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  1. #121
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Est arrival for my Burst I is wednesday the 21st.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  2. #122
    Les Paul Forum Member Cliff Gress's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Est arrival for my Burst I is wednesday the 21st.
    I will eagerly await your review Big Al. Mine is coming via Sweetwater in February.

  3. #123

    Firebird Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    How wrong would it be for me to buy another and convert it to a Firebird III.I'm loving my Goldmist bird now thinking about ordering a sunburst.

  4. #124
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin B View Post
    How wrong would it be for me to buy another and convert it to a Firebird III.I'm loving my Goldmist bird now thinking about ordering a sunburst.
    I was thinking the same thing or someone could make a really decent Allen Collins tribute model relatively inexpensive. I already have a vibrola unit from a 63 Firebird III.

  5. #125
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Est arrival for my Burst I is wednesday the 21st.
    Mine Too. I just tracked mine on UPS and it was packed on a truck in the next town at 1:45 am. should be here later today.

  6. #126
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    I'm just as anxious as you guys are for that truck to show up!

  7. #127
    Les Paul Forum Member Cliff Gress's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by burstman59 View Post
    Mine Too. I just tracked mine on UPS and it was packed on a truck in the next town at 1:45 am. should be here later today.
    I hope a review will be in order for those of us who will be waiting. Please/thank you.

  8. #128
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    It came, I saw, got moist.

    Not nitrol, but a beautifully glossy sunburst ala '63. Kluson tuners and neck heavy. The neck is a fatter flatter profile. Like a 60 made in 58. Very nice! The bar bridge, a modern lightning bolt is better than expected. Pickup sounds more vintage 63 than the typical Gibson of the last decade. I like it.

    No regrets at all. My first Chinese guitar. An excellent looking and playing guitar. Punches well above its class. An absolute winner and a no brainer at this price.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  9. #129
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    BIG AL!!! THANK YOU!!! All the same strong points as my guitar!!! Thank you again!!!

  10. #130
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It came, I saw, got moist.

    Not nitrol, but a beautifully glossy sunburst ala '63. Kluson tuners and neck heavy. The neck is a fatter flatter profile. Like a 60 made in 58. Very nice! The bar bridge, a modern lightning bolt is better than expected. Pickup sounds more vintage 63 than the typical Gibson of the last decade. I like it.

    No regrets at all. My first Chinese guitar. An excellent looking and playing guitar. Punches well above its class. An absolute winner and a no brainer at this price.
    Nice Al! I should have mine by Friday! Too bad they didn't get Terada in Japan to build these like they did with the Epiphone Elite/Elitist guitars.. But I've got a good set of pots & real "Reflector Knobs" to put in it..

  11. #131
    Les Paul Forum Member Cliff Gress's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Thanks BA. I'm looking very forward to February now.

  12. #132
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    Nice Al! I should have mine by Friday! Too bad they didn't get Terada in Japan to build these like they did with the Epiphone Elite/Elitist guitars.. But I've got a good set of pots & real "Reflector Knobs" to put in it..
    Yes, I was hoping for the Japanese build to. The pickup is vintage low output, made lower by the distance from the strings. The wraptail bridge is raised up more than my old 63 FB III. Action is good and the pickup is raised as high as it can go, which still puts it well below the strings.

    I just have to have 6100 frets so that is in its future, but the stock frets are well done, I just prefer big tall frets.


    Not sure of the wood type. It is something like Nato, it is not Honduran or other mahogany. Certainly not Sapele, which I would have prefered. Still it looks close, is light and sounds good.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  13. #133
    Les Paul Forum Member bizzwriter's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Cliff Gress View Post
    I will eagerly await your review Big Al. Mine is coming via Sweetwater in February.
    Wow -- AMS just changed it's "expected in stock" date for the sunburst from December 23, 2016 to February 23, 2017. Not a happy camper...
    Music is the BEST!

  14. #134
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    Yes, I was hoping for the Japanese build to. The pickup is vintage low output, made lower by the distance from the strings. The wraptail bridge is raised up more than my old 63 FB III. Action is good and the pickup is raised as high as it can go, which still puts it well below the strings.

