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Discussion in 'Other Guitars' started by wraub, Mar 24, 2021.
I didn't know there was that big a difference between the two, but I'm glad you got what you like.
Update- It gets played a couple of hours a day, every day. I almost feel compelled to play it, everyday. The pickups are good, but have required a lot of adjustments of pickup and pole piece height to dial in the sound I was wanting. That done, it's sounding fiiiiine.
Got a new amp recently, they go well together.
The guitar is still new, still in the honeymoon period, and time will tell where the issues are, but, for now, it's pretty good.
I like it enough to get a brand new case for it... I guess it's staying.
Recently picked up one of these... It fits right and works well. Not too expensive, either.
Gator Economy Wood Case - Single-cutaway Electric Solidbody Guitar Case
6 month update-
I'm still playing this guitar daily, and I am still satisfied. It is all I could expect for the money spent, and more. In fact, the more I read of Gibson's own QC issues I think I did okay. As of now, the only real issues on mine are cosmetic.
The original pickups weren't terrible, but the ones I replaced them with make me smile, and the guitar itself is a solid machine. It stays in tune, plays well, is light and well balanced, and looks good too.
Numerous other reviews suggest newer ones have QC issues, but mine, so far, still continues to deliver.
I recently celebrated 7 months of having my FFLP by adding an aluminum Gotoh tailpiece... more to follow.
After much reading about LP hardware and the various options existing, I developed a curiosity re: aluminum vs cast zinc tailpieces, and whether or not it really does anything to the tone of a guitar to change from one to the other.
The stock pieces on the Firefly are made of some kind of cast metal with steel studs, while the Gotoh is aluminum and has brass studs, apparently. Using the Gotoh made for import guitars, the studs screwed right into the bushings already in the body with no issues. The tailpiece, however, proved to be a little narrow to span the posts. Some very slow, careful, and methodically considered work with a file ensued, and, as a result, no file work is visible from the front or the back of the tailpiece, and only very minimally so inside the u shapes of the tailpiece. It also now fits, not loosely, but not so tightly as to require much effort to place. It's just tight enough to fully engage the studs and do it's thing.
The guitar now sounds fully engaged and responsive with every pick stroke, and has harmonic content I never knew it had. I even kept the same set of strings, didn't change a thing except the tailpiece and studs. It's a real thing that I can report happening.
And, it was inexpensive, too.
I never thought that there was much happening beyond the nut and saddles, but I am convinced I was wrong. Recommended.
Glad u r still diggin it
Seriously, and I can't stress this enough- if you have a guitar that has a TOM bridge and tailpiece, and you think the sound may be lacking. you owe it to yourself and that guitar to try a replacement tailpiece. It doesn't have to be the brand I went with, there are many options. But, and especially if the tailpiece on that disappointing guitar is some kind of cast mystery metal, an aluminum tailpiece may be your answer. Or, a brass one, or titanium, or...
Point being, I would never have imagined the difference was possible, but having seen/heard the change myself, I recommend it as worthy of trying. And, again, it can be pretty cheap, as others have tried and not liked the difference in sound, so lots of used ones around if one looks.
Anyway, I'm sold.
As you seem to enjoy tinkering with that guitar, I'd be curious to see if the tonal change you witnessed with the new tailpiece would still be as obvious if you switched back to the old one. Just to verify how much placebo effect could there be.
Also, try lowering the neck pickup at ring level or even lower, you might be surprised at how much it gains in clarity and how much it helps middle position to have its own vibe.
I have the day off today... I'll report back.
Preliminary findings: the stock Firefly tailpiece is an unidentified cast metal and weighs 1.5 Ozs more than the aluminum Gotoh. The stock piece is well finished, although the nickel on the Gotoh looks nicer imo, but both look fine and do the job of holding the string ends. Also, the stock posts are steel and the Gotoh are brass, so that makes a difference too.
The stock piece fits loosely, i.e. it falls off when the strings come off, but, probably because of the filing and fitting I did to the Gotoh, it wants to stay on the posts unless removed, which is easily done, but you have to do it, it's not that loose.
I think this is what contributes to the changes in quality and density of sound. With the stock piece, the low strings are just kinda there, and the high strings sound a little plinky and thin, which tbh was by biggest issue wit the guitar-it was good enough, but it didn't have "that sound". With the new tailpiece, the high strings have meat, and the low strings have a solidity that just....feels right. At all settings, the guitar sounds fuller and richer. It's that sound.
Also, I used the same set of strings again, which are admittedly getting a little tired of the extra attention, and there's a difference in string bends between the two pieces... the string tension hasn't changed, but the feel definitely has, and for the better imo- Bends are easier and bigger. It's a real difference. I could see how the changes might not be desired, or even noticeable, but it's easy and cheap to try and easily reversible too.
That said- I'm leaving the new tailpiece in place.
I think the slinkier feel is due to the strings getting old. I bet they will start getting out of tune more often.
Definitely possible...but it wouldn't follow that there's more clarity and harmonic info with old strings, unless the tailpiece has an effect.
I'll probably change strings soon, I'll report back. It's fun to change little things and assess.