Epiphone Firebird 1 has landed

Discussion in 'Other Epiphones' started by Fullmoon 1971, Feb 24, 2017.

  1. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 Member

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    For years I've had a love/hate relationship with Joe Bonamassa, I love his music but hate the constant stream of signature models either Epi or Gibson - that being said I have a minor problem with any Les Paul (insert artist name here), They are already a signature model - Their LES PAUL'S model. Anyway Rant over[​IMG].

    When I was growing up my dad had a 1965 Firebird 1 and this was the guitar I strummed as a infant (the guitar vanished between his death and the sorting out of the will - don't you love extended families). over the years I've had a couple of firebirds but they weren't keepers. So when I saw the ads for the Joe Bonamassa Firebird I was mildly interested (at least it wasn't another LP), only problem I couldn't find one to try out so decided against it. This week I came into some unexpected money and decided what the hell, I could always sell it on. So I ordered a sunburst one from Anderton's Music yesterday and it arrived 9.30am this morning.

    What can I say about this guitar - Oh hell Yeah. Straight out of the box the guitar was virtually perfect.

    The good points =
    Spot on reverse firebird body
    Correct thru neck construction
    The finish on mine is flawless
    Nice chunky neck almost spot on for gibson late fifities carve 22.3mm 1st fret 25.2mm 12th fret
    Perfectly level frets - with a action 1mm treble side, 1.25mm bass side @12th fret
    perfect intonation @ 12th fret
    Correct Banjo style Machineheads (Gibson don't use these anymore)
    Correct Alnico Mini Humbucker (Gibson use ceramic magnets in their pickups)

    The minor points =
    Fingerboard a little dry
    I will change the capacitor out for a better one, the rest of the wiring though a little messy works perfectly.

    The bad points =
    On mine nothing.

    On a personal note I will get a new pickguard made for this in parchment without the bird logo - original 64 firebird 1's didn't have the bird.

    I am so impressed with this guitar that it will be going with me to a gig I have tonight - I usually take my 2013 Gibson LP traditional plus my PRS SE Bernie Marsden. Tonight the lineup will be PRS SE Bernie Marsden & Epi JB Firebird 1.

    Now the all important picture
    [​IMG]

    will report back after the gig.
     
    voices, judson, paruwi and 1 other person like this.
  2. Donal

    Donal ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Premium Member

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    Looks nice :thumb:

    Congrats and HNGD :applause:
     
  3. mmd

    mmd Senior Member

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    SWEET! I am REALLY tempted by these....now even more so!!!
     
  4. paruwi

    paruwi Kraut-Rocker Super Mod Premium Member

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    Congrats on the new :jb: Bird

    :thumb::applause::thumb:



    and moved to the Epi section :D
     
  5. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

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    Very, VERY nice! Congrats.
     
  6. Bud Stoner

    Bud Stoner Senior Member

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    Wowzers! :wow:

    That is a stunner!

    Congrats! :thumb:
     
  7. Jota

    Jota Senior Member

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    I just bought the gold one cause it was a few € cheaper but the burst is gorgeous.
    Congrats.
     
  8. judson

    judson Senior Member

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    great to hear

    i am with you on the no bird pickguard, i switched mine with my first attempt ever to cut one without the proper tools....works for me, i am still playin it daily since mine arrived late Dec...:applause:
     
  9. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 Member

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    First a little background on the bunch of misfits I call a band, we are a 6 piece oufit that have been together for 30 years (edit the singers a new boy, he's only been around for 28 years[​IMG]) we were lucky enough to release 2 albums (89 & 91) and toured all over the world. We were dropped by our label during the grunge backlash of the early 90's which actually worked better for us as we all have careers and now families outside the band (the bass guitarist & the keyboard player teach Violin & piano respectively at the Royal Northern College of Music) The rest of us have fairly normal day jobs. We still tour quite a lot and do a fair bit of session work with bands we became friends with in our early lives. I give this explanation to explain last nights setlist - over the last 25 years we have become the informal house band for a local rockers pub, we will turn up & rock out if the pubs got no others acts that night, usually it's the tried and trusted rock & blues standards from the last 65 years.

    This leads me to last nights gig, as we getting my gear into the van I decided we would have a little fun with the crowd and cover stuff that only gets done for our own asmusement when rehearsing (after so long together we have to do different practice pieces) with this in mind I changed my gear selection. The firebird 1 would be the main guitar backed up by my Gibson 50's tribute SG & Vintage Icon V6MRBK strat. My amps would be changed to my Fender Hotrod Deluxe III and my Epiphone 1939 Century reissue.

    Whay can I say the guitar held it own all night, the vintage didn't get used at all & the SG only got used on a few drop tuned songs. Every tone I needed was within reach using the firebird, she was perfect and so stable that I barely needed to retune at all. I cut a piece of black sticky tape and laid it over the TRC, not because I wanted to fool people, I just wanted their honest opinion of the guitar and sound - even the band didn't know it was a Epi. we do two sets with 45 mins between them and during that time I was constantly answering peoples questions about the guitar and its sounds. A older friend of mine actually thought it was the same firebird my father had owned and I'd been able track it down. To all these people I said the same thing all would be explained at the end of the gig. You should seen their faces when I removed the sticky tape to show the epi logo and explain that it was only a few hours old with no mods at all (my other guitarist was really pissed at me[​IMG]) I don't think I ever seen so many people on smart phones all at once trying to find a store that had these in stock.

    Unusual song highlights - testing the full range of sounds
    Caravan = Django Rheinhart, (century amp & bass guitarist on violin) this was of 2 versions we did - sound wish with vol & tone knocked back was real close.
    Caravan #2 = Chester & Lester version, (you can get some real good counrty sounds out of this guitar)
    Guitar Boogie = Les Paul Trio (you really can nail les's sound)
    Play minstral play = Blackmore's night, A chane to dual withe violin player on this Rock/Classical Piece
    Foolin = Def Leppard, As a die hard Steve Clark fan I thought the sound was pretty much spot on for his pryomania era
    Too late for love = Def Leppard, same as above
    Folsom Prison Blues = Angel Mary & the Tennessee Werewolves (A little of country, hard rock & metal all in one)
    Steve Clark Memorial = a tune a comprised using parts from his performances (tone was glorious) I don't usually take solo's but this is staying in the set say the band
    Gimme Shelter = Johnny Winter instrumental (first time we've ever played it fully through, the guitar got johnny's tone beautifully)
    Aqualung - Jethro Tull
    Hocus Pocus = Focus (last song of the evening after unveiling guitar make) Really rocked this thing to make it go out of tune - It didn't


    I'm now trying to decide to get a back sunburst or the polymist gold or both[​IMG]
     
  10. Kris Ford

    Kris Ford Senior Member

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    Very nice!

    As for the plain guard, that was '63, not '64.:naughty: (and really only the first part of their introduction, there are '63 FBs with the bird)
    Be sure to add a strap button to the upper bout, as all vintage birds had 3 strap buttons.:D
    [​IMG]
     
  11. judson

    judson Senior Member

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    my 72 had no bird so i got used to them without one....
     
  12. Fullmoon 1971

    Fullmoon 1971 Member

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    I know that most 63's had no guard and since this guitar is modelled on joe's own 63 "Treasure" technically this shouldn't have the bird either and should have the extra strap button. hence why I want to swap the guard out.
     
  13. TheX

    TheX Voice of Reason

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    Going to refinish in lacquer?
     
  14. Jota

    Jota Senior Member

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    You probably just need a little dose of alcohol and some fabric to buff it off.
     
  15. cherrick

    cherrick Senior Member

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    $10 says it's lacquer already
     

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