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Rating and Reviews: Gibson Firebird Studio L

Featuring two mini-humbuckers and a solid mahogany body, this left-handed Firebird offers plenty of vintage Gibson flavor.

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Sound
Features
Ease of Use
Quality
Value
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The Wow Factor
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"FINALLY A LEFTY FIREBIRD!!" submitted September 25, 2012

By AL M in GARFIELD, NJ
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The Wow Factor
Musical Background: Blues-rocker who jams at home & w/friends, playing since teens or 40+ years on guitar, bass, keys, harp, flute, sax & whatever i
Music Style: Mostly hard rock and rockin' blues, fusion-era jazz, ECM records artists, heavy into 70's-on English rock, but also dig (real) M
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Sound: Has a soulful, bluesy sound that surprised me a bit from the newly designed mini humbuckers! Feature: Love the neck volute and straight string-pull H/S. The slightly modified shape still says 'Firebird' but is light and comfy to play even sitting. NICE! The 'ebonized' maple neck plays well and feels like rosewood. The WORST feature? Their continued use of 'backwards', right-hand VOL. & TONE pots on a lefty ax shows NO CLASS that one would expect at the prices Gibson charges. Ease of Use: The ax, though 'no-frrills' and basic, looks, feels and sounds quite good. Any lefty that likes Firebirds would love to have this- and for the $$, most actually can!! The Big G should sell a TON of these.! I HOPE they DO, so they may reissue other lefties (and other colors) from the past (like the cool X-Factor models) and perhaps make some BASSES and other models seldom (if EVER) seen in a lefty version!! It could start a whole new era for Gibson as well as the long-suffering LEFTY out there!! A lefty Victory reissue! Vic bass too! Lefty V's, Jr's, Specials, Explorers, Thunderbirds and D/C's will be commonplace!! Quality: Aside from issues mentioned, they are known for a well-made product, although their attention to detail and Quality Control is known to be spotty at best. I had a new Classic that came w/finish issues, wood chips in the compartments, strings touching pickups when played (as on this Firebird) and other things. Not what you want to see. Would like to see bigger volutes on more models- would go far to answer H/S breaks. Value: In todays market, for the materials used, and ESP. for a LEFTY model, (and for Gibson) I would say a better than average value!! Their recent 'Worn Series' light-finish models and the Tribute Series of SG & LP models have also been exceptional values, in my opinion. Not everyone has 2K+ for a workhorse ax. Manufacturer Support: Never dealt with. The Wow Factor: HUGE!!!! I KNOW I'm not the ONLY lefty who has wanted a Gibson Firebird (tho the Epi's were pretty cool- just hard to find!) for like- FOREVER!! Overall: Yeah, it's only a Studio, but for us lefties who've always wanted a real LH 'bird, it's almost a Godsend- and at this price point, AND a couple of cool colors at least, I'd tell any Johnny-loving lefty out there to JUMP ON IT before it get's discontinued. Still would like a Std. thru-neck version in LH, but they did a decent job on this. Pluses include: Nice mini-Grovers, neck volute (bit small, but still) nice Light-weight, GREAT bluesy tone from the new mini HB's, nice colors incl. a matte trans-red and a cool silverburst. No hard case but a plush gig bag. MINUS: The BIG one- they didn't care enough to use real LEFTY POTS on a lefty ax like Fender and many others DO, and even on my $$ Les Paul the VOL. and TONE pots are BACKWARDS, which is real annoying when you plunk down that kind of change! Shows no class for the Big 'G'. And while I prefer a thru-neck to a set-neck, and would rather a real ebony board to the 'carbonized maple' (or whatever they call it), I do applaud their trying to make a more avail. f'board wood more 'palatable' while saving more overharvested and 'poached' tree species like rosewood and ebony, and will support any efforts of the guitar industry to be greener and sustainable- and the maple plays just FINE, thanks! All in all, a good deal on a pretty cool little ax (except for the backwards pots) that's way overdue for us lefties!!
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"Gibson caves to YEARS of REQUESTS for a LEFTY FIREBIRD!!! Yaaaaaay!" submitted July 2, 2012

