Hey Guys, The bassist in our band is looking to buy a new 'un,
and was looking at the epiphone T bird bass,
or squire vintage p bass ( the natural one with big black inlays)

we play a range of hard rock and metal songs,

He does need a new amp, and is currently going through a marshall bass amp ( small) into the PA. it sounds ok.

what do you think Bass forum!?
Epi T Birds tend to sound muddy from what I've heard, some people like it for heavier stuff though.
VM P bass's are more versatile than T Birds, I'm fairly certain you can get 5 string versions as well for heavier stuff.

I'd personally go for the P bass, the best advice would be to try both if possible though.
Personally i'd recommend he goes with the VM p-bass. I have the olympic white one and its fantastic! Easily on par with fenders i have played. I play hard rock and punk and the P-bass is perfect, i'd suggest he also tries out the VM jazz, That has a fantastic growl that is great for hard rock.

As for amps, if he wants a combo, Ashdown do some great combos with high wattage, the also do very good heads if he is looking for a half stack. Though for a first amp i would recommend an 'acoustic' stack. They are great quality and very cheap!
i've had experience with both. i'm planning on buying one of the vintage squiers very soon. those things are stupidly good for the money...

however! if he has an okay bass currently that he'll be fine using, maybe a new amp would be good. also, why use the bass amp through a pa? why not go direct into the pa, with some compression/sound shaping? a sans amp pedal will do him very well for that and would probably give better results.