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Thread: Gibson Firebrand?

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    Default Gibson Firebrand?

    Are they any good?

    Do they come close to the LP studio/standard tone?

    Or more like the SG tone?

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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Firebrand? Are those the Walmart Specials? Or do you mean Firebird?

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH
    Firebrand? Are those the Walmart Specials? Or do you mean Firebird?

    http://cgi.ebay.com/1979-Gibson-The-...QQcmdZViewItem

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    No, Firebrand was a budget Gibson line in the late 70's - early 80's. Dark natural wood, maybe walnut? There were Firebrand SG's and LP's. They had a sort of speckly black finish over the wood - kinda like real fine splatter painting.

    If they were indeed walnut, then the LP Firebrand was very similar to "The Paul", a bare walnut LP that came slightly before. I think they were all pretty solid guitars with set necks. They shaved the cost by eliminating the finish, moving the pickup selector to the main control cavity (I think), eliminating binding, and using alternate materials. (These were the days when everyone was convinced that mahogany would never be available again, and they were looking for alternates.)

    Someone on this forum has a "The Paul" as his avatar. I think the guy from Alice in Chains played on in the early days, too.

    Overall, a good solid guitar, but nothing like a tradiational maple-over-mahogany LP.
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_S
    No, Firebrand was a budget Gibson line in the late 70's - early 80's. Dark natural wood, maybe walnut? There were Firebrand SG's and LP's. They had a sort of speckly black finish over the wood - kinda like real fine splatter painting.

    If they were indeed walnut, then the LP Firebrand was very similar to "The Paul", a bare walnut LP that came slightly before. I think they were all pretty solid guitars with set necks. They shaved the cost by eliminating the finish, moving the pickup selector to the main control cavity (I think), eliminating binding, and using alternate materials. (These were the days when everyone was convinced that mahogany would never be available again, and they were looking for alternates.)

    Someone on this forum has a "The Paul" as his avatar. I think the guy from Alice in Chains played on in the early days, too.

    Overall, a good solid guitar, but nothing like a tradiational maple-over-mahogany LP.
    can you compare the it to the les paul tonally?

    and how much would you be willing to pay for a 1980 firebrand?

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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Oh, ok. I know of the Gibson "The Paul". That was a nice guitar. Didn't know there was a Firebrand line back then that made them too.

    Based on the woods used, and I know that the Gibson "The Paul" model is thinner than a Standard LP, there is no comparison tonally. It's totally different. It's been a while since I played a "The Paul" but I do remember that it wasn't very Les Paulish at all. It was a Gibson "The Paul", not a Firebrand.

    I wouldn't pay what that person is asking. Especially if you can score a used Gibson LP Studio for the same price or around $100 more.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH
    Oh, ok. I know of the Gibson "The Paul". That was a nice guitar. Didn't know there was a Firebrand line back then that made them too.

    Based on the woods used, and I know that the Gibson "The Paul" model is thinner than a Standard LP, there is no comparison tonally. It's totally different. It's been a while since I played a "The Paul" but I do remember that it wasn't very Les Paulish at all. It was a Gibson "The Paul", not a Firebrand.

    I wouldn't pay what that person is asking. Especially if you can score a used Gibson LP Studio for the same price or around $100 more.
    being not les paul-sounding is a turn off.

    would you pay $300 for a used (and probably abused) 1980 LP Firebrand though?
    Last edited by fretburner; 12-09-2005 at 09:06 AM.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH

    I wouldn't pay what that person is asking. Especially if you can score a used Gibson LP Studio for the same price or around $100 more.
    Agreed.

