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benecol
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Joined: 25 Jan 2011
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Location: Westcountry

PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:44 pm    Post subject: NG(Yester)D Reply with quote

As reported at excrutiating length in the diary thread, I went on an adventure to get a Firebird yesterday. Am aware that some of you cats don't read it, and I love an opportunity to show off, so here's my new guitar thread.

Firstly, for those who may have missed it, here's a repost of my adventure (Diary Thread fans take note - there are no special features or extras, this is a simple cut and paste job):

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So, bit of an adventure tonight...

As I think I've mentioned (maybe just in the Classifieds), a Firebird V has come for sale locally cheap (£600). mrsbenecol once again let me borrow from the bank of Our Garden Fund, on the strict understanding that I have to leave the house forever if I ever ask again. Arranged to meet the fella about forty miles from here, zoomed out once I'd put the kids to bed. Thought he was maybe a bit flaky since he was a bit lame and all over the shop when it came to PMs, but just wanted to coax the deal along to completion.

As I was zooming along, got zapped by a massive blizzard, which I took to be very ominous, since I was only heading higher and further into the Cotswolds, which are steep and hilly and winding. Neither of us knew the town we were meeting, but he said to meet in a layby (turned out he meant a garage) on his side of town. The occasional blizzard turned into steady snow as the journey wore on. I buzzed his phone when I arrived, only for a woman to answer. "Erm, I'm calling for <his username>" I had to embarrassedly say (another one for mrsbenecol's "internet friends" there). She replied "Oh yes, his phone's dead and so's his mates, but I'm sure he'll meet you where he said".

Except we hadn't particularly arranged anywhere. And the fucking n00b hadn't brought a phone.

So I had to drive up and down a five mile stretch of road in a blizzard looking for a car containing a massive tattooed bloke with a Firebird. Great. I was just about to give up (as by now it was only me and snowploughs moving) when a car started flashing me from a garage forecourt. And there he was. (NickS will appreciate that it was a derelict garage about to close, and didn't sell petrol, only a small selection of sandwiches). Gave him the cash, sighted along the neck, and prepared for the hellish drive home.

Which was terrifying - I was literally the only car moving for miles; as I was leaving town, there were cars frantically spinning their wheels trying to get up the hill I was coming down. Tiptoed home at 20mph.

BUT WHAT A FUCKING PEARLER OF A GUITAR.

I know it's a love that dare not speak its name (not dissimilar to timhulio's love for Steinbergers), but after a Jazzmaster, it's a reverse body Firebird I've hankered after the most/longest (spurred I think by the sleeve art to Spiritualized's Pure Phase). And I fucking love it. Was ready to have to really work hard to love it, but it's grand; nice and big, feels good on and not that heavy (lighter than my Jazzmaster), the neck's wide and flat, which is fun. The headstock's weird because A) the furthest tuner does the sixth string (so the opposite of a Fender) and B) It really is fucking huge - like playing a toboggan. Love it though.

Also: it fucking stinks like a dirty old ashtray. Peee-ew.


... which brings us right up to date. Here are the sellers pics of the guitar:





I'll take some natural light ones when the sun comes back out. In March after we've made the sacrifices. The colour is a bit browner than it looks in those pics; Firebirds are the only guitars I like in sunburst, and this would have been my finish of choice, but I think this one's finished in Heritage Cherry and it's really nice. Starting to get some checking on the finish too (get me!). Fair play though, it fucking stinks - think the last fella must have kept it in an ashtray and sloshed it down with bongwater every now and then. My guitars live up in our room, so I've attacked it with a cloth this evening so it doesn't stink our room out tonight. Bit of a DNA-caster.

It sounds and plays absolutely divine - was ready to have to work on loving it, since fat necks are my necks of choice, and these are pretty thin. But it's great, really different from my other guitars - wide and thin, with quite a flat-backed profile. It's not too heavy, about the same as my Jazzmaster, but will need a suede strap to stop the neck drooping. And the headstock is fucking colossal - it's like playing a viking longship. Neck pickup nice and full, middle position surprisingly jangly, and the bridge sounds a lot like a tele running at full bore. Think they're quite overwound pickups - they sound great, but the dynamics are a bit ON OR OFF for my taste; I'm a clumsy fucker, and they get brash just a little too easily under my meaty paws.

