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Firebird Humbuckers??

Coachmoe

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Joined
Apr 23, 2002
Messages
1,128
Greetings!. I have a Firebird V that has the RS Trebletamer kit installed. The Bird still sounds weak although the shrillness is gone.

I am thinking about putting a set of Burstbuckers ( ala 2004 Historic Les Pauls ) in the Bird. Is there anybody out there who has made this change?

What did you do? How did it work out?

I am going for that thick powerful sound that I get out of my Historic Les Pauls. However, I do realize that a Bird is not a Les Paul construction-wise and that a lot of the sound has to do with wood type, top wood, thickness etc.

Let me know about your mods as I really don't want to cut the guitar unless there is no other way to get the sound I'm looking for.
 

UfoPilot

Les Paul Froum Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
665
Try seymour Duncan's custom shop first before you cut out any wood. I had them make me a mini (made to sh-4 specs) and it's AMAZING. Best $140 I ever spent. :jim
 

Litcrit

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May 9, 2002
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5,990
There were some years that Firebirds came stock with full size humbuckers. I strongly discourage routing: you can get what you want stock.
 

UfoPilot

Les Paul Froum Member
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Mar 1, 2002
Messages
665
No Firebirds ever came with full sized Humbuckers. They have mini sized humbuckers with blade type magnets instead of pole pieces, with covers that have no holes. If you find one with full sized pickups it has been modified.
 

Elmore

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Jul 10, 2003
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There is a new firebird called the firebird studio that comes stock with the full sized humbuckers. Looks nice. Good price as well.
 

Coachmoe

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Apr 23, 2002
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1,128
I have thought about Duncan mini's. They make several models. I guess I should call for some info.

As far as cutting, besides the obvious making a technically irreversible modification, what are the structural pitfalls, if any, involved?
 

UfoPilot

Les Paul Froum Member
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Mar 1, 2002
Messages
665
Coachmoe said:
I have thought about Duncan mini's. They make several models. I guess I should call for some info.

As far as cutting, besides the obvious making a technically irreversible modification, what are the structural pitfalls, if any, involved?
Do yourself a favor and call their custom shop. They will make anything you ask for. :dude
 

JeffB

Member
Joined
Feb 15, 2005
Messages
137
Elmore said:
There is a new firebird called the firebird studio that comes stock with the full sized humbuckers. Looks nice. Good price as well.

Yup, and it's a great axe..pics:

IM000193.jpg


IM000183.jpg


IM000197.jpg


It's a glue in neck. Tonally it sits right inbetween a SG/Flying V and a Explorer. Excellent tone, playability,better sustain than a SG, balances well. Paid a little over a grand for it. And it gets more playing time than my Paula, though that may change when I get rid of the BB pro's in the Paula.

All that said, the current minis Gibson uses on the LP deluxe (sold through Musicians Friend) are def a hotter chunkier pickup than a Firebird mini. That LP deluxe had phenomenal tone...like a full size humbucker with more bite. The output nearly as high as a PAF..much different than the FB minis. And yeah, the Duncan custom shop is a phenomenal way to go.
 

Coachmoe

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Apr 23, 2002
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1,128
JeffB,


Your Bird looks nice. IMHO, I would rather have the old style Bird as I guess I'm an old traditional fart.

I played a Firebird Studio and they are nice but it's not the same as a Reverse Bird.

I think I'll try to locate some Deluxe style Humbuckers. I think they are a drop in on a Firebird.
 

AndreasG

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Mar 22, 2005
Messages
688
If you have Historic Les Pauls why do you want that sound out of a Firebird? To me it doesn't make sense having different guitars with the same sound. Is it just a matter of looks?
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
Messages
8,245
Have MJ @ Seymour Duncan's Custom Shop make you a set that's a little hotter than stock. She made me a set a couple years ago for my VII that go from 6.8K neck, 7.1K middle & 7.8K bridge. My Firebird VII sounds like a big fat Strat but better!
 

UfoPilot

Les Paul Froum Member
Joined
Mar 1, 2002
Messages
665
TM1 said:
Have MJ @ Seymour Duncan's Custom Shop make you a set that's a little hotter than stock. She made me a set a couple years ago for my VII that go from 6.8K neck, 7.1K middle & 7.8K bridge. My Firebird VII sounds like a big fat Strat but better!

The one she made for me is 17K. It'll melt your face off!
 

Coachmoe

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Apr 23, 2002
Messages
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AndreasG,

I agree that different guitars should give different sounds. This time last year I had a bunch of guitars in my collection. I had Strats and a Tele, two PRS models, a 335 and an Ibanez Artstar, Vox style Phantom knock-off, PLUS, a Moderene, Flying V, Explorer, Firebird V and VII, Les Paul Special, SG /Les Paul and three Les Paul Standards. I couldn't play them all and I realized that I had to settle on one sound ( the one sound I'm known for ). I sold off or traded most of my stash for my Historics and a couple of amps to get the sound I was looking for.

