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Phil O'Keefe

Explorer or Firebird?

Explorer or Firebird?  

8 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you rather have an Explorer, or a Firebird?

    • Explorer
      1
    • The ‘bird’s the word
      7


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Probably a Firebird. Not a fan of pointy guitars. Plus, it would probably be more difficult setting an Explorer in a stand.

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Don’t care for the looks of either one but like those Firebird pickups 

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If the body size has anything to do with tone, I'd prefer a 335 sized SG or even 335 shaped solid body.

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Having had a late 60's non reverse Firebird, gotta have another one. While the Explorer is a nice guitar, I always felt I was playing a table top with a neck attached.

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2 hours ago, gardo said:

Don’t care for the looks of either one but like those Firebird pickups 

This...love the p-ups, not crazy about the looks of either one; I chose Firebird only if it was a full reverse, o/w what's the point? I played in a band with a guy who had [gasp] two Explorers, and he kept bugging me to do a gig with his #2, 'cuz it'll look so rad!'...meh, my strat outplayed that tank in every aspect. Never did the dual/duel gig...and an Explorer HSC comes with its own zip code...:philpalm:

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i think both look damn sexy.

a corina explorer might be as heavy or even heavier than my les paul custom, so this might be a nay
as for a firebird, i might go with an eastwood rivolta mondata instead

spacer.png

 

main reason i would not get either one is, it would not outplay my nr1 strat, therefore it would just be another wallhanger, which will not geet as muh play time as it deserves

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On 2/9/2020 at 8:19 PM, daddymack said:

an Explorer HSC comes with its own zip code...:philpalm:

:lol: 

Explorer cases are pretty huge, aren't they? 

 

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14 hours ago, t_e_l_e said:

i think both look damn sexy.

I do too. The problem is that I don't think I could really get away with playing either one live. Maybe when I was younger, but not now. 

While I like the original reverse 'birds, I really like the non-reverse Firebirds a lot too. 

 

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8 hours ago, Phil O'Keefe said:

I do too. The problem is that I don't think I could really get away with playing either one live. Maybe when I was younger, but not now. 

While I like the original reverse 'birds, I really like the non-reverse Firebirds a lot too. 

 

i would love to play them live, but i'm not the edge and do not have a roadie who takes care about my gear while i'm havin a beer...
i try to just take two guitars to a gig, and as i cannot live without one of the two i take now i would need to add another one

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8 minutes ago, t_e_l_e said:

i try to just take two guitars to a gig

 

Unless you have a crew / guitar tech / roadies, and even if you do, the trick IMO is to minimize the amount of gear you have to haul to a gig. Having said that, I really consider having at least one backup guitar ready to go to be absolutely essential. 

 

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Depends who is wearing it ,i always liked the look of Allen Collins  with an Explorer although he looked good with a Firebird too . I`ve had a play on an Explorer and there is just too much wood under yer right arm or was it a Firebird ? was so long ago .

i was there

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fuZyMx2NXZM

 

 

Edited by catscurlyear

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2 hours ago, catscurlyear said:

i always liked the look of Allen Collins  with an Explorer although he looked good with a Firebird too .

 

Yeah, he's one of the few players I can think of who used both a Firebird and Explorer extensively during his career. Usually it's one or the other (ala Johnny Winter or the Edge), or at least it seems that way. 

 

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I always felt the original 'reverse' Firebird was a big f-u to Fender by Gibson...maybe because Leo went after the 'jazz' crowd with the Jazzmaster...although it failed in that respect, much as the Firebird didn't hurt Strat sales...but certainly did resemble a 'mirror image' of the Jazzmaster in many respects...

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And thanks for not including the 'Flying V'...which, based on its appearance, should have been called the 'Y'..as in 'why would anyone want a guitar they can't play sitting down'?😉

  • Haha 1

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4 minutes ago, daddymack said:

And thanks for not including the 'Flying V'...which, based on its appearance, should have been called the 'Y'..as in 'why would anyone want a guitar they can't play sitting down'?😉

 

I have a friend who is not only a fantastic guitarist but also plays V's most of the time... but he really doesn't like playing while sitting down, so it's a non-issue for him. 

How about the Moderne? Any thoughts on that body shape? 

 

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The Moderne was never a production model. I have seen it, but never played one, so any opinion expressed would be pointless. I've played the V, several Firebirds and the one Explorer I mentioned...none of which really got me. I've also played an ES335S..a solid body 335...heaviest wood guitar EVER! Made my '75 Strat and '81 Lester feel like balsa wood...:freak:

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Well, the Moderne was never a production model when the V and Explorer were released in the late 50’s, and even prototypes from that era are unheard of (although I think one is claimed to be in a collection, but its originality is unconfirmed), but Gibson, and even Epiphone, have done runs of them since then.  In fact, you can get one fairly easily today - try a google search for Gibson Moderne - you might be surprised at how many show up. 
 

A REAL one from 1958, if confirmed as authentic, would be one of the holy grails of vintage guitars. 

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I love the reverse firebird look.  The non reverse, not so much.  Oddly it looks backwards.

I've been liking the shape of the reverse iceman that Paul Gilbert plays.

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3 hours ago, mrbrown49 said:

I love the reverse firebird look.  The non reverse, not so much.  Oddly it looks backwards.

:lol:

What I think is ironic is how it came into being. As I understand it, Fender sued (or threatened to sue) Gibson over the reverse Firebird shape, and claimed it was too similar to their "offset" body Jaguars and Jazzmasters. Ignoring for the moment the fact that the Firebird doesn't have an offset waist, Gibson basically "flipped" the body to get Fender to back off, and the result looks - at least to my eyes - a lot more similar to the Jags and JM's than the original reverse body Firebirds did - they always looked more like a rounded-off descendent of the Explorer than a JM derivative to me. YMMV. 

 

Quote

I've been liking the shape of the reverse iceman that Paul Gilbert plays.

He's a fantastic player. 

His Ibanez FRM200 is definitely quirky (like Paul IMO), but I kind of like them too. At the very least, it works for Paul. Who am I to argue? 

 

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On 2/11/2020 at 3:05 PM, Phil O'Keefe said:

I do too. The problem is that I don't think I could really get away with playing either one live. Maybe when I was younger, but not now. 

While I like the original reverse 'birds, I really like the non-reverse Firebirds a lot too. 

 

That's all in your head. I don't view either one of those as a radical or extreme design anymore. As long as it isn't neon pink with black zebra stripes i think you'd be fine.

As for the original question, I say Firebird.

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13 minutes ago, u6crash said:

That's all in your head. I don't view either one of those as a radical or extreme design anymore. As long as it isn't neon pink with black zebra stripes i think you'd be fine.

While that might not have been my exact color choice, back in the 80's something along those lines would have probably appealed to me quite a bit. :lol: 

Quote

As for the original question, I say Firebird.

Thanks for your input. :cool2: Did you vote in the poll? 
 

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