Are Firefly Guitars Good? (I bought 2 so you don’t have to)

Alright, let’s be honest, “worth it” is somewhat subjective. But if you’re looking to possibly buy a Firefly guitar (either new from GuitarsGarden or Amazon, or used on Reverb) then you want to know if buying a Firefly guitar is good, right? The answer is yes Firefly guitars are good, but it depends on what you’re looking for.

I’ve purchased and reviewed 2 Firefly guitars so far so I can answer your questions with hands on experience. The first Firefly guitar I bought was the Firefly FFLPS “Gibson Les Paul” style guitar. The second was the Firefly FFLG “Gibson SG” style guitar.

They also have a handful of other models which I will detail below.

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The ethics of guitar clones & copies

Firefly FFLG “Gibson SG” copy

I just want to touch on this briefly, because there are a lot of guitar purists (read: snobs) who dislike anything that resembles their beloved Gibson or Fender guitars but is made by a different brand. These people even dislike Epiphone and Squier, both of which are owned by their respective bigger brands.

The reality is that not everyone can afford an original Gibson or Fender and budget guitar brands like Firefly, Indio, IVY, Ashthorpe, Harley Benton, Donner, LyxPro, Glarry, Leo Jaymz, and all the rest do serve a purpose. These affordable guitar brands are many beginners’ first foray into the instrument! Likely those who stick around will eventually purchase more and more expensive instruments in the future!

So my personal take is that whatever gets you playing guitar I’m cool with. I draw the line at companies that directly clone a guitar with let’s say a Gibson logo, trying to pass it off as an original. That is gross an unethical. But a Les Paul copy like the Firefly FFLPS? No, I don’t have a problem with that.

OK, but are Firefly guitars worth buying?

I won’t leave you hanging. If you’re okay with buying a Chinese made copy of an established guitar brand, then I think Firefly guitars are worth it.

It’s important to note that Firefly quality control is not stellar. I actually liken their quality control to Squier’s quality control. Both of the guitars I purchased from them needed a little bit of love to get playing how I like them. The Firefly FFLPS, for example, had some fret buzz from high frets as well as a small finish blemish and some other easily fixable issues. The Firefly FFLG needed a truss rod adjustment and an intense fret polishing due to oxidization.

Firefly does include the truss rod allen wrench necessary to fix a bowed neck, so it’s not the end of the world if you need to fix something like this. But I do understand if it’s your first guitar you don’t want to spend time with that, and you’re probably worried you’ll break something on your brand new guitar.

Once you get passed the quality control issues on these guitars they are very nice. I’d say they’re worth in the $200-300 range if we’re comparing to the more established brands.

Should you mod or upgrade your Firefly guitar?

Let’s be clear: although I like Firefly guitars they are made of the absolute cheapest components available. The bones of the guitars are good, but the quality of the hardware and electronics is low. Which means there is a lot you can do to upgrade your Firefly.

And I not only believe you should mod your Firefly guitar, but I think that’s part of the fun of buying a cheap guitar. You should know that there is very little you can really break on an electric guitar. Unless you snap the neck in half, almost everything else about guitar repair is fairly straightforward to learn. The tools you’ll need to do most basic upgrades and a setup will cost around $100, depending on what you’re buying.

You’ll obviously need a screwdriver and if you’re doing a pickup swap a soldering iron, but you don’t need the best of either of these. I have this cheap $15 soldering iron. It’s not perfect, but it gets the job done just fine.

Other Guitar Setup Products I Use

🪛 FretGuru Ultimate Fret End File (I also own the FretGuru sanding beam, fret crowning file, and string gauge)
🏖️ Micromesh fret sanding pads – For polishing the frets to a mirror shine
💂 Fret guards – Lots of different options here, any will be suitable; I personally use blue painter’s tape to tape off the fretboard

There are even communities on Facebook that are dedicated to showing off and modding their cheap guitars. Some people spend $200 on the guitar and then another $200 or more just on upgrading the parts. The end result? A $400 guitar that likely plays and sounds like a guitar that’s double or triple the price.

But, again, if you don’t yet play guitar and you’re simply looking to buy your first guitar then modding is likely out of the question for a while. That’s okay! I think you’ll dig your Firefly guitar whether you decide to mod it or not.

Should You Buy a Used Firefly Guitar Instead?

One option if you don’t want to risk the less than ideal quality control is to buy a used Firefly guitar. That is not without its own risks, but buying a used guitar is one of my favorite ways to get a good guitar at a great price. Unfortunately, Firefly guitars sell for more used online than they do new. But you can make sure you’re getting one that is set up well.

Be sure to read my “how to buy a used electric guitar” article for tips on buying used. This article is more specifically geared towards buying used in person but you’ll find it useful for buying a guitar online as well.

How good are local used guitar deals? Well, I bought this Squier Affinity Stratocaster HSS for $80. Once I gave it a setup I’d easily put it up against an Made in Mexico or Made in USA Fender Stratocaster in terms of playability. Specifically, I rounded over and polished the frets which you will rarely find on a guitar that’s under $1,000.

What Should You Buy Instead of a Firefly Guitar?

If I’ve dissuaded you from buying a Firefly due to the quality control issues then I would suggest you take a look at Epiphone or Mitchell. I’ve reviewed a few of them here already and both brands have had good quality control from my experience:

Let me be clear here, my goal is not to dissuade you from Firefly. I think you’ll probably be happy if you decide to buy one of their guitars, but the above guitars didn’t have quality control issues so they might be better options if you’re a beginner looking to buy their first guitar.

All of the Firefly Guitars models

Firefly regularly releases new models. They began with the FFLPS, then the FFLG, and continued on from there. They even have an acoustic line now, which I have not tested myself so cannot recommend. (Acoustic guitars are more difficult to make well than electric guitars.)

  • Firefly FF338 – Gibson ES-335 semi-hollowbody copy
  • Firefly FFLPS – Gibson Les Paul copy (our review)
  • Firefly FFLG – Gibson SG copy (our review)
  • Firefly FFSP – Gibson Les Paul copy (special edition)
  • Firefly FFLX – Gibson Explorer copy
  • Firefly FFLV – Gibson Flying V copy
  • Firefly FFTL – Fender Telecaster copy
  • Firefly FFST – Fender Stratocaster copy
  • Firefly FFPR – Paul Reed Smith copy

Because Firefly is such a popular budget guitar brand they are often sold out of some or all of these models. They also regularly release new models that might not be listed here.

Final Thoughts on Firefly Guitars

It boils down to this: are you looking for a copy of an established brand and are you willing to take a chance with Firefly quality control? If yes, then these cheap $200 (or less) guitars might be for you.

I’ve been happy with the Firefly guitars I’ve purchased, but I am also comfortable with fixing and setting up guitars. Whatever you decide, I’d love to hear from you.

Do you own a Firefly guitar? Did this article help you make a decision? Let me know in the comments below!

2 thoughts on “Are Firefly Guitars Good? (I bought 2 so you don’t have to)”

  1. Pingback: Firefly FFLPS Les Paul style guitar review (Is it REALLY worth it?) – Art Of Shred Guitar & Gear Reviews

  2. Pingback: Firefly FFLG Gibson SG style guitar review (Should YOU buy this “Epiphone killer”?) – Art Of Shred Guitar & Gear Reviews

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