#1
From what I've heard, Epiphone Thunderbirds are well-hated on the bass forums here. From what I've heard, it has cheap pickups and bad fret access; is this all true?

Also, are Gibson Thunderbirds better, or are they the same thing? When I've seen bands using them live, they've always sounded good.....

Also, I saw something on Ebay that said Epiphone Gibson Thunderbird; is this guy full of ****, or does it actually exist?
#2
the last comment just means that it is an Epiphone.

It is like "Epi presents their version of the Gibson Thunderbird"
(kind of like "Fender Squier"
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#3
He was probably just writing that so people buy it for the name, it's like writing "Fender Squier"
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#4
Epiphone is made by Gibson, so that Ebay listing might still be technically correct. The bass is still going to be the cheap Epiphone though. As to quality, of course Gibson will have better construction, pickups, and quality control. However, it's still a Thunderbird. No amount of better construction can fix that.

As to Gibsons sounding better... A good amp will make up a lot, tone-wise, for an otherwise muddy and indistinct bass. Give me a top-of-the-line Eden head and cabs and I'll make any bass sound good.
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#5
I guess what I'm trying to ask is, is the Gibson Thunderbird really worth being a $1500 bass (as listed here) if you go beyond the cosmetics (personally, I love how it looks, but I dunno if everyone agrees), or is it just completely overpriced?

Also, what is it specifically that is hated about Thunderbirds? I'd like to have a better understanding instead of just reflecting UG's hatred of them.
#6
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#7
Well it's all down to preference. I personally love Thunderbirds. I have played a Thunderbird Pro IV and it was amazing. I'm getting one for my birthday (unless I can afford something better) and i have never thought that it wasn't a quality instrument. The cheaper version though (not the pro) shouldn't be expected to be great when its so cheap. As for the Gibson, no matter what people say they obviously can't be that bad otherwise people wouldn't buy them. The Thunderbird bass has been around for a while and I think that Gibson would know a good price for what you get.

All in all, the Gibson Thunderbird must be worth the money because people do actually buy them.

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#8
Quote by Bassist Rising
All in all, the Gibson Thunderbird must be worth the money because people do actually buy them.

That sounds like a good logic to me
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#9
Quote by Bassist Rising
Well it's all down to preference. I personally love Thunderbirds. I have played a Thunderbird Pro IV and it was amazing. I'm getting one for my birthday (unless I can afford something better) and i have never thought that it wasn't a quality instrument. The cheaper version though (not the pro) shouldn't be expected to be great when its so cheap. As for the Gibson, no matter what people say they obviously can't be that bad otherwise people wouldn't buy them. The Thunderbird bass has been around for a while and I think that Gibson would know a good price for what you get.

All in all, the Gibson Thunderbird must be worth the money because people do actually buy them.

Not necessarily, I'm sure some people will just buy it because it's made by Gibson.
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#10
Like most Gibson basses the Thunderbird is a guitar design made into a bass, which doesn't work out. They have horrible upper fret access and the neck dive is horrendous. Gibson can sell anything they want though because of their name. Basically most of the people who have Thunderbirds do it for the name and aesthetics.
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#11
Quote by Bassist Rising
Well it's all down to preference. I personally love Thunderbirds. I have played a Thunderbird Pro IV and it was amazing. I'm getting one for my birthday (unless I can afford something better) and i have never thought that it wasn't a quality instrument. The cheaper version though (not the pro) shouldn't be expected to be great when its so cheap. As for the Gibson, no matter what people say they obviously can't be that bad otherwise people wouldn't buy them. The Thunderbird bass has been around for a while and I think that Gibson would know a good price for what you get.

All in all, the Gibson Thunderbird must be worth the money because people do actually buy them.


I hope to god you're trolling, because you are about to get hit with a major **** storm from most of the forum.

But for now, I'll be the voice of reason. It IS down to preference. But the reason why T birds are so hated is because they are so muddy. They have almost no high end to them. So, there is no way you'll cut through the rest of the band. Which is fine I guess as long as you really don't want anyone to hear you. They also have horrible neck dive and it's nearly impossible to play above around the 15th fret.

Now for the price. It's that "it costs a lot, so it must be good" mentality that keeps Gibson in business. About half of what you're paying for is the logo on the headstock. They rely on reputation and fanboys to get people to buy their overpriced instruments.

If you REALLY like T-birds, I'd save up and get an ESP Phoenix. It costs more than the Gibson, but appears to fix every problem I just mentioned other than the neck dive.
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#12
Quote by kugelspot

If you REALLY like T-birds, I'd save up and get an ESP Phoenix. It costs more than the Gibson, but appears to fix every problem I just mentioned other than the neck dive.

If they stuck a couple of jazz pickups in that, I'd buy it. Then again, might as well get a reall jazz.
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#13
Quote by Bassist Rising

All in all, the Gibson Thunderbird must be worth the money because people do actually buy them.


A Rolex costs a lot of money. People buy them. But from a technical viewpoint, the new ones aren't as good as a cheaper Omega. Sure, they may look a bit stately, but you can expect to have to get them serviced more frequently than Omegas. With both, you do pay for the name, but with the Omega you get a better movement. Your logic there is a bit flawed.
#14
Quote by Bassist Rising
All in all, the Gibson Thunderbird must be worth the money because people do actually buy them.

