back to article Gibson revisits Firebird range with robotic refresh

Gibson Guitar has taken its classic 1960s Firebird axe into the 21st Century with the launch of a limited edition hi-tech guitar system, the Firebird X. Gibson Firebird X The Gibson Firebird X rocks up with features such as fourth-generation Robot tuners for automatic tuning, on-board effects and wireless bluetooth pedals. …


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  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As a guitarist who knows many other guitarists, I've never met one who's wanted to be told which effects pedals he has to use so hard-wiring them into a £3.5k guitar seems like a bit of a risky strategy as attaching more bits to the body can't be helping the tone. Would be interested to try the automated machineheads though I must admit.

  2. theBatman

    Will fancy new gimmicks help me play better?

    I'll stick to my good old fashioned Strat I think... and there are plenty of old fashioned gimmicks on my pedalboard ;)

  3. Pooka

    But but but....

    And there was me hoping and praying it was Firebird/Rainbird/Silverbird making a comeback.... I was hoping you were going to tell me there was finally going to be a sequel to things like Guild of Thieves and The Pawn.... oh well.....

  4. Mondo the Magnificent

    I still got the Bluetooth for you...

    Quoting the article: "The Gibson Firebird X rocks up with features such as fourth-generation Robot tuners for automatic tuning, on-board effects and wireless bluetooth pedals."

    I await the article that warns Firebird X owners that the Bluetooth link between the pedals and guitar is not encrypted thus being vulnerable to hacks!

    Who knows, you're next Jeff Beck moment could turn into dueling banjos!

  5. Alienrat

    Even ignoring

    Even ignoring the robot tuning stuff, which is very good, surely they must know that this is the ugliest guitar they have put out in a very long time? I admit it is hard for them, as guitarists are about the most conservative anti technology people going, if it didn't exist in the 60's it isn't good enough, but that is.. well.. it pushes ugly to a new place.

    And it has a great feature of looking like one of those bulbous childrens half scale guitars in the process. I think the market for that one is collectors, the ones who don't play guitars.

  6. jake Silver badge

    Bells and whistles doth not a musician make ...

    I think I'll stick with my 1985 Precision Big Block[1] & the 1961 Les Paul that I learned to play on ... Remember, kiddies, you have to learn to crawl before you can walk. There are no magic pills that make you an expert at anything in life.

    [1] I had already been playing guitar for 10 or so years when I heard The Stranglers "Rattus Norvegicus" for the first time. I knew instantly that I was a bass player, not a guitarist :-)

  7. Oodles of Noodles

    This title is optional

    The only thing that could turn this into an absolute abomination would be if it was a bass guitar! Mind you, any company that produces a guitar whose machine heads dive straight for the deck should you let go of the fretboard already knows far too much about unbalanced devices. :))

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Luddite ...

    Guitar = wood / strings / pickups / bridge / machine heads / jack socket / volume pot (tone optional) /

    frets (optional) / nut / paint (optional) and that's about it.

    Gibson is making a collector's item not an instrument.

    I own a Gibson Les Paul 08 Standard and a 2010 USA Ash Deluxe Strat by the way.

  9. unitron

    Even if that photo is squished horizontally...'s still absolutely hideous, and I speak as someone who once had a non-reverse Firebird.

    The headstock is wrong, the fretboard is the wrong color, and it looks like someone said "put together some cheap crap from leftover parts and slap the Firebird name on it".

  10. Ocular Sinister

    Muse's Manson Guitars

    Not really a new idea... Manson do similar guitars following a specification of none other than Mat Bellamy of Muse.

  11. Matt Williams


    I had to go and look at a picture of a reverse Firebird to figure out what was missing here. It was such a fantastic, evocative shape, somehow melding an Explorer into a Strat. I'm sure this would be an interesting guitar to play, but the body and headstock shapes don't do it for me.

  12. Mostly_Harmless Silver badge
    Thumb Down


    that is all

  13. Andy B 1
    Thumb Down

    Wrong way round

    Why oh why did they use the reverse body style! Admittedly it's fairly ugly with all the gubbins anyway but at least the original shape had some style. Bleurgh.

  14. Monkey Bob

    Yeah, but...

    ...can I use it to play Guitar Hero?

    1. unitron

      It's the "other" wrong way round...

      The original, circa 1963 or so, Firebird is actually the "reverse" style, and the flipover from about 4 or 5 years later is the "non-reverse" style.

      Yes, I know it makes no sense at first glance, so allow me to plagerize Wikipedia.

      "The most unusual aspect is that the guitar is "backward" in that the right-hand (treble) horn of the body is longer than the other. Thus, the original Firebirds were unofficially referred to as "reverse"."

    2. unitron

      We don't need another hero...

      At first glance it looks more like a game controller than a guitar, but it's actually more cartoonish than the Strat and Les Paul "inspired" ones.

      If they do come out with a Firebird based controller, it's bound to look better than this abomination.

  15. N13L5

    The right guitar with the wrong design to the wrong audience?

    I think the built-in effects are more useful to the traveling guitar players than pro studio guitarists

    How many times I thought about using a CNC machine on some suitable guitar to permanently install a Korg Pandora's box, or something else that would let me plug headphones straight into it, to avoid having to carry a load of other bits and pieces and wires on my travels.

    So, this guitar sounds like an overdue idea to me, just not with that "gamer computer" design or the outlandish prices for that matter.

    Then again, a self tuning guitar might just warrant the price, I just can't afford it.

  16. Jon Double Nice

    It has a 'prog' switch?

    Does this make it play long winded fusion noodlings?


    What no 11? They missed a trick there.

  17. spiny norman
    Thumb Down

    Music Angle?

    I can see the IT angle, but does this have anything to do with music?

  18. Lottie

    Robot guitars

    I have to say the concept of onboard FX isn't really that new, but I'm glad that Gibson are persevering with the robot tuners.

    I wonder, though if you have to tune each string or can set up preset "one click" alternate tunings like the transperformance system?

    Some of the other tech makes this a super concept for a session guitar for sure. I quite like the idea of an optical output.

    I never thought I'd ever wonder if there are linux drivers for a guitar!

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