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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
ESP LTD MK-600
VS
Playability
75
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
66
Score
71
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Playability
85
Sound
81
Build
70
Value
74
Score
79
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs LTD MK-600

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V over LTD MK-600

Release Year
2024 vs 2016
From a more recent year
Number of Frets
22 vs 24
Warmer neck pickup
Type of Frets
Medium Jumbo vs XL Jumbo
You'll feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
1963 Firebird vs Thin U
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 0
More tone control
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm) vs 1.654'' (42mm)
Less likely to mute strings by accident and more space for fingerstyle
Bridge
Tremolo vs Floyd Rose
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm) vs 13.78'' (350mm)
Easier to play chords without muting strings
Pickups Power
Passive vs Active
Cleaner sound and no battery needed

Reasons to Get
ESP LTD MK-600 over Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Country of Manufacturing
Indonesia vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Frets Height
Taller vs Shorter
Easier to press down strings and bend them
Type of Frets
XL Jumbo vs Medium Jumbo
You won't feel the fretboard when pressing down the strings
Neck Profile
Thin U vs 1963 Firebird
Comfortable neck with more grip
Pickup Mods
Multi-Voicing vs None
Changes the voice (tones or gain) of the pickups
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Nut Width
1.654'' (42mm) vs 1.693'' (43mm)
Favors small hands, easier bar chords and other shapes
Bridge
Floyd Rose vs Tremolo
Allows intense vibratos and techniques like Dive Bombs
Fretboard Radius
13.78'' (350mm) vs 12'' (304.8mm)
Flatter fretboard makes it easier to play single notes and bend
Pickups Power
Active vs Passive
More output
Value Score
74 vs 66
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs LTD MK-600

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Neck Wood
Mahogany vs Maple
Different Neck Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Pau Ferro
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs R6
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Locking
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs LTD MK-600

Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Switch Positions
3
Same pickups versatility
Pickups
HH
High output without hum
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Neck Joint
Neck-Through
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets

Common Strengths

  • Neck-Through Build
  • 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 V meets 4 out of our 8 criteria items for beginner friendliness, while the ESP LTD MK-600 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 V
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Locking tuners

New Player Friendliness

ESP LTD MK-600
  • Tall frets
  • Narrow nut
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • 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 Both

Mahogany wood pattern used for guitar building
Mahogany

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.

Woods Used in the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Laurel wood pattern used for guitar building
Laurel

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 ESP LTD MK-600

Maple wood pattern used for guitar building
Maple
Pau Ferro wood pattern used for guitar building
Pau Ferro

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.

Pau Ferro has a dark, chocolate-like color with straight dark grains that is being used as a replacement to Rosewood due to the regulations. It produces a warm tone that is somewhere between Mahogany and Rosewood. Find out more about Pau Ferro.

Winner: Tie.

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

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 V 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 ESP LTD MK-600's online:

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's pickups are Passive while the ESP LTD MK-600'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 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.

Only the ESP LTD MK-600 comes with some kind of pickup modification: Multi-Voicing.

Multi-Voicing means the pickups come with multiple ''voices'', which means they can change the tone and gain by a simple switch or knob. Piezo, Fishman and similar are considered multi-voicing pickups.

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's switch options
ESP LTD MK-600 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
ESP LTD MK-600'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: ESP LTD MK-600.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 63
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 72
ESP LTD MK-600
Pickups 85
Sustain 85
Versatility 67
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 V compares to the ESP LTD MK-600.

Country of Origin

The manufacturing country can tell a lot about the build quality of an instrument. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V is built in China while the ESP LTD MK-600 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: ESP LTD MK-600

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 ESP LTD MK-600 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 V's brige is a 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.

On the other hand, the ESP LTD MK-600's is a Floyd Rose. This is a double-locking bridge system that allows you to perform techniques like dive bombs and pinch harmonics. The locking nut allows your guitar to stay in tune even after the most intense tremolo usage. The disadvantage is that it takes more work to change the strings and set up everything correctly.

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: ESP LTD MK-600.

Tuners

Both come with regular tuners. The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's are Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary while the ESP LTD MK-600's are Grover

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.

Both have 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.

Winner: Tie.

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
ESP LTD MK-600
  • Expensive Wood
  • Locking Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Neck-Through Build
  • Multi-Voicing Pickups
  • Tremolo
  • Retainer Bar
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • Made in Indonesia
  • 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
ESP LTD MK-600
Quality of materials 51
Features 80
Quality Control 80
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 V Nut Width
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Nut Width
ESP LTD MK-600 Nut Width
ESP LTD MK-600 Nut Width

The nut width will affect the separation between strings at the nut. In this comparison, the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has the wider nut with 43mm (1.693'') vs 42mm (1.654''). This is a 1mm (0.039'') difference

This means that it will be more difficult to do bar chords on the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V, 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 V and ESP LTD MK-600's Scale Length
Both have the same 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, both have a scale length of 24.75".

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 V Neck Profile
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's neck profile
ESP LTD MK-600 Neck Profile
ESP LTD MK-600'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 V 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 ESP LTD MK-600, on the other hand, has a U neck. This is also referred to as ''baseball neck'' because of its shape. It's usually thick, which is why some people with big hands like it. However, they can also be thin, similar to a C shape, but with more shoulders for a better grip.

Fretboard Radius

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Fingerboard Radius
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Fingerboard radius
ESP LTD MK-600 Fingerboard Radius
ESP LTD MK-600'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 ESP LTD MK-600'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 ESP LTD MK-600.

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
ESP LTD MK-600:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Frets Size
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's Frets Size
ESP LTD MK-600 Frets Size
ESP LTD MK-600's Frets Size

The ESP LTD MK-600 has XL Jumbo frets, which should be taller than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V'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 V
Bending & Vibrato Ease 80
Chord Playability 65
Solo Playability 80
Playability 75
ESP LTD MK-600
Bending & Vibrato Ease 90
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 90
Playability 85

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs LTD MK-600
General Epiphone 1963 Firebird V LTD MK-600
Brand: Epiphone ESP LTD
Year: 2024 2016
Configuration: HH HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: China Indonesia
Series: 1963 Firebird V Signature
Colors: Blue, Red Black
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Mahogany
Bridge: Maestro Vibrola Floyd Rose 1000
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through Neck-Through
Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Grover
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Pau Ferro
Neck Material: Mahogany 3pc Maple
Decoration: Mother of Pearl Trapezoid Dots
Scale Size: 24.75" 24.75"
Shape: 1963 Firebird Thin U
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 XL Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 13.78"
Nut: Ivory Tusq Locking
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 42mm (1.654'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Fishman Fluence Modern Ceramic (Humbucker / Active)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Fishman Fluence Modern Alnico (Humbucker / Active)
Switch: 3 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Bell Dome
Pickup Mods: None Multi-Voicing
Volume Controls: 2 1
Tone Controls: 2 0