and subtle with an 'automobile fin' ethos...the through laminate neck and knob placement show great thought and originality

 

Great players...

 

Brian Jones, Ron Wood, Johnny Winter, Stephen Stills, Steve Winwood, Yours Truly(lol)

 

V

 

:-({|=

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I have an '05 firebird, I've never had any problems with the banjo tuners. When i was looking into getting that's all i read about online - "the banjos suck", "they keep slipping out of tune", etc. I haven't experienced any of that.

 

The only two "issues" I had (i use that word lightly because they don't really bother me just things I had to work around) were: Mini HB's aren't as hot my guitars i use live that are outfitted with BB Pro's, so I needed to start using a boost. and secondly, when i first started playing it, i found myself fumbling around the neck. example: Your playing a note say around the 1-4 fret range and you need to slide up to somewhere around the 9-12 fret range, I found myself shooting past my intended note by about 2 frets consistently. Maybe it's just me, but the body style, and the way the strap holds the guitar to your body, tends to extend the neck out a little farther. so when moving over from say a LP or an SG, everything seems a little farther away. This took a little getting used to. But just like anything, with some practice you'll be fine. I did find that sitting down with it though you didn't have these problems. Which is why i'm able to hand it to guitarists in the studio and have them transition just fine.

 

Get the FB though, it's got an amazing sound with the mini HB's you can get some crunch when you want it. And don't hate me for saying it, but a little strat/tele-esque sound out of the neck pickup. Favorite position is straight up the middle though. I call it the taco position. It's got all the Crunch and Beef you could ask for.

 

Here's a question for other FB enthusiasts, has anyone ever put BB Pro's in their FB? I can bring myself to do it, because i DO love the mini HB's so much, but I've always wondered about buying another one to drop in BB Pro's.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

i appreciate the replies... I found a non-reverse with 3 p-90s that I might pull the trigger on, just don't know if I want to spend 2k...I love the variations between the pup choices, body styles, inlays etc. Seems between the Custom Shop and USA models there's been several very cool runs on the Firebird. Really digging the non-reverse though...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

sorry to veer off topic here guys but.

 

Am wanting to purchase a Gibson Firebird V 2010, but did Gibson stop putting Ebony fingerboards on the 2010 models? if so, which run did they feature the Ebony boards on their Classic/Polaris white models?

 

Think I remembered their spec page saying that it was Ebony on the White models and now its just Rosewood across the board of finishes. Does anyone have screencaps of Gibson's spec page or know for certain that they changed the specs for the 2010 models?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 weeks later...

I have a 1993 Firebird V that I bought at a guitar show in Columbus Ohio for $700 back in 1995. It was just what I was looking for, good condition but not pristine - a "daily driver".

 

I swapped out the bridge pickup for a Seymour Duncan SM-2 but I kept the stock pickup so I can change it back someday. Although I love Firebirds I always thought the red heat-stamped bird on the pick guard was a bit "tacky" for lack of a better word. So I got a plain white guard as well as a mother-of-toilet-seat and a clear one so I could change up the look periodically. I am getting a mint-black-mint which I think will be very cool but I can put the stock ‘guard back on someday.

 

I have an SG Custom & a Les Paul with P90's as well, the 'Bird is certainly its own animal. I love it though at times it has been love/hate because my 'Bird can be very moody depending on temperature & humidity, much more so than my other guitars. Temperament aside, I always come back to my Firebird. It is capable of getting many tones and I can play a wide range of music styles with it. A Firebird with a little bit of compression into a Vox AC30 is very different but pure bliss tone!

 

Pick up a Firebird and if you don’t love it, someone else out there will – you can sell it. But don’t make a quick decision because ‘Birds are an “acquired taste”.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I've got a few Reverse Firebirds, yes they can be cumbersome to handle and require some getting use to. Sometimes I swear they feel like there's an extra three feet of guitar you're wearing. I've poked them into speaker cabinets, hit low ceilings and even speared a few fellow players. The comment about getting a wide comfortable guitar strap is the best advice. Once it's properly adjusted the Reverse FB will stay in place. I've been very pleased with straps made by Jodi Head out of NYC; her wide straps seem perfect for the Firebird and Futuristic line.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I tried a Firebird 2010 at the same time as I tried a Goldtop VOS and it really was a big difference in feel and sound of course.

