Page 1 of 3
#1
I heard (and read) that lots of famous bassists use these (like shavo odadjian), but the reviews weren't all that great.

Is the Thunderbird IV a good bass, or is it overrated
#4
The general concensus on this board is that the Gibson Thunderbird is an overpriced instrument with a bland tone, insulting fret access, and an awful neck dive problem. It's physical proof that taking a guitar design and making it a bass does not work. But, then again, the PC police will come by and say try it and if you like it that's all that matters - but in my opinion, there's absolutely no reason to buy this bass, especially at that price level.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#5
Yes its overrated. The only people who like them are the ones that spent all their money on one and are now stuck. I was in a guitar store today (quite f***ing big I might add) and there was this one kid who was in love with thunderbirds because he was a huge fan of SOAD and was in the middle of playing on one. His father on the other hand, was trying to steer him away from them by saying stuff like "These jazz basses have more tonal versatility." "Ooo look at the stingrays, Flea has one you know" and stuff like that. (it was pretty funny)
I love Cheezy Poofs, you love Cheezy Poofs,
If we didn't eat Cheezy Poofs, We'd be lame!

WHY SO SERIOUS SON!?
#7
I heart Gir...


...but anyways, what bass would you recommend for an alternate-metal sort of sound?
(eg. SOAD)
#8
The Cure ROCKS! They could've used a different bass though, the growl doesn't work for their kind of sound. Thunderbirds are best with SOAD.
I love Cheezy Poofs, you love Cheezy Poofs,
If we didn't eat Cheezy Poofs, We'd be lame!

WHY SO SERIOUS SON!?
#11
I'd been looking forward to playing thunderbirds for a long time, and the other day I finally got a chance... and was pretty disapointed. There's nothing bad with them, but I just didn't like anything about them lol Just my humble opinion.
#12
Quote by KKING911
The Cure ROCKS! They could've used a different bass though, the growl doesn't work for their kind of sound. Thunderbirds are best with SOAD.


if you say so, i myself am a huge soad fan, and i've rarely even heard the bass. the tone is so terrible on the thunderbird, its ridiculous, it can't even cut through when there's only one guitar

the Thuderbird is a piece of crap, no matter if you get the epiphone or gibson, and no it doesn't matter who plays them, they're crap
#13
Zar938, for some SOAD bass, check out:

Ddevil (System of a Down)
ATWA (Toxicity)
Mr. Jack (Steal This Album!)
The Metro (B-Side Track)

Also, during any solo, the backup guitar you hear is usually Shavo.
#14
I just meant "If they were good at all" I probably should've said that.
I love Cheezy Poofs, you love Cheezy Poofs,
If we didn't eat Cheezy Poofs, We'd be lame!

WHY SO SERIOUS SON!?
#15
Quote by MentalityBand
Zar938, for some SOAD bass, check out:

Ddevil (System of a Down)
ATWA (Toxicity)
Mr. Jack (Steal This Album!)
The Metro (B-Side Track)

Also, during any solo, the backup guitar you hear is usually Shavo.


How the hell could you forget Sugar?

And I'm pretty sure backup guitars (live) are Serj. That's what happened when I saw them.
#16
Quote by MentalityBand
Zar938, for some SOAD bass, check out:

Ddevil (System of a Down)
ATWA (Toxicity)
Mr. Jack (Steal This Album!)
The Metro (B-Side Track)

Also, during any solo, the backup guitar you hear is usually Shavo.

I know i know, i'm actually a huge fan of theirs and have every song they've made, and i've seen them live twice, i was actually exaggerating, sure you can hear shavo, but for the most part, its only when he's playing alone, its almost impossible to hear him over daron, because the tone from his thunderbird sucks
