We out a little bit of wee when we first got wind of this model. It happened by accident when we received a press release about Paul Gilbert’s then-new DiMarzio Injector pickups – usually enough of an announcement to get us excited on their own – but what grabbed our attention was the guitar they were fitted into.
Gilbert went on to explain further: “This is my newest and most favourite Fireman, and I’ve heard a rumour that they [Ibanez] are gonna mass-produce them. The first Fireman was an incredibly cool guitar, but although I love it, it was really expensive, so I wanted to make one that’s more affordable for you.”
It may have taken longer than we’d hoped to surface (about 18 months longer), but last year the wait was finally over, as the FRM100 landed on our desk. The cut-price Fireman doesn’t disappoint: a sturdy mahogany body, fixed Tight-Tune bridge and set neck lay the foundation for Paul’s single coils, delivering on their promise of a noise-free, modern single-coil sound for shredders.
Whether you can sweep pick or not, the reverse Iceman shape combined with the Transparent Red finish makes this a fine-looking axe. Paul Gilbert is one hell of a player, and this is one hell of a signature guitar at a bargain price.