These things got great reviews when they appeared and I like firebirds so I was always interested in trying one. There weren’t many made (1000?) and they seldom come up for sale unless at a premium, suggesting that their owners like them and hang on to them.
Even though the sunburst ones are even more in demand, I especially fancied the alternative polymist gold finish. Then this came up out of the blue for a very silly price complete with all original accompaniments, so I drove over and snapped it up. Turns out it was played once for a video and mothballed – it’s dead mint.
It’s probably the best value guitar I’ve bought for years, comfortably holding its own against my Historic Custom Shop ’64 RI and friends’ original Firebird !’s and 7’s. And it looks great. It was somewhat neck-heavy and I’m not a great fan of the over-engineered straight-through Firebird tuners so I installed Steinbergers which I prefer anyway.
Epiphone have done a fine job on this reissue, perhaps becuuse Joe Baonmassa held them to very tight (vintage) specs and quality control.