    I just have to have 6100 frets so that is in its future, but the stock frets are well done, I just prefer big tall frets.


    Not sure of the wood type. It is something like Nato, it is not Honduran or other mahogany. Certainly not Sapele, which I would have prefered. Still it looks close, is light and sounds good.
    Hmm, suppose to be real Mahogany and Walnut. You can always pull the pickup and remover or even cut the springs to get it higher. How's the sustain and evenness of the notes? Neck angle is suppose to be modeled after Joe's `63. Maybe the early Fb's had a slightly different neck pitch(?).
    Mine will be here next Tuesday according to the shipping info Michelle sent me! Yeah! I'm going to try an ABM Bell Brass wrapover bridge on it. It's compensated so should work..
    Al, is the pickup bright or more on the warm side?
    Thanks!!

    BTW, would love to see some photos from folks who've gotten theirs!! Thanks!

  15. #135
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    Hmm, suppose to be real Mahogany and Walnut. You can always pull the pickup and remover or even cut the springs to get it higher. How's the sustain and evenness of the notes? Neck angle is suppose to be modeled after Joe's `63. Maybe the early Fb's had a slightly different neck pitch(?).
    Mine will be here next Tuesday according to the shipping info Michelle sent me! Yeah! I'm going to try an ABM Bell Brass wrapover bridge on it. It's compensated so should work..
    Al, is the pickup bright or more on the warm side?
    Thanks!!

    BTW, would love to see some photos from folks who've gotten theirs!! Thanks!
    It is pleasantly bright and full sounding. Warm without treble loss and no glass shards. Responds beautifuly to volume and tone pot roll back. I will probably make some changes when I refret it.

    I have seen a lot of Asian guitars marketed as "Mahogany" that are Asian or African varieties of look alike unrelated species. Like the "Korina" V and Explorer. These look nice, but if you know your woods you will notice. Close enough at this price.

    The nicest China Made guitar I've encountered. I still can't play. I had Nick play while I listened and changed settings. His impressions too.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  16. #136
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    I've had mine for about a month or so. It's the same 'mahogany' as the Epiphone Les Paul guitars I've seen. I stripped mine, had it refinished in ember red and put an old wrap around from the 60s in it along with a Lollar.

    There was a lot of finish on it. Once that came off even tapping the guitar was a lot louder and I swear it was 1/4 lb lighter. The really weird thing is that the signature on the back of the neck wouldn't come off even when it was sanded. I have no idea what kind of pen or stamp they used, but it was still there even when it was bare wood on the neck.

    For the money it's a neat guitar. I'm doing a tour in April and just am using mine for slide so I wanted something that looked cool. I paid $40 for the pickup and another $40 for the bridge. Big improvements.

    The Lollar is a little bit lower output, which I like. 7.43 vs 7.60 if you care about ohms. The tone is a lot sweeter and IMHO better. The Epi was a little anemic, but keep in mind I play clean and didn't spend much time with it. This was also through a Tweed Twin and Vibrolux. I don't fault the Epi at all, as the guitar is $700 and the Lollar is $150.

    The bridge Epiphone made seems to be a tiny bit heavier. They're pretty close, though. The Epi one may be pot metal, I can't tell what it is. The tuners are, in deed, Kluson and stamped as such if you take them off.
    Last edited by Amp360; 12-23-16 at 12:50 PM.

  17. #137
    Les Paul Forum Member EFLOW's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    US$ 800 is the price for an used Gibson Firebird V ....

  18. #138
    Les Paul Forum Member
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    The only one I saw used was $950, but I guess it comes down to what you're looking for. Mine cost me $664.83 shipped. It wasn't free, but I thought it would be a cool guitar to play slide on for a few songs and it's given me a project to work on while I'm not doing all that much.

    To each their own. I don't play golf or have any bills, so if repainting a guitar and buying some parts is going to be fun I'm not worried it's going to bankrupt me.

    I have an Elliot Easton Firebird that I really like, but setting it up for slide wasn't worth it to me because I use it for a lot of other things quite a bit.

  19. #139
    Les Paul Forum Member Stevie C.'s Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amp360 View Post
    I've had mine for about a month or so. It's the same 'mahogany' as the Epiphone Les Paul guitars I've seen. I stripped mine, had it refinished in ember red and put an old wrap around from the 60s in it along with a Lollar.

