by Jef | 3,0 / 5,0 | Approximate reading time: 3 Minutes
Epiphone Firebirds - Gibson Custom Shop Collaboration

Epiphone Firebirds - Gibson Custom Shop Collaboration  ·  Source: Epiphone

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These new Epiphone Firebirds are the latest Gibson Custom Shop collaboration. The ‘Inspired by Gibson Custom 1963 Firebird V and 1963 Firebird I’ set new standards for authenticity and price.

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Made in Collaboration With Gibson Custom

The latest Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and 1963 Firebird I are great-looking guitars, and I love the overall design, colour options and the two classic designs. This latest venture with the Gibson Custom Shop sets a new level of attention to detail, along with USA pickups, CTS potentiometers, Switchcraft jacks, etc.

This is reflected in the price point, so these guitars cost a premium compared to Epiphone Firebird models from only a few years ago. Back in 2016, for example, a Joe Bonamassa Firebird 1 would set you back around £619. Whereas this new 2024 Firebird 1 costs £1349, more than double the price.

Let’s take a closer look at these new models and see what has changed to see if it all stacks up.

1963 Firebird I

Described by Epiphone as “an authentic replica of the guitar designed by legendary automotive designer Ray Dietrich.” The new 1963 Firebird I looks stunning in the Heather Poly, Silver Mist, and Inverness Green finishes. A Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker powers the single-pickup model with Alnico 5 Magnets.

Neck-Through

The construction is based on a 9-ply mahogany/walnut neck-through design with mahogany wings. It has an Indian Laurel fretboard with 22 medium jumbo frets and mother-of-pearl dot inlays. I expected a rosewood fretboard for £1349, especially when PRS can make a guitar for £499 using a rosewood fretboard.

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Hardware for this model consists of a set of Kluson “Banjo-style” Planetary tuners, a Wraparound Lightning Bar bridge, and a Graph Tech nut, and the price includes a hard case.

It looks like a great guitar, but I think it is expensive for a single-pickup model. The pluses are the Gibson mini-humbucker, the quality nickel hardware, and the case. Though, it is still quite pricey.

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Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Silver Mist
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Silver Mist No customer rating available yet
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I InvernessGreen
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I InvernessGreen No customer rating available yet
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Heather Poly
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Heather Poly No customer rating available yet

1963 Firebird V

Next up is the 1963 Firebird V, and this is a slightly more complex model, as it has two pickups and a Maestro Vibrola. It is available in Frost Blue and Ember Red finishes, which are quite eye-catching and suit the model well.

1963 Firebird V Ember Red
Ember Red

Construction is the same as the Firebird I model. Just this one has Mother of Pearl Trapezoid inlays rather than dots. The two Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbuckers are controlled by 2 Volumes and 2 Tones and are hand-wired with CTS potentiometers and Mallory capacitors.

1963 Firebird V Frost Blue
Frost Blue

Expensive

Again, this model comes with a hardshell case included in the price. £1699 is not cheap, but this is the new direction for Epiphone prices going forward. However, I am unsure if guitar buyers will keep buying Chinese-built guitars at these high prices, especially when the competition offers high-quality instruments for far less.

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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Frost Blue
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Frost Blue No customer rating available yet
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Ember Red
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Image Sources:
  • Silver Mist: Epiphone
  • Inverness Green: Epiphone
  • Heather Poly: Epiphone
  • Ember Red: Epiphone
  • Frost Blue: Epiphone
Epiphone Firebirds - Gibson Custom Shop Collaboration

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6 responses to “Epiphone Firebirds – Gibson Custom Shop Collaboration”

    Ab. says:
    -4

    I absolutely despise Gibson… but it’s a nice guitar for a decent price.

    It’s even almost original. Well played Gibson.

    Daniel Thoms says:
    4

    It’s an Indian laurel board, these are verbatim constructed the same as the 2019-present fb v which can be found new at around £550. Same materials & construction. £1000 hike for a vibrola, banjo tuners, a stronger magnet & a case. Inflation is bad but it’s not 300% markup. Gibson are getting greedy with little effort.

    Rock says:
    1

    single bridge pickup….would be awesome if it wasn’t a baby bucker….

    Joijoi says:
    5

    okay they look nice, but they are still epiphones made in China right?
    1.499 euros is way too expensive imho

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