People buy crack too.
#15
Quote by Hergiswi
People buy crack too.

ROFL.

Maybe it's the same guy buying lots of both.
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#17
Quote by SmashandBurn
I heard ESP makes a good firebird copy. Might want to check that out.



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#18
^ No he's assuming that firebirds are anything like thunderbirds. Guitarists make that same mistake all the time.
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#19
Epis will be inferior to the Gibsons
personally i wouldnt pay $1500, but i do like them. that said though they are limited in tone, and there are construction problems, like neck dive, how narrow the neck gets and poor fret access down the neck
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#20
Actually, I managed to play the Gibson a couple weeks ago, and was surprised that there isn't any neckdive. They position the strap button in a place that actually makes sense, as opposed the Epiphone.

And no fret access above 15? That's bull, I can easily reach 17/18. I'm not saying it has good fret access (quite the contrary, it still is below par), but I see that "15 fret" thing being thrown around way too much here, when it's completely and blatantly wrong.

I saw a local band recently, and the bassist was playing a Epi Thunderbird through Carvin 410 rig, and it sounded fantastic. He was still fighting neckdive pretty hard, though.
#21
Quote by herby190
From what I've heard, Epiphone Thunderbirds are well-hated on the bass forums here. From what I've heard, it has cheap pickups and bad fret access; is this all true?

Also, are Gibson Thunderbirds better, or are they the same thing? When I've seen bands using them live, they've always sounded good.....

Also, I saw something on Ebay that said Epiphone Gibson Thunderbird; is this guy full of ****, or does it actually exist?


I'm sorry, but I find your question kind of obvious. Yes you heard right, they are hated on this particular forum especially. You heard right, they have cheap pickups and bad fret access, so why ask if this is all true? It only takes a quick look at a Thunderbird to see how poor it is to access the other frets. Regarding the pickups... well the bass isn't expensive, it is cheap... the stock pickups aren't by any aftermarket brand or even designed by an aftermarket brand, hence they are 'cheap'. Of course Gibson Thunderbirds are going to be better, well maybe not better to some people, but let's say different. Of course they aren't the same thing, a quick look at the specifications between the two would show this. Finally, when someone advertises an Epiphone and they add 'Gibson' to the name, it's a sales technique. Does an 'Epiphone Gibson Thunderbird' exist? Not really, if it says Epiphone on the headstock, it's an epiphone. If it says Gibson on the headstock, it's a Gibson. I'm sorry, I really find this such a 'duh' thread. If you're looking to just talk to people add me as a friend and I'm more than happy to converse.
Last edited by cjlane at Jul 10, 2009,
#22
Quote by CurbstompBass
Actually, I managed to play the Gibson a couple weeks ago, and was surprised that there isn't any neckdive. They position the strap button in a place that actually makes sense, as opposed the Epiphone.

And no fret access above 15? That's bull, I can easily reach 17/18. I'm not saying it has good fret access (quite the contrary, it still is below par), but I see that "15 fret" thing being thrown around way too much here, when it's completely and blatantly wrong.

I saw a local band recently, and the bassist was playing a Epi Thunderbird through Carvin 410 rig, and it sounded fantastic. He was still fighting neckdive pretty hard, though.

On the E string? Or just the G?
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#23
Quote by cjlane
I'm sorry, but I find your post kind of retarded.


Absolutely no need to be so condescending. It wasn't retarded. It was just a question, something he didn't know. If yhou aren't going to be nice, don't bother posting, whether you give an answer or not.
#24
Quote by Deliriumbassist
Absolutely no need to be so condescending. It wasn't retarded. It was just a question, something he didn't know. If yhou aren't going to be nice, don't bother posting, whether you give an answer or not.


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#25
ESP Pheonix, unless- you absolutely- positively- definitely- gotta have that sound. kinda boomy and whacky, like a tiger as heard through a marshmallow. I'd rather just get a straight up bear, but it can work, like Silver Sun Pickups or some Kings of Leon. the best T-bird tone is usually found running through an SVT with some 10's backing it up, in most cases.
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#26
I've played a ThunderBird a few times, and although it certainly was far from the best playing bass I've ever used, it was far from the worst. I personally don't mind the tone either, listen to a few Kings of Leon songs off 'Because of the Times'. The bass sounds brilliant. Although it may partly be the overdriven Ampeg SVT, I think the thunderbird plays a part in it too. They have a trebley thud, which is probably quite love or hate. There's also the bonus off looking quite amazing too(Not that it really matters... or that many people would care).

Don't get me wrong, it's far from drawing me away from my trusty P bass, because the neck dive & general feel of the instrument wasn't right for me, but I don't think they're by any means bad, especially for the less adventurous bass player, and I have been in several situations whilst recording wanting that ThunderBird tone.
#27
It is not everbody's bass. Tone wise, never had a muddiness problem nor heard one, neck dive isnt bad with the right strap, and fret access is fine for me because i have long fingers. You have to play one to judge it, i love them, others hate them. If you like it, how it plays sounds looks etc, then buy it. Dont let opinions on the internet change your mind. It really is a love or hate bass