Epiphone Firebird Studio Electric Guitar, Worn Cherry Review

Posted by Sherrie Kearney on Thursday, April 28, 2011

Epiphone Firebird Studio Electric Guitar, Worn Cherry
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This Firebird isn't the same instrument as the Gibson Firebird - it has a flat slab body and glued-on neck instead of the running-board styled through-neck of the original, and its pickups are full-size humbuckers rather than mini's - but it's a Firebird nonetheless, because the shape, design and bigness have all the right feel to them. The body is thin and resonates and the pickups are a good approximation of classic Gibson humbuckers, giving the guitar the authentic sound of a Gibson, albeit closer to an SG than a Firebird.

The smart-alecky Steinberger tuners, which could cost you a third of the price if you bought them separately, have good and bad points. On the good side, the string is clamped straight into the raising-and-lowering string post, so it can't slip as strings sometimes do when wound round and round in the normal way; the ratio is a larger-than-normal 40:1, which makes fine-tuning easier; you can actually tune down with some confidence as well as up (as long as your nut slots don't pinch the strings); and they look right - they stick out backwards, out of sight like the old banjo tuners on the original Firebirds. But it is not very easy to load them - you need to pull the string hard and if you don't pull hard enough you can run out of adjustment later as the strings stretch - and if you want to pull them tighter you can't because you've already trimmed off the ends so there's nothing to grab; and if you ever want to take strings off and put them on another guitar, you can't because they have to be trimmed very short (and of course their lengths are in the reverse order from those on a Fender).

My overall impression is very good if you want a real Gibson-approved, well-made and cheap humbucker guitar and like the Firebird style. Lose one star for some of the tuners' quirks.

Oh and by the way, it doesn't balance on the strap, but then reverse-body Firebirds never did, so that's authentic too. I'm thinking of moving the strap button on mine, but it's marginal whether it can be moved far enough to make a difference

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Product Description:
This is one bad little bird. The Epiphone Worn Firebird Studio combines a "reverse body" design Mahogany body, set Mahogany neck and Rosewood fingerboard with an attractive "Worn" Cherry finish that feels as nice as it looks. It sounds great too, thanks to a pair of full-size high-output Alnico Classic Humbuckers, each with separate volume and tone controls. Hardware includes Chrome Epiphone LocTone locking Tune-o-matic bridge andStopbar tailpiece for even better sustain and super-cool Steinberger 40:1 direct-drive, gearless tuners for extra-accurate tuning power.

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