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Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
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Playability
77
Sound
69
Build
64
Value
70
Score
70
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Playability
77
Sound
82
Build
70
Value
66
Score
76
FIND IT ON:
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I over Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler

Release Year
2024 vs 2021
From a more recent year
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Scale Length
24.75" vs 27" to 25.5"
Easier to adapt to
Neck Profile
1963 Firebird vs D
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Bolt-On
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Pickups
H vs HH
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Bridge
Fixed vs Kahler
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 16'' (406.4mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings
Value Score
70 vs 66
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler over Epiphone 1963 Firebird I

Country of Manufacturing
South Korea vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Decorative Top
Burled Maple vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Scale Length
27" to 25.5" vs 24.75"
Less fret buzz with less string stiffness
Neck Profile
D vs 1963 Firebird
Thin and flat neck for playing fast
Pickup Mods
Coil Split vs None
Splits humbuckers into single coil pickups
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Pickups
HH vs H
High output without hum
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Bridge
Kahler vs Fixed
Intense vibratos and can be locked to stop floating
Fretboard Radius
16'' (406.4mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnets vs Seymour Duncan Sentient
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Alder
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Locking
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler

Headstock
6
Same Headstock
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm)
Same string separation at the nut
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed

Common Strengths

  • High-Quality Nut
  • Top Pickup Brand
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • Weight Relief
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

SET PRICE ALERT
SET PRICE ALERT

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Which One is Better for Beginners?

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler meets only 3. This takes into account the type of frets, scale length, nut width, bridge type, fretboard radius, and neck profile to determine the easiest combination for new players.

New Player Friendliness

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

New Player Friendliness

Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
  • Comfortable shape
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners
  • Easy-to-use bridge

Nevertheless, when it comes to choosing an instrument, you should pick the one more compatible with your personal style. Still, below we'll try you to give you our results as objectively as it's possible to help you decide.

Sound Quality Comparison

The wood used in an electric guitar or bass is not as important to determine the final tone. However, some people prefer specific wood types, so we'll take a look at those first. Then, we'll take a look at the electronics to determine the versatility and sound quality of each instrument.

Woods Used in the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany
Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel

Mahogany is a fairly rare wood nowadays. It's used mostly for bodies due to its relatively lightweight. Gibson popularized it with their Les Paul guitars during their golden years, so this wood has a lot of good reputation behind it. The most expensive type comes from South America and it's still used by Gibson even today. Find out more about Mahogany.

There are many types of Laurel, but East Indian is the most common for guitar building. Its color can vary from dark to light brown with black lines. Many people find its tonality similar to Rosewood, which favors the warmer frequencies. Find out more about Laurel.

Woods Used in the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony
Alder wood pattern used for guitar building
Alder

Maple is one of the most popular necks for good reasons. It is a strong wood that is relatively cheap to make and looks beautiful. The highest quality maple is the hardest that comes from North America. Find out more about Maple.

Ebony is a high-end wood, so it is not cheap. It's only used for fretboards because it's also very heavy. It does an excellent job as a durable material while looking elegant. Find out more about Ebony.

Alder is the most popular wood that Fender uses in most of their guitars nowadays. Even though they say it's because of its balanced tone with an emphasis in the upper midrange, it probably is because it isn't too expensive, and it's also pretty lightweight—more than Mahogany. Find out more about Alder.

Winner: Tie.

Pickup Configuration

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has an H configuration while the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler has HH pickups.

A single H pickup gives you the advantage of having a little longer sustain (all other things being equal) because there will be less magnetic fields from other pickups affecting the strings' vibration. However, they also give you the least versatility because you won't have other pickups at different distances from the bridge to create different tones. A single humbucking pickup is used for noiseless high output, which is used mainly for Hard Rock genres.

On the other hand, Double Humbucker (HH) is the choice for people who want a fuller, more round sound with tons of mids and lows. Humbuckers also get rid of the hum noise that plague single-coil pickups. They can work out for almost any genre going from Djent to even Jazz.

Pickups Quality

Both come with very good pickups from at least one of the specialized brands in the market. With pickups like these, you probably won't need an upgrade anytime soon.

However, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a slight sound quality advantage when taking into account other factors like the type of pickups, magnet, position, etc.

We found the same or similar pickups to the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's online:

Both use Passive pickups. This is what's used for most music genres. They have a regular output and will serve you for both high-gain and clean tones. The alternative (Active pickups) offer a higher output that is mostly used for heavy music.

Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird I.

Versatility Comparison

Some instruments offer you more ways to explore your creativity than others. Below you'll find how both compare when it comes to versatility.

Switch Options

The Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler gives you 3 switch options while the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I gives you 0. This means that the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler comes with some kind of pickup modification: Coil Split.

Coil Split lets you disconnect one of the pickup coils. When used with humbuckers, it turns them into single-coil with lower output and cleaner tone.

