Gibson announces 2011 Firebird Studio Non-Reverse

Forget the Firebird X, this is easily the coolest 'bird that has flown the Gibson nest and winged its way towards retailers in years. We've long been fans of the Non-Reverse Firebird outline, and this new-for-2011 Studio version is packing plenty of tonal versatility into a $2129 MSRP package.

Here's the official skinny:

"Gibson USA introduces the Firebird Studio Non-Reverse, a guitar with all the style and flair of the original 1965-69 non-reverse-bodied Firebird III, enhanced with added sonic versatility to bolster its vintage-certified tones.

"It comes crafted from grade-A tonewoods, loaded with three of Gibson's new Tapped P-90 pickups (for both original fat P-90 tones and brighter, snappier 'narrow single-coil' tones), and upgraded with stunning new five-way pickup switching, push-pull tap and phase switching, and a Tune-o-matic bridge with stopbar tailpiece.

"The guitar's body is crafted from solid grade-A mahogany, and dressed in an authentic high-gloss nitrocellulose finish in vintage sunburst. Its quarter-sawn, grade-A mahogany neck is carved to an ultra thin (.800-.850) profile, glued in, and topped with a Grade-A rosewood fingerboard with 22 medium-jumbo frets and a 12-inch radius for smooth, choke-free bending.

"Beyond the PLEK-cut Corian nut, it carries a traditional 'hawk's head' six-in-line headstock with high-quality Mini Grover kidney button tuners, while down at the body end a tune-o-matic bridge and stopbar tailpiece.

"A trio of Gibson USA's new Tapped P-90 pickups provides fat snarl, crunch, and bite that vintage P-90s are known for, with the option of a the brighter, twangier sound of a thinner single-coil pickup accessed via the push-pull switch on each pickup's independent volume control.

"They don't feature 'split coil' switching, as used on humbucking pickups. The switch on each of these single-coil Tap P-90 pickups accesses a genuine tap wired into the coil windings of each unit, grounding off part of its output to produce a brighter, more focused tone when the switch is pulled.

"Combine this with the push-pull switch on the master tone pot, which puts the middle pickup out of phase when combined with either the bridge or neck unit, and five-way switching to access bridge/bridge+middle/middle/neck+middle/neck pickup selections (either tapped or full), the Firebird Studio offers an unprecedented tonal range."

Visit Gibson for more, and check out our gallery to see the Firebird Studio Non-Reverse in detail.

Chris Vinnicombe worked with us here on the MusicRadar team from the site's initial launch way back in 2007, and also contributed to Guitarist magazine as Features Editor until 2014, as well as Total Guitar magazine, amongst others. These days he can be found at Gibson Guitars, where he is editor-in-chief.