1963 Firebird VII Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 06/13/2007 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: 1963 Firebird VII
The 1963 Firebird VII is built with a big, mahogany body, a set-in (not a bolt-on) mahogany neck and a rosewood fingerboard. It's loaded with 3 Alnico-V Mini humbucker pickups for an unrivalled tonality. This model delivers a solid Firebird vibe at a great low price.
 Sound: 9.4
 Overall Impression: 9.6
 Reliability & Durability: 9.4
 Action, Fit & Finish: 8.2
 Features: 9.6
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (5) 60 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 10
1963 Firebird VII Reviewed by: Firebird7, on april 24, 2006
3 of 3 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 500

Purchased from: Good Ol' Musician's Friend

Features: Specs of a Gibson Firebird VII from 1963. Mine's made 2005 or 2006 in Korea. 22 Frets. Set mahogany neck with a mahogany body. Rosewood fretboard. Mines the Vintage sunburst with gold hardware. Comes with an original-style Maestro tremolo. 3-way tone selector, 3 volume knobs, and one tone knob. 3 Alcino-V mini humbuckers. Grover tuners. No accesories whatsoever, except for an allen key or two, they want to rob you for that 80 or 90 dollar firebird case. // 10

Sound: Suits my style of: blues, classic rock, '80s/'90s rock, ska, jazz, country, pretty damn versatile wouldn't ya say? Play it through many things, a Vox Valvetronix, my friend's 250 watt music man tube, and an older Fender tube amp. Not noisy at all, nice bright sound on the bridge pickup, sounds great for a lot of distortion. Middle pickup with a bight of the other two pickups provides a nice sound with just a little gain which is good for blues. The neck pickup is extremely clean as expected. Big variety of sounds, with 3 volume knobs and 1 tone knob, you gotta just play around with the knobs as there are millions of great combinations. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Good set-up, good action, everything was pretty good. There was maybe a litlle scratch a centimeter long in some places, no biggies. // 10

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will certaintly take live playing, as I play all the time with it gigging. The hardware is still looking like it did when it came, amazing. I use a cheap strap that has held up for months. I don't need a backup, never went wrong so far, everything is great and it is very dependable. // 10

Overall Impression: Man this thing is awesome, I've been playing for years and it is by far the best feeling guitar I played. I would definetly try to buy this product again used, as it was recently discontinued, well I guess you can always upgrade to the Gibson! It's amazing, looks amazing, everything's great. Will even get you some women. // 10

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overall: 10
1963 Firebird VII Reviewed by: unregistered, on may 17, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: ebay

Features: This guitar was made in 2005 I guess. It was made in China, like every other thing in the USA. It has 22 frets and a rosewood fretboard. I thank the body is maple. the finish is like a bright red color which I aint to crazy about, I wish it was that Vintage sunburst color they got. The body style is like the Gibson Firebird VII, they just slapped the Epiphone name on it. It has a Tune-O-Matic bridge and a Lyre Vibrola tailpiece. It has a 3 way pickup selector which aint really no good cause you gotta use the volume knobs more than anything. It's got 3 Gibson mini humbuckers. They sound just like regular humbuckers, which I like. It's got Grover tuners that kinda stick outta the bottom of the headstock. I wish it had banjo tuners like the Gibson models. its also got a set neck. // 10

Sound: It really suits my music style since I play mostly Skynyrd. Any Skynyrd fan should know that Allen Collins, my idol played a Firebird too. But his was a Gibson Firebird III with a P-90 at the bridge. I usually use it with a 200 watt Crate amp with all them effects on it. I can make this guitar sound like everythang from a Les Paul to a piece of crap Tele. I hate Tele's. But really. This things got a awsome range with its three pickups. I usually use the bridge one by itself. You gotta turn the other volume knobs all the way down but I dont care. That's why I use my Les Paul on songs like Saturday Night Special where Gary uses the neck humbucker during the solos. // 10