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I doesn't come with pickup switching options.

Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's switch options

When evaluating versatility, we also take into consideration bridge and neck joint type, number of frets, switch options, amount of pickups and more.

Winner: Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Pickups 90
Sustain 75
Versatility 39
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 69
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 79
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 82

Build Quality Comparison

When it comes to build quality, we like to take into account everything used to build the instrument. This includes materials, hardware and the quality control expected depending on the country where it was built. Let's see how the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I compares to the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I is built in China while the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler is made in South Korea.

China has a bad reputation when it comes to building quality. However, times have changed and now respectable brands use China's cheap labor to build good instruments for a lower price. Don't discount a guitar only because it was built in China, but also expect more quality from countries like Korea.

South Korea was for many years the number one choice for mass-producing semi-premium guitars. They can build excellent guitars for a cheap price. Now, it's less common to find Korean guitars because Indonesia has proved capable of building guitars just as well, but likely for cheaper.

Winner: Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler

Nut Material

If you want your guitar to stay in tune and sound good, you need a well cut nut. Nut quality can be inconsistent even when comparing two copies of the same model. The best way to make sure you're nut will be well done is by getting a nut made by an expert company like TUSQ or Micarta.

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a Ivory Tusq nut. Ivory used to be considered the best material for guitar nuts due to its beauty, durability, and the rich harmonics and sustain you could get from a guitar with it. However, the way to obtain it is simply unethical. Enter TUSQ ivory nuts, which are made synthetically to imitate ivory. Technically, it's better than ivory because it is consistent piece-to-piece, while natural materials can vary a lot, even if they're made from the same.

On the other hand, the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler comes with a Locking nut. Instead of a regular nut, this guitar has a locking system that will lock down the strings at the nut, preventing it from getting out of tune. It removes one of the disadvantages of tremolo bridges, tune stability.

Winner: Tie.

Fret Material

Most fret wire is made of nickel silver. This material eventually wears down after a lot of use and most instruments end up needing a complete fret replacement. However, some expensive models come with stainless steel frets. This is what you should aim for if you can afford it.

Unfortunately, none of them come with stainless steel frets.

Winner: Tie.

Bridge

The perfect bridge for you will depend on your playstyle because they all have advantages and disadvantages. However, some bridges are more expensive—like Floyd Roses and Evertunes—and thus add more value to a guitar.

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's brige is a Fixed. It's a simple bridge that is very beginner-friendly since it doesn't require any set-up. You can swap strings easily. It might also give more sustain since it doesn't have complex moving parts that make the strings lose vibration. However, it doesn't have the same versatility as a tremolo bridge.

On the other hand, the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's is a Kahler. It's a floating tremolo very similar to Floyd Rose but less popular. The main difference is that you can lock it to the body, which essentially turns it into a fixed bridge. Some heavy metal players prefer this bridge over Floyd Rose because it won't move and get out of pitch when they palm mute.

Since we need to be objective, the most expensive type of bridge will be the winner of this section. In the end, this doesn't matter if you're not going to use the bridge for its original purpose, so choose the bridge that fits your playing style better.

Winner: Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler.

Tuners

Both come with regular tuners. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's are Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary while the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's are Grover 18:1

Winner: Tie.

Neck Joint

Contrary to popular belief, the difference in sustain and tone that some neck joints give to a guitar is simply unperceivable—if they're all well built. However, some of them do have advantages over the others.

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a Neck-Through neck joint. This neck is a lot more resistant and lets builders give the neck joint a more comfortable shape for soloing at the upper frets. The disadvantage is that they're more expensive and that if you damage your neck, you can't simply replace it like with bolt-on necks.

On the other hand, the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler comes with Bolt-On neck joint. This neck is joined to the body by 4 bolts that you can simply unscrew. This allows you to replace the neck or take it off for travel. It's the most common and cheapest way to build a guitar.

Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird I.

Here is the list of features that were considered when choosing the winner in the Features subcategory:

Strengths & Weaknesses
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in China
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock
Strengths & Weaknesses
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Split Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in South Korea
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Retainer Bar
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Quality of materials 66
Features 60
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 64
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
Quality of materials 55
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 70

Playability Comparison

Let's now compare their playability. Bear in mind that the instrument will feel different depending on your hand size and play style. That's why you should always test before buying. But if you can't or want a second opinion on it, we can still take a look at each of the important measurements of the instrument for you. This way, we can predict how easy a guitar might be to play, or how different it will feel compared to the other.

Remember that, even though the difference might seem small, every inch counts when it comes to feeling of the instrument in your hands. Any variation can completely change how comfortable a guitar feels in your hands.

Nut Width

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Nut Width
Both Guitars Have The Same Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, both have a nut width of 43mm (1.693'').

