Thank you to all that helped me make an informed decision by providing your input on this thread: http://www.mylespaul.com/forums/threads/need-help-with-a-2015-17-gibson-firebird.388843/ As you may know, I was mostly concerned with the ceramic pickups on the Firebirds and thought they would be too hot/muddy for my tastes. Well, I was wrong about them and very pleased with the improvements Gibson has made this year to the Firebird line. Read on! 2017 BINDING COLOR: Typically, when I first see a recent Gibson guitar, the first thing I notice is the horrible pinkish hue to the cream binding. Some don't really notice it at all, some don't mind it, others like me just plain hate it. I am happy to say that the new ALL WHITE binding on this year's Firebird is gorgeous. It matches the pickguard perfectly, guaranteeing they will both age well together. ROLLED BINDING: When you pickup the guitar, right away you feel something is different. It feels better than your other guitars. It feels better than last year's Firebird. It's because this year, Gibson rolled the binding more at the fretboard edge, giving the neck an improved smooth and comfortable feel. This change is not even listed in the Gibson page (linked below) and should be a major selling point. Best neck I have ever felt. FRETBOARD: This one is very dark, near ebony. Exceptionally nice. ELECTRICS: The only notable change is the output jack was changed from the usual Switchcraft type to a gold plated positive contact jack encased in plastic. The soldering is atrocious, a ten year old could have done a better job the first time out with 15 minutes instruction. PICKUPS: HUUUUGE change here, but not in the pickups themselves, they are the same and they sound great. Part of the reason they sound better may be that Gibson FINALLY fixed the issue of the pickups not being parallel to the strings by installing some angled trim rings. Easy fix and they look great. What took them so long? TOM & TAILPIECE: Are now ALUMINUM instead of zamak. I wish I had that 2016 around still so I could hear them side by side, but the ring and sing as well as sustain is phenomenal and I think the aluminum has something to do with it (maybe a lot to do with it). WEIGHT AND DIVE: Lighter in weight than previous years due to using aluminum now instead of zamak. Down side is that while the 2016 had no neck dive, this one has the slightest bit of neck dive. Very slight, but noticeable. Unlike an SG however, the back of the guitar offers a nice elbow rest so neck dive becomes insignificant. For reference, my zamak tailpiece weighs 3.2 ounces, the aluminum weighs less than one. HARDSHELL CASE: Mediocre quality. My Fender G&L case is night and day better. This case feels flimsy and the build quality is just...cheap. Very large case. CASE CANDY: The new Gibson multi-tool is pretty awesome and should become a collector's item. The "Premium" leather strap is just a run of the mill cheap leather strap that has Gibson screened in gold on it. The best part, was that the warranty card package included an actual photograph of my guitar on the Gibson QC bench. That is a worthy keepsake. MUSICIAN'S FRIEND: Shout out to this fine business. They bend over backwards to address concerns and make sure you are happy. Can't beat their customer service. OVERALL: Great improvements from 2016 plus you get somewhat of an improvement with a hardshell case. Worth $1499.00? Gibson still has some issues with quality and they are present in this guitar as well. I have some minor finish and setup issues. Unfortunately, if you were to return it for those things, you would never get a single good one, they all have some issue or another. Gibson has a long way to go in quality, but they have made definite improvements with this year's model and that tells me they are working to improve. I bought this one as OPEN BOX MINT for $1123.00 and I will keep it for that price. Here is the link to Gibson's 2017 Firebird T page with lots of photos and data: http://www.gibson.com/Products/Electric-Guitars/2017/USA/Firebird.aspx CHEERS!!!