Gibson Touts “Revolution” with Firebird X
By Rebecca Dirks
New York, NY – In an October 28 press conference, Gibson CEO Henry
Juskiewicz unveiled the company’s latest instrument, the Firebird X.
The Firebird X follows in the footsteps of Gibson’s previous technology-focused guitars, including the Robot Guitar and the Dark Fire, this time
adding built-in effects, rechargeable lithium-ion batteries, and Bluetooth
control pedals. Gibson calls the Firebird X “a guitar which will change the
music industry forever.” At the press conference, Juskiewicz smashed a
traditional guitar to symbolize a new era of guitar technology.
highlights from the first wave include John
Jorgenson’s green-sparkle Chandler guitar,
Brent Mason’s thinline D’Angelico New
Yorker (an early-2000s import version), and
Keith Urban’s Mini Maton 12-string acoustic.
The guitar is designed to be lightweight and easy to play, with
a 2.3-pound, chambered ash body. It features a 24. 75" scale, a
maple neck with Angelim Rajado (Brazilian marblewood) fretboard.
The guitar features Robot tuners and a trio of proprietary FBX pickups that use alnico 2, ceramic, and alnico 5 magnets in the neck,
middle, and bridge, respectively.
The second lot ran from November 1–10,
and it had not yet closed at press time.
Highlights included Duane Eddy’s recent
model Gretsch 6120DSV, studio bassist Kevin
Grantt’s ’ 59 Fender Precision bass, and Vince
Gill’s Duesenberg Starplayer TV.
The built-in effects include faders for modulation/echo/reverb and
compression/distortion/EQ, as well as a trio of 3-position toggles—
modulation/reverb/Echoplex, compression/distortion/EQ, and pickup
programming/piezo/tuning—with wet/dry blend controls. The guitar comes with
an accessory pack that includes a Bluetooth number-controller pedal and a Bluetooth
continuous pedal. The guitar also ships with a newly designed FBX case and Ableton
Live 8 and Guitar Rig 4 Pro.
The third auction lot is active from
November 15–24, and it includes Keith
Urban’s early ’60s Airline guitar, Brent
Mason’s Jerry Jones baritone, Keb’ Mo’s
Giannini Requinto Brazilian mini guitar, and
Amy Grant’s McPherson MG 3. 5 acoustic.
The guitar is limited to fewer than 2000 units, and it will be available on December 11,
2010, at an MSRP of $5570. According to Gibson, this will be the only production run.
The online guitar community has primarily responded negatively to the Firebird X. Among
other things, critics question the revolutionary nature of a guitar with built-in effects, believe
the company is focusing on technology more than quality, and express frustration with the
guitar’s price. However, some guitarists have praised Gibson’s efforts to innovate, while others
see the Firebird X as a concept guitar with useful features for future instruments. Gibson’s site
received more than 1000 comments on the guitar within 48 hours of the announcement.
The fourth and final lot will run from
November 29–December 10, and it will
include Brad Paisley’s Bill Crook gold-and-black-paisley Tele-style guitar with a
B-Bender (pictured), Brent Mason’s 1967
Rickenbacker 36 12-string, Vince Gill’s
Gibson J- 60 acoustic, and a brand-new
Martin DX 175th Anniversary model autographed by Grand Ole Opry artists at the
Opry’s reopening night on October 9, 2010.
NasH2O Auctioning Historic
By Rebecca Dirks
Nashville, TN – Some of the guitars damaged in May’s catastrophic Nashville flooding
are being auctioned to raise relief money
for the city’s music community in a project
called NasH2O. Damaged guitars have been
donated by Peter Frampton, Keb’ Mo’, Steve
Earle, Keith Urban, Brad Paisley, Vince Gill,
John Hiatt, and more. The auctions are being
held in four waves that started on October 12
and will run through December 10.
steel guitarist Bruce Bouton. All of the funds
raised will be distributed through MusiCares
Nashville Flood Relief Fund, Nashville
Musicians Association Flood Relief Fund,
and Fireman’s Fund National Philanthropic
Program. Both the MusiCares and Nashville
Musicians Association funds are dedicated to
helping Nashville musicians affected by the
flood—many of whom have no insurance—
get back on their feet.
Brad Paisley’s black and gold Bill Crook Tele-style
guitar will be auctioned in early December.
NasH2O is being spearheaded by luthier Joe
Glaser, George Gruhn of Gruhn Guitars, and
The first auction lot ended on October
27 and raised $9500. The top draw in this
wave was Peter Frampton’s three-pickup
“Black Beauty” signature Gibson Les Paul
Custom. The guitar, which had been signed
by Frampton, sold for nearly $5000. Other
Click here to head to
to see a photo gallery of all
of the guitars up for
auction with NasH2O.