    This is one of those things that differs based on what you're trying to achieve. It's a lower line guitar compared to other LP's. If you could actually play the thing and it proved to be an exceptional guitar, that would be one thing. Since you can't (I'm assuming), I wouldn't pay that amount for that particular guitar.
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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by fretburner
    being not les paul-sounding is a turn off.

    would you pay $300 for a used (and probably abused) 1980 LP Firebrand?
    Nope. I'd take that $300, if I was on a budget and had to stick below $500, and add a little more cash and get a Hamer Sunburst Quilt Top. They're part of the import line but play better than anything I've played in their price range. Made of Mahogany with a quilt maple top (veneer most likely) but boy do they sound great.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH
    Nope. I'd take that $300, if I was on a budget and had to stick below $500, and add a little more cash and get a Hamer Sunburst Quilt Top. They're part of the import line but play better than anything I've played in their price range. Made of Mahogany with a quilt maple top (veneer most likely) but boy do they sound great.
    unfortunately there's no hamer retailer here.

    i was actually thinking, for around $400, i could get a nice Ibanez SZ. im just kinda fixated of getting another "made in usa" guitar.
    Last edited by fretburner; 12-09-2005 at 09:17 AM.

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    Just A Minion ErikH's Avatar
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by fretburner
    unfortunately there's no hamer retailer here.

    i was actually thinking, for less than $400, i could get a nice Ibanez SZ. im just kinda fixated of getting another "made in usa" guitar.
    Look in the used market, maybe up what you're willing to spend a little bit. Watch for used (and HamerPlyr will hate me for this....lol lol lol) USA Made Hamer Sunbursts and Specials, Gibson LP's, Fender Strats and Tele's. Those are just a few that I would look for. If you're wanting to play before you pay, just keep an eye open at your local stores for all the used stuff. Give your name to a few of the guys letting them know what you're looking for.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH
    Look in the used market, maybe up what you're willing to spend a little bit. Watch for used (and HamerPlyr will hate me for this....lol lol lol) USA Made Hamer Sunbursts and Specials, Gibson LP's, Fender Strats and Tele's. Those are just a few that I would look for. If you're wanting to play before you pay, just keep an eye open at your local stores for all the used stuff. Give your name to a few of the guys letting them know what you're looking for.
    no offense to hamers but i'm willing to spend more than $400 only to a LP or a tele. i got the best deal ever on a 1990 am. std. strat for a little over $300 which i've already put a JB jr. in (and currently contemplating on a classic stack plus neck). i know the possibility of a getting a made in usa LP for $400-$500 is like near impossible, but i guess i'll just have to wait a little longer and keep surfing the net.

    thanks for the replies man.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_S
    No, Firebrand was a budget Gibson line in the late 70's - early 80's. Dark natural wood, maybe walnut? There were Firebrand SG's and LP's. They had a sort of speckly black finish over the wood - kinda like real fine splatter painting.

    If they were indeed walnut, then the LP Firebrand was very similar to "The Paul", a bare walnut LP that came slightly before. I think they were all pretty solid guitars with set necks. They shaved the cost by eliminating the finish, moving the pickup selector to the main control cavity (I think), eliminating binding, and using alternate materials. (These were the days when everyone was convinced that mahogany would never be available again, and they were looking for alternates.)

    Someone on this forum has a "The Paul" as his avatar. I think the guy from Alice in Chains played on in the early days, too.

    Overall, a good solid guitar, but nothing like a tradiational maple-over-mahogany LP.


    sounds to me that based off the body alone (all mahogany, set neck, two humbuckers, thin body) that it's a bit more sonically like an SG with a different shape!
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Rich_S
    Someone on this forum has a "The Paul" as his avatar. I think the guy from Alice in Chains played on in the early days, too.
    The only Les Paul I know of from Jerry Cantrells early days (before he started playing Customs post-AIC) is a Studio model that had an ebony fretboard and natural finish to it. He can be seen playing it in the video for "Would." I seem to remember Gibson adding the ebony fretboards to Studios back in the late 80's or early 90's.

