Firefly Is Going Back

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by RiverDog, Jul 13, 2019.

  1. andrewsrea

    andrewsrea Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2009
    Messages:
    8,243
    Likes Received:
    7,353
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Lake St. Louis, MO
    I just set up @JAMES SCHAFFNER 's Firefly, he received on Thursday. The nut slots were good, but a little sticky. Noting a little graphite can't cure. Tuners were 12:1 or 14:1 ish and not as bad as the internet plays them to be.

    The fret leveling and crowning were good. Action was a tad high. Intonation was on every fret. Neck felt great. A 50's Gibson profile with more of a 'D' shape than a 'C'.

    I lowered the action, stretched the strings and set the pickup height. Played and sounded very well. In fact if those were ceramic magnet pickups, they were the best -least brittle I've ever heard. Acoustically, it resonated nice and even. No dead spots.

    Looked spectacular in a burst-blue. Jim said there were finish flaws, but I did not see them. I did see the stop & bridge were pocked which is a sign of pot metal. The only problem I've ever had with pot metal is tone and believe it or not, this had good tone.

    The only thig I'd do if it was mine , is a little wax potting on the pickups.

    Thanks for bringing it over and letting us give it a whirl and HNGD!
     
    DonM, tobijohn, RockYoWorld and 10 others like this.
  2. Gfurman

    Gfurman Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2019
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    By the way, the Ibanez hollow bodies have their issues too from time to time like any guitar manufacturer. Like the FF, most reviews are 4-5 stars on Amazon but not all. Here is a recent one for the $399 AS73:

    "I’m sorta writing this review for the entire Artcore Line of Semi-hollows caused I’ve played and worked on them a lot in the past 8 years. I will tell you what I love and hate about these. Necks feel and look good - Pickups for the price work just fine, but you will eventually want to change them - Love the Ibanez flavors especially the 'Mint Blue'! - Size is perfect for semi-hollow and is a great affordable substitution for the Gibby ES model. Whether it’s a plastic or a bone nut, Ibanez cuts them right and they look good and straight. I cannot say that about all the other brands.

    The Bad: Took a few guitars to get a straight neck through the bridge. Low E was way in and the High E was near the edge. - Ibanez sends these out with 10-52 strings and for a reason! Because they are NOT STABLE with lighter strings. If you like 9-42 strings you will need a new bridge saddle because the G (and a few others) will not intonate.. If you like 10-46's you will need a complete setup and you will most likely loose the action, and you may have to flip the saddles on the E,A and G strings to make room for intonation. 10-52's work great for these guitars and that's why Ibanez ships them out with these. However 10-52's also make the guitar a little harder to play and I really don't care for them. Still a great guitar with potential.. keep the 10-52's on it to avoid a headache! I did return mine because of the over all sloppiness and lack of quality on the one I got. Cracks in the binding when I looked real close.. They also forgot to finish painting the guitar headstock on the one I got. Fair warning that some of these can be heavy and I mean 11-12 or even 13lbs. Average is around 9-10 though."
     
    tobijohn and andrewsrea like this.
  3. JAMES SCHAFFNER

    JAMES SCHAFFNER Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2015
    Messages:
    848
    Likes Received:
    1,381
    Trophy Points:
    93

    Glad you liked it and thanks again for all the setup work. I'm really happy with it and blown away at the quality to price ratio.
     
    andrewsrea likes this.

  4. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2013
    Messages:
    4,827
    Likes Received:
    3,146
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    AZ
    Hmmm I really don't know but it could be.
     
  5. uwmcscott

    uwmcscott AGF Survivor Champ

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    10,834
    Likes Received:
    12,493
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Northern Wisconsin
    Probably doesn't really matter so much when it comes to ultra-cheap guitars like this. Anyone with enough cash to order a couple hundred guitars can have their own "brand". Firefly happens to be the hot one currently, but it seems to change almost daily.
     
    idiotsdelight and Gergo like this.
  6. kirobhan

    kirobhan Well-Known Member Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2012
    Messages:
    2,169
    Likes Received:
    2,570
    Trophy Points:
    113
    peskypesky likes this.
  7. Rokdog

    Rokdog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2009
    Messages:
    7,357
    Likes Received:
    6,270
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    crAKron, Ohio
    Get the Grote for $159 @ Amazon

    54d9ef729053fa993c30007562f85258.jpg
     
    jmilch, BrianSkeezer and peskypesky like this.
  8. Perfect Stranger

    Perfect Stranger Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 3, 2008
    Messages:
    16,556
    Likes Received:
    8,568
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    just leaving your mama's bedroom!
    My advice, and NOBODY listens to my advice, is if you don't feel like doing a lot of upgrades and
    work on a guitar.....don't buy a $150. Start at least at $300 - $400 and a good deal of that will
    already have been done.
     
