The Elusive Firefly

Discussion in 'Guitars' started by OMB, May 9, 2018.

  1. Gfurman

    Gfurman Active Member

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    Thanks for the replies fellows. This is all very interesting to me. So instead of paying $100 (or whatever) for pup replacements, you can spend $10 on magnets and achieve the same or similar effect?

    Also, are there any 338 owners out there that have replaced their magnets and if so, why and to what type? Was it worth doing?
     
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  2. Fat Jack

    Fat Jack Well-Known Member

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    Well a magnet swap won't turn a low output jazz pup into a high output metal shredder pup. But if output and tone are in the neighborhood of what you want, swapping will put you on the right street and easier to dial in with your knobs. I've got an Ibby AS that needs a swap just need to do it. And yes it's worth it when the guitar then sounds like it should to your ear.
     
  3. OMB

    OMB Well-Known Member Supporting Member+

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    Is yours an older or newer AS? I have a newer (coupla years old) one and the ceramics in mine sound much better than past Ibbies.
     

  4. notme

    notme Well-Known Member

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    Blueburst and wine red are gone.
    One report on facenook mentions a blueburst and cherryburst had 2 different neck profiles!
    Not very encouraging to know your ordering a"box of chocolates "
     
  5. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    I don't think I'm ready to look into swapping magnets but I think I'm going to swap the pickups just because I've never done it. I'm not getting my guitar until Saturday but this is all I've thought about for 5 days so it's something I'll have to do so I can move on with my life.

    In an ideal world, I go with a Seth Lover set because that seems to be the crowd wisdom, right or wrong. I'm leaning towards Blizzard of 59 as an alternative but I was out of town for a few days and I forget why I landed on that one.

    My other guitar is a Revstar 320 with some ceramic magnets so I'm interested to hear the difference between ceramic and Alnico. I'll probably play the firefly stock until August.

    I have no idea what sound I want out of this. I haven't even received the guitar or heard it yet. I just feel like on principle something should be modified on a $140 guitar. But a lot of you sound happy with it as-is so I'm very conflicted here.
     
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  6. Gfurman

    Gfurman Active Member

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    It would be interesting to understand what that means exactly regarding different neck profiles.

    YouTube has been flooded in recent weeks with a flurry of fresh "out of the box" 338 reviews from the last run in May. They continue to be overwhelmingly positive, and guitarists continue to be amazed at the quality and playability. The same holds true with the recent Amazon reviews from that same run.

    In addition, purchasing one from Amazon provides free shipping and "no risk" protection. If you happen to get a bad chocolate from the box, just send it back on their dime and grab another. These are a no brainier for $140. I love my Ice Tea, although I would swap it for the Red Wine (this run) or the Walnut from the May run. I underestimated the beauty of that one until I watched a recent YouTube review.
     
    Last edited: Jul 12, 2019
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  7. Gfurman

    Gfurman Active Member

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    Drop some pics when you get it. All I replaced we're the strings, and the bridge for $10 because it buzzed. I am intrigued about magnet replacement, not because it needs it, but because it looks like an interesting project for only $10.
     
  8. Gfurman

    Gfurman Active Member

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    And then there were none....
     
  9. MichaelR

    MichaelR Well-Known Member Supporting Member

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    My pickups are not microphonic due to wax potting and I like em just fine. I replaced the bridge with a cheap roller bridge and the tuners with a Wilkinson EZ-LOK although the stock ones worked ok and held tune. I just prefer a smooth 19 to 1 ration that the Wilkinson has. I had to file 3 frets a little but over all I'm very happy with my ff338.
     
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  10. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    It's good to read reviews and know your possible worst case but also cheap guitars can be very different with different problems. Or no problems. Or a problem for 1 person is fine or even like able for another.
    If the bridge is rattling you can shim it temporarily just to prove you like it. Nut to high? Pop it out, file it down and test. Frets need leveling? A few here will make that an easy fix the rest will probably just return.
    The pickups actually get decent reviews. So play with the sounds they make. I like to start with a mindset of what if I was stuck with this guitar and there are no replacement parts available. Can I like "this" guitar? Do I like it enough to bother going farther?. I have a tele that in a way I love the tone, sometimes. Its harsh but rocking. Too microphonic for stage but I like it. Someday I'll dip it in wax or try another in it but I love the way it plays, looks and feels and I've brought it on a vacation cruise. My Gibson never got a vacation. :)
     
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  11. notme

    notme Well-Known Member

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    Off the FB page, an offset model for testing. No info on it other then the pictures.
    Offset1.jpg
    Offset2.jpg Offset3.jpg Offset4.jpg
     
  12. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    It's grown on me after a few extended sessions but I need to make a few adjustments. The question for me now is: Do I do these all myself or just take the parts to a shop and have someone else do it? I'm sort of motivated but the last truss rod adjustment I tried 25 years ago was a disaster.

