Ceramic Firebird Pickups

charlie chitlins

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Gibson's answer to the Gretschbucker in terms of how poorly regarded they are.
I think their description says something to the effect of how they remain articulate when using a lot of gain, and that's just what they do. They probably say "tight and focused" as those terms are popular now.
I gigged mine last night (Soul, Blues, R&B, early Rock and Roll) and knew I wouldn't be able to twist the wick up on the Bassman enough to make the guitar sound good, so I brought a 5E3 Deluxe.
It was a big-ish band with a sax player, the club was packed tight, and it was JUST enough amp. When things were at their peak, I kicked on a boost that emphasizes treble to help cut through.
Anyway...these pickups are true to their intended purpose. With the amp turned up to 'blister' the 'bird delivered the groceries in a big way.
Some of the greatest sounds I've ever heard coming out of an amp.
I guess the problem is, if the amp isn't twisted up, these pickups can sound a bit cold...especially the bridge.
I do, though, really like the fat honk from the neck pickup when played clean.
I suppose a great pickup will sound great in any situation, but I think these Firebird pickups do exactly what they were intended to do, and they do it very well.
 

mdubya

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I thought my ceramic Firebird pickups (1995 FB V) sounded great in the middle and neck positions; really great for Funk and classic R&B. The bridge was comparatively (to my other guitars) thin/trebly/icy.

Audiences and other guitar players loved when I played my Firebird. However, no one could argue that my SG with its '57 Classic + in the bridge didn't sound infinitely better on the bridge pickup.

My goal is to own another Firebird with fb pickups and get that bridge pickup to sound great!
 

charlie chitlins

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I keep the tone control rolled off a couple numbers on the bridge pickup almost all the time. It sounds best jacked up as far as possible.
I generally keep PAF-style humbuckers quite far from the strings, so these are quite different.
 

ezra1

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I came today to ask about these pickups .
On other forums I have seen people not blown away with the replacement options once installed.
I have a 50th Anniversary also, so maybe is there any significant option out there ? Or should I just keep it as is.
 

efstop

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A Firebird pickup is not a mini humbucker, they are a completely different pickup. Two rail magnets with windings around each vs the single magnet touching the pole pieces in a mini hum. The mini will be focused and bright, the FBs can be ice picky in the bridge position but still focused because of the similar small magnetic field.

A mini hum can be adjusted by pole piece and overall height, the FB by overall height only.

You can only go by marketing as per the builder's blurb, or by user experience.

I've never had a Firebird pup equipped guitar, but I used Gibson mini humbuckers when I replaced the P-90s in my Tribute.

You can also investigate using P-90s instead of any dual coli pickup, but there will be hum :)
 

charlie chitlins

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I came today to ask about these pickups .
On other forums I have seen people not blown away with the replacement options once installed.
I have a 50th Anniversary also, so maybe is there any significant option out there ? Or should I just keep it as is.
I'd leave it alone.
It is what it is, and it does what it does.
 

mdubya

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I have had enough conversations with James @cooljuk to know I will contact him and describe what I want, tone wise, and let him do his thing when the time comes.

I also used to live for the bridge pickup tone, but it is not nearly as important to me now as it once was.

Historical construction accuracy won't be a "must" either. Whatever it takes will do.
 

charlie chitlins

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Rob DiStefano makes Cavalier Lion pickups for a very reasonable price and he's sticky about accuracy. If you want a vintage style Firebird pickup, check him out.
 


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