    OMB, mozz, RockYoWorld and 5 others like this.
  9. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Carolina
    @Gfurman Could be a Gibson review except for the well cut nut part. I don't think anyone said Ibanez put out perfect guitars every time. However they generally are pretty good . Mine has 10-42. and i didn't need to swap or flip saddles, however the former owner could have swapped saddles. Anyway Ibbys were a suggestion as the OPsaid he was done with cheap guitars that need work. He and you are both free to ignore my advice.
     
    OMB likes this.
  10. Chocol8

    Chocol8 Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 11, 2010
    Messages:
    8,386
    Likes Received:
    10,164
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Western NY
    I am listening. Learned the same lesson. The $150 guitar is a gamble. There may be some good ones, and there may be a lot where owners don’t notice issues with frets or intonation, and give them glowing reviews. There is also a big risk that what you are getting is a project guitar. It will need parts and labor to get it to the level of a $300 guitar. If that is still a deal depends on how picky you are and how much you enjoy a project.
     
  11. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2015
    Messages:
    3,967
    Likes Received:
    4,218
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    stuck in the mud somewhere in the swamps of jersey
    Excellent points all - but the above statement really rings true as well.

    I think the fact that there are good ones - is a good thing.
    The fact there are more than a few bad/ less than good ones is a quality control issue.

    Most if not all budget priced units fall into this category.
    Even QC can be separated into comparing the quality of the bones - body and neck, vs. all the hardware and electronics items.

    The percentage of dogs seems to be higher in some brands over others, but even this could vary from one production run to the next.

    I expect a guitar in this price range to need some work beyond a basic set up.
    If it doesnt, great but I expect some "get what you pay for" to be in play.
    But much of what I consider as "need" is subjective.

    I would not expect this to be great out of the box after a basic set up.
    If I was to order one, I would compile a go / no-go list for that individual guitar and decide if the no-goes are worth accepting or upgrading, and send it back if not.
    And order another one/ up to maybe 3 total go rounds.
     
    Chocol8 and nomadh like this.
  12. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    9,905
    Likes Received:
    8,778
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    San Diego
    It's like you're writing this to me.


    But I probably wont listen. :)







    But I should. :)








    But I wont. :)
     
    DonM, MichaelR, fullonshred and 3 others like this.
  13. Razzle

    Razzle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2011
    Messages:
    2,440
    Likes Received:
    1,727
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    AL
    Interesting that one doesn't have the headstock binding like the ones on ebay (that I got).
     
    Rokdog likes this.
  14. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    15,995
    Likes Received:
    7,380
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Floriduh
    For that Low Low price. One should expect to spend some money on some parts and a set up. As far as the Ibby review...you could find a bad apple in every barrel so I wouldn't place too much creedence on that particular review. I have owned 6 or 7 Ibbies and none were as stated. All of mine get professionally set up.
     
  15. Gfurman

    Gfurman Active Member

    Joined:
    May 21, 2019
    Messages:
    173
    Likes Received:
    162
    Trophy Points:
    43
    Location:
    Pennsylvania
    Exactly my point OMB. I wouldn't put too much stock in it either. Most Ibanez reviews are 4-5 stars, however every now and then you can get one that isn't. Whether Ibanez, Gibson, or firefly.

    Fireflies aren't for everybody. I love a great deal so I was willing to see what all the internet fuss was about for $140 and tweak it as needed - or even send it back if it's lousy. Amazon of course makes that rather easy. But I love mine. Besides, my wife would never let me pay $500 for a guitar
     
    fullonshred likes this.
  16. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2009
    Messages:
    9,905
    Likes Received:
    8,778
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    San Diego
    I'm going to get the oceanburst one when it comes out.
    But only because I buy guitars based on colors. Not playability, features or function.
    Then I'll get a tv yellow and I'm all set. Even if it has to be a lute. Or a banjo. :)
     
    DonM and BrianSkeezer like this.
  17. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

    Joined:
    Apr 7, 2010
    Messages:
    15,995
    Likes Received:
    7,380
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    Floriduh
    GFurman - Most of the folks that have been here for a long time have bought pretty much every cheap guitar that has come along and done the applicable mods so we get it! Firefly's are like a candle to a moth. The important thing is not to get burned which seems unlikely. The days of crazy wacked out Chinese junk are pretty much over unless you deal with someone in China that is reselling junk (it happens) guitars. A few years back I would have bought a Firefly and a Grote.
     
    Razzle and BrianSkeezer like this.
  18. jwguitar

    jwguitar Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 21, 2018
    Messages:
    423
    Likes Received:
    364
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Massachusetts
    From the picture that grote guitar almost looks to be a guild starfire.
     
    jmilch likes this.
  19. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2017
    Messages:
    1,278
    Likes Received:
    1,575
    Trophy Points:
    113
    Location:
    South Carolina
    I realized I misposted earlier I did not get the Ibbey with a case for 230 it was without a case for that price I got the AL3100 for about that with case. I know I don't have the Ibby case as I keep debating buying it.
     
  20. jmilch

    jmilch Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    394
    Likes Received:
    311
    Trophy Points:
    63
    Location:
    Michigan

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jul 20, 2019
    nomadh and idiotsdelight like this.

Share This Page