In the case of the Firebird however, it IS about looks. At least in this case. IMHO, there is nothing that beats the sound of a humbucker. I also think the reverse Firebird is one of the coolest looking guitars ever made. I would just like to get the same sound out of my Bird that I get from my Historics. Also, it doesn't matter what guitar I play, I always sound the same, at least with Gibsons. I got rid of my Strats because I couldn't get a good sound for me. I also never felt comfortable with a Strat; I guess I'm just a Gibson guy

Anyway, I think I will keep the stock pickups for now. I have spent the last two days playing here at home and I have used all of my amps and I played loud. The Bird seems to react better at louder volumes. It tends to thicken up the louder I play but when I back off the volume I get a really nice clean tone. It also sounds really good with my Goldtone GA 30 RV. We have an outdoor gig this weekend so I guess I'll use the Bird and the Goldtone and see what happens.

I will keep the Duncans in mind. Thanks to all who helped out.
 

AndreasG

Member
Joined
Mar 22, 2005
Messages
688
Coachmoe said:
AndreasG,

I agree that different guitars should give different sounds. This time last year I had a bunch of guitars in my collection. I had Strats and a Tele, two PRS models, a 335 and an Ibanez Artstar, Vox style Phantom knock-off, PLUS, a Moderene, Flying V, Explorer, Firebird V and VII, Les Paul Special, SG /Les Paul and three Les Paul Standards. I couldn't play them all and I realized that I had to settle on one sound ( the one sound I'm known for ). I sold off or traded most of my stash for my Historics and a couple of amps to get the sound I was looking for.

In the case of the Firebird however, it IS about looks. At least in this case. IMHO, there is nothing that beats the sound of a humbucker. I also think the reverse Firebird is one of the coolest looking guitars ever made. I would just like to get the same sound out of my Bird that I get from my Historics. Also, it doesn't matter what guitar I play, I always sound the same, at least with Gibsons. I got rid of my Strats because I couldn't get a good sound for me. I also never felt comfortable with a Strat; I guess I'm just a Gibson guy

Anyway, I think I will keep the stock pickups for now. I have spent the last two days playing here at home and I have used all of my amps and I played loud. The Bird seems to react better at louder volumes. It tends to thicken up the louder I play but when I back off the volume I get a really nice clean tone. It also sounds really good with my Goldtone GA 30 RV. We have an outdoor gig this weekend so I guess I'll use the Bird and the Goldtone and see what happens.

I will keep the Duncans in mind. Thanks to all who helped out.

I absolutely agree about the looks of the Frebird. That's why it's been my main guitar for the past 13 years (others came and went...). Is you want to thicken your sound, you might try the following. Since you have the RS Treble Tamer kit installed (like me), try the 50's wiring. I did in the first place and didn't like it, since it sounded too thick and Les Paul-like on the brige pup (with my old Marshall it sounded very similar to Kossoff on the Live album....). I then did it RS-wiring and it opened up and became treblier. It is worth a try, IMHO.
BTW, Rusty Anderson from Paul McCartney has a Humbucking equipped 'Bird in white with the input jack on the side, like a Explorer...
 

Coachmoe

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Apr 23, 2002
Messages
1,128
AndreasG,

I know that tone from Free's live album. That's what I'm talkin' about!!!

I will check out the 50's wiring kit and see what happens.

Thanks again.
 

55Custom

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Sep 5, 2003
Messages
6,251
JeffB said:
,better sustain than a SG, .
I'm very interested in this aspect of the FB Studio. Can anyone else chime in and comfirm the sustain factor on these?
 

nickster

New member
Joined
Jul 22, 2001
Messages
882
Dont alter the pic up cavity for full sized hb. Get a studio instead or better yet upgrade to SD mini's, try going up one string gauge for a fuller sound. Firebirds were issued with full sized hb on the Firebird TWO II, 1981-82 RD electronics. For what its worth.
 

Plugger

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Joined
Aug 22, 2005
Messages
232
I put a minibucker from a '72 Les Paul in the neck position of my '76 Ibanez Firebird V copy, complemented by a Duncan sm-2b minibucker in the bridge position (16.41K). Both are great sounding pickups; the vintage LP minibucker is very rich with lots of depth and dark tones, while the Duncan is very clear and bright, without being shrill. Very different sounds, yet they combine beautifully; I almost always play in the combined pups position switch setting. The sound of the instrument is truly unique; very different to any other instrument I've heard.

I'd always assumed the LP minbuckers were the same as the Firebird spec, but after reading above, I'm thinking perhaps not.

-Mark
 

Plankspanker

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Joined
Jul 16, 2001
Messages
3,797
Maybe full out distorted the FB PU sounds the same as a HB, but IMO the FB has much more cut to it, sort of like a 50's Tele bridge versus a '60s Strat bridge.
Reverse Birds are one of the preferred instruments to use for slide especially those non Maestro models.
 
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