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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
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Playability
75
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
66
Score
71
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Playability
70
Sound
62
Build
50
Value
71
Score
61
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V over Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo

Release Year
2024 vs 2017
From a more recent year
Pickups Brand
Gibson vs None
Pickups from a renown brand
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Plastic
Resistant, good tuning stability and rich tone
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Bolt-On
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 14'' (355.6mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings

Reasons to Get
Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo over Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone
Fretboard Radius
14'' (355.6mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Value Score
71 vs 66
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs DMT Design
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs DMT Design
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Poplar
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Walnut
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Plastic
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo

Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Switch Positions
3
Same pickups versatility
Pickups
HH
High output without hum
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm)
Same string separation at the nut
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Bridge
Tremolo
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
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 Weaknesses

  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Locking Tuners
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • From a High-Quality-Standards Country
  • Luminescent Sidedots
  • Strap Lock
  • 21:1 Tuner Ratio
  • Active/Passive Preamp

Price History Comparison

SET PRICE ALERT

Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo Prices

    SET PRICE ALERT

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    Which One is Better for Beginners?

    Both meet 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness. 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. If you're looking for your first guitar to learn how to play, you can't go wrong with either of them.

    New Player Friendliness

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

    New Player Friendliness

    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
    • Comfortable shape
    • Easy-to-use bridge
    • Tall frets
    • Comfortable neck
    • Comfortable fretboard
    • Narrow nut
    • 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 V

    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 Vendetta XM Tremolo

    Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
    Maple
    Walnut wood pattern used for guitar building
    Walnut
    Poplar wood pattern used for guitar building
    Poplar

    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.

    It's a hard wood with a chocolate color that is often used to give an elegant finish. Since it's quite expensive and rare, it's mostly used for guitar tops. Find out more about Walnut.

    Poplar is a cheaper and heavier alternative to Alder wood. It terms of tone, it emphasizes the low-end and has cutting mids. It's relatively soft compared to most body woods. Find out more about Poplar.

    Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

    Pickup Configuration

    Both pickup configurations are HH. 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

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has pickups from a more specialized brand than the Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo. Its pickups should simply give you a better, fuller sound, although it all depends on what type of music you're going to play. We recommend these pickups for Hard Rock and similar genres.

    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 V.

    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

    Both are equal when it comes to the pickup switching option.

    Neither of them come with some kind of coil split or pickup mod option. This makes both lacking in terms of versatility.

    They both share the following switching options:

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo pickups switch and push knobs diagram
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo'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 Vendetta XM Tremolo.

    Final Sound Quality Scores

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
    Pickups 90
    Sustain 70
    Versatility 63
    Tuning Stability 65
    Sound 72
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
    Pickups 55
    Sustain 65
    Versatility 69
    Tuning Stability 60
    Sound 62

    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 V compares to the Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo.

    Country of Origin

    The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. Both in this comparison where made in China.

    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.

    Winner: Tie

    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 V 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 Vendetta XM Tremolo comes with a Plastic nut. This is a low-quality nut that you might want to consider upgrading soon. Bone and TUSQ nuts are the best for guitars with a fixed or simple tremolo bridge.

    Winner: Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

    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.

    Both come with a similar bridge: Tremolo. Tremolo bridges give you more versatility than fixed bridges. They let you perform the intense vibrato effects that would be impossible with a fixed bridge. However, since the bridge floats and there's less contact with the body, the strings lose sustain slightly faster. They can also be a bit harder to restring and set up correctly than fixed bridges.

    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

    Both come with regular tuners. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's are Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary while the Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo's are Die Cast

    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 V 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 Vendetta XM Tremolo 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 V.

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

    Strengths & Weaknesses
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
    • Expensive Wood
    • Ivory Tusq Nut
    • Top Brand Pickups
    • Neck-Through Build
    • Tremolo
    • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
    • No Locking Tuners
    • Made in China
    • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
    • No Weight Relief
    • No Luminescent Inlay
    • No Compound Radius Fretboard
    • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
    • No Strap Lock
    Strengths & Weaknesses
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
    • Tremolo
    • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
    • No Locking Tuners
    • Made in China
    • No Expensive Woods
    • No High-Quality Nut
    • No Top Brand Pickups
    • No Neck-Through Build
    • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
    • No Weight Relief
    • No Luminescent Inlay
    • No Compound Radius Fretboard
    • No 21:1 Tuner Ratio
    • No Strap Lock

    Final Build Quality Scores

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
    Quality of materials 66
    Features 65
    Quality Control 70
    Build Quality 67
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
    Quality of materials 41
    Features 55
    Quality Control 55
    Build Quality 50

    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 V 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 V's Scale Length
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Scale Length
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo's Scale Length
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo'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.

    The Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo has the longest scale: 25.5". The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V is only 24.75" long. This is a 0.75'' (19.1mm) scale length difference.

    This longer scale means that the strings need more tension to get in tune. This is good if you want to avoid fret buzz, which can happen when the strings are too loose and touch the frets while vibrating. This is especially important when playing in lower tunings. This will also let you reduce the gap between fretboard and strings (low action) to make them easier to press down. However, this higher tension will also make it harder to perform bends and vibratos as the strings will feel stiffer.

    This also means that the frets have a longer separation between each other, so this will make it harder for people with smaller hands when playing some chord positions.

    Another characteristic of a longer scale is that it makes the guitar sound 'snappier' or brighter. This is due to the extra separation between harmonics and overtones produced by the tension. This influences tone more than any other factor (except the pickups).

    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 V Neck Profile
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's neck profile
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo Neck Profile
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo'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 V and the Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo 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 V Fingerboard Radius
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Fingerboard radius
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo Fingerboard Radius
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo'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 V's fingerboard radius is smaller, which means it's more curved than the Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo'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 Vendetta XM Tremolo.

    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 V:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands

    Fret Size

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo 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 V
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
    Chord Playability 65
    Solo Playability 80
    Playability 75
    Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 70
    Chord Playability 60
    Solo Playability 80
    Playability 70

    Specs Side-by-Side

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
    General Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Dean Vendetta XM Tremolo
    Brand: Epiphone Dean
    Year: 2024 2017
    Configuration: HH HH
    Strings: 6 6
    Made in: China China
    Series: 1963 Firebird V X
    Colors: Blue, Red Brown Satin
    Left-Handed Version: No No
    Body
    Type: Solid Body Solid Body
    Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Poplar
    Bridge: Maestro Vibrola Vintage Tremolo
    Neck
    Neck Joint: Neck-Through Bolt-On
    Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Die Cast
    Fretboard: Indian Laurel Black Walnut
    Neck Material: Mahogany Maple
    Decoration: Mother of Pearl Trapezoid Pearl Dot
    Scale Size: 24.75" 25.5"
    Shape: 1963 Firebird C
    Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
    Fretboard Radius: 12" 14"
    Nut: Ivory Tusq Plastic
    Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 43mm (1.693'')
    Electronics
    Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) DMT Design (Humbucker / Passive)
    Middle Pickup:
    Neck Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) DMT Design (Humbucker / Passive)
    Switch: 3 Way 3 Way
    Knobs: Bell Dome
    Pickup Mods: None None
    Volume Controls: 2 1
    Tone Controls: 2 1