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I've recently been smitten by Gibson Firebirds. Non-reverse, reverse, V, etc. What does it all mean? In your opinion what is the best bang for the Firebird buck? Best pickups? Best chance of re-sale should I buy one long distance and discover it's just not my thing? I play mostly garage-y, bluesy, fuzzed-out type stuff.

I've never even held one, so any info is much appreciated. I know that I can walk into a L&M and try one out, but I'm looking for some insider's information on what I should be looking for.

Thanks in advance.
 

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One of the few Gibson models I've never owned and GAS is growing as we speak. Following this with interest. Esthetically for me it would have to be a vintage burst, neck-through, mini-humbucker, reverse headstock, and banjo tuners model. Can you tell I'm a Johnny Winter fan?
 

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The Washburns are nothing like an actual Fbird tho. Not even the shape is the same, just similar at a quick glance. That second one is hardly much cheaper too.

FBird pups are much of the sound, and no standard exposed coil buckers come close.
 

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Mad Strappier
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Not a fan myself, but from my travels across various fori where guitar players congregate they seem to
A. be a love 'em or leave 'em kind of guitar
B. similar to SGs even guys who have confirmed they DON'T like them, still gas for them
C. They require a low-slinging, thick comfy strap
 

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My son had one and dumped it fast as he could.

Lame pickups. Crappy paint job. Loose knobs.

On a $3000 guitar? Thanks Gibson.

The guy who bought it is happy. Looks cool.
 

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I have owned this one for a little while now.
Really easy to play, weighs less than a Les Paul. The mini hum buckers are brighter than full size ones.
Can almost get a tele sound from them. It took some getting used to, Ergonomics wise, for me.
The relationship of where the bridge starts on the body makes the headstock end of the neck seem to be further away than on, say,
an SG or LP. But a short time with it makes it normal.
I would definitely play one before buying, it's it's own thing.

 

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they're the only Gibson product I'm really smiten with. Well other than my Epiphone Wilshire.

I've been keeping my eye out for them both new and second hand, I've tried a few of them and haven't found "the one" yet.

But learn a couple Johnny Winter tunes and go try a Firebird.

Things will click.
 

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I think its the same as any guitar - try a bunch until you find one with mojo.
 
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Ergonomics
For the longest time, I also wanted one too.
Until I tried one.
The weight, balance etc, just didn't feel .. well, it just didn't feel.
I love my SG. You can't compare them with each other.
The closest thing in shape that I did enjoy playing (and regret letting go) was my
Reverend Warhawk HB II (which I can buy back, if I my gear kitty was fuller).
 

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All the usual suspects...
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I got one of the Epi Bonamassa Firebird I in April, and I can hardly put it down. I like it much more than the Gibson Reissue I had for there years. I just never bonded with the shrill ceramic pickups and the awkward body balance. The Epi has correct-issue Alnico blade magnets and they make a world of difference to me. These sound much more like a real vintage Bird. They nail the late Cream-era Clapton sound, which I like a lot. The body balance is very right, sort of like a stable SG (yes, they do exist). Now I have and regularly use Strats, Teles, Les Pauls (Std and Specials), 335s and SGs, and the Epi is as stable with a good strap as any other, unlike the Gibson I had.

As with any guitar, just make sure to try more than one to pick the best. A gold polymist they had at the local guitar store was clearly inferior to the sunburst I got. Denis Musique, in Québec City, currently has a sunburst in stock. Just sayin'.

Get one, this really is a great guitar. And this comes from a vintage snob that usually plays Historics and AV reissues.
 

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For the longest time, I also wanted one too.
Until I tried one.
The weight, balance etc, just didn't feel .. well, it just didn't feel.
I love my SG. You can't compare them with each other.
The closest thing in shape that I did enjoy playing (and regret letting go) was my
Reverend Warhawk HB II (which I can buy back, if I my gear kitty was fuller).
I find them very comfortable. That shape- and similar ones (Explorer; RD) - is very well balanced for seated playing, and I find it hangs well standing also, though it is a bit different and may take some getting used to as mentioned above for some folks.

I've kinda given up on ever owning one as they just too expensive. I haven't bought a guitar that cher since before I had kids. Even the better copies (e.g. Greco) are expensive (as much or more than a used modern Gibson, which I get because they're very well made, but damn). See also: Orville.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Thanks for all the info so far. I'll play one at L&M and see how it feels. More than anything, I just like the way they look.
 

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Johnny Winter said he bought that beaten early 60s dirt-burst one that was his main until he died for $250.00 used because he thought it looked cool.
 

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Yeah, vintage birds did not really catch on until long after production stopped.
 

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In 1971, I answered a classified ad to buy a Firebird for $150. The vendor was in a Stones cover band, and because Keef had switched to a clear-body Dan Armstrong, he felt he had to as well. I don't have a clear memory of it, but I remember it had 2 mini-HBs, and gold plated everything. It didn't exactly feel right to me. I mean you could play it seated, but it didn't feel like you should play it that way. It just seemed born to boogie.

I only had $80 cash in my pocket, so I told the guy I'd be back at lunch break the following day with all the money. When I came back, he told me someone had come by not 20 minutes after I left, offered the guy $160, and left $25 as a deposit. Can I stop kicking myself now?

Bottom line? If you have other guitars for other purposes, it's a distinctive axe and appealing personality. If you need an all-purpose workhorse, this ain't your ride.
 

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Everyone complains about the ceramic mini hums in the gibbys...are there other issues? Would a simple pickup change do the trick?

Sent from my SM-G903W using Tapatalk
 

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All the usual suspects...
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Well maybe, but then you'd have to shell out quite a bit for Lollars, and learn to live with the big embossed logo on the Duncans. I read elsewhere that both are big improvements over the ceramic Gibsons. I have no experience myself with either replacements, but I just don't get along with the Gibsons. I did some research on alternatives back when I had the V Reissue but decided to get rid of the thing when I saw the prices of those replacements.
 
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