This is within the most common range of nut widths for a 6-string guitar. It offers a good balance of string separation at the nut. It's the size that most guitarists prefer as it gives them just enough space to play open chords without muting the strings, but without spreading the strings too wide and making bar chords difficult to perform.

Scale Length

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Scale Length
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Scale Length
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's Scale Length
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's Scale Length

The scale length is one of the things that influences playability the most. This is the distance between the nut and the bridge and will affect everything from low action allowance, difficulty to perform bends, fret separation, and even tone.

In this case, the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler features a multi-scale of 27" to 25.5" while the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a regular scale of 24.75".

A multi-scale fingerboard incorporates two scale lengths at the same time. This is present in some instruments with long scale to give a different tension to the lower strings than the higher strings. The thickest strings need more tension to avoid fret buzz (especially when tuned low), so the scale is longer for these strings, while the thinnest strings will need less tension (because they have a lower gauge), so they have a shorter scale to reduce stiffness for bends.

It can feel awkward if you've never played a multi-scale because the frets will have more separation for the higher strings, but a lot of people love their versatility.

On the other hand, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's 24.75" regular scale means it has a fixed scale for all the strings.This is the scale length that Gibson uses for most of its Les Paul guitars. It's a smaller scale than the typical Stratocaster's 25.5''. Short scale lengths like this make it easier to bend the strings, which is pretty important if you have a fixed bridge. They also have a shorter fret separation, which makes it easier to change position fast at the fretboard.

On the other hand, a shorter scale like this one will make fret buzz more likely, which can affect you if you want to use thicker string gauges.

Lastly, remember that you can also affect the tension of the strings by changing your string gauge. You can use a thicker gauge for more tension and a lighter one for less tension.

Neck Profile

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Neck Profile
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's neck profile
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler Neck Profile
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's neck profile

No single neck shape is better than others. However, most people tend to prefer a thinner necks because it doesn't get in their way when playing fast and most hand sizes can adapt to it pretty well. However, some people still prefer thicker necks for a better grip, especially if they have big hands.

In this case, both have different neck shapes:

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has a C type of neck. This is what you'll find in most modern guitars. Most people feel like the thickness of a C neck is simply the less intrusive one for playing fast, while at the same time allowing you to grab the neck easily for resting if you want to.

The Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler, on the other hand, has a D neck. This is a thin and flat neck that is made for playing fast. If you prefer a neck that doesn't get in your way when soloing, this is the shape you should use. Guitarists that prefer to have a bit more grip won't like this type of neck.

Fretboard Radius

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Fingerboard Radius
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Fingerboard radius
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler Fingerboard Radius
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's Fingerboard radius

Most guitar fretboards are not flat; they usually have a curve or arc across their width. A curved fretboard will make it easier to perform chords without muting strings, while a flatter one will make it easier to play single notes, which is good for bending and soloing in general. The best fretboards have a compound radius that varies across the fingerboard, but they're not common since they take a lot more work to build.

In this case, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's. This extra arc will make playing chords easier in this model. You won't be as likely to mute the strings, especially if you have big hands. However, playing single notes and bending will be easier on the Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler.

Still, both tend to favor soloing over chords, so if you're looking for a guitar for playing rhythm, you might want something else with a radius closer to a Stratocaster's 9.5''.

Hand Size Comfortability

Everyone has a different hand size, and that's why it's recommended to try a guitar before buying, even if others tell you that it's comfortable to play. However, we can know whether a guitar favors small or large hands just by knowing its exact measurements.

After taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that both in this comparison favor small hands .

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Frets Size
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Frets Size
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler Frets Size
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler's Frets Size

The Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler has Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Medium Jumbo frets.

Some people prefer taller frets because they result in more sustain since the strings get pressed cleanly without interference from the fretboard. However, if they're too tall—like Jumbo frets—, you might change the pitch of the strings accidentally if you press too hard because you won't be touching the fretboard with your fingers. This is also why some guitarists with a heavy grip prefer smaller frets. They like to feel the fingerboard to avoid pressing down too hard and getting out of pitch.

Final Playability Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77
Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 55
Solo Playability 90
Playability 77

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
General Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Dean Exile Select Multiscale Kahler
Brand: Epiphone Dean
Year: 2024 2021
Configuration: H HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: China South Korea
Series: 1963 Firebird I Select
Colors: Green, Pink, Silver Yellow Burst
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Alder
Bridge: Wraparound Lightning Bar Kahler Multiscale Trem
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through Bolt-On
Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Grover 18:1
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany 3 Piece Maple
Decoration: Mother of Pearl dot Pearloid Small Offset Dot
Scale Size: 24.75" 27" to 25.5"
Shape: 1963 Firebird D
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 16"
Nut: Ivory Tusq Locking
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnets (Humbucker / Passive) Seymour Duncan Sentient (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Seymour Duncan Nazgul (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 0 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: None Coil Split
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 1