Action, Fit & Finish: Well I didn't get the guitar from the factory. It was a factory second because them japs must not know how to sorder wires on all the way so we had to do that. The pick ups was a little high so I lowered 'em. That was all that was wrong with it when I got it except for it bein outta tune. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It has and will withstand live playin. The hardware seems like its made to last for quite a while and well. I hope it does. Solidist strap buttons I ever seen. I dunno if I would take it to a gig without my trusty ole Les Paul but I know I can depend on it. The finish is somethin else. On the back where its got that little thick part runnin through the middle, it's really easy to chip off on your belt buckle so I dunno. But the rest is alright. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said I play mostly Skynyrd and some CCR & Allman Bros. and this is a perfect match for most of it. Cause I can make it sound like Skynyrd for Free Bird and Switch the Switch and sound like CCR. I been playin for about 1 and a half years. I got a Epi Les Paul 100 with pickup covers I put on it. It just made it look a lot cleaner. Well if it was stolen or lost, I couldnt buy it again cause it would be stole or lost, but I'd probably save up about 5 or 6 grand and look gor a Gibson Firebird III. I love the whammy bar on it. If you've ever played a Strat with its crappy little whammy bar, this un will blow you away. Ok, I hade Fenders. There, I said it. I compared it to a Epi SG. But ii just thought I was gettin more for my money with this one. The only thing I wish it had was one a them like flat whammy bars like on a Firebird III. And like on Allen Collin's Explorer. I found a Gibson one on ebay for like 10 grand or somethin. I didnt get it. // 10

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overall: 9.2
1963 Firebird VII Reviewed by: westo, on august 11, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 443.81

Purchased from: Guitar Center

Features: This guitar was probably made in 2005, as I got it used in 2006. It has 22 frets with a mahogany body and a rosewood fretboard. I got mine in red with gold hardware. The body is the same thing as the Gibson Firebird VII, except the Gibson's neck is much bigger and heavier. It has an ABR bridge with tremelo and a Lyre Vibrola tailpeace. There are three Alcino-V mini humbuckers, three volume controls, one tone control, a three-way tone selector, and Grover tuners. Strap locks were preinstalled on mine, which are a necesity because of the weight. My case came seperately for $65. // 10

Sound: I play a lot of blues, classic rock, rock n roll, and some metal now and then. This axe, when suited with my Fender FM 212R, is beautiful, has great tone, and is nice and bassy to my content. The pickups can kick some major ass. This guitar can scream or sing and everywhere in between. It is not noisy at all and can compliment any amp setting. You won't have much luck playing any death metal, but lighter metal bands are very easy to mimic. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Mine was used, and it looked like the owner before me tried to fiddle with the action because there was buzzing everywhere. The pickups are just fine, however. In some areas, I can see that the paint did not fully cover, so you can see the wood slightly (especially near corners and such). There were also some black marks on the body and the humbuckers looked like they'd been smeared with some oily fingers and I can't manage to get it off. There were no scratches, however. There is nothing that I would return the guitar for. // 7

Reliability & Durability: I can be positive this axe can do any show. I would definately use it in a gig without a backup. All the hardware is solid and set very nicely. The straplocks insure no dropping so I'm sure nothing bad will ever happen. The finish looks terrific and doesn't seem like it will ever wear off. // 10

Overall Impression: I bought this guitar because I needed a bluesy guitar with the abbility to be cranked up and scream. So far, it's been perfect for everything. I believe this guitar is out of production and I haven't seen in at any online stores, so I'm very happy I got it before demand sored up. If I lost this baby or if it were stolen, I would kill the person Who stole it, take his guitar, and then take mine back. I love this axe and I will never get rid of it. The quality and tone is incredible and the only flaw would be the large size, but you get used to it within two days of playing. I compared this to an Epiphone G400 Custom, an Epiphone Dot, and an Epiphone Les Paul Standard. I could only get the Les Paul for a much higher price as the only shop that had it with them was ripping me off, I decided that the Epiphone Dot wasn't as vercitile as I wanted at the time, and I could never find the G400 Custom anywhere so that I could compare them side-by-side. The next guitar I'll get will be the G400 Custom if I can aquire it. There is nothing missing from this beautiful beast. // 10

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overall: 8.8
1963 Firebird VII Reviewed by: connorthecarguy, on august 30, 2006
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 375.25

Features: The guitar has a 22 fret neck. I beleive it is neck-through-body contruction. It has 3 mini-humbuckers, 1 master tone knob and 3 volume knobs, one for each pickup. Mine has a red body and gold hardware. The bridge is a tremolo system that's similar to a Bigsby. I am not sure what kind of wood this guitar is made of. // 9

