The guitar is made to be comfortable and amazingly easy to play. It features a lightweight body made from hand-sorted swamp ash, with a rock maple neck and curly maple fingerboard. This construction not only makes it refreshingly light (allowing you to play for many hours without even noticing), but it also allows the guitar to achieve exceptional sustain and tonal range. Firebird X is capable of very resonant and acoustic-like voicing.
The guitar is a bit more than six pounds in total weight. Special resonant chambers not only decrease total weight, but also allow acoustic-like tones and increased overall sustain. The guitar is louder than a typical solid body with substantial tone from lowest bass note to highest treble note. To get more depth, we use a heavy bottom gauge of string with E being about "10" and low E about a "52" with a custom gauge insuring even, crisp tones for all six strings.
This guitar is clearly evolved from a Gibson Firebird, evocative of a rich history, but with contemporary features. With its hand-applied and unique high-end wood finish, the Firebird X is not unlike a cross between a vintage sports car and a modern sports racer. It is beautiful, historical and yet contemporary and unique. With a limited run of just 1,800 units, it is sure to become a collector classic.
Scarfs and large radius corners are everywhere the arm and body come into contact. It is smooth and comfortable, even when you are playing for hours. It's almost not there.
THE AESTHETICS – THE LOOK
The look builds on the Firebird's and Gibson's history. The wood grain is accentuated, so it "pops" with staining technique.
The fingerboard is curly maple. The headstock has a classic Gibson dove wing shape, and a Firebird-style truss rod cover.
The look has a very classic fine furniture look with marquetry, elegant curves and smooth rounds. It is very appealing to a guitar player and non-guitar player alike.
The neck has a thin "C" shaped profile with a smooth, non-stick satin finish. A volute at the nut allows the hand to quickly find the first position and improves total sustain and strength. The neck joint is smoothly blended from neck to body with just a slight roundness, allowing maximum access to high register strings. The lower cut away cuts deeper, affording exceptional access to the high register.
The fingerboard has low-profile frets and a highly polished curly maple surface.
This allows fretting to have almost no impact on pitch (higher frets cause a slight pitch change when the finger depresses the string). Finally, the fretboard is extended to 23 frets, allowing the player to achieve a full, two-octave range with a bend.
The maple neck is hand-sorted and is exceptionally stable, allowing previously unachievable tolerances on our factory set up and maintaining this great set up over time.
The Firebird X product uses three mini-humbuckers and a vastly improved hexaphonic piezo bridge pickup with an improved low noise, high dynamic-range preamplifier, making this a fully active guitar. The pickups are based on traditional Firebird designs, but have been significantly improved to provide more tonal range and to match the studio-grade preamplifier section. The result is that the signal dynamic analog dynamic range exceeds the specification of the high-end electronics.
Each coil of the electro-magnetic pickup is individually controlled in series or parallel, allowing each coil to be on, off, or on-reverse polarity. The guitar's presets use the best combinations to recreate the world's best tones and some great new tones. New combinations can be made using the Firebird X editor, giving you an unlimited sonic palette.
The piezo pickup has a new, sweet acoustic-like tone, allowing the guitar to replicate a true acoustic instrument.
All controls on the guitar feel like they come from very high-end professional equipment. The pots are silky smooth with just the right amount of friction. All switches feel crisp and final — no wobble. The surfaces are knurled or textured to allow use with sweaty hands.
This guitar continues on a tradition of having electronic tuners, and a fourth generation of supporting hardware and software. What this means is that the guitar can change tunings even more quickly and accurately, with an even simpler way to get to multiple tunings.
The tuners can be used manually and have been enhanced to be more robust with a better feel when used manually.