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Would you buy an SG or a Firebird?

TheCount0212

Member
Messages
907
Historically, I haven't been comfortable since the 80s when it comes to playing Strats, but this year I bought one and so far I'm okay with it. Another reason I may give the Firebird a shot. I play all my guitars fairly low slung too, almost Johnny Ramone style!
It's picking around the middle pickup that's the biggest headache for me with strats. That, and they just don't feel as comfy as a LP. Les Pauls hug the body. And I'm only now getting used to playing them a little lower slung.
 

Shelldigger

Member
Messages
95
Since I have an SG it would have to be the firebird.

One of the kids (well they are 18) my son hangs with, bought a firebird sometime earlier in the year, they had them on a half off sale somewhere. I'm still jealous!
 
Messages
133
Come on, the Firebird's regular or reversed as stupid looking and too long!

NOTHING beats the look of an SG, whether an early Les Paul Custom with triples or a 70's SG Standard.

Both mine, DON'T touch.
First year 1961 Les Paul Custom, 3-PAFs and Sideways Trem
1970 SG Standard with later Trem

61_Les_Paul_Custom_case_vertical 1000.jpg
1970 Gibson SG Std Trem corrected.jpg
 

NJVenom

Member
Messages
211
BOTH...
Story One: I was looking for a Firebird for awhile, I was most partial to an Ivory , or a standard dark finished body...I also did not want a recent Gibson, for my own personal reasons. I found an ‘07, Ivory on Ebay and it wasnt a shop/buy it now~ it was the owner, and it was being auctioned. I won it, I was excited as hell~ this was the first time i bought a guitar not having played it, felt it, played w the knobs etc...
She arrived two days later~ The case came w a nice cardboard box, in good condition, i rip it open , open the case and looked.
Oh.
Wow.
WtF?
The lead pickup was a humbucker.
chrome w chrome bezel.
Hmmmmm.... i ran to the computer and looked at the pics a lil more closely- was this some dishonorable attempt at fraud?
Nope- I’m just a lil dumb. Humbucker was def in the post...lol.
The output from both pickups is sweet and balanced~ I never saw the need to revert back to original...
I did, however change the superkrappy stock tuners w steinbergers. She feel great, the neck is beefy and the body is balanced nice w weight of neck. Definitely a favorite live guitar.
Story 2:
On way to visit a friend, I decided to run into a local music store and pick up strings.
Of course, I take a quick browse thru the used axes and shonuff, there’s a white SG hanging... I pick her up and plug her straight into a Fender Dual Showman...
TONE!!
She sounded sweet as hell...
I asked, store said $600!!!
She is mine!
Its a 1990 SG w three knobs, and whatever Gibson did w those humbuckers is magic.
Fast fwd a cpl years of this being my live guitar for awhile.
One eve, before an open jam night, the owner told me to meet the photographer, who was taking pics of all the different regulars...he sez “break out the axe”- i say koolio~ and he starts snappin away...
I didnt have straplocks...
And in one quick, cruel second, off she came, onto the floor in the blink of an eye...
Cracked at the heel and at the headstock.

I took her to my friend Renaldo, who’s been fixing guitars sixty plus years...Prognosis was positive...
He did his magic~ My SG is alive and being picked and strummed on the regular...
So my advice:
SG’s are very light, so light they’re a lil neck heavy. I prefer necks bein baseball bat thick, and its probably best to play one standing up to see if you dig it. Sometimes humbuckers are too loud and bold, but you can always change them...
SG’s are cool & sexy guitars.
Firebirds are larger guitars. They have their own sound and feel...you may tire of the silly stock tuners or maybe its part of the charm. But they’re definitely heavier, beefier guitars so trying one whilst standing is important.
Get one of each, I say.
They will all be cherished as the great grails of art and sound...
 

RhinoV

Member
Messages
14
Assume you are tall and lean and in good health, so the size and weight of the guitars are not an issue.

Which one is it for you?
I own 3 SG's....A Firebird is a monstrosity, ergonomically misshapen, off balance, heavy, with not so great sounding pickups, UGLY UGLY UGLY....and only works as a guitar when Johnny Winter is playing it.
 

Maguchi

Member
Messages
242
Assume you are tall and lean and in good health, so the size and weight of the guitars are not an issue.

