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How close are they? Both mahogany, pups similar??

Firebird body is thinner and larger, as well as wings attached to a plank/neck thru.  Pups, original fb or mini hum?

Eclipse smaller body 1 piece, set in neck, used- a good deal less expensive than a firebird.

Mini hum pups.

Do "real" firebird pups get you closer to the Firebird sound?

Or

If you want firebird sound, buy a bird, even with all it's idiosyncrasies?

 

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Considering people debated for three decades whether Jimmy used the Tele or the Les Paul on Zeppelin I, I think you'll be okay. 

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Posted (edited)

mini-vs-bird.jpg

 

Minihums and Firebirds are 2 different animals. Firebirds and Eclipses don't sound the same at all, unless you put Firebird pickups in an Eclipse (or vice versa).

But Firebirds look waaaay cooler than Eclipses.

 

ETA: not sure what's going on with pictures but I swear I had one in there a minute ago....

ETA 2: Pictures working again. Yay Ted!

 

 

Edited by hamerhead
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I thought there were firebird pickups in Eclipses - the SD variety.  I've been more and more drawn to the firebird style pups - they are sweet clean and nasty/raucous with dirt. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=51MnEcFL7TA

The Eclipse is homely.  But reports are it's pretty comfortable to play.

The Firebird is awesome.  No comparison, I'd rather have the FB.  But the prices on Eclipses have gotten pretty reasonable so as a grab and go guitar you can't wrong with one. 

 

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15 minutes ago, BubbaVO said:

The Eclipse is homely. 

So are most guitar players.

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One thing I’ve noticed between the 2 is the neck on a 64 Firebird I stupidly let slide thru my fingers is considerably fatter than a Eclipse neck. 

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The Eclipse case is LOTS smaller and easier to handle than a Firebird case. Other than that, I got nothing.

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Our buddy Josh can wind you a Firebird pickup that will go right into an Eclipse.  Ask me how I know... 😀

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Posted (edited)

I've owned both.  I've actually had three different Firebirds.  They're a bit like Rickenbackers - you get drawn in by the insanely cool look and want them to be great guitars. For me, they are pretty much unplayable.  The neck is set way out at the end of the body so unless you have orangutan arms, open E and F barre chords are uncomfortable at best.  Everything seems pushed to the left by at least three frets, so, unless its the only guitar you play, transitioning between guitars is disorienting.

I'm not a fan of the pickups, either.  They are on the harsh end of "glassy", though the ones I've played were newer Gibson versions and one set of Lollars.  Older pickups may be different.

Eclipses, on the other hand, are perfectly shaped and contoured for me.  The neck is set in close to the body and access to either end of the fretboard is effortless. The Lollar firebird pickups I mentioned above sounded OK in an Eclipse, but I prefer DiMarzio mini-humbuckers.  Better balanced and very versatile.

I'm one of the few who don't think that the Eclipse body shape is ugly.  I prefer it to the 90's Specials. 

Edited by BadgerDave
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I've had the same experience as BadgerDave with the Firebird. I found myself being off by two or three frets many time and first position chords were a pain to play.I also wasn't crazy about the slim taper neck or the harsh (ceramic?) pickups.

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Both are cool guitars in my book. The Eclipse is an all out bargain with that great Hamer craftsmanship. The stock SD hot FB pickups hurt my ears, but the Antiquity Minis are sweet. I like guitars to hang in close, so I'll stick with the Eclipse!

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I love the look of firebirds but some of the responses in this thread have me wanting an Eclipse now...

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13 hours ago, BadgerDave said:

I've owned both.  I've actually had three different Firebirds.  They're a bit like Rickenbackers - you get drawn in by the insanely cool look and want them to be great guitars. For me, they are pretty much unplayable.  The neck is set way out at the end of the body so unless you have orangutan arms, open E and F barre chords are uncomfortable at best.  Everything seems pushed to the left by at least three frets, so, unless its the only guitar you play, transitioning between guitars is disorienting.

I'm not a fan of the pickups, either.  They are on the harsh end of "glassy", though the ones I've played were newer Gibson versions and one set of Lollars.  Older pickups may be different.

Totally agree. Also, when I had my '91 reissue Firebird, I had to buy a 3.5" wide strap just to combat the neck dive.  Never had such a cool looking guitar been so utterly disappointing. 

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I moved the strap button on the Firebird to the back at the neck heel. It cured the dive and shifted everything over into a more normal playing position. And if you put the strap over the pointy corner of the body (ala Allen Collins) they balance really well.

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8 minutes ago, hamerhead said:

...if you put the strap over the pointy corner of the body (ala Allen Collins)...

...you should go to prison.

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Just trying to be helpful.

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2 hours ago, hamerhead said:

I moved the strap button on the Firebird to the back at the neck heel. It cured the dive and shifted everything over into a more normal playing position. 

I don't have a Firebird, I have a Banshee! and they are not identical guitars. Mine has the strap button at the heel of the neck. The guitar balances very well. Body and neck are Spanish Mahogany, so it weighs in at 7.2 lbs, which is really light for its size. The end of the neck does feel pretty far away when seated but not while standing. What really helps is to lengthen the strap and let the guitar hang a little lower than normal. Things really come together! Neck specs are a rounded .865 - .980 and pickups are Wolfetone KB humbuckers. My Eclipse was cool and this thing is insane! 

2piOP4E.jpg
 
  

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I have never had a proper bird or an Eclipse, but I did slam a set of Rumpel vintage-spec bird pickups into my Korina Artist and am VERY happy with the tone. I love bird pickups.

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I had two eclipses, and honestly never really liked either, SOUNDwise. I just don't connect with the Firebird style pickup sound. 

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