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Epiphone 1963 Firebird V
Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
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Playability
75
Sound
72
Build
67
Value
66
Score
71
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Playability
73
Sound
70
Build
55
Value
76
Score
66
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Side to side spec comparison >

Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT

Reasons to Get
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V over Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT

Release Year
2024 vs 2020
From a more recent year
Neck Profile
1963 Firebird vs Harley Benton Fat '59
Comfortable neck that works for most people
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Graphite
Resistant, good tuning stability and rich tone
Neck Joint
Neck-Through vs Set
Stronger neck and easier access to upper frets
Switch Positions
3 vs 0
More tone options
Volume Knobs
2 vs 1
More volume control
Tone Knobs
2 vs 1
More tone control
Pickups
HH vs H
High output without hum
Bridge
Tremolo vs Fixed
Simple vibratos without too much maintenance

Reasons to Get
Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT over Epiphone 1963 Firebird V

Country of Manufacturing
Indonesia vs China
Built with higher quality standards
Neck Profile
Harley Benton Fat '59 vs 1963 Firebird
Thick neck that gives you a better grip
Pickup Mods
Coil Split vs None
Splits humbuckers into single coil pickups
Pickups
H vs HH
Hum-free with more right hand freedom and sustain
Bridge
Fixed vs Tremolo
Good sustain and needs no set-up
Value Score
76 vs 66
Better price/quality relationship

Other Key Differences
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT

Bridge Pickup
Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet vs Roswell P90D Stack STK4P Alnico-5 Dog Ear Humbucker
Different Bridge Pickup
Body Wood
Other vs Mahogany
Different Body Wood
Fretboard Wood
Laurel vs Ebony
Different Fretboard Wood
Headstock
6 vs 3-3
Different Headstock
Nut Material
Ivory Tusq vs Graphite
Different Nut Material

Shared Features
Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT

Neck Wood
Mahogany
Same Neck Wood
Strings
6
Same playing style
Body Type
Solid Body
Feedback free
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

  • Top Pickup Brand
  • Expensive Wood

Common Weaknesses

  • 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

Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT 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

    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
    • 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 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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT

    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: Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT.

    Pickup Configuration

    The Epiphone 1963 Firebird V has an HH configuration while the Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT has H 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, 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.

    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.

    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: Tie.

    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 Epiphone 1963 Firebird V gives you 3 switch options while the Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT gives you 0. This means that the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V gives you more options to find the right pickup combination for the type of sound you want to achieve

    Only the Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT comes with some kind of pickup modification: Coil Split.

    Coil Split lets you disconnect one of the pickup coils. When used with humbuckers, it turns them into single-coil with lower output and cleaner tone.

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V pickups switch and push knobs diagram
    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V's switch options

    The Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT doesn't come with pickup switching 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
    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
    Pickups 90
    Sustain 70
    Versatility 49
    Tuning Stability 70
    Sound 70

    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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT.

    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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT 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: Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT

    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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT comes with a Graphite nut. It's a self-lubricating material that will allow the strings to slide over the nut without a lot of friction. It's a good type of nut if you want to have better tuning stability than with plastic, although it's not as resistant as Bone or Tusq.

    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.

    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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT'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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT's are Wilkinson Vintage-Style Machine Heads With 15:1 Gear Ratio

    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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT 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
    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
    • Expensive Wood
    • Top Brand Pickups
    • Coil Split Pickups
    • Cheap Fret Wire (NS)
    • No Locking Tuners
    • Made in Indonesia
    • No High-Quality Nut
    • No Neck-Through Build
    • 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
    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
    Quality of materials 46
    Features 55
    Quality Control 65
    Build Quality 55

    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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT'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
    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT Neck Profile
    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT'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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT, on the other hand, has a Vintage neck. This means that it's thicker than most modern necks, and makes it a better fit for playing chords and slow solos. Some people prefer this type of neck because it gives them a better grip thanks to the extra mass. Still, the vast majority prefer a thinner, faster, and more ''modern'' neck.

    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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT 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 Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT favors large hands more than the Epiphone 1963 Firebird V.

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands
    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT:
    Big Hands
    Small Hands

    Fret Size

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V and Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT 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
    Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
    Bending & Vibrato Ease 85
    Chord Playability 75
    Solo Playability 60
    Playability 73

    Specs Side-by-Side

    Epiphone 1963 Firebird V vs Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
    General Epiphone 1963 Firebird V Harley Benton DC-Junior FAT
    Brand: Epiphone Harley Benton
    Year: 2024 2020
    Configuration: HH H
    Strings: 6 6
    Made in: China Indonesia
    Series: 1963 Firebird V Vintage
    Colors: Blue, Red Blue, Red
    Left-Handed Version: No Yes
    Body
    Type: Solid Body Solid Body
    Body Material: 9-ply Mahogany/Walnut Neck-Through Mahogany
    Bridge: Maestro Vibrola Wsc Wrap Around
    Neck
    Neck Joint: Neck-Through Set
    Tuners: Kluson "Banjo-style" Planetary Wilkinson Vintage-Style Machine Heads With 15:1 Gear Ratio
    Fretboard: Indian Laurel Ebony
    Neck Material: Mahogany Mahogany
    Decoration: Mother of Pearl Trapezoid Dots
    Scale Size: 24.75" 24.75"
    Shape: 1963 Firebird Harley Benton Fat '59
    Frets: 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver 22 Medium Jumbo Nickel Silver
    Fretboard Radius: 12" 12"
    Nut: Ivory Tusq Graphite
    Nut Width: 43mm (1.693'') 43mm (1.693'')
    Electronics
    Bridge Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive) Roswell P90D Stack STK4P Alnico-5 Dog Ear Humbucker (Humbucker / Passive)
    Middle Pickup:
    Neck Pickup: Gibson USA Firebird Mini Humbucker with Alnico 5 Magnet (Humbucker / Passive)
    Switch: 3 Way 0 Way
    Knobs: Bell Bell
    Pickup Mods: None Coil Split
    Volume Controls: 2 1
    Tone Controls: 2 1