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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
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Playability
75
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
66
Score
71
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Playability
73
Sound
72
Build
68
Value
61
Score
71
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V over Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90

Release Year
2024 vs 2019
From a more recent year
Neck Profile
1963 Firebird vs Vintage 50s
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Set
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Pickups
HH vs P90P90
High output without hum
Bridge
Tremolo vs Fixed
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance
Value Score
66 vs 61
Better price/quality relationship

Reasons to Get
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 over Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Country of Manufacturing
United States vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Decorative Top
Maple vs None
Finished with beautiful natural wood patterns
Neck Profile
Vintage 50s vs 1963 Firebird
Great if you like to hang your thumb over the fretboard
Pickups
P90P90 vs HH
Vintage tone with decent versatility
Bridge
Fixed vs Tremolo
Good sustain and needs no set-up

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Gibson P-90
Different Bridge Pickup
Neck Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Gibson P-90
Different Neck Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Rosewood
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs 3-3
Different Headstock

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90

Neck Wood
Mahogany
Same Neck Wood
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
Tone Knobs
2
Same tone control
Number of Frets
22
Same maximum octave
Nut Width
1.693'' (43mm)
Same string separation at the nut
Paint Finish
Poly
Resistant paint that ages well
Scale Length
24.75'' (628.7mm)
Same string tension and fret separation
Fretboard Radius
12'' (304.8mm)
Same fretboard comfortability
Pickups Power
Passive
Cleaner sound and no battery needed
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
  • 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 Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 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

Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
  • Comfortable shape
  • Easy-to-use bridge
  • Tall frets
  • Comfortable fretboard
  • Narrow nut
  • Short scale
  • Comfortable neck
  • 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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90

Rosewood wood pattern used for guitar building
Rosewood

Rosewood is an almost purple-looking wood that is used mainly for fretboards since it's heavy, rare, and expensive. It's sometimes used on acoustic guitar bodies to create stronger warm tones. Find out more about Rosewood.

Winner: Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90.

Pickup Configuration

The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has an HH configuration while the Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 has P90P90 pickups.

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.

On the other hand, P90P90 gives you two P90s for a crunchy vintage tone. The tone sits somewhere in the middle between typical single-coils and humbuckers. They also produce less hum than single-coils, but they don't cancel it completely like humbuckers.

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 Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 has a slight sound quality advantage when taking into account other factors like the type of pickups, magnet, position, etc.

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: Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90.

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.

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's switch options
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 pickups switch and push knobs diagram
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90'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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
Pickups 100
Sustain 65
Versatility 53
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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90.

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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90

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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90'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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90's are Vintage Deluxe w/ Keystone 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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
  • Made in United States
  • Expensive Wood
  • Ivory Tusq Nut
  • Top Brand Pickups
  • 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 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
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
Quality of materials 60
Features 50
Quality Control 95
Build Quality 68

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 and Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90'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
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 Neck Profile
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90'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 Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90, on the other hand, has a V neck. This neck shape was more common during Fender's early years. Some people like it because they use their thumb over the edge of the fretboard to press the lower strings. It's rather thicker than most modern necks, so it's not usually used for playing fast solos.

Fretboard Radius

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Fingerboard Radius
Both Guitars Have The Same 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.

Both the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and the Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 have the same fretboard radius of 12". This is the radius used in most Gibson guitars. It gives you a good balance for playing chords without muting, but also good comfortability for playing single notes and bending.

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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 favors large hands more than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V:
Big Hands
Small Hands
Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90:
Big Hands
Small Hands

Fret Size

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90 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 Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
Chord Playability 75
Solo Playability 60
Playability 73

Specs Side-by-Side

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
General Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Gibson Les Paul Standard 50s P-90
Brand: Epiphone Gibson
Year: 2024 2019
Configuration: HH P90P90
Strings: 6 6
Made in: China United States
Series: 1963 Firebird V Original Collection
Colors: Blue, Red Gold
Left-Handed Version: No No
Body
Type: Solid Body Solid Body
Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Mahogany
Bridge: Maestro Vibrola ABR-1 Tune-O-Matic
Neck
Neck Joint: Neck-Through Set
Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Vintage Deluxe w/ Keystone Buttons
Fretboard: Indian Laurel Rosewood
Neck Material: Mahogany Mahogany
Decoration: Mother of Pearl Trapezoid Acrylic Trapezoids
Scale Size: 24.75" 24.75"
Shape: 1963 Firebird Vintage 50s
Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
Fretboard Radius: 12" 12"
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) Gibson P-90 (P90 / Passive)
Middle Pickup:
Neck Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Gibson P-90 (P90 / Passive)
Switch: 3 Way 3 Way
Knobs: Bell Bell
Pickup Mods: None None
Volume Controls: 2 2
Tone Controls: 2 2