    The tuners definitely have to go. It's not unplayable but it's mildly annoying enough where I want no annoyances. The tuners feel mushy then overshoot and blah blah. They aren't the worst but they are annoying to me.

    It's still going out of tune after one or two bends so maybe I'll give that rolling bridge a shot since I'm doing stuff.

    Is there a manual out there for this? I cannot figure out the knobs for the life of me. 3 tone and 1 volume? 1 volume and tone per pickup? One of my knobs doesn't change anything and changing the switch sometimes cuts out the sound completely and weird stuff that doesn't make sense to me. I haven't gone too far into troubleshooting without a manual. I would rather not replace the pickups right away but if I have to take this apart I'm just going to put new ones in just because.

    I also need the action adjust and probably some polishing and leveling. I've never successfully done any of this so I'm psyching myself out and might just take it to a tech. On one hand I bought this to do it all myself, on the other hand why am I trying to teach myself another profession to do it worse than other people?
     

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  13. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Sounds like you are similar to me. In love with the concept of modding a good deal to have a nice guitar but then questioning actually doing it.
    Sounds like you liked it enough to keep it but if it has so many problems why? Just love the look and for how its almost a good guitar for the money?
    Not picking on you. More like a therapy session for myself because I do the same thing:)
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
  14. ID10T

    ID10T Well-Known Member

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    #1-I saw it on AGF and followed the advice, now I give it to you. Get "Dan Erlewine-How to Make your Electric Guitar play Great." Read it, I usually have my copy in the bathroom. Best $23.ish I've spent on guitar.
    Adjust your truss, but you aren't sinking drywall screws, 1/4-1/2 turn (and it seems backwards to me (loosen for relief)) . Based on heat and climate control and monsoon season, I've adjusted 2 last week and would be surprised if I didn't have more to do.
    and #2, welcome to the forum.
     
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  15. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    I don't know, it's just where I am now. I think I wanted to make a guitar at the beginning of the year but at some point settled on modding a cheap guitar to see if I even like it or can do it. I also wanted a semi-hollow as the next guitar. So I'm here but not sure if I want to do this next step. Having a guitar I modded myself would be immensely satisfying. The end product would be satisfying, I'm questioning if I would enjoy the process.

    I usually research things longer but I saw the firefly on sale and bought it without a real plan going forwards. Now I'm all frazzled and trying to find forums to help me figure out what to do next.
     
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  16. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    That's what I'm here for. Book is arriving Wednesday. Thanks.
     
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  17. Gfurman

    Gfurman Active Member

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    There is no manual that I'm aware of. The neck pickup knobs are on top, the bridge at the bottom. The front knobs are volume (2), and both rear knobs are tone (2). At least this is the way it should be.

    That's one downside to the FF. No manual or documentation whatsoever. Ya get a guitar wrapped in plastic in a box.

    I have enjoyed learning to set mine up and tweak for better playability. There are lots of good videos on YT for this. Ya just need to purchase some tools. They are available on Amazon and eBay. I've discovered none of this is rocket science. I like to do little projects so learning set-up and minor mods is fun. I'm not gonna pay someone more than I paid for the guitar to set it up.
     
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  18. nomadh

    nomadh Well-Known Member

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    Well I say do it yourself. Then come back here and talk me into doing mine :)
    I easily have 6 project guitars. Most still playable, some quite enjoyable but all have something that really needs to be addressed.
     
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  19. chicago231

    chicago231 New Member

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    On one hand, yes and that's why I'm here. On the other hand, the time commitment for this is making me worried. I can see this laying opened on my table until the end of August because I ran into a lot of problems. Or maybe it's all easy and I'm just working myself up over nothing.
     
  20. jtcnj

    jtcnj Well-Known Member

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    @chicago231

    When I receive a new harem girl:
    First check the condition of the mouth and teeth, then the eyes for clarity and / or yellowing for potential jaundice.....err, wait, uh guitars, yea thats the ticket!! :

    After initial inspection and run through (careful visual for finish, damage, correct assembly, general state of fretwork, nut, etc.), plug in and turn all the knobs, tuners, etc.

    The very next thing I do is work the truss rod and verify it is not frozen, and the neck reacts properly.
    Then I will adjust the action, based on the higher frets from about 15 up, and the truss rod based on the rest / lower.

    Stretch in the strings that came on it.
    Then just play it a while seated and standing; some get-to-know-you time.

    If at this point you are keeping it, put on fresh strings, wound properly, before worrying about tuning stability.

    I was quick to mod stuff early on but now play it like I stole it the way it came (with fresh strings) for an extended period before I decide.
    EDIT:
    I wont even bother with adjusting intonation until this point.
    I do roughly check it after stretching the strings and tuning up; if something is WAY out I may adjust it just to make sure the available range of adjustment will get me there.
     
    Last edited: Jul 15, 2019
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