Les Paul vs Firebird.

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Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by Pontius2000 » Fri Aug 21, 2009 9:33 pm

I have no Gibson dealer anywhere near me, so don't even recommend it :D

I'm in the market for a new guitar. pretty much in the price range of a new LP Standard or less.

I already have a 1993 Gibson LP Standard that I love (except for the weight of it). I have had an SG Standard. got tired of it and sold it. had an LP Jr. got tired of it and sold it. had a Jackson. got tired of it and sold it. I have a Fender Strat that I like occasionally for certain things. but the Les Paul is the only guitar that I always come back to and never get tired of. I really want another one. but........

I really do think they are about $700 overpriced. and while I can afford it, I just don't know. they can be bought off ebay for about $1500, which is a substantially better deal. but it's also hit and miss buying a used guitar off ebay.

so, I've been thinking about a Firebird. never actually played one though. at $1700, they are *somewhat* reasonably priced. the reviews I've read say that the mini-humbuckers stay cleaner than most humbuckers. this is something I like the sound of because while I love my LP, I don't necessarily love the neck pick-up except in clean single-note applications.

on the contrary, the Firebird I've read is very neck heavy. and I've read different reports about them having very big necks too. thoughts?

basically, can somebody give an honest opinion of the Firebird vs Les Paul. and I would of course be open to any other guitar recommendations as well. I play mostly blues, classic rock, and grunge and I have a 2x12 Roadster combo.

ALSO: I am a big Lynyrd Skynyrd fan and watching some old footage of Allen Collins is really what got me interested in the Firebird to begin with. but this alone would not be enough for me to actually buy a Firebird. and also, I believe that at some point, Collins switched from the Firebird to an Explorer anyway.

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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by derekjason » Fri Aug 21, 2009 10:18 pm

if you're into firebirds, and want your guitar to play awesome, maybe an esp phoenix II would float your boat? any firebirds ive played do feel like a half a baseball bat IMHO. def dont get a firebird from the gibson as we know it today. might as well burn your cash.

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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by kiff » Fri Aug 21, 2009 11:04 pm

also be careful about the newer studio LP's (2k1 and up?), since their bodies are carved out for weight.
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by pokerrules47 » Sat Aug 22, 2009 7:50 am

I could never buy a guitar sight unseen.... every guitar is different.... even if they are made on an assembly line.
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by ryjan » Sat Aug 22, 2009 9:32 am

For half the price and triple the guitar. Gibsons quality has been really hit and miss lately imo.
These guitars are custom made to your specs and have a day trial period where if you dont like it for some reason, return it no questions asked for a refund. Find the guitar style you want on there and then go to the build your own section. There are hundereds of options.
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by thejay » Mon Aug 24, 2009 6:15 am

I own both LPs and a Firebird. Firebirds are HUGE guitars...easily out weighs my LPs by pounds. I have a Firebird Studio which is a bit different than the Firebird V. It has humbuckers vs mini-humbuckers. Gibson did a run of them a few years ago. It's an amazing guitar and I love it - perfectly balanced and a huge sound. My experience with mini-humbuckers is that they sound very "vintage" to me, classic overdriven sound and works great for a lot of things. You will not get a searing sound out of them but if you aren't into that no worries. Gibson also made/makes a Non-Reverse Firebird as well, they are quite nice. The current Custom Shop production is 3 P-90s at around $1999. There is a discountined model floating around at there with a Burstbucker #2/#3 combo as well.

Personally I would buy another Firebird before I bought another LP - but that's just me :D
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by GD_NC » Mon Aug 24, 2009 8:05 am

If it's the mini humbucker sound you are looking for, you might try a late 70's Les Paul Deluxe. Same mini-humbuckers as the firebird but much easier to find and lighter weight too. I had a '79 Deluxe that I played for years. I loved the mini humbuckers with the Mark IV. The late 70's Deluxes don't have much collectors value but they are really great guitars. Gibson has done a few reissue runs of the Deluxe in the past 10 years too. Those would be a good option too but most have mahogany necks rather than the 3 piece maple the original Deluxe and Firebird used.

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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by Pontius2000 » Tue Aug 25, 2009 9:55 pm

well, I pulled the trigger on a 2002 Firebird V on ebay for a little over $1000. I thought it was a pretty good deal and if I don't like it, I think I can get close to that back out of it on ebay. it is the 2 mini-humbuckers version.