By AL M in GARFIELD, NJ
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Musical Background: Woodstock-era blues rocker who jams at home & w/friends. I'm a lefty w/an extensive coll. of unusual mid-level guitars & basses.
Music Style: Bluesy hard rock,, acid, psych rock, ambient, jazz fusion- basically anything that rocks, is funky, and has soul and taste.
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Overall: Dont own this YET, but hope to SOON! This is the coolest LH-issue from Gibson maybe....EVER!! At LEAST as cool as the recent 'Tribute' 60's SG & Gold-Top Studio (one of the best in recent history, IMHO) and MUCH longer awaited for us LEFTIES!! Wish they would reissue the 2005 super-cool LEFTY 'X-Factor' Explorer variants (incl. SUPER COOL metallic colors and an ash-bodied natural version)- didnt get a chance to order one before they were quickly discontinued! So MAKE SURE you lefties out there JUMP ON THIS QUICK!!!
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"At Last a Left Gibson Firebird!" submitted November 28, 2012

By Richard L in Franklin, TN
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Musical Background: 30 years professional guitarist
Music Style: Rock
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Sound: The sound of the guitar is perfect through my hand built 2203 Marshall clone. That amp pumped through Vintage 30 speakers tends to get a bit too much low end. The mini humbuckers have a nice ring to them and I'm able to crank the low end on the amp. The result is a very even blend of lows and highs. I can play full chords with the pre amp volume cranked all the way up to full distortion and still hear every string. I've heard a lot of good things about these pick ups and its true. They sound great. My band plays full on AC/DC, Sex Pistols style music and I was very concerned that these pickups would be too thin. They are thinner sounding than full size humbuckers but they have a very balanced tone and work very well for me. The bridge pickup works great for rock and the neck pickup is good for more bluesy sounds. A combination of both pickups will give you that Jimmy Page freight train sound. Feature: This is a basic no frills Gibson guitar. It's perfect just like it is. The build quality is excellent. Period. I have the cherry finish, the wood is beautiful and all joints are perfect. The knobs feel good and they are wired properly (clockwise increases gain). I hate it when they wire controls backwards because they assume Lefty's turn knobs counter clock wise. The maple neck is solid and straight and adds a nice brightness to the sound and as for the baked maple fretboard, I dont really notice a difference between that and rosewood though I would prefer rosewood. As for playability, the neck feels good, not too thick or thin and remains solid without too much wobble if you like to move around a lot on stage. The satin finish on the back of the neck is wonderful. Ease of Use: Like I said, this is a standard no frills Gibson. No learning curve here. The only thing that makes it feel a bit different than the more expensive guitars are the edges of the frets which are basically undressed. They could use a little TLC from your local luthier who could smooth them down a bit. Quality: The guitar is beautiful. It is definitely a Gibson and looks and feels like it was made in the US. The satin finish feels great and really lends itself to the cherry version. I'm not sure I would want a satin finish on any of the other colors they offer but I love it on my cherry guitar. The wood, finish, glue joints, fingerboard and neck are near perfect. Value: This guitar is definitely worth the price. I expect it to rise in value pretty quickly as its likely they won't make these very long. I think it's great that Gibson is finally making affordable guitars and Lefty's at that! Manufacturer Support: I have dealt with Gibson support extensively in the past and its not something for the timid. Unless things have changed they don't have customer support! The only way I've ever been able to deal with them is through the store I made the purchase, friends who work at Gibson or by walking into the factory door (which is easy enough to do when you live in Nashville!). Trying to get help on the phone was useless. Again, it's been a few years since I had any problems and now I live in Nashville and have personal connections so don't worry about it much. The Wow Factor: This guitar is stunning in it's visual appeal and simplicity. The Firebird shape, chrome mini humbuckers and cherry satin finish make for a beautiful instrument that you just want to play. Overall: Being a lefty, I've dreamed of owning an actual Gibson Firebird for years. Knowing this would be a "cheap" version of the real deal I hoped for the best and ordered the guitar sight unseen. Let me first mention that I own 3 SG's (1968 Standard, 1996 Standard and a 1999 Custom Shop Tony Iommi) 3 Les Paul's (1996 Custom, 1957 and 1956 Custom Shop models) and a Custom Shop '59 ES335. These are all left hand high end Gibson guitars. I knew before I ordered the 70's Tribute Firebird that there was no way it could possibly be a good as any of my expensive Gibson's and I was right however, for the money this is a damn cool guitar.
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