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Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
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Playability
77
Sound
69
Build
64
Value
70
Score
70
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Playability
78
Sound
81
Build
73
Value
67
Score
77
FIND IT ON:
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I over Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black

Release Year
2024 vs 2021
From a more recent year
Scale Length
24.75" vs 26.25" to 25.5"
Easier to adapt to
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Bolt-On
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Strings
6 vs 7
Narrower neck and fewer strings to change
Pickups
H vs HH
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.65'' (41.9mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 20'' (508mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings
Pickups Power
Passive vs Active
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
Value Score
70 vs 67
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black over Epiphone 1963 Firebird I

Weight Relief
Yes vs None
Lighter Body
Country of Manufacturing
Indonesia vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Decorative Top
Flame Maple vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Fret Material
Stainless Steel vs Nickel Silver
Best fret material that will last forever
Scale Length
26.25" to 25.5" vs 24.75"
Less fret buzz with less string stiffness
Pickup Mods
Coil Tap vs None
Lowers output of humbucker coil to create a single coil sound
Strings
7 vs 6
Allows you to play lower notes
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
Nut Width
1.65'' (41.9mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Luminescent Sidedots
Yes vs None
Assists you when playing in dark environments
Fretboard Radius
20'' (508mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Pickups Power
Active vs Passive
More output

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnets vs Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic, Black Plastic
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Ash
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Birdseye Maple
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs Headless
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Locking
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black

Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Volume Knobs
1
Same volume control
Tone Knobs
1
Same tone control
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Fixed
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Neck Profile Type
C
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings

Common Strengths

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

Common Weaknesses

  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

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Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black Prices

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Which One is Better for Beginners?

The Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black meets 5 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I meets only 4. 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

Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Birdseye Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Birdseye Maple
Ash wood pattern used for guitar building
Ash

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.

This wood has beautiful patterns only found in specific types of maple.

Ash is a type of wood that Fender used almost exclusively in the 50s, and it's still used by many brands. It's a dense wood with a light color that works well for a transparent, natural finish because of its beautiful patterns. In terms of sound, it's known for emphasizing the mid and high frequencies, but with strong low end. Find out more about Ash.

Winner: Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black.

Pickup Configuration

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has an H configuration while the Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black 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.

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's pickups are Passive while the Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black's are Active.

Passive pickups are what most guitars use. These have a normal output that works well for most genres. However, Active pickups are the preferred choice of heavy metal players because they offer extra output thanks to their 9v battery, which results in a heavier, more distorted sound. Bear in mind that achieving a completely clean tone with them won't be easy. So if you want to also use clean tones, you might want to avoid Active pickups.

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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black gives you 3 switch options while the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I gives you 0. This means that the Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

Only the Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black comes with some kind of pickup modification: Coil Tap.

Coil Tap is similar to Coil Split but it works a bit differently. Instead of completely cancelling one of the coils of the humbucker, it only cuts part of the output once activated. Some people believe this gives the split pickups a more real single-coil sound.

In this case, both of them lack pickup selector.

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

Winner: Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Pickups 90
Sustain 75
Versatility 39
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 69
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
Pickups 85
Sustain 80
Versatility 74
Tuning Stability 85
Sound 81

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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black.

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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black is made in Indonesia.

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.

Indonesia is becoming the most popular country for guitar building because they can make good instruments for a low price. Some people think that they're 'the new China' when it comes to build quality. But the truth is that Indonesian guitars are more consistent, although Chinese quality has improved a lot in the last few years.

Winner: Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black

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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black 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.

In this comparison, the Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black is the only one that has stainless steel frets. These frets will basically last for the entire life of the guitar. They will never need polishing nor replacement. And not only that, but some people also notice that bending and vibratos are much easier to perform when they upgrade to stainless steel.

Winner: Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black.

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.

Both come with a similar bridge: 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.

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: Tie.

Tuners

In this case, the Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black has no machine heads because it is a headless guitar. Instead, the strings are tuned at the bridge. This gives the guitar a better balance and will prevent neck dives. It also makes it more travel friendly.

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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black 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
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
  • Stainless Steel Frets
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Coil Tap Pickups
  • Weight Relief
  • Luminescent Inlay
  • Made in Indonesia
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Tremolo
  • No Compound Radius Fretboard
  • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • No Strap Lock

Final Build Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Quality of materials 66
Features 60
Quality Control 65
Build Quality 64
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
Quality of materials 65
Features 70
Quality Control 85
Build Quality 73

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
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Nut Width
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black Nut Width
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I has the wider nut with 43mm (1.693'') vs 41.9mm (1.65''). This is a 1.1mm (0.043'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I, especially closer to the nut. However, it's also easier to play without muting strings accidently. This favors people with big hands.

Scale Length

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Scale Length
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Scale Length
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black's Scale Length
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black'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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black features a multi-scale of 26.25" 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
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black Neck Profile
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black'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.

Both the Epiphone 1963 Firebird I and the Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black have a C-shaped 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.

Fretboard Radius

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Fingerboard Radius
Epiphone 1963 Firebird I's Fingerboard radius
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black Fingerboard Radius
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black'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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black'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 Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black.

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
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I and Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black Frets Size
Both have a similar Medium Jumbo fret size

Both have a Medium Jumbo fret size. These are slightly shorter than full Jumbo frets, so you'll still feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings. However, they interfere less with your fretting hand than medium-size frets. This is a good size if you like easy-to-press frets, but would still like to feel a bit of the fretboard when playing.

Final Playability Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 77
Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 80
Playability 78

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone 1963 Firebird I vs Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
General Epiphone 1963 Firebird I Strandberg Boden Original NX 7 Charcoal Black
Brand: Epiphone Strandberg
Year: 2024 2021
Configuration: H HH
Strings: 6 7
Made in: China Indonesia
Series: 1963 Firebird I Boden Original
Colors: Green, Pink, Silver Blue, Natural, Grey
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Chambered Swamp Ash
Bridge: Wraparound Lightning Bar Strandberg EGS Rev7 fixed & string locks
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through Bolt-On
Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary At bridge
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Birdseye Maple
Neck Material: Mahogany Maple neck – Quartersawn, Carbon Fiber reinforced
Decoration: Mother of Pearl dot Offset Illuminlay Dots
Scale Size: 24.75" 26.25" to 25.5"
Shape: 1963 Firebird EndurNeck
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 Medium Jumbo Stainless Steel
Fretboard Radius: 12" 20"
Nut: Ivory Tusq Locking
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 41.9mm (1.65'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnets (Humbucker / Passive) Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic, Black Plastic (Humbucker / Active)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico, Black Plastic (Humbucker / Active)
Switch: 0 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: None Coil Tap
Volume Controls: 1 1
Tone Controls: 1 1