Firebird Studio Transformation

rambleon

Member
Messages
5,594
I call this a transformation, not an upgrade because it's changed the character of the guitar for the better. And it feels as good as a NGD!

TV Jones Power Tron neck pickup | TV Jones Power Tron Plus bridge pickup | Les Trem 2 tailpiece

Story time

A couple of years back I got the pelham blue Epiphone Firebird Studio. It's a pretty good guitar for the money, and the stock pickups weren't too bad either. However, I had already bought a Burstbucker 2 and 3 with the guitar in mind and so I installed those. Loved them. I also love the playablity and feel of this guitar. It is a very long guitar but well balanced, even if I'm sitting, which is rare.
Anyway fast forward a couple of years. I bought other guitars in the mean while and found myself playing the Firebird a lot less. Not because it was bad in any way but my other guitars mainly my Les Pauls, just seemed to grab my attention more. I also really stated lusting after a Gretsch Power Jet. That's an expensive guitar by my standards, even used, so I would have to save up for a bit. Then I grew impatient and bought a Gretsch G5622T instead which, by the way, is an awesome guitar. But that's another story. And just when I considered selling the Firebird, I thought to myself, why not get a set of Powertrons instead? And maybe a tremolo too, because guitars with 'Trons need a trem, right? I already have 3 guitars with Bigsbys, so I decided to try the Les Trem 2.
I have to say, I am extremely pleased with the results!!









The Power'trons sound really good, both clean and dirty. They're well balanced, pronounced highs and lows and the Power Tron Plus in the bridge doesn't lack mids either. Chime with balls. They remain really articulate and clear even with overdrive and distortion.
The Les Trem 2 is great too! It was pretty easy to install, just a matter of unscrewing the original stop tailpiece and screwing this in it's place. The arm length and angle are easily adjustable. 2 machine screws hold it in place so you just bring the arm to the angle that suites your style best and then tighten the screws. It's smooth and quite sensitive, similar to a Bigsby B6. As you can imagine, you can't dive bomb an octave, but it's pretty stable for standard vibrato.
Tuning stability seems good too. I installed a new set of strings and lubed the contact points at the nut and bridge, like I do with all my Bigsby equipped guitars.
 

gtone

Member
Messages
1,064
How's that trem setup in terms of staying in tune - similar/better/worse than say a Bigsby or Maestro Vibrola?
 

rambleon

Member
Messages
5,594
How's that trem setup in terms of staying in tune - similar/better/worse than say a Bigsby or Maestro Vibrola?
It feels similar to Bigsby B6. I did add a roller bridge last week and the trem action is smoother than it was with the stock bridge.
 

vexed73

Member
Messages
253
Sorry to dig up an old thread but did you have to do any trimming to get the power trons in?
 

rambleon

Member
Messages
5,594
Sorry to dig up an old thread but did you have to do any trimming to get the power trons in?
No, the powertrons are smaller than a standard humbucker route. I got the type with legs so they can be suspended from the pickup rings. What you will need are humbucker rings that TV Jones sells- on the outside, they're the same dimensions as a standard HB ring but the cutout matches the size of the powertron pickup.
 






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