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Epiphone Firebird 2020

Bugrods

Member
Messages
9
Beeing a big fan of the Dutch band DeWolf I wanted a Firebird for some time. However, the damn things are so expensive!
Than suddenly I saw this new Epiphone Firebird from the Gibson inspired collection. At first the Epiphone website showed that this firebird had a fixed neck. On the internet several parties said it was a neck through so I wrote to Gibson with that question. They confirmed it was a neck through. That was enough info for me so I ordered one.
It arrived in a big box and when I unboxed it I was impressed. Man that guitar looked good. But.....
Bought it online so couldn't try it out... this is a very nice guitar. It sounds amazing ones correctly set up... ( more to that later on) I own a USA Gibson SG, a USA strat and a roadworn MIM Tele so I have a lot to compare.
The hardware is good and it is a real neck through construction. The finish is as good as flawless.
One thing I did immediately noticed was it's size. Man this is a BIG guitar. When I, after a few days of 'fiddeling', switched back to my telecaster it felt like a miniature! In the first week I did not have a case yet so I used a bass travelbag and it fitted snug.
The neck is comfortable but getting closer to the body somewhat on the wide side. The neck trough construction looks cool and gives the guitar a firm and stable feel. It is a 9 ply construction. (Seven ply in the neck + the two body-wings)
The cavities when opened are nice and clean.
There are real full size CTS pots inside and orangedrop capacitors. The pickups wiring through connectors
The sound on this guitar is totaly different from what I'm used to. IMHO it's the best of both worlds. It has the chime and crispyness from the tele an de the strat but also the warmth and bottom end from the Gibson. The controls are super responsive. It has a nice warm woody tone with ringing highs. It's sounds real vintage. I'm playing through a Marshall 1962 bluesbreaker and this combi is Killin' it.
Comparing it to my SG I think that this Firebird sounds much more vintage 'Gibson into a Marshall'.

But there also is a downside. The setup was realy awfull. Action was way to high and neck relief was like a bow and arrow and the intonation was off.
After a good setup (took me about an hour) I came to the real problem. From the 15th fret up there were several high frets. SO now I knew why the action was set that high.
I spot leveled (how do you write that..?) the high frets, recrowned them and did a full setup again.
For now I'm sort of satified with how it plays. there still are some fret level issues, but no more than on a well played guitar with some worn out spots. I am going to get a Plek job on this guitar because I believe it is definitly worth it.
Next thing I didn't like were the strings it came with. It was extremly bottom heavy. So I put a 10-46 'd addario set on it and that transformed the sound completely. after that a had to tune in the pickups. I turned the neck pickup way down with the treble side a bit up. On the bridge I had to screw the pickup as close to the strings as possible to get the same output as the neck.
Now there was an inballance in the bridge pickup output. The b and e string had extremely less output than the rest of the strings (only noticable when plugged in). So the bass side had to be screwed down a lot to make it a litte even.
For now I'm almost satisfied. When playing through an amp on the clean channel I still notice the difference in output on the b and e string when playing over the bridge pickup. On the gain channel this is much less obvious. The inbetween position and the neck don't have that 'problem' and scream and growl like you ever should want from a rock guitar.

But all in all, since I bought it, I did put a lot of time and effort in it to get it to my taste, on the other hand, I haven't played my other guitars since!
 
Last edited:

paulbearer

Member
Messages
5,444
What pickup do they use?
Unfortunately instability/setup issues come with the fast-growing green wood they use now. Especially on thin necks.
 

Bugrods

Member
Messages
9
What pickup do they use?
Unfortunately instability/setup issues come with the fast-growing green wood they use now. Especially on thin necks.
The same pickups as the Bonamase model are in there. The only diffenerce is that these are not braided.

After a few weeks I have replaced the bridge pup with a Lollar firebird pup. The inballanced string volume is gone now. The neck pickups is killer and is matching with the lollar in the bridge like a dream.
 

hollowearth

Member
Messages
159
Glad you mentioned the SIZE of this model. No one ever mentions it.

I had a Bicentennial Firebird in the early 90s. I'm like 5'8" but in those days I wore giant bell bottoms and had hair down to my waist.

My band was playing out of town one night and there was a mirrored wall opposite the stage. I caught a look at myself and the guitar made me look like a Hobbit. Admittedly I was probably baked but it flipped me out really bad and I sold it the next Monday for $750.

People asked why I was selling such a nice guitar, I told them "it's too big on me."
 

Ted74

Platinum Supporting Member
Messages
141
Love to rock out on mine.You need room and watch the tip and tail.
 

-BOOGIEMAN-

Senior Member
Messages
217
Glad you mentioned the SIZE of this model. No one ever mentions it.

I had a Bicentennial Firebird in the early 90s. I'm like 5'8" but in those days I wore giant bell bottoms and had hair down to my waist.

My band was playing out of town one night and there was a mirrored wall opposite the stage. I caught a look at myself and the guitar made me look like a Hobbit. Admittedly I was probably baked but it flipped me out really bad and I sold it the next Monday for $750.

People asked why I was selling such a nice guitar, I told them "it's too big on me."
Holy crap!!! You rocked bell bottoms in the 90’s???!!!
:omg
 

Kalamazuu

Member
Messages
39
Very cool, glad to hear they're good guitars, but it's a shame the frets needed work. I wish you saw more firebirds but I dont have one either...
 




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