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Gibson Firebird V

Bluesman79

Member
Messages
849
Hi,

Does anyone know the differences between a 2006 vs. a 2010 model Firebird V if any?

I have a chance to get either one.

Also, are the mini humbuckers kick ass??

Thanks
 

Onioner

Member
Messages
2,862
Maybe the tuners? I forget when they switched away from the banjo style ones.

I've never much dug mini hums, nut I'd very much love to get one of those firebirds and yank the minis for p90s...
 

cherrick

Member
Messages
2,584
If you want a mahogany Gibson with P90s, get an SG. Much, much cheaper.

If you want a Firebird, both models you're looking at will have the ceramic magnet pickups and will be over-wound excessively. So you'll get a lot of throaty growl without much tone definition. The stock pickups are very, very hot.

If you want to get close to the sound of the original Firebird pickups which were not over-wound and had AlNiCo 2 magnets you will have to track down a pair from one of the boutique pickup winders who have done their homework on the architecture of the early Firebird pickup.

That means either http://www.zhangbucker.com or http://www.lollarguitars.com. Other folks will not chime in.

Do some searching on the Gibson forums and here and you will find mucho content about the pickups.
 

axiology

Member
Messages
407
To my ear the stock pickups in my 97 Firebird are fine. They may be different from the 60's models, but they growl and sing wonderfully, and the guitar has a unique sound that I like.. I just have to turn down the treble a bit when I switch to my Firebird from the Les Paul.
 

p19978

Senior Member
Messages
1,945
Both the Steinberger tuners and the Lollars are hugh improvements IMHO.

The Lollars give a very "Straty" type of sound.
 

Onioner

Member
Messages
2,862
That is a specfic model, not a Firebird V. I haven't priced them, but I would assume the Studio Tribute is less expensive. It'll be interesting to see whether the Steinberger tuners stick. I have a set I need to install.

http://www2.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/Firebird/Gibson-USA/Firebird-Studio-70s-Tribute.aspx
The Firebird V used to use the banjos, and now doesn't. I don't know the details about the 70's tribute, and i don't want to. That thing kinda annoys me. It's just like a firebird, except without the most distinguishing feature of the firebird.

But, anyways, my comments earlier were about the V, not the studio.
 

EL 34 X2

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
1,297
I have a 1990 Firebird V with the much maligned ceramic pickups and the banjo tuners. This particular guitar has a great sound, stable tuning, and no balance issues. It does have the smaller neck which many of the reissue Firebirds have though. I think some of the Historic models now have beefier necks. But, that varies.

FWIW, a friend used to have a late '63 original Firebird III which was very neck heavy. The neck dive issue was the rule with these guitars and I just got lucky finding the Firebird I have. The Steinberger tuners help with the balance. But I wonder how the banjo tuners contribute to the tone formula of Firebirds?

The neck through design, blade AlNiCo II mini humbuckers, and banjo tuners really made the original 1963-1965 Firebird very different from later models, and most current Firebirds. They are great guitars. But not for everybody.
 

jay42

Member
Messages
7,047
One of the oddities of playing a Firebird, for me, has been that people don't give me enough room, but if I'm playing bass, they do. They're about the same length, but the Firebird is usually the victim of banging instruments together. Hopefully ymv
 

sleepingtiger

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
4,331
It might take a while, but if you can find an '80's Firebird, you'll get very close to an original '60's bird. The Bicentennials are the same, with the exception of the R/W/B bird, but command premium prices. I own a "refurbished" '64 red FB III, a VERY modded white '90 FB V & a natural 1980 FB III(they called them a FB I, for some reason) & they are vastly different, even though the red & white have identical SD SM-1 pickups. The '80 is bone stock...& wonderful!

Tony
 




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