#1
I've been looking for a black Firebird for ages. I know ESP make some, but they have of course had to alter the shape and I don't like what they came up with. The Tokai version is nowhere to be found and Gibson stopped making black Firebirds a few years ago. Lo and behold I walk into the store a couple of days ago and there's a black Epiphone Firebird sitting right there, part of a limited run. Gave it a quick test, sounded great, felt good, flawless as far as construction goes, bought it (hurrah for overdrafts).

Problem is, in the shop I only tested it using a generic nylon strap. It neck dived like crazy but I figured once I got it home, changed to a leather strap and moved the strap button forward to its proper place (Epi put it on the side for some reason), that would balance it and all would be well. Well... it hasn't worked. I'm now using a large leather strap, I've got the front strap button repositioned behind the neck heel where it is meant to be and I've even added a few fishing weights (about 4.5oz) in the control cavity... still neck dives horribly. I don't want to write the guitar off because it sounds really fantastic and feels great in the hand when I'm sat down, just the second I stand up it swings wildly down and to my left, as if the guitar is trying to escape my picking hand.

How do other Firebird owners (and Explorer owners, practically the same guitar) deal with this? Strap, strap button, weights - I can't think of anything else to try.
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#2
I have a Gibson Explorer (very heavy) but I have no problems balancing it. I use a DiMarzio Clip Lock strap.
#3
maybe put some lightweight machine heads on it?

x
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#4
Quote by shinhoman
maybe put some lightweight machine heads on it?

x
The tuners it has are Steinberger Gearless tuners, they already weigh next to nothing (and really are quite fantastic I must say; 40:1 gear ratio and locking, couldn't possibly be better). It's the headstock itself being ****ing massive that is unbalancing I think.
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#6
No, the Mayones is a long-term thing. I've got a separate account that I'm putting savings in to to use to pay that off. I got this on my main account, just abused my overdraft. My balance now reads -£282, but oh well. It's worth it for the tone.
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#7
I have the same problem with my Epi SG

You get used to it after awhile and dont really notice it as much
#9
i moved the strap lock to the back of the neck join and never had any trouble,

the more you play it you will get used to it and cancel it out automatically

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#10
Well, I've moved the rear strap lock to be much higher on the rear of the guitar too and now that's balanced it, even though it does look a little odd and now there are two empty holes in my gorgeous Firebird.

Is it relaly so hard to aoivd making a guitar poorly balanced? The headstock in this thing is huge and most of it is blank space. Or hell set the neck into the body one fret further. Why does everything that looks and sounds good have to be a practical nightmare?
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#11
Quote by MrFlibble
Well, I've moved the rear strap lock to be much higher on the rear of the guitar too and now that's balanced it, even though it does look a little odd and now there are two empty holes in my gorgeous Firebird.

Is it relaly so hard to aoivd making a guitar poorly balanced? The headstock in this thing is huge and most of it is blank space. Or hell set the neck into the body one fret further. Why does everything that looks and sounds good have to be a practical nightmare?



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At least you were able to get it balanced, some people never seem to get it worked out.
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#12
Makes you wonder why they didn't just put the strap locks in the places where youmoved them to, doesn't it?
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#14
Quote by Kurapica
Makes you wonder why they didn't just put the strap locks in the places where youmoved them to, doesn't it?
Epiphone seem to do this on nearly every guitar. On their SGs which are more poorly balanced than the Gibson ones anyway, they put the front strap button further back than normal which unbalances it more. Gibson firebirds at least have the front strap button behind the neck which slightly improves the balance, Epiphone stick it on the side where it would be on a Les Paul which clearly hugely unbalances the guitar.

Some of the things Squier and Epiphone do differently to Fender and Epiphone, I understand. I udnerstand they're made using metric measurements so certain things won't fit quite the same as the American made instruments and I appreciate they want to keep costs down so certain parts are made much more cheaply or whatever. Of course I understand copy brands can't make a perfect duplication and they have to change the body style in some way. But putting the strap buttons in bullshit places is just... there's no reason for it! It's just a pointless change that does nothing but harm the guitar's playability.



Though now I've got it pretty much fixed, this guitar really is so stupidly sexy. Think I might buy a second one, have one with medium pickups and a piezo and the other with EMG actives. Once the balance is right, these are so unbelievably good for the money.
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#16
Quote by wolvenrick
oops i just found a black firebird mrflibble!

gibson firebird studio

no mini buckers ='-(

well have fun with your perfect firebird anyways!=-)
Heh, tried them months ago. They didn't have any in but said they could put an order in for me. Asked 'em how long that could take and they said they (copy& pasting here) "do not know when we will be recieving shipment of this item".

Which is alright since every shop does that anyway. I've lost count of how many times shops have taken my order, even charged my account for it and then said "oh yeah, we don't actually have any of these in stock, we just hope one will turn up eventually". GAK are the worst for it, they say stuff is actually in stock when it isn't.
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#17
Quote by MrFlibble
Epiphone seem to do this on nearly every guitar. On their SGs which are more poorly balanced than the Gibson ones anyway, they put the front strap button further back than normal which unbalances it more. Gibson firebirds at least have the front strap button behind the neck which slightly improves the balance, Epiphone stick it on the side where it would be on a Les Paul which clearly hugely unbalances the guitar.

Some of the things Squier and Epiphone do differently to Fender and Epiphone, I understand. I udnerstand they're made using metric measurements so certain things won't fit quite the same as the American made instruments and I appreciate they want to keep costs down so certain parts are made much more cheaply or whatever. Of course I understand copy brands can't make a perfect duplication and they have to change the body style in some way. But putting the strap buttons in bullshit places is just... there's no reason for it! It's just a pointless change that does nothing but harm the guitar's playability.



Though now I've got it pretty much fixed, this guitar really is so stupidly sexy. Think I might buy a second one, have one with medium pickups and a piezo and the other with EMG actives. Once the balance is right, these are so unbelievably good for the money.


How much did you pay for it? I wouldn't mind one for myself actually...the Epi's with mini hums are horrendously cool. The Wiltshire too.
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#18
It just takes some getting used to, that's how they naturally are, you gotta suck it up and get used to it or else you aren't awesome enough to use an explorer/firebird
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#19
Quote by Kurapica
How much did you pay for it? I wouldn't mind one for myself actually...the Epi's with mini hums are horrendously cool. The Wiltshire too.
Sorry, this is the regular Epi, with normal humbuckers. For what it's worth they're £300, Andertons has one left. But yeah, no minihum or Firebird pickup goodness. I'm okay with it because I'm so picky about pickups and I wouldn't be able to get any minihumbuckers that fit what I want, but for the Firebird purist, these are a bit of a waste.
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#20
I've never had a neck dive problem from the Explorers I've played, with a thin nylon strap, I think because I've the way I hold it- neck up at a ~60 degree angle from the ground, heft of the back fin holds the neck in place, as well as tension from my right wrist, resting on the edge of that back fin so that it slightly pushes it down. The Firebird on the other hand doesn't have that massive fin, but holding it in this fashion-

- might help, wrist holding it at that angle.
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