    I could be wrong...but I've sat through ALOT of AIC footage and that's the only Les Paul I can remember him playing.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    I just got a reply from Gibson Cust Service:

    LP Firebrand: available in antique mahogany or
    natural mahogany finish. Scarfed mahogany body, 2 exposed coil
    Humbucking pickups, black mounting rings, black speed knobs, mahogany
    neck, branded peghead, 24.75" scale, 22 frets, ebony fingerboard, chrome
    plated parts.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    I wouldn't pay that much for it. I'd prolly go for a epi les or another brand of budget les, maybe just cause i've always had a thing for epi les, even more then gibson
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    One of our guitarists has an SG Firebrand (or SG Deluxe, dunno, but they're 100% identical, at some point Gibson just renamed it), and I don't like it at all. Compared to an SG Standard, it sounds harsh and cold. Its body and neck dimensions are identical to an SG Standard, so I think it's the walnut body, ebony fingerboard and maybe different pickups that make it sound so different from a Standard. I guess the difference between a Les Paul Firebrand and a Studio or Standard could be equally dramatic. If you're looking for true Les Paul-tone, don't buy a Firebrand. If you're looking for a guitar with a character all of its own, give one a try. But I wouldn't take the risk of just buying one without knowing what you're gonna get.

    Quote Originally Posted by ErikH
    Firebrand? Are those the Walmart Specials? Or do you mean Firebird?
    Check out that picture in the eBay auction with the close-up of the headstock. See that logo?
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeroen
    One of our guitarists has an SG Firebrand (or SG Deluxe, dunno, but they're 100% identical, at some point Gibson just renamed it), and I don't like it at all. Compared to an SG Standard, it sounds harsh and cold. Its body and neck dimensions are identical to an SG Standard, so I think it's the walnut body, ebony fingerboard and maybe different pickups that make it sound so different from a Standard. I guess the difference between a Les Paul Firebrand and a Studio or Standard could be equally dramatic. If you're looking for true Les Paul-tone, don't buy a Firebrand. If you're looking for a guitar with a character all of its own, give one a try. But I wouldn't take the risk of just buying one without knowing what you're gonna get.
    Thanks Man. I guess that's a NO to the Firebrand

    Thanks for all the replies!
    Last edited by fretburner; 12-10-2005 at 04:57 AM.

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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    Well if ya want a real gibson for 5 bills, ya better start looking at used faded SGs or Flying Vs. Long gone are the days when I could buy a new Standard for about a grand. Good deals on great Gibsons are *much* harder to come by than good deals on great Fenders.

    Epi Elitists are still on sale at MF for 7 bills. Agile, Edwards and Tokai apparently make some good ones, as well. If you search enough you can find a great Epiphone LP Std plus or Custom..I had one that tonally was "there" and also played quite well.

    Coming from someone who has been a *hardcore* Gibson guy most of his life, I'd def take a look at Hamer as Erik suggested..I've seen 2 different import Vectors and they are VERY impressively built for the $..as good as any USA GIbson V barring custom shop models I've seen. I can only imagine the Sunburst Quilt is great bang for the buck. I'm finding that the USA models are no different in how they equal and often surpass everything else out there for less $. (You can order any of the Hamer's online...if you are not opposed to such things).

    The tone will not be exactly the same with a double cut...but it will get ya in the ballpark.
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    Default Re: Gibson Firebrand?

    My 335-S is from this era, and has the mohogany body/neck with the ebony fretboard. It sounds nice. It has a little more "slack", and less "attack" than other Gibsons, but the Dirty Fingers pups are a great fit in this application. Think of this body style like a large/thick SG with the shape of an ES-335.

    My head scratching question has more to do why Gibson actually used walnut as a body material in the first place. Walnut is universally accepted as the best wood for gunstocks, and it had been for many centuries! This is due to the density of walnut, and it seems to be the best wood for absorbing recoil. I remember seeing old print-ads displaying a continental USA shaped body.

    Speculation: Perhaps if Gibson was putting out product thinking of the demise of mahogany instruments, there may also have been a feeling that selling a guitar made of walnut would also sound "better" in the future where vacuum tubes would soon be obsolete! :P

    If someone were to get to play that particular Gibson before buying it, it may be the guitar of a lifetime, but there are too many other sure deals out there to get completely worked up over this one.
    Last edited by Sludgenutz; 12-10-2005 at 02:53 PM.

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