Sound: I play rock music. Usually classic rock, modern rock and garage rock. I use a Dunlop Crybaby wah pedal, and a Vox AD15VT amp (an awesome amp by the way.) This guitar works great with that setup. The pickups sound like a cross between a les paul and a Strat, which I like because it is unique. They are warm like a les paul, but twangy enough like a Strat so they are not muddy. I love the individual volume controls for each pickup. It allows me to create an infinate variery of sounds. I do not like the middle pickup very much. It sounds quite boring. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I bought the guitar used from a good music shop so it came set up nicely. I'm really not picky about these sort of things, so the slight bit of fret buzz doesn't annoy me. The pickup selector crackles a bit sometimes. The finish was awesome, with no flaws whatsoever. // 8

Reliability & Durability: I have played live with this guitar just fine. The only problem I have with it is that it is a little heavy on the headstock side so it slumps down unless you have you hand on the neck. This is only annoying when your not playing, though. The guitar did drop onece, and so it has a few minor dings. But this was my fault because I was using an old crappy $3 strap. I can definately depend on this guitar and I would not need a backup. // 8

Overall Impression: What I love most about this guitar is how awesome it looks. It turns heads wherever I go with it. I have played shows with it just fine. The guitar stays in tune very well, even after a few dive bombs with the whammy bar. The whammy bar moves up also, allowing you to raise the pitch as well as lower it. This is a really usefull feature. The sound of this guitar is quite Vintage which suits my style great. Overall, if anything happened to this guitar or if it was stolen I would definately buy another one. It is perfect for me and my style. // 10

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overall: 8.2
1963 Firebird VII Reviewed by: Burpbelly, on june 13, 2007
0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 689.91

Purchased from: Thomann.de

Features: It's the classic firebird shape, with the raised centre, which is quite cool, mahogony neck + mahogony body = one heavey guitar. One thing I noticed with the bolt on neck is that as you go along the pickups get further away from the strings as if the neck goes off at an angle, rather than being straight. It has 3 mini Alnico humbuckers, mini Grover tuners and a maestro tremelo arm, all gold. There is one master tone and 3 volume controls, one for each pickup, and a really nice Vintage sunburst solid finish. // 9

Sound: I play bluesy, classic and alt. rock style music through a Crate Powerblock. It is absolutely brilliant, sound wise, there are a lot of combinations you can get from the three pickups and it's really quite quiet. The pickups may be little but they deliver a nice loud sound, that can be bright or warm depending on your volume combinations. With the right effects this guitar would be able to do anything and will do. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: This is probably the only area that let it down. There is an incescant buzzing on the bottom e string, which can only be ammended by raising the action to classical guitar high. When you're playing through an amp with a lot of distortion however, this can add quite a nice sound (imagine the rundown in hysteria with a lot of extra noise), but at least you can still hear the notes that are being played, I suppose this could be a lack of filing on the fretwire. The pickup selector is a little loose as well. However the finish is brilliant throughout, no flaws, even though it's an Epiphone. So a 6 cos of the buzzing. // 6

Reliability & Durability: This guitar will withstand Live playing, but of course whenever I've used it I've had a backup, because you never know. The hardware will last I think, I've only had it a couple of months, but of course gold hardware will need a bit of TLC every so often. The finish will last, I've knocked it quite often and no chips yet. // 9

Overall Impression: This guitar matches my style when I want to go a bit heavier (notice I said "a bit" not death metal or whatever), think Muse or Incubus. I've been playing for nearly 4 years and own an Epiphone Casino and my Crate PB150 aswell as several budget effects. This guitar is brilliant, however I would advise playing one before thinking of buying one, the fact that it's so neck heavey gave me some slight back pains after the first few days, just because I was used to lightness of my Casino. I love the maestro tremelo, it's kind of like a bigsby without the massive arm, and overall the guitar sounds great. I chose this guitar over a Gretsch Jet (the cheap one), and a Les Paul Custom, I've always loved the marmite (as in you love it or hate it), kind of reverse jag shape of the gutiar and it has the. I just wish it wasn't so neck heavey, it's a bit of a strain until you've had it for a few weeks. // 8

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