Worn Firebird Studio Review

manufacturer: Epiphone date: 03/01/2008 category: Electric Guitars
Epiphone: Worn Firebird Studio
Epiphone's Firebird Studio combines the reverse-body style of the original series with our traditional set-neck design and full-size, Alnico Classic humbucking pickups.
 Sound: 8.5
 Overall Impression: 9.5
 Reliability & Durability: 9.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 9.5
 Features: 10
 Overall rating:
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 Users rating:
reviews (2) 39 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 9.2
Worn Firebird Studio Reviewed by: mp3stalin, on october 09, 2007
10 of 10 people found this review helpful

Purchased from: MusiciansFriend.com

Features: Basically the big hit here is the Tuners. Stienberger's "Direct Drive Locking Gearless Tuners" (try saying that five times fast). they are literally the best tuners ever made. And by themselves they retail about $90. But they're stock on this. They seem to hold tune just almost well as my friend's Floyd Rose and are literally the easiest restringing you'll ever do. You simply wind it out, unlock the clamp, and then restring it, clamp the strings back into lock, and just tune each string. The ratio on them is 40:1 which is insanely accurate and best of all, they're just so smooth that it feels like I can go into "D tuning" in the same time someone else takes to go to "Drop D tuning". Fretboard is a 22 fret rosewood, body is solid mahogany, 2 volume, 2 tone, 3-way selector switch, and it's a set neck and has two fullsized humbuckers just like the Gibson counterpart. The Pickups are Standard Epi Alnicos based on the Gibson 52's I think. They have a nice bluesy sound to them and will do for anything short of metal. And as a nice bonus, you look on the back of the headstock and you'll see a "Epiphone Custom Shop" logo stamp. Only problem I had with it is that the headstock is alittle long and so it tends to fall a bit unless you place your arm on the back or hold it at an angle. It's super comfy when you're sitting. Not so much a problem, just a perferance. For the money this is a true steal. // 10

Sound: One word, bluesy. It has by far one of the prettier cleans I've ever heard. But the stock pickups can barely hit a gain level high enough for punk. If you like classic rock and blues it's perfect. But if you want something with some more gain, you're gonna need to buy some Seymour Duncans and pop them in. // 8

Action, Fit & Finish: The guitar came to me perfect. The action, inotation, pickup height, everything was perfect right outa the box. The real kicker is the finish. It feels almost like a dress. It's almost like rubbing satin instead of a finish. And mine is a bright cherry red but I saw it in a beautiful looking sunburst too. // 10

Reliability & Durability: It's a Epi. Meaning it'll take whatever it needs to take, but I wouldn't go slaming it around, it's a set neck after all which gives it a better sustain, but makes repairs something you don't wanna know about. I'd easily use this and not worry about needing a backup. the finish seems to be holding up well and everything else on it feels rock solid. // 9

Overall Impression: For the price it's the best deal I've ever seen. The tuners are almost worth the price of the guitar, and it's body is really light and comfy yet seems like it will outlast me. The neck is super easy on the hands and the fretboard is just wide enough without being for "big hands only." I plan to change the pickups on it but everything else I wouldn't change for the world. // 9

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overall: 9.6
Worn Firebird Studio Reviewed by: Yerjam, on march 01, 2008
1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: $ 479.46

