Dear Gibson Guitar Company,
I like guitars. I like guitars a lot. Some people might even say I love guitars. My wife says I do, but... well, that's another story entirely.
From time to time, people ask me what kinds of guitars I like. Naturally, I give them my top two, but always manage to fall into so many others I like as well. Big fan of Telecasters. There just isn't much you cannot do with a Tele. Love Danelectro baritones, and some of the U2 and DC models. Those are fun, too. Jaguars are a hoot, Gretsches with Filtertrons are awesome, and... well, you get the point. I really like guitars.
Oh, and I like Gibsons, too! I like them a lot! In fact, along with that Tele, the other guitar in my top two is the ES-335, and that's not #1 and #2 -- they're both at the top! The ES-335 has the most soothing neck pickup tones of any guitar ever made, and great versatility in the bridge. Yep, it's a classic.
So is the Les Paul. I'm particularly fond of old goldtops and double-cut specials with P90s. Nothing like a Les Paul with P90s for that stinging sound with just a bit of overdrive to really set apart lead tone. Good stuff.
Your Blueshawk was a pretty cool guitar, and even though I can't say I'm a huge SG fan, they definitely have their place, too. And the Melody Maker! Now there was a cool guitar! Straightforward, no-nonsense single pickup simplicity. Yep, that's good stuff!
Wait, I almost forgot the Firebird! Those are amazing guitars! They have the best sustain of any electric guitar ever created, let me tell you! Yes, sir, if someone sat me down in the studio and said, "All I need is sustain, son", I'd grab a Firebird and that would be all it would take. That neck-through design with the angled headstock really is something unique, and it's a thing of beauty! I like them in red and white, but the sunburst is pretty cool, too, and black is always doable. It took me a little while to get what you were doing with the headstock shape, but eventually I saw how it complimented the body shape, and it certainly isn't confused with anything else!
So, tell me, Gibson. When it came to the Firebird X...
What the heck were you thinking?
Frankly, this is a guitar that completely befuddles me in almost every possible way. I like Firebirds, but when I clicked on that page, all I could think was, My good Heavens, that is one ugly guitar! Seriously, from the strange orangish-red finish to the mismatched fretboard wood and inlay combination to the sawed-off headstock to the hardware store selection of knobs... I mean, do any of those knobs even match each other? Holy Toledo! None of those knobs, levers, switches, or gadgets match each other at all!
Still, it's not fair to judge a book by it's cover, nor a guitar by its JPEG, so let's see what the details are.
* One of those knobs is an 11-way selector switch. Wait, but it's not the same as the 5-way selector switch? Umm, this is one of the reasons Airline Guitars by Eastwood never really "made it". I mean, they were cool, but too high maintenance and finicky. Like those old Teiscos from the 60's, remember? Too much to fiddle with on the fly. Honestly, I'm not even sure what the 11-way switch does. You might want to mention something about it on your page. More about its function might justify that "TM" symbol up next to its title.
* One of the knobs is volume. That's great because you can control the volume. Three pickups, but one volume. They also make a big deal about the (single) tone knob being a momentary switch. So... that's interesting.
* The headstock design is changed because it has a robot headstock. Oh. Maybe because the Robot Guitar was such a stunning success? Wait. It wasn't, was it? It's not that it's a bad concept, but it doesn't understand intonation, doesn't always get the top two strings, and is beastly expensive to repair. Putting a PolyTune in the chain is a much better and less expensive option, apparently.
* The toggle switches are for onboard effects. This is just a bad idea. Aside from more obvious reasons, you can set your compression, reverb, and whatnot on this guitar, but what if I decide to switch to another guitar? Do I have to play it direct into the amp? And if I'm using that Holy Grail for my other guitars, why do I need to dial in two sets of reverb settings? Or EQ? Or compression? Or...
*The neck design is mortise and tenon, which makes the least sense of anything on this guitar. The biggest feature that sets the Firebird apart is the neck-through body. Get rid of that, and you have a guitar with a Firebird shape. It doesn't even have a Firebird neck or headstock. Just the body shape. I can't call it the "Firebird". It is what it is. It's a Failbird.
Here's the worst part, though. The MSRP on this guitar is $5,570. That's right. Sticker price on the good ol' Firebird V is $2,299, but the new version is twice that. If you ask me, this is downright insulting to musicians. Most hard working musicians I know don't have 5 and a half to drop on this sort of guitar. They are doing their best to provide for their families and love playing their gigs, but this kind of thing is way out of our league. Heck, I have a wife and four kids, and can't even go poking around for new guitars that are half this price, not to mention that a nice, vintage 335 could be had for this price! I know, I know, Gibson. I'm not your target audience. You want the pro to buy this one, right? The pro who spent hard-earned cash for a real echoplex that has authentic tube warmth. The pro who saved his per diems over so many road trips to get that old Fender amp that has an oceans-deep analog reverb at the correct placement in the loop. (Last, that is.) The pro who got that antique ribbon mic from a legend who saw potential in them. The pro who gets out there and night after night gives the people what they want, just like you do Gibson.
Correction. Just like you did.
See, this really doesn't count as "bringing it". You are Gibson. You are the LP Jr. You are the Varitone. You are the PAF. You are Gibson. Have you read the comments on this new guitar? Nobody has touched one yet, and yet pages are filling up with negative comments. Why? Because your customers are getting just too used to this. We've lived through the Zoot Suit SG, the Dark Fire, the Robot Guitar, The Eye Guitar, and the Nighthawk. These are not good guitars, but they keep getting worse and worse. We have now come to expect this from you. Substandard, bad guitars.
Know what people want? Firebirds with neck-throughs with two volumes and two tones. We want Les Pauls like the great models of the 50s and 60s. We want 335s and 345s and 330s and 339s that give us a classic look with tones that range from traditional to cutting-edge. We want searing performance from SGs, and even... yes... Vees and Explorers. We want the things that made Gibson great. Not this. This is just making you a laughingstock. This is the guitar version of the now-popular "fail".
Please. Be Gibson again.