#1
A few weeks ago, I bought a 2nd hand Epi Thunderbird (yeah, I know, but please no discussion about how bad a T-Bird is this time)
I'm experiencing dead notes / zones around the 1st couple of frets. It's not limited to just 1 fret.
Does anyone have experience with this? What's the problem and how can this be solved?

Thx.
Gear :
Ibanez GWB35 Gary Willis signature
Ibanez SR700 CN
Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV

Marshall MB4410
#3
The problem is not just limited to 1 fret but frets 1, 2 and 3. The sound on fret 4 is OK and fret 5 sounds normal.
The setup / action of this bass is good and also tried new strings.
Gear :
Ibanez GWB35 Gary Willis signature
Ibanez SR700 CN
Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV

Marshall MB4410
#5
Define "dead note." Are the notes not sounding? Are they cutting out too quickly? Is it fret buzz? You probably have a couple of bad frets, seeing as the bass is used. You may need a fret-leveling job, or perhaps even a couple of frets replaced. Neither one of those procedures is a big deal, but they do have to be done properly. If it isn't the frets, it could be that you need a truss rod adjustment. Have a qualified technician look at it.
#6
Wait, what's wrong with T-birds? I've got a Thunderbird IV on my wishlist.
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#7
Wait, what's wrong with T-birds? I've got a Thunderbird IV on my wishlist.

The awful neck dive, limited and muddy tone, can be unreliable, hard to reach upper frets, narrow but heavy neck (contributes to neck dive), though the width of the neck is really just opinion. Personally, I think the T-bird looks kinda cool, it's just irritating to play.
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Last edited by Alden Ashford at Dec 9, 2009,
#8
Quote by Alden Ashford
The awful neck dive, limited and muddy tone, can be unreliable, hard to reach upper frets, narrow but heavy neck (contributes to neck dive), though the width of the neck is really just opinion. Personally, I think the T-bird looks kinda cool, it's just irritating to play.


What's a neck dive?

What makes a tone limited and muddy?

Unreliable as in?

Then neck on the IV is 34", same as most other necks I think. Is there another reason they're hard to reach?

I don't really care how heavy it is. If anything it'll just give my upper back some muscle I haven't been able to do with my sets of lat pulldowns

And yea, it does look pretty cool. I think i'm going with the vintage sunburst choice.
Quote by COBHC1
I lol'd

First lol row
Quote by bloodtrocuted93
They will be twin boys named God and Satan and I will make them fight each other.

http://www.virtual-bubblewrap.com/index.shtml
Quote by sg255
If I cross the street to get away from them, then it's a latino.
#9
What's a neck dive?

What makes a tone limited and muddy?

Unreliable as in?

Then neck on the IV is 34", same as most other necks I think. Is there another reason they're hard to reach?

I don't really care how heavy it is. If anything it'll just give my upper back some muscle I haven't been able to do with my sets of lat pulldowns

And yea, it does look pretty cool. I think i'm going with the vintage sunburst choice.

If you aren't constantly holding the neck up, it will fall down because of poor weight distribution. That is neck dive. It's most noticeable playing higher frets. It's worse than it sounds.

The tone is limited simply because it's difficult to shape it. It's good for rock (generally), but not for much else. And it's muddy because the notes don't sound very distinct, and they run together. Basically, it just sounds messy. They have a reputation for being unreliable because, well, they are. They break very easily, especially the neck. Hit it wrong, and the headstock has a tendency to just snap off. And I didn't say there was something wrong with the neck's length, I said width. It's too thin for a lot of players, but it really comes down to preference.

All this said, there are lemons and there are gems. It is certainly possible to find a good guitar in a series that typically has a bad reputation, and some of these issues come down to preference. It's just that the preference of most people goes wholeheartedly against the Thunderbird. On the upside, you can actually fix the neck dive by moving the top strap button to a different spot on the bass. Most people simply don't like having to bother with it. Honestly, after so many years of people griping about it, you'd think Gibson would just move the strap button themselves.

P.S. I am really sorry for going off-topic here.
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#10
^ Neck dive is where the bass is neck heavy, and if your wearing it standing up, with a strap, the neck will tip the bass towards the floor. This can be remedied by moving the strap button (removing the strap button, drilling a new hole, and replacing the strap button). The tone is "limited" and "muddy," because of the pickups it uses. The sound is blurry, and undefined, and there's not a whole lot of versatility to it.

The unreliable part comes from the fact that Gibson and Epiphone put 98% of what they have into their guitars, and their bass department is very lacking. Most especially with Epiphone, there are some quality control issues, and their basses usually cost more then they're worth.

The design also has poor fret access, as it does not allow the fretting hand easy access to the upper frets. Now that the rant is over, T-birds are fine for a select few bassists who find them playable and enjoy their tone, but they are possibly the biggest love/hate (mostly hate) story when it comes to basses, "try before you buy" is a must when it comes to T-birds.

Sorry TS, I know you didn't want something like that, but he asked. For you, it's possibly your bass needs a fret job, take it in to a shop and have them look at it, it should be a relatively minor repair.
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#11
Quote by FatalGear41
Define "dead note." Are the notes not sounding? Are they cutting out too quickly? Is it fret buzz?


Yes, the notes are not sounding as loud or as deep as higher on the fretboard. I've checked the frets, but they are OK.


Quote by Alden Ashford
The awful neck dive


I've fixed the neck dive pretty easily by adding a strap button below the neck, the same place where it is on the Gibson T-Bird.
Gear :
Ibanez GWB35 Gary Willis signature
Ibanez SR700 CN
Epiphone Thunderbird Pro IV

Marshall MB4410
#12
Once upon a time, there was a legendary thread that was set out to tell the world the truth about T-birds. It is said that if you truly believe and use the magic searchbar, you can find this thread and discover the truth of the t-bird...
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