Which one is it for you?
I have a Firebird Studio and a Firebird Zero. Love a lot of things about them, except the body shape and the large piece of wood protruding behind the bridge that I will bump and dent and scratch if I'm not careful. Have never owned an SG, but have played a few and really like them. SGs have downsides too though. Because the neck side strap button is at the neck/body joint, most SGs have neck dive, some of them pretty serious neck dive. It gets annoying and distracting holding up the neck for a 3 hour gig and having the neck drop every time you remove your left hand. You will have to try these guitars on in a store with a strap to make a decision. Both guitars sound great and it is a real hard choice. Maybe SG by a hair. If I had my choice I would go with an ES 335 or Les Paul Special.

20200729_121232.jpg
 
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Essarevee

Member
Messages
23
I just don't like the Firebird/Explorer shapes unless it is being played by Johnny Winter. Not sure why but to me a Firebird just looks right with him and an elaborate gadget with anyone else.

My answer has to be SG.
 

Whiskeyrebel

Silver Supporting Member
Messages
30,138
It’s great, especially after I added a roller bridge. I really dig that guitar.
I tried one in the store when the model came out but at the time but the amp the store let me use was a bad match for the pickups and I wasn't used to playing on 25.5 scale and it threw me off. . By the time I got used to that from other guitars, the BH was hard to find.
 

jvin248

Member
Messages
5,038
.

A while back I looked at the poorest ergonomic models hanging from their strap pins as if playing standing up. Tele, not shown here, is the benchmark ... you'll see how the SG will feel "more to your left" when playing than an LP while the Explorer will feel really far to your left. Palm muting an Explorer will be in about the position of palm muting a LP in the middle of the pickups. Or reaching over the LP headstock to play the first two Explorer frets. Meanwhile the SG has more high fret access than the Explorer.




Owning both variants .. I'd suggest getting the SG first. However, owning both Gibson and Epiphone SGs .. I'd suggest getting the Epiphone SG. Much more fun, sounds great, gets played way more often of the two, and there is no fragile breakaway headstock drama with the Epiphone SG. Determine if you want the drama before choosing.

An alternative platform for a big guy:

Greg Koch reviews his Gristlemaster that is super-sized for big players, because regular guitars feel like toys to him, which I think he explains during this review.

 

stamminen21

Member
Messages
369
Just picked up a 2018 SG and love it. Am a Les Paul guy by heart as I never liked how thin the SGs are. I quickly adapted however and am now gassing for a firebird studio Ala Dave Grohl. Black on black birds are sick! In a tall lanky guy as well. The SG def looks small on me!
 

crazyboutguitars

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
505
Would you buy an SG or a Firebird?
Yes, absolutely! How much are you asking? :p

If you mean which would I buy if I could only choose one of those two, then it would definitely be an SG — which would then become the second one I own.

I have always loved the body shape/design of the SG, even awkwardly doodling them in school notebooks back when I was a kid, and it was because I just like their looks; NOT because any particular musician played one. Yet, for some reason, I did not set out to buy one. It just so happened that when I was checking out potential candidates to replace a Dan Armstrong clear plexiglass guitar, I tried about 5 different guitar models before picking up my current SG and instantly felt like it was saying, "Where have you been? I was waiting for you!" That was in 1975, and it's still my main axe.
That’s pretty much my story. When I was 10 years old, already bitten by the guitar bug, a friend of mine who was a little older and had a paper route saved and bought a 62 or 63 SG with one P90. I was smitten and often drew SGs, but for some reason my first guitar that I picked out was a Yamaha 335 copy. I sold that and bought my first Telecaster in 1973, a Thinline semi-hollow. It wasn’t until the late 80s I bought an SG. Don’t know why I waited so long to get an SG, but I knew I was gonna be a Teleholic the first time I played one. I’ve bought and sold a few SGs over the years, but the Telecaster has been a staple item. IMHO, SGs rule the Gibson line of solid body guitars and Teles rule....period.
 

crazyboutguitars

Gold Supporting Member
Messages
505
Come on, the Firebird's regular or reversed as stupid looking and too long!

NOTHING beats the look of an SG, whether an early Les Paul Custom with triples or a 70's SG Standard.

Both mine, DON'T touch.
First year 1961 Les Paul Custom, 3-PAFs and Sideways Trem
1970 SG Standard with later Trem

View attachment 293171
View attachment 293173
That’s cruel you know! Seriously, that 61 Custom is incredible and I’ll never be able to afford one. Cruel I say! I have a 62? RI in cherry, small guard, and I Guess it’ll have to suffice.:-(
 

Mike7

Member
Messages
561
Either one just make sure it has P-90's in it, coolest sounding pickups ever...............
Rock On !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
 




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