Purchased from: thomann.de

Features: This guitar was made in Korea, I think in 2006, but I'm not quite sure. The fretboard is Rosewood and has 22 frets, scale is 24.75". The body is Mahogany and it's a set-in neck (meaning better sustain than a bolt-on). I managed to get hold of the Vintage Sunburst edition (quite hard too find now) and it's an excellent finish, it's a lot glossier than what the stock picture shows. Like the other reviewer said, it feels more like a dress than a wood finish! It's got that nice soft satin feel to it. Moving on, what you think of the Firebird's shape is very subjective. The Firebird is the marmite of the guitar world, you either love it's design or you absolutely hate it. I for one, absolutely adore it and it's a great way to distance yourself from the LP-Strat obsessed world and go with something different. The body does take a while to get used to if you're accustomed to LPs and Strats, its unusual shape can annoy you a bit when you first start playing it, but you do get used to it. The headstock is a bit annoying too, it's very long and throws the body out of balance a lot, so make sure you have a decent leather strap to hold it all up, but again, it just takes getting used to. Moving on, the Firebird has passive electronics and has 2-volume and 2-tone knobs with a 3-way pickup selctor. It has two full-sized Epi alnico humbuckers (not the mini-humbuckers you see on Epi's 963 Firebird VII). The pickups are superb for clean blues sounds right up to heavy rock. I can get a whole multitude of genres out of them, clean sounds, blues, blues-rock, some funk, and hard rock, etc. They struggle a bit with heavy metal, but you can always replace them with different pickups if you so desire. The Steinberger 40:1 direct-Drive gearless tuners, however, are the best features on the guitar, without a doubt. Using them, I always wondered how I lived with just using Standard Grovers! They are so simple to restring (wind them out, take off the clamp, restring, clamp the new strings in, then tune) and tuning is so easy due to the how smooth and accurate these babies are. Included in the box with the guitar was a manual, a poster, a couple of Allen (hex) keys, a very short angled-cable (which I'm just going to keep as a spare) and it also came strung with some D'Addario strings. // 10

Sound: The Firebird's sound suits me down to the ground (by the way, I'm running the guitar through a Vox AD50VT, no effects pedals). I love getting clean blues (BB King, John Lee Hooker) and 50s rock and roll sounds (Chuck Berry) but I also love harder, more distorted rock sounds (AC/DC, Aerosmith, Led Zeppelin) and this guitar suits each of these styles perfectly. However, the Firebird isn't so versatile when it comes to the heavy distortion of heavy metal and some punk. If you plan on playing these genres too, it might be a good idea to Switch the pickups to something that can handle these genres well. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: Right out of the box, the Firebird was set-up perfectly. The action was fine, the intonation was true and the pickups were the perfect height. The finish was flawless and everything else (tuning pegs, fret-filing, controls) was perfect. The only thing was that the input jack on mine came a little dented, it's nothing major, but you'd expect everything to arrive perfect. // 9

Reliability & Durability: I think this guitar could withstand an awful lot, but then most guitars in this price range can. I haven't tested it yet, but I'm sure it would definitely withstand Live-playing (being an unusual shape, you'd definitely get some looks for using it). Most of the hardware looks like it'll last a lifetime, but I'm not so sure about the pickup selector (it feels a little flimsy), and I'd also be careful with the set-in neck - it looks reliable but if it ever gets damaged, it'd be hell (set-in necks are notoriously difficult to replace/repair, if you can even do that). Apart from that, everything else looks quite durable. // 10

Overall Impression: Like I said, I play a lot of blues, 50s-style rock and roll and hard rock, so this guitar suits me down to the ground. I've been playing for about a year and a half now and I also own a Cort Zenox Z44 and I play through a Vox AD50VT. The Zenox is a lot better for metal, but it can't beat the Firebird for blues and rock. My brother owns a Westfield E2000(SG copy), some sort of Limited Edition Les Paul (not sure of the exact model) and a Mexican Stratocaster and compared to these guitars the Firebird Studio holds up well, the LP being it's only rival when it somes to the clean blues sounds. If it was stolen I'd probably stop playing guitar! Only kidding, I'd be heartbroken because with the Vintage Sunburst model being a limited edition, I'd probably not be able to find it again. But I'd probably just stick with my Cort and start saving up for a Gibson Firebird. In terms of my loves and hates about this guitar, I love the tuners, the shape, the feel, the sound and most of all, the price! It's insanely good value. I hate how long the headstock is (you have to be very careful not to let it knock into things), the fact the pickups can't handle metal too well and how flimsy the pickup selector feels (not a huge issue, I just have concerns over how long it'll last). Without a doubt my favourite feature is the Steinberger tuners, easily the best tuners I've ever worked with. The only thing I wish it had would be more versatile pickups, but then if I ever want to play metal I'll always have my Cort. // 10

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