Belated NGD. New JB FB1

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by Bud Stoner, Feb 18, 2017.

  1. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Well, it's been over a month or so since I've had this, and I have to say I'm overall very pleased with this guitar.

    As mentioned in the other thread, I'll post some pics, and general observations:

    I know more peeps here dig the sunburst, but the gold is great! The wife likes the gold better than the burst more so since it's different.

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    I'll post some more next.
     
  2. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    I have to say that I really love this guitar. Is it perfect? Nope......but any little issues are not noticeable or covered up, or easily addressed.

    The bridge is great for it's simplicity, and the studs themselves are steel, like the vintage ones, but the bridge does lean a bit and that may hinder the perfect intonation I usually get with my Peterson tuner.

    Maybe the Tone Pros locking studs may help in that regard.



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  3. Kong

    Kong Senior Member

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    LOL I was just about to do a NGD post for my JB Firebird. Yours looks awesome by the way. Question, on mine the bridge post on the treble side is higher than the bass side even though the strings are a bit higher on the bass side. I was wondering how yours is?
     
  4. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    I'll continue to update the thread as I take other pics, and I do need to change strings so I can take photos of the routes to show what's under the hood, so to speak.

    The routes look a little rough, and the control cavity looks a little ehhh, but the charm is the whole package.

    It's a great guitar, and I still love this thing after having it a month.

    Some gripes I noticed:

    The routes look a bit rough, but are covered up by the pickup ring and control cover.

    The screw holes on the tuners and control are a little loose and can be tightened up a bit. Toothpicks should do fine.

    I do need to file the nut slots just a bit to get the action down, but it really plays great after the adjustments I have already done.

    I like the streaky fingerboard, but it is sealed with that whatever stuff Epi uses and I may take the time to scrape it off in the near future.

    Stuff I like:

    It's a Firebird 1!

    Super light, weighs in a 7 lbs even.

    Not neck heavy at all.

    The gold looks cooler in person than the pics.

    The neck is great, and it is a very comfortable guitar to play either sitting or standing.

    All in all, I dig it and am happy to get one. The wife even digs it a lot.

    I think I may switch the output jack and tone control positions, as I feel it may work better for me, and clean up the wiring (it looks kinda cheap).

    :thumb:
     
  5. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Kong, I just looked at mine, and my bass side (bridge and string) is higher that the treble side (bridge and string)

    Have you futzed with the setup? Mine was pretty high and I did spend some time adjusting things.

    Looking forward to your thread, and feel free to post pics here, it's all good!
     
  6. Kong

    Kong Senior Member

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    All I did so far was lower the action a bit. I like it about 1.7 mm on the bass side and a little more than 1 mm on the treble side. It came with the action way high. I also lowered the pickup a touch. It plays and feels great now that I have the action where I want it. I haven't messed with the intonation yet or really checked it but it can't be too bad - at least to my ears. Thanks for checking and nice review so far.:thumb: I'll be looking at how my bridge is sitting in the studs. I have a set of Faber locking studs somewhere if I find that to be an issue.
     
  7. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    My pickup was cranked up as high as it would go, and I had to lower the heck out of it. I have it at a good height so far. It is pretty low, but sounds real sweet.

    I should try varying the height a bit, but after adjusting for an hour at one sitting, it sounds GREAT through my Rat2 and Vibrochamp! :naughty::thumb:

    I've been digging it so much, I haven't really wanted to try other things.

    Maybe a fuzz, overdrive and phaser........:hmm:
     
  8. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Ok, here are the route pics. I have enhanced the color and lightened them to show more detail, and looking at it from this perspective they do look worse than they really are, but I like to document everything so to show the guitar, warts and all.

    Here we go.........:fingersx:

    May I present the pickup route:


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    Like I said, a bit rough, but it is completely covered up by the ring, so......maybe when I clean up the wiring I'll sand it to pretty it up.

    Damn you OCD! :)
     
  9. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Here is the control cavity route.

    I really do love how the router messed up the part where the top cavity cover screw goes........:)

    I can get that screw tight, and notice how off the left cover screw hole is........:shock:



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    And that long, loopy black wire is the ground from the bridge. I may just pull the stud bushing and run the correct bus wire in there when I clean up the wiring.

    Definitely a cap upgrade is in order, but it's not like an "OMG I need to do this nooooooow" kind of thing.
     
  10. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Here's an up close shot that makes it look really terrible!

    Seriously, it's not as bad as it looks, and if I really wanted it done right I would take it in to be cleaned up, since this guitar is worth it to me.