But after the first minute of adjusting to the feel of the Firebird I found myself a bit surprised to like it almost as much as the Goldtop which was twice the price.

Don't get me wrong, it's really two very different guitars and both are great, but the thing is my Firebird don't appear to be "cheaper" at all. :-)

I personally would recommend it, although it might not be for everyone in the way a Les Paul or Stratocaster might be.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Yes I agree

 

The answer, as always is to have at least one of each....

 

IMHO the following is a 'dream list'

 

Les Paul or Junior

 

Stratocaster

 

Telecaster

 

ES 335

 

Firebird

 

Explorer or Flying V

 

SG

 

Gretsch Country Gent

 

Rickenbaker 330 etc.....

 

Interesting how most of these were used by The Beatles at one time or another....

 

V

 

:-({|=

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Plus 1 to Blaster's comment about the use of a wide strap. I have a non-reverse Bird and other Gibbys to include SG's; they all balance better IMO with a nice wide strap. The suede straps they Levy makes I like a lot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I have a reverse '06 Custom Shop Sunburst Firebird V and with a wide strap the neck heaviness is a non-issue.I absolutely love the sound of my Firebird,it sounds so much like a mid 60s SG that it's uncanny.A Firebird VII like the one Brian Jones of the Stones played will always be my dream guitar,if I sold several of my oldies I would be able to get one but I don't think I'm ready to make such a sacrifice yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 2 weeks later...

I always wanted a reverse Firebird as Johnny Winter is an idol of mine. But I happened on a non-reverse from the Custom Shop and it really looked and felt great. I purchased it because of the tone with mini-humbucker pickups.

 

I think if you have the chance, get one. I already want another one, the reverse style in Pelham Blue.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not directly related to a previous thread but does anyone out there know what the ideal guitar stand is for my Firebird V ?

 

The store I purchased it from suggested a stand that grips it below the headstock so it is partially raised off the ground.

I wasn't conviced as it just didn't seen sturdy enough so I doctored an Ultimate tripod stand, using a chunck of tubular sponge pipe insulating and a roll of gaffa tape.

It sort of works but is far from ideal!

 

Suggestions warmly recieved.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Not directly related to a previous thread but does anyone out there know what the ideal guitar stand is for my Firebird V ?

 

The store I purchased it from suggested a stand that grips it below the headstock so it is partially raised off the ground.

I wasn't conviced as it just didn't seen sturdy enough so I doctored an Ultimate tripod stand, using a chunck of tubular sponge pipe insulating and a roll of gaffa tape.

It sort of works but is far from ideal!

 

Suggestions warmly recieved.

 

I have the type suggested by the shop, i.e. hangs by the neck below the head and is raised above the ground. This is the one you want. There are two main choices, from Ultimate Support and Hercules. Either works fine but I went with the Ultimate and it is plenty sturdy for my Firebird or my Explorer.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

Yeah, 'neck heavy' no mistake!

 

That said I owned an SG a few years back and it was equally forward leaning.

 

A solid wide strap, ideally one for a heavy Bass guitar, helps to lessen this issue.

 

Another minor but valid point: when you are using it on said strap make sure your spatial awareness of both you and the headstock are 'as one'.

I dink mine on amps, ceilings, columns, doorways, fellow band members etc everytime I gig with it.

 

Couldn't and would change i tho'

 

Enjoy!

 

 

Of all of the current model Gibsons, the Firebird is the only model I haven't played (or an RD) Well I have a line on one online that seems like a good deal and I'm a little intrigued. It's Firebird V with the banjo tuners--not the Steinbergers.

 

Are these always neck heavy? Any other playability or ergonomic issues why some wouldn't like it?

 

I get the tone is it's own thing, which is another thing but that can be modded to taste, and that's fine, what I've heard I've liked.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.

×
×
  • Create New...