Gibson Firebird

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About Gibson Firebird

The Gibson Firebird is a magnificent original design Gibson solid body electric guitar. Designed in 1963 after Gibson hired a car designer to inject some new life into their catalogue, the hot-rod inspired Firebird featured a bold design with a backwards headstock and a 'softened Explorer' body. Normally made with a through body neck (though sometimes with a set neck), the Firebird is a smooth and sustaining instrument that is as popular with avant-garde sound makers including Roxy Music's Phil Manzanera as it is with Bluesy soloists such as Johnny Winters.

As with other Gibson models, the Firebird is typically made with Mahogany and has two humbuckers (often of the 'mini' variety as on 70s Les Paul Deluxe models) and a hard tail with a 24.75" scale length, the standard for Gibson.

Several model variations exist, such as the 'non-reverse' Firebird with opposite cutaways to the standard model, Studio models and Anniversary Firebirds. Gibson Custom Shop also produce some incredible reissue models. As authorised Gibson AND Gibson Custom Shop dealers, we have first refusal on some of the greatest Firebird guitars available. Visit your nearest guitarguitar store to see for yourself or find your dream Gibson Firebird guitar here online and have it delivered to you!

Frequently Asked Questions about Gibson Firebird

Gibson Firebirds have been used by artists including Phil Manzanera, PJ Harvey, Johnny Winters, Clarence 'Gatemouth' Brown, Dave Grohl and Joe Bonamassa.
In the context of Gibson Firebirds, 'reverse' and 'non-reverse' refer to the body and headstock shape. The original Firebird design is the 'reverse' style. This means that the treble horn of the body is longer than the bass and the headstock is carved in a reverse shape so that the tuners run along the bottom rather than the top. The non-reverse model was introduced a few years later and has the opposite styling in terms of its shape. The bass horn here is bigger than the treble and the headstock has the tuners along the top in a more standard fashion. The non-reverse model is also frequently made with a set neck style of construction rather than the through-neck style of the reverse body Firebird.
Mini humbuckers, like those found on many Gibson Firebirds, have a distinctly different sound to that of standard humbuckers. Due to the physical size of them, mini humbuckers have less copper winding and therefore less magnetic pull, so even though they operate like humbuckers (i.e. they 'buck' the hum), they have a far snappier, more trembly sound than full-sized humbuckers. This makes them sound particularly good in clean and low-gain settings.
'Through neck' construction refers to instances where the wood used for the neck continues for the entire length of the guitar, forming the central part of the guitar's body. Two extra pieces of wood (known as 'wings') are then joined to either side to make up the rest of the body. This type of construction is renowned for its sustain and sturdiness. The Gibson Firebird is just one Gibson instrument that is made in this manner.