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who makes the absolute best vintage Firebird mini buckers ?

Dr. Green

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Dec 12, 2018
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576
years back on this forum there were a few vintage firebird gurus who talked about how there was no true vintage sounding after market Firebird pups

has this changed ? did any pickup winder crack the code and start producing a proper 60s firebird mini ????
 

latestarter

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Nov 9, 2009
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I have owned too many vintage Firebirds, and so far the best bang for buck are the Seymour Duncan Antiquity Firebird pickups. Plus, they are pretty much the only pickup made to vintage case size. All the others have a larger outside measurement. I rate them for that.

However, this style of pickup does good with a bit more poke, especially in the bridge, and rockabilly69's suggestion hits the mark in that case.

OP - is your guitar a newer Firebird or an older one (pre 76)?
 

Nick-O

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Aug 12, 2015
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Same here....these are 1993's though...

wRoNE6r.jpg
 

gmann

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May 26, 2003
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Mojotone makes an accurate one.
 
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Dr. Green

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Dec 12, 2018
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576
the big thing for me is the tone .... I understand that there is a particular sound of the original that is very hard to reproduce with a modern clone.

years back I had dinner with Billy Gibbons and then went to see a guy called Kal David who is a monster player and was on stage with a true stock vintage Firebird 5

it had a very unique tone which I would like to reproduce
 

TM1

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Jun 27, 2003
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8,178
The Kleins are Spot-On! I have a couple of sets and I have some early `60's mini's they made for Harmony. Jason Lollar will make you a set that's almost exact.
 

Coachmoe

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Apr 23, 2002
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1,099
Mojojotone Johnny Winter pickups are very close to the originals. That being said, I have been advocating NOT replacing newer ceramic Firebird pickups. I maintain that it IS possible to get really good tones out of the Firebird ceramics. There are several tricks / tips you can do.
1. First and foremost, adjust the height on the pickups. The ceramic neck pickup should be below the fretboard end. The bridge pickup also should be lowered. Lowering pickups does a lot to tame the harshness.
2. USE YOUR TONE CONTROLS!!!
3. Tweak any drive pedals that you are using.
4. Tweak your amp settings.
5. Finally, put a piece of foam under the back side of the bridge pickup. This will make the bridge parallel to the string path. It also allows the vibrations of the strings to be picked up directly instead of at an angle.

First pic shows my 2002 FB V with Johnny Winter Mojotones. Since they are Alnico magnets, they are raised up higher.
Second and third pics show my 09 White FB V and my 17 Pelham Blue FB V, both have stock ceramics. You can see how I have the height of the pickups adjusted. This balances the perceived output and helps with the brittleness / harshness that people complain about.

IMG_9174.jpg

IMG_9175.jpg

IMG_9172.jpg

You can also see how I have used foam under the rear of the bridge pickups to make the tops of the pickups parallel to the string path.

I have owned a dozen Firebirds going back to 1996. Had I known then what I know noe; had I did some experimenting, I would still own 12 Birds instead of the 6 I have.

Hope this helps.
 

rockabilly69

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Jul 29, 2001
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Well since this is a forum with an exchange of ideas and opinions, I totally disagree with the above post. I've owned four Firebirds with the modern ceramic pickups, and I adjusted them at every height possible, and I typically always shim the pickup to get them parallel with the strings, and never did they sound as good (ie vintage style tone) as the Kleins I replaced them with. Yes I could make them work, but there is a big difference to me in getting them to work, and loving them. I love the Kleins. They just sound right to me. To be fair I like the low gain of vintage 'bird pickups and for those who like a little more balls/crunch the modern ones may to the trick. Here is my current Firebird, and this is the tone I go for...

https://soundcloud.com/daniel-weldon-1%2Ffirebird-and-victoria
 

Coachmoe

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Apr 23, 2002
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1,099
Well since this is a forum with an exchange of ideas and opinions, I totally disagree with the above post. I've owned four Firebirds with the modern ceramic pickups, and I adjusted them at every height possible, and I typically always shim the pickup to get them parallel with the strings, and never did they sound as good (ie vintage style tone) as the Kleins I replaced them with. Yes I could make them work, but there is a big difference to me in getting them to work, and loving them. I love the Kleins. They just sound right to me. To be fair I like the low gain of vintage 'bird pickups and for those who like a little more balls/crunch the modern ones may to the trick. Here is my current Firebird, and this is the tone I go for...

https://soundcloud.com/daniel-weldon-1%2Ffirebird-and-victoria
Yes, this is an exchange of opinions. However, as tone is subjective, the Kleins sound better TO YOU. I stand by my post in as far as it relates to experimenting and not having to swap out pickups. I have given this advice to many on the Facebook Firebird groups. I have played Kleins before and they are an excellent pickup. I love the sound of my Mojotone Johnny Winter as well. I also might add that I put the Mojotones in BEFORE I stumbled on the tweaking / adjustment tips. Not everyone is in a financial position to drop a ton of cash on boutique pickups; I posted to give an alternative to swapping. I never said that the ceramics would EVER sound like the vintage Firebird pickups. In conclusion, I stand by my position that it IS possible to get great tones out of the ceramic Firebird pickups.
 

rockabilly69

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Jul 29, 2001
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Yes, this is an exchange of opinions. However, as tone is subjective, the Kleins sound better TO YOU. I stand by my post in as far as it relates to experimenting and not having to swap out pickups. I have given this advice to many on the Facebook Firebird groups. I have played Kleins before and they are an excellent pickup. I love the sound of my Mojotone Johnny Winter as well. I also might add that I put the Mojotones in BEFORE I stumbled on the tweaking / adjustment tips. Not everyone is in a financial position to drop a ton of cash on boutique pickups; I posted to give an alternative to swapping. I never said that the ceramics would EVER sound like the vintage Firebird pickups. In conclusion, I stand by my position that it IS possible to get great tones out of the ceramic Firebird pickups.

Fair enough, although the guy who started this thread is looking for vintage Firebird tone, and I don't think budget was his concern. And actually it sounds like we agree that you can get a good tone out of the stock pickups, but to me, it's not the low gain vintage style tone. But, I could easily plug in a stock Firebird, turn on the recorders, and get a decent song out of one.

One thing for sure is, we're Firebirds fans.
 

RocknRollShakeUp

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Jul 7, 2006
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694
Will the Klein’s, Mojotones, Lollars fit in the Firebird reissue rings? Conversely, will the SD Antiquities be too small necessitating vintage sized rings?
 

AA00475Bassman

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Apr 26, 2016
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3,456
wMh3AF4.jpg Although I have several sets of Duncans in other Historic Firebirds this 2016 aged Custom shop stock pickups sound great . I feel very fortunate I don't Hear how Shi^y you guys always claim stock Firebird pickups sound !
 
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latestarter

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Nov 9, 2009
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4,081
I love the vintage tone but I also rate the modern ceramic pickups. Totally different beasts and good for different things.
 

no 6

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Jan 19, 2018
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6
I watched a review on YouTube of the newest Epiphone Firebird that stated the pickups have alnico magnets in the bobbins. I have no idea how "vintage" they sound.
I have a DIY "Firebird" pickup constructed using a mini humbucker off of a cheap SG. In 1979 no re-issues existed. Alnico magnets in the bobbins and a strong ceramic across the bottom. It is in a Fender body with a bolt-on neck I built . With a p-90 in the neck position, this allows my bridge pickup to more or less keep up volume wise. Disclaimer, not an answer/opinion to the OP, but sometimes you can get a unique sound by not chasing an exact copy of a vintage pickup. black.jpg
 
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