    Call me crazy, but overall the good far outweighs any kind of "bad" on my FB.

    But I would suggest taking a gander under the hood just to see what's what. I hope I'm the only one who had this problem. It looks like the cutting tools may have been dull or something when my guitar was routed.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    The bird bird bird, bird is the word.........



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    Don't you know about the bird?

    Well, everybody knows that the bird is the word, lol!
     
  12. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    And here's some pics with the guard off and showing the small route for the pickup and bridge grounding wires:


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    Almost the same view, just black and white:


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    There was a few splinters in the route that I removed, but it needs a little more attention to clean it up proper:


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    Sorry for the not so great pic quality on these I think I need better lighting......
     
  13. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    That is seriously good "macro-photography" How did you take these pics?

    And HNGD! :thumb:
     
  14. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Hey Victek, thanks for the kind words!

    As for the pics, I just used the digital macro setting on my cheap camera. It also helps to have a steady hand also, lol! That's pretty much it.

    I really do enjoy photography and wish I had a nice DSLR camera to really take some good shots, though.
     
  15. T00DEEPBLUE

    T00DEEPBLUE Senior Member

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    Thanks for giving these really detailed pics. They're very interesting. :thumb:

    It certainly looks like the end mill on the CNC was badly worn when they were cutting the routs out.

    I wouldn't bother with the cap as it's been proven that dielectric type in a guitar application makes no difference outside of its actual capacitance value. But they're cheap, so it doesn't matter either way. I'd may want to replace the pots with nicer feeling CTS ones though. And replace the jack with a Switchcraft.

    I'd also replace the bridge with one that allows for individually adjustable saddles.

    How's the fretwork on it? Any dead frets? Any fretting out with bends?
     
  16. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    I totally agree with you on the end mill being dull. I think that since the routes are covered, they can let a little messiness slide. I used to be a machinist, and I always felt that dull cutting tools are more trouble than they are worth. I always took pride in clean machining. But hey, an overseas shop.........that's what you get. I would like to see some under the hood shots from other JB FB1 owners so we can compare notes.

    The fretwork is really good on it. Nice, smooth and the frets WERE shiny when I got it, but after playing it so much and it's always within reach on a hanger they look a little dull. And no dead spots, too! I'm very happy with that. The frets are lower than I'm used to (I love jumbo 6100's), but I was a very quick transition. I don't even think about it now.

    Next string change I'll mask the board and use my fret erasers from Stew Mac. I love those things for polishing frets. It takes time, but you get an amazing result.

    I'm still undecided on the bridge to maybe replace it with. I dig the MojoAxe bridge, but Hipshot has a sexy looking one.......:hmm:

    I may do better pots from RS guitar works, but I can hold off that for right now.
     
  17. Victek

    Victek Senior Member

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    Great :thumb:

    Yes, a DSLR camera is the state of the art, but after looking at my brother-in-law's I think it might be easier to fly the Space Shuttle.... :)
     
  18. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    I know what you mean! With all these features the new DSLR's have now, you almost have to take a community college course (maybe a one day Saturday class) just to get you on the fast track to shooting.

    When doing digital macro shots, I need three things:

    Lighting (using a thin sheet to diffuse intense light helps in some instances)
    Angle
    Tripod (not always, but more often than not)

    I just use my 13 year old Canon Power Shot SD1000 camera that I bought for my wife at Best Buy for $150.00.

    It's not really the most awesome camera out there, but it's really awesome to me. :thumb:
     
  19. TM1

    TM1 Senior Member

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    Pull the Epi/Chinese studs/bushings. Install a set of the 1.20" steel bushings from Philadelphia Luthiere. Use real steel studs. This will give you much better string transference into the body. I bought an ABM Bell Brass wrapover. Warm, great harmonics and sustain! I did install a set of old Centralab pots(500k for Volume & 250K Tone like an original FB I would have had) I also installed a Sprague 160P, .022 cap. I have a Klein FB pickup in it now but have an RC coming! TheKlein is a bit bright.. But overall the guitar is amazing! Oh.. I installed a Nylon 6/6 nut!
     
  20. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Thanks for the info! :thumb:

    On the bushings, do you mean the extra long 1.188" long bushing?

    here's the link: http://www.philadelphialuthiertools.com/bridge-and-tailpieces/extra-long-1-188-stop-bar-tailpiece-anchor-mounting-bushings-steel-coarse-knurl/

    And how much, if any did you have to enlarge the original bushing holes?

    Also, can you post a pic of your bridge? I'd love to see how it looks on the bird!
     

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