    There was a lot of finish on it. Once that came off even tapping the guitar was a lot louder and I swear it was 1/4 lb lighter. The really weird thing is that the signature on the back of the neck wouldn't come off even when it was sanded. I have no idea what kind of pen or stamp they used, but it was still there even when it was bare wood on the neck.

    For the money it's a neat guitar. I'm doing a tour in April and just am using mine for slide so I wanted something that looked cool. I paid $40 for the pickup and another $40 for the bridge. Big improvements.

    The Lollar is a little bit lower output, which I like. 7.43 vs 7.60 if you care about ohms. The tone is a lot sweeter and IMHO better. The Epi was a little anemic, but keep in mind I play clean and didn't spend much time with it. This was also through a Tweed Twin and Vibrolux. I don't fault the Epi at all, as the guitar is $700 and the Lollar is $150.

    The bridge Epiphone made seems to be a tiny bit heavier. They're pretty close, though. The Epi one may be pot metal, I can't tell what it is. The tuners are, in deed, Kluson and stamped as such if you take them off.
    You've had a Bonamassa Firebird I for a month?? How did you get it so early? Any you've already stripped it and painted it??

  20. #140
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    I know a man who knows a man. I can post photos for you later if you want. I haven't gotten it all together yet but I have the photos of the process. It takes a while before they can do the final buffing and polishing, so it's just been waiting for those steps in their shop.

  21. #141
    Les Paul Forum Member EFLOW's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amp360 View Post
    I know a man who knows a man. I can post photos for you later if you want. I haven't gotten it all together yet but I have the photos of the process. It takes a while before they can do the final buffing and polishing, so it's just been waiting for those steps in their shop.

    Yes, pictures please .

  22. #142
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by EFLOW View Post
    Yes, pictures please .
    Here you go. It needs to still be buffed out and stuff, but it's been drying for a while.


  23. #143
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    This is the one I used for inspiration (it's not mine). I should state I'm a player first and if it's 1/2 a shade off I don't really care. More looking for something cool I can play a couple songs on slide for a tour. So if it looks cool to the person in the first few rows I'm happy.

    The paint they used is actually car paint. My better half's uncle runs a dealership/restoration facility that mainly specializes in Volvo, Mercedes, Porsche, etc.... Since I didn't pay anything to do the painting over there I'm happy with it.
    Last edited by Amp360; 12-23-16 at 11:09 AM.

  24. #144
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Looks really nice!! So, You put a vibrola on it? Most folks take them off..

  25. #145
    Les Paul Forum Member AA00475Bassman's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Has so much more vibe than stock Im also a big fan of the color great job !
    Ive never confused owning a bunch of high end gear with being some kind of a guitar player I'm a hack and I love guitars !

  26. #146

    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amp360 View Post
    looks fantastic with that spooned whammy

  27. #147

    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amp360 View Post
    I know a man who knows a man.
    is that you Huggy Bear ?

  28. #148

    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by TM1 View Post
    Looks really nice!! So, You put a vibrola on it? Most folks take them off..
    no Don, the one on the truck was the inspiration for the color he used on his pictured above with just a wraptail.

  29. #149
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    What's with the "Stratty" carve on the back? I had a '63 FB III and it was flat as a pancake. I really like my new "Treasure", but wasnt expecting the back to look like that. Not only the carve, but it looks like a skateboard, with the lighter color and all of the visible laminations.

  30. #150
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Dupe deleted

  31. #151
    Les Paul Forum Member bizzwriter's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Amp360 View Post
    Here you go. It needs to still be buffed out and stuff, but it's been drying for a while.

    That's gorgeous. If you get tired of it, let me know!
    Music is the BEST!

