Last month we showed you some early development photos and specs of the new Gibson Elliot Easton ‘Tikibird’ Firebird model. Easton and Gibson have now settled on the final specifications and the new model is now available to check out on the Gibson website – let’s take a look…
Gibson Elliot Easton ‘Tikibird’ Left Handed Firebird
As a member of Boston hit-makers The Cars, and a consummate musician in his own right, Elliot Easton has consistently bridged the gap between chart success and innovative, alternative guitar playing. From early Cars singles like “Just What I Needed” and “My Best Friend’s Girl,” to 1981’s “Shake It Up” (the band’s first Top 10 hit), Elliot’s creative, often quirky and frenetic riffs provided the propulsion to a driving and energetic sound—and in the process, Easton became a massively influential artist.
An enduring fan of Gibson electrics, Elliot has long been associated with a Signature SG. Now the artist and Gibson USA team up for a more alternative Signature model blending classic features with several player-approved advances: the Elliot Easton “Tikibird” Firebird, available in both left- and right-handed models.
Resplendent in an exclusive new Gold Mist Poly finish in high-gloss nitrocellulose lacquer, the Elliot Easton “Tikibird” Firebird boasts a stunning look in the classic and ever-radical “reverse body” Firebird design, augmented by its hot-stamped Tiki graphic on a traditional multi-ply white plastic pickguard and Elliot Easton’s signature on the headstock’s back. It’s powered by a pair of Gibson’s most popular humbucking pickups with versatile coil-splitting and phase-reverse wiring for unprecedented sonic variety. A Bigsby™ vibrato tailpiece with Vibramate™ Spoiler® for easy string loading gives you emotive dips and tremulous wobbles, while a new TonePros™ locking Tune-o-matic bridge with nylon saddles offers excellent return-to-pitch during vibrato use. To top it off, a set of Steinberger™ gearless tuners give unparalleled tuning efficiency. Experience the Elliot Easton “Tikibird” Firebird today for yourself at your authorized Gibson USA dealer, and get your hands on your own inspirational alternative.
Body and neck
The Elliot Easton “Tikibird” Firebird is made in the image of the original “reverse body” Firebirds of 1963-’65, with lines that appeared to be the reverse image of other solidbody styles on the market. It is constructed from a solid multi-piece mahogany neck/body section—called a “through neck”—with glued-on mahogany body wings. The neck is carved to Elliot’s preferred slim, fast Firebird profile, which measures 0.800” at the 1st fret and 0.850” at the 12th. It is topped with a Grade-A rosewood fingerboard with traditional trapezoid inlays and 22 medium-jumbo frets.
Pickups and electronics
To fatten up the traditional Firebird tone, the Elliot Easton “Tikibird” Firebird carries a pair of Gibson’s popular ’57 Classic humbucking pickups, long known for their blend of depth and clarity. They are rendered superbly versatile through a custom network of four slider switches mounted in the pickguard, accessing individual coil splitting for both pickups, phase-reverse when both are used together, and Gibson’s Pure True Bypass switching. The latter routes the bridge pickup directly to the output jack when engaged, for a quick preset lead tone with no loading. The coil-split switching offers something new, too: wired in Gibson’s “Frequency-Tuned Coil Tap” mode, the two pickups are still reverse-wound/reverse-polarity in the center position when tapped, for hum-canceling single-coil tones, and their individual tapped tones are still hum reducing, and more accurate to boot. The remaining controls include the traditional four-knob complement with three-way toggle switch.
Elliot’s input in the hardware department takes the Elliot Easton “Tikibird” Firebird further into the stratosphere. A genuine Bigsby™ vibrato is modified with a Vibramate™ Spoiler® string loader to take the usual hassle out of restringing this beloved whammy bar. A TonePros™ Tune-o-matic locks down tight for enhanced resonance and sustain, with nylon saddles to avoid string hitches during Bigsby™ use. Finally, a set of super-efficient Steinberger™ gearless tuners give you the smoothest tune-up imaginable, without spoiling the radical lines of the Firebird headstock. The traditional Firebird truss-rod cover is hot-stamped with a gold Gibson logo, and the custom multi-ply white plastic pickguard carries a hot-stamped Tiki graphic.
Case and coverage
The Elliot Easton “Tikibird” Firebird includes a Gibson USA hardshell case, a truss-rod adjustment tool, and an owner’s manual and adjustment literature. It is covered by Gibson’s Limited Lifetime Warranty and 24/7/365 Customer Service.
- Solid Mahogany body with Gold Mist Poly finish
- Multi-piece Mahogany neck with slim, super-fast Firebird profile
- Pair of ’57 Classic Humbucking pickups in the neck and bridge positions
- TonePros™ Tune-o-matic bridge and Bigsby™ vibrato with a Vibramate™ Spoiler® string loader
- Steinberger™ gearless tuners with 40:1 tuning ratio
For more information:
Gibson Elliot Easton Tikibird