I had an Epiphone Firebird VII a couple of years ago, but was one from the original run 10-15 years ago. It was alright but had some issues, mostly the wiring since it was a three pickup and redone by MIRC (Used stamped on the headstock) It had so many wires in the cavity you couldn't see the pots, and I never did figure out if it worked right. I sold it after a couple of months, and said I would buy another one someday. Then the flippers got a hold of most of them, and they were creeping up to $1,000. FORGET that!!! Imagine how happy I was when they said it was time to make firebirds again!!! Then it came time to find one. After months of none in stock anywhere, I checked Sam Ash and it said IN STOCK and ready to ship!!!! I hit add to cart and ordered right away. A week later it showed up, and I was BLOWN AWAY. Extremely beautiful guitar! I was worried the Indian Laurel fretboard would bug me, but it darkened right up and looks/feels like rosewood. It sounds like a GIbson for lack of a better explanation! It sounds like the songs I grew up jamming to in the 1970's. I didn't find out it was a true through neck until after I ordered, and right then I knew I made the right decision. I had it shipped to my work, so after hearing some of the new Epiphones were having fret issues, I stopped by my guitar tech on the way home. It had a couple of frets that were just slightly tall, so I didn't feel I would need a fret level on it. It plays like a dream, looks like the real deal, and sounds like Winter... The only reason for 4 stars instead of five, as mentioned in a youtube review, the switch is loose while in the middle position. Not a huge deal but if I have to nitpick about anything on this guitar, that would be the one. Eventually I will buy a switchcraft, and fix it for good.