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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
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Playability
75
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
66
Score
71
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Playability
72
Sound
72
Build
72
Value
62
Score
72
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V over Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

Release Year
2024 vs 2022
From a more recent year
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Set
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Bridge
Tremolo vs Fixed
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm) vs 25.5'' (647.7mm)
Easier bending, shorter fret separation and warmer natural tone
Value Score
66 vs 62
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP over Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Compound Radius
10" to 16" vs 12"
Balanced playability for chords and single-notes
Number of Frets
24 vs 22
Allows to reach higher notes
Bridge
Fixed vs Tremolo
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Scale Length
25.5'' (647.7mm) vs 24.75'' (628.7mm)
Lower action and brighter natural tone

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Dave Mustaine Signature Seymour Duncan Thrash Factor
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

Neck Wood
Mahogany
Same Neck Wood
Headstock
6
Same Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq
Same Nut Material
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
Switch Positions
3
Same pickups versatility
Volume Knobs
2
Same volume control
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
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 Strengths

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

Common Weaknesses

  • Pickup Alter Switch/Knob
  • Weight Relief
  • Locking Tuners
  • Stays in Tune (Evertune)
  • High-Quality Frets
  • 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?

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

Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable neck
  • Comfortable shape
  • 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 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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

Ebony wood pattern used for guitar building
Ebony

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.

Winner: Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP.

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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP'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 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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP'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: Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

Final Sound Quality Scores

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Pickups 90
Sustain 70
Versatility 63
Tuning Stability 65
Sound 72
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
Pickups 85
Sustain 75
Versatility 56
Tuning Stability 70
Sound 72

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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP.

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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP is made in United States.

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.

The United States is considered one of the best electric guitar manufacturers in the world. A guitar made in this country is supposed to have world-class quality control. Nowadays, guitars made in other countries can beat some of the ones made in the US, but most of the time, this country offers the best you can get. Of course, that comes at a price.

Winner: Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP

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.

In this case, both have Ivory Tusq nuts. 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.

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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP's 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.

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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP's are Grover Mini Rotomatics with Kidney Buttons

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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP comes with Set neck joint. This neck is tightly glued to the body. They give you the least versatility because you can't swap them for a neck that fits your hand better if you want to, unlike bolt-on necks. Some people think this gives more resonance and sustain, but there's no real difference if the bolt-on joint is well built.

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
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • Compound Radius Fretboard
  • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
  • No Locking Tuners
  • No Neck-Through Build
  • No Push Knob or Extra Switch Option
  • No Weight Relief
  • No Luminescent Inlay
  • No Tremolo
  • 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
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
Quality of materials 61
Features 60
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 72

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
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP's Scale Length
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP'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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP 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
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP Neck Profile
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP'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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP 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
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP Fretboard Compound Radius
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP's Compound Fretboard 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 Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP is the only one with a compound radius. This is a huge win because it will give you the best of both worlds: a more curved radius in the first few frets for chords, and flatter as you come closer to the body for soloing.

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.

And after taking into account the scale length, nut width, neck profile and fretboard radius, we can conclude that the Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP favors large hands more than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP 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
Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
Bending & Vibrato Ease 65
Chord Playability 70
Solo Playability 80
Playability 72

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
General Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Gibson Dave Mustaine Flying V EXP
Brand: Epiphone Gibson
Year: 2024 2022
Configuration: HH HH
Strings: 6 6
Made in: China United States
Series: 1963 Firebird V Artist Collection
Colors: Blue, Red Natural, Gray
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Mahogany
Bridge: Maestro Vibrola Nashville Tune-O-Matic
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through Set
Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Grover Mini Rotomatics with Kidney Buttons
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Ebony
Neck Material: Mahogany Mahogany
Decoration: Mother of Pearl Trapezoid Mother of Pearl Teeth
Scale Size: 24.75" 25.5"
Shape: 1963 Firebird SlimTaper with Volute
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 24 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 10" to 16"
Nut: Ivory Tusq Ivory Tusq
Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 43mm (1.693'')
Electronics
Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Dave Mustaine Signature Seymour Duncan Thrash Factor (Humbucker / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Seymour Duncan '59 SH-1N (Humbucker / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Bell Bell
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 2 2
Tone Controls: 2 1