Need to put some 11s on it (previous owner played mainly ska, so left the bottom E off to keep it trebly), he was a fan of topwrapping too, which I'm not, as a rule. Feels really solid though, I'm dead pleased. Always been sceptical of Gibsons (all the ones I've played before, mainly the cheaper Juniors, have been decidedly ropey) but this is a really good guitar.

Case the size of a VW Camper, though.
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Paradigmforcosmos
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Joined: 11 Sep 2012
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks gorgeous, a true rock 'n roll axe.
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jculpjr
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:56 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Really like those. Congratulations.
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lorez
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 9:58 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great but I thought the black one in the diary was the one you bought. Silly me I should pay attention Smile
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benecol wrote:
Ah, the heady days of trying to get beefytoanz out of my Marlin strat by adjusting the pickups right up to the strings.

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Gabriel
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That looks great, really cool guitar. I've always liked the firebird as it appears as a more 'sensible' explorer. Really cool design.
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brainfur
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PostPosted: Mon Feb 11, 2013 11:36 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

cool

so much better than a shity lp
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othomas2
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:05 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Epic guitar, well done !!!
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timhulio
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I've got a soft spot for these as well. Even looked at the Tokai version a while back. Looks nice in red too. How are you finding the pickups? These mini humbucker reissues have a so-so reputation, don't they?
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damienblair17
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:16 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fuck me that is pretty. Congrats on the guitar, glad you did not get snowed in/out!
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laterallateral
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 2:26 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Damn fine looking guitar you have there.

Damn fine.
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paul_
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:25 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

So pretty, really jealous.

I prefer fat necks on Gibsons too but still find the slimmer ones are pretty easy to play. It's about the vibe I personally want out of the guitar moreso than a sheer comfort issue (the same can be said of 7.25" radius on Fender necks, though in that case I actually never accept any substitutes due to experience of ditching so many).

You got a great deal, I'm pretty sure that'd even be a bargain in the US.
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Mike
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 8:59 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

This looks a lot more pretty than I was expecting.

personally I much prefer the cherry to sunburst.
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Johno
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely, although i'd stick a Maestro trem on it.
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speedfish
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:49 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Gorgeous! The original Super-Sonic.

Wipe the guitar down with Naptha several times, oil the board with lemon oil, and take coffee filters filled with fresh coffee and taped closed and place them through out the inside length of the case and the smoke smell will disipate after a couple of weeks. I place the coffee filled filters directly on parts where his stinky nicotine stained fingers lived the most to get rid of the odor. I even clean inside the body cavities with naptha and spray the pots with contact to cleaner to alleviate any smoke related issues.


Congrats!
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Fran
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 10:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looks great, i too prefer the cherry. Love the Firebird crest they have on the scratchplate, its a nice touch.
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benecol
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:28 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Attacked it last night with a microfibre cloth and copious amounts of saliva (am always a bit wary of using naptha - that's lighter fuel btw UKers - on nitro finished guitars) and it doesn't honk so bad now; you can only detect the smell if you put your nose right on it. Hoping this too will pass.

I too like the Firebird crest, although sadly the previous n00b owner seems to have tried a bit of DIY reliccing on it (he claims they're pick scratches, but they're suspiciously swirly...) and put some sort of red ink in the swirls. Looked gash, so I attacked it with the big guns: a wet wipe. Cleared all the red off it, but I was dead careful around the crest, and to not overspill onto the wood finish - wet wipes are bastards. I know a lot of car valeters are using them instead of T-Cut now. TRUFAX.

Hoping my 11s arrive today, fed up with playing it as a 5 string.
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iCEByTes
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:42 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

amazing one , congrats , now thats matchs my taste.


and how those mini monsters sounds comparative to p90´s
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benecol
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 11:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Good to know, Icey.

Pickups sound great, much more single-coil sounding than humbucker. They're perhaps wound too hot for my tastes; I'm pretty clumsy, so tend to bypass sweet dynamics and go straight to OVERLOAD. All tweaks that can be made in the future, though.
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Thom
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 12:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Beauty. One of the guitars on my list to own one day. They have them in left handed in the 70s tribute studios as well.
If you do end up swapping out the pickups and are putting them up on here, please can I have first dibs? Very Happy
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NickD
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 12, 2013 1:04 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Lovely.

I had a 3 pickup Epiphone one a few years ago and it was a very nice guitar,I'm quite jealous.

They are very long guitars though, aren't they?
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