Firebird V Review

manufacturer: Gibson date: 11/09/2012 category: Electric Guitars
Gibson: Firebird V
With its unique "reversed" zig-zag body design and equally distinct headstock, it is simply one of the most recognizable of all guitar profiles.
 Sound: 5
 Overall Impression: 6.5
 Reliability & Durability: 4.5
 Action, Fit & Finish: 5.5
 Features: 8.5
 Overall rating:
 Reviewer rating:
 Users rating:
reviews (2) pictures (1) 36 comments vote for this gear:
overall: 7.8
Firebird V Reviewed by: Cole419, on november 09, 2012
12 of 13 people found this review helpful

Price paid: € 1200

Purchased from: Independent Seller

Features: Before I start I want to point out this is an honest and realistic review and I will not be giving everything nine and tens like most reviewers do. This beautiful guitar was made in the year of 1990, handcrafted in the United States. It contains 22 frets and 24.75" scale. It's a neck-through which looks wonderful aesthetically and effects the sustain to some degree, you will find however that many people don't notice the difference in sound. The guitar built from mahogany is a solid body guitar and has a rosewood finger board. It's in Vintage sunburst which accompanies the nice and shiny chrome hardware. The bridge is a Tune-O-Matic which makes for an easy and quick replacement of strings. The guitar comes with banjo tuners, trapezoid inlays and high output passive mini-humbuckers. I also got this guitar with a dark camel colored hardcase that has a number locking mechanism and the iconic Gibson logo in a dark gold font. // 7

Sound: To be honest, this guitar isn't suited to my every musical need. However, it plays a pivotal role in my guitar playing and my music. I play various musical styles such as Jazz, Blues/Psychedelic Rock, Ambience/Electronic, Punk Rock, Heavy Metal, Noise Rock and any other form of Alternative Rock. It's not my first choice for any of the heavier styles of music which calls for an extreme level of gain and distortion. You wouldn't catch me playing Raining Blood or anything by Korn on this guitar. It will handle almost all Alice In Chains songs though, given that I have the right amp and gear. I currently play through a Fender Bassman head made in 1967. It's a Blackface/Silverface hybrid of some sort. When I'm not playing through that, I will play through my assortment of Marshall heads (JCM 900 and a JMP master volume head). I'll hopefully be playing through a Diezel VH4 sometime in the future as well. I can get many different sounds depending on what gear I use. On the clean channels with little to no distortion you can get sounds ranging from a heavy Les Paul to a bright Strat, this is due to the wonderful invention that is the mini-humbucker. I always have problems deciding which kind of guitar I use when playing live. With this guitar there is no problem because of its hybrid nature with the two most famous guitars around. It should be noted though that is its own animal and not a mix of Les Paul and a Strat. This guitar will play Blues, Jazz, Classic Rock and Punk Rock considerably well. I can use this guitar for Electronic/Ambience but I wouldn't be utilizing its true purpose. Again, you may have trouble playing most metal on this guitar. I love to use this guitar for noise rock first and foremost though, utilizing its high feed back when pushing it over the edge. If I'm not doing that, I'll always get a kick out of playing Freebird. It should be noted as well that this guitar sounds really good when playing anything by The Doors or any other Psychedelic band. // 9

Action, Fit & Finish: I never got to see the factory set up considering I got this second hand. However, I did need to adjust some things when putting higher gauge strings on. Other some minor adjustment and scratches this guitar was an investment I won't regret. The previous owner, some famous local Finish guitarist too great care of it. You could easily tell it had been polished many times over the years. The banjo tuners were very loose when I got it, nothing a screwdriver couldn't fix. I didn't really go through any troubles when making gig ready. It only took about 15 minutes to make perfect. // 7

Reliability & Durability: It's a lighter than most Les Paul guitars although the size somehow reminds me of when I first started playing bass, this was before I switched full time to the guitar. Everything on this instrument is of very high quality and will last a few centuries if taken proper care of. The hardware and the finish won't be going anywhere anytime soon. I would gladly take this to a gig without a backup. If dropped while playing it shouldn't break and believe me, I have dropped, smashed and thrown many guitars while on stage. // 8

Overall Impression: This fits perfectly for the lighter styles of music I play. I've been playing since the age of 8 and own many amps, effects and other guitars. This was my first "real" guitar. My first guitar which was a Squire Bullet was tossed by me from the stage into one of the many concession stands near the stage. Before I wanted this guitar I wanted a Les Paul. My grandfather told me they were overrated and too heavy. So at his recommendation I got something else. I went online and picked the coolest looking Gibson I could find. Lucky for me this turned out to be one of my favorite guitars. It could easily of been a piece of junk. When I got it, I didn't know the difference. I would buy it again in a heartbeat if I lost it or it was stolen. The only thing I would get differently is the color, the Zebra stripes look to cool to pass on. My favorite features are the mini-humbuckers, body shape and the banjo tuners. These are the things that set this guitar apart from others and make instantly make it so recognizable. This is one of the top instruments in my collection, the only thing topping it would be a Transparent Gibson Flying V with an ant farm inside it. // 8

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overall: 4.2
Firebird V Reviewed by: Chalkie uk, on november 09, 2012
0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Price paid: £ 1050

Purchased from: online store not saying which

Features: 2009 Firebird V All the usual, through neck, banjo style tuners, mahogany wings Fantastic looker in Vintage sunburst Thing that shocked me was the fact that it is sooo big, quite heavy and the jumbo frets looked like a railway track!!! Very nice white fluffy hard case. But what an awsome looking guitar! // 10

Sound: for some reason it developed a bad buzz on low e and a strings after changing the already worn strings.. sent back to the shop to have it setup at no extra cost.... came back from setup and it still buzzed!! got told the buzz sound would not come through the amps and that firebirds, cos they are such a big long guitar are prone to a little buzz.... Erm no thank you. // 1

Action, Fit & Finish: finish looked great apart from small blemish in the varnish on head stock, possibly from being hung up in shop. when delivered the strings had lost some of the coating from where it would seem it had been played a few times already... where the strings attached to the tuning pegs looked really sloppy... i would like to think it never came out of nashville like that! I very much doubt this was the original setup from new. // 4

Reliability & Durability: Dont know... owned the guitar for 4 weeks where 3 and a half of them it was away being sorted out..... but im sure it was built to last, i thought the banjo tuners felt a bit loose and not very high quality, but all other fittings seemed ok. 3 way selector was loose too, needed tightening up a bit. // 1

Overall Impression: GUTTED!!! Guitar of my dreams turned into a nightmare!! Blown away by its fantastic looks. Sent away due to horrid buzz!! Fair play to the store which i purchased from.. they were very helpful and have done a good deal on a replacement Gibson ES137 Classic.... but i think there was definately something a miss with this particular bird. // 5

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