  32. #152

    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by reidmalips View Post
    What's with the "Stratty" carve on the back? I had a '63 FB III and it was flat as a pancake. I really like my new "Treasure", but wasnt expecting the back to look like that. Not only the carve, but it looks like a skateboard, with the lighter color and all of the visible laminations.
    I think you may be confused

  33. #153
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Ive owned several Birds including my current other Firebird which is 76 2 pc center body section and Im happy to report I am totally happy with my new JB Firebird 1. I checked Epiphone site and the specs definitely say mahogany. Mine is mahogany. not the cheap multi pc bodies you would find on an Epiphone LP. Fit and finish is on par with Gibsons USA made Firebirds Ive owned and sold. Not Gibson Custom shop quality but what you would see on a regular USA made Firebird. matter of fact the only thing I don't care for is the color of the back of body and neck is very similar if not identical to some current US models Ive had. I wish the back would have been a little darker but it is what it is. Is this as good as a 3 to 4 thousand dollar Custom shop Firebird 1 ? probably not. Is it going to be worth boo coo bucks down the road ? very doubtful. What I do know is I've always wanted a Firebird 1 and this got my blue coller self into one for under a grand. I wouldn't mind getting another to be truthful. I lowered the action and tuned it up and it rings like a bell. I was hoping I got a good one and so far it seems I did. The board is very nice on mine and frets were polished and no sharp edges like you would find on other import guitars. Thing is a set of banjo style Klusons are over 100 bucks these days so I think overall its a very good deal. I may decide to have it refinished one day in vintage style nitro with a dark back but until then I'm going to play the thing. My current favorite this week. For what its worth I would probably never buy a import Epi LP simply because the body shape and especially the cutaway is wrong not too mention the multi piece bodies but Gibson USA are building SGs and LPs with cnc routed 2 pc bodies these days so...

  34. #154
    Les Paul Forum Member Big Al's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    It is not CA or SA Mahogany. It is similar looking but the grain is wider/coarser type commonly seen on other Oriental guitars like the mentioned Les Paul. There is genuine Mahogany and trade name unrelated but similar in appearance "Mahogany".

    The build is correct as is the colors and back per 63-65. Anyone owning a flat back no tummy cut 'bird didn't have a Gibson.
    The older I get, the better I was.

  35. #155
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    The other thing people may not know is the neck is laminated. When insanded all the paint off I could see this.

    i didn't add a vibrola but I was thinking about putting one on with no bar just for looks. Like I said, I just want something that looks cool to use on a fEE songs.

    I also aged aged all my hardware to match the original bridge im using. I think it
    came out ok.



    Last edited by Amp360; 12-24-16 at 08:41 AM.

  36. #156

    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    I put plastic replacement tuner buttons on mine cured the neck dive

  37. #157

    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Robin B View Post
    I put plastic replacement tuner buttons on mine cured the neck dive
    i didn't know they made those for the banjo type ..would you mind posting a pic

  38. #158
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Big Al View Post
    It is not CA or SA Mahogany. It is similar looking but the grain is wider/coarser type commonly seen on other Oriental guitars like the mentioned Les Paul. There is genuine Mahogany and trade name unrelated but similar in appearance "Mahogany".

    The build is correct as is the colors and back per 63-65. Anyone owning a flat back no tummy cut 'bird didn't have a Gibson.
    I dont recall the "tummy cut" on my FBIII. It was a bone fide '63, that I ended up selling after 20+ years of ownership..for bone fide dough. Old brain, I guess.

    The Epi FB I is a hell of a guitar. I'm very happy with it!

  39. #159
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Treasure, early 63 production, has the body cut, but no laminates.

  40. #160
    Les Paul Forum Member TM1's Avatar
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    Re: Bonamassa Signature Firebird I?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Silverman View Post
    Treasure, early 63 production, has the body cut, but no laminates.
    Dan, I guess you would know!! Excellent, since it is your guitar! My 2003 FB VII has a slight tummy cut. If I remember correctly, the early, first couple of runs were not laminated center sections. Gibson only made 80 FB I's in 1963.I'm going to go out on a limb and say that they did them in 25 piece batches except for the last run which would have been 30 guitars. They were not easy to build! Very different from the regular production stuff at that time. Our friends Doug & Pat did a nice segment on Firebird's a couple years back!
    Looking forward to mine on Tuesday! I have a CTS 500K & 250K pots and an old Sprague 160P .022 cap ready to drop in as well as a Switchcraft jack. I'm betting that in comes with Alpha pots since it's a Chinese build.

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