Gibson have taken their historic Firebird guitar and brought it kicking and screaming into the 21st century. The Gibson Firebird has a rich pedigree of notable users and great guitarists who have used this classic guitar to produce some great guitar tones and sounds:
Clarence Gatemouth Brown
Launched in 1963 the Firebird was intended to compete with Fender’s radical colours, shapes and multiple pick ups. The Firebird was the aesthetic vision of auto designer Ray Dietrich and was heavily influenced by the curvature of 1950’s cars. It was also the first Gibson solid body guitar to feature neck-through construction, banjo style tuners on the reverse of the headstock and mini humbucking pickups.
Gibson have taken this great original and injected it with a heavy dose design and technology steroids to produce a limited edition Firebird X. In a radical departure from the longstanding Firebird tradition and character the Firebird X is absolutely loaded with modern on board technology, switchability, expression controls and hardware – it’s lighter and smaller too. The only thing that isn’t included is the kitchen sink.
Effects & Output
Gibson have embedded effects directly into the guitar itself thus reducing the unwanted noise and signal damage associated with using external boxes, leads, stomp boxes, power supplies etcetera. This is also combined with a low-impedance output and an ADAT optical direct digital output. McDSP’s critically-acclaimed Chrome Tone plug-in powers the Firebird’s distortion capabilities whilst the software engine includes a ten second looper, delays, filters & reverbs. Furthermore the top horn of the guitar features 6 easy to use slider controls that let you change your effect settings instantaneously.
Either coil in EACH of the guitar’s three mini humbuckers can be switched ON or OFF or even have its polarity reversed. There is also the ability to choose from single coil, parallell
or series pick up modes.
Gold Tone & Improved Robo Tuners
Gibson’s Gold Tone technology also emulates iconic guitar tones, notably WITHOUT using modeling technology.
This is a departure from Fender’s collaboration with Roland to produce the G-5 Stratocaster. The guitar also comes with the latest of Gibson’s Robo tuners – faster, lighter and more durable – up to eleven tunings can be stored.
Pure Analog Audio Engine & Interface
The Firebird X audio “engine” is driven by Freescale Processors (as used in Pro-Tools’ TDM series) to deliver a ‘true analogue” feel. This hardware is also updateable. The Firebird X also comes supplied with a cross platform 48k 24 bit G-node hardware interface for pro audio-level interfacing with your DAW / software and also connects the guitar digitally for firmware updates, plus Ableton Live 8 and Guitar Rig 4 Pro software.
Patch Morphing & Varitone
The two toggle pots allow switching as well as rotation – to smoothly morph and mix or blend processed and unprocessed sounds. In place of the tradition tone pot controls Gibson have included a Varitone pot control that acts as a normal tone control pot but also features 6 additional tone settings. This tone pot can also be pushed to lock the guitar into one of the 55 preset “sounds”.
A third toggle pot switch allows blending of the onboard piezo pick up and the electric pick ups for a pure acoustic sound or a mixture of both.
Piezo Pick up Hex Output
The piezo pick up also features hex output so that each string can be individually routed to your computer / DAW or to your amplifier.
Gibson App Store Open Architecture
Gibson have built their own app store to encourage 3rd party developers and end users to build and create new applications for the Pure Analog audio engine.
Improvements mean that the battery in the Firebird X last for over 2 hours of heavy continuous use and can be swapped for a fresh replacement in under 10 seconds. The batteries required are inexpensive, common Camcorder batteries.
Blue Lightning Cordless Expression Pedals
Firebird X communicates with the two included pedals and footswitch unit using Bluetooth technology. Pedals and footswitches snap together using magnets – not leads or cords.
The Firebird X guitar case can withstand a drop of six storeys.
The Firebird X is available for $5570.
Find out more here at Gibson’s website.