Over the past decade, Gibson has become the innovative leaders in guitar technology as seen in products such as the Gibson “robot” guitar. Now, in an attempt to outdo themselves once again, they’ve created a guitar possessing technology beyond any other the world has ever seen. Enter the Gibson Firebird X.
The Firebird X, made by the elves at Gibson USA (www.Gibson.com) will be a very limited run of 1,800 units, in colors of either a special blue or red finish.
Weighing less than six pounds, the guitar utilizes different resonant chambers allowing the body to reverberate and create a bigger sound from within itself. The X also incorporates its’ own gauge of strings, from a .10 on top to a .52 on bottom. The guitar ships with strap locks already installed, and include the traditional strap buttons if desired.
From what I can see, the burnt maple neck is absolutely gorgeous, and is sure to provide that bright, resonant shimmer that maple is notorious for. The fretboard sports 23 frets, allowing the player to ring out those full two-octaves with a small half step bend. Of course, robo tuners are incorporated here, allowing you to switch between tunings quickly and efficiently.
The X contains what some would simply write off as “on-board effects,” but that’s not exactly the case here.
Utilizing a user replaceable technology, the player can simply swap out different effects and sounds thanks to the simple pin-out equipment that makes it easy to change set ups. Gibson wants you to know that the sounds implied here are PURE ANALOG, and not some run of the mill digital onslaught.
The guitar tunes to 100% pitches instead of using digital math to “correct” pitch. The sound goes straight through a studio quality preamp, all of which incorporates shielded cables and metal enclosures. The ADC chip, which converts all of this sound to digital, will operate at no latency, giving the player instant sound, 100% accuracy, and incredible resolution as well as depth. The non-mathematical processes these sounds go through are sure to convince skeptics that the tone heard is pure and analog at best. The actual ambush of effects, eq’s, and sounds are a list too long, but can be found on the Gibson site.
The Firebird X is sure to turn heads as well as minds. With its’ full support of third party effects and add-ons, the X will become one of the most accessible and accurate sounding guitars to date. In terms of the technology and its’ ability to recreate true analog sounds, the axe has major potential to do things that other guitars and guitarists have yet begun to imagine. With an MSRP of over $5,000 though, very few will get to experience, let alone hold onto this kind of guitar processing power.
Gibson maybe needs to rethink a different, user-affordable plan and product…we’ll just have to wait and see.
Steve Krantz is a music enthusiast that resides in St. Clair Shores, MI and plays guitar in the progressive punk quartet Day In Day Out. (www.reverbnation/dayindayout)