I remember they were selling the Studio Firebird with the 490/498 but I really don't want another guitar with those same p/u. while I like those in my LP, the neck p/u gets a little muddy on chords.

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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by thejay » Wed Aug 26, 2009 10:12 am

Nice - hope you like it and that is a good price.
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by Scrapinger » Fri Aug 28, 2009 2:28 pm

I saw Johnny Winter back in the late 90's and his frail frame could only support the Firebird for one song!!

Another option you may consider is an Explorer. I just bought a Gibson '08 and I love it. Plays and sounds like a dream. I may put new pickups in it, but for not I'm liking the stocks just fine.
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by hgus » Mon Sep 14, 2009 5:03 pm

Just a word on the LP, mine is a '93 or a '94 too (standard, black) and it had the 490/498. My first quality instrument that I know every fret on, I've had it for almost 15 years now. An amazing guitar that I will never part with!

But I happened to try some other pickups and it opened up and became a lot clearer. A lot! like you describe, it was muddy especially on the neck pickup. I went for low output pickups; got an old (70:s) Seymour Duncan '59 in the bridge position, and the original neck pickup from my '72-'74 SG (which recieved Dimarzio virtual PAFs, very nice too!). I also installed russian NOS .015 paper in oil caps, it wasn't night or day, but it's not expensive, and I use the tone controls a lot more now. One sound that I adore in particular is a great rendition of the tone of Gibbon's Blue Jean Blues, if you know it, really touch sensitive, dynamic and with awesome sustain. Clear, yet very warm and sweet. (R2 channel on a mk iv, volume and tone knobs rolled down to half). Oh, and while you're at it, make sure you do the "'50s wiring", it helps to keep the treble with the volume turned down. You won't need treble bleed caps.

So, while you're looking at ebay, snatch a couple of used pickups and give it a try along with '50s wiring; you just might like it as much as I do, it really was a night and day experience!

(I checked the thread because I'm thinking about buying a '60s Firebird with p90s, haven't tried it yet, but very tempted. I have heard that they very easily break at the neck though?)
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by rocksalt7 » Thu Sep 17, 2009 12:24 pm

Good luck w/ your Firebird...that is a pretty good price. I have to say though, that the LP and Firebird are VERY different from each other in both tone and feel. The FB is a very comfortable guitar to wear and has some real interesting tonality to it. LP's of course are all over the place in tone AND weight. I too had a LP Deluxe for many years and it was wonderfull...it practically played itself!! But OMG was it heavy (10lbs, 3oz), you were just worn out after a good session!!! But it sounded SO good w/ the mini humbuckers. Hopefully your new Firebird will get you some good results. :mrgreen:
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by Benguitar » Tue Sep 22, 2009 12:07 pm

Well, If you like thin necks, I think a Firebird will be better for you, but if you like fatter necks I'd go with a Les Paul.

Also, It depends on the pickup tone you want too. In my personal opinion the mini-humbuckers have a more treble-y sound, great for rock, country and blues.

While the full size humbuckers have more bass better for rock, punk, metal, etc.

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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by treedroppings » Thu Nov 26, 2009 3:36 am

I saw a lt green non-reverse firebird w/3 P-90s that sounds killer. 3000 smackaroos
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Re: Les Paul vs Firebird.

Post by bick65 » Thu Nov 26, 2009 8:50 pm


Think out of the box most gibson necks are cnc made and feel the same
I cant stand any gibson or fender too much$$$$$$$$$ the only fender
I would ever consider is jag because of short scale lenght and a lot of
sound options. Yes im spoiled I make guitars so im no longer a slave
to the idiots . carvins are built good but they use super jumbow fret wire
drives me nuts to play on. Dont drop your gibson the head stock will break
fender has cheapend up a lot on theirs prs has gone chinise or jap. I am
not on this forum to sell any of my guitars .But have built 44 guitars
one came back for bad volume pot ... Thats it so look for local maker
and see what he or she has to offer you might be thrilled with price
and crastmanship. Ask aroud play some he or she has made. I stand
behind my guitars any ??? the customer calls me . sorry for spelling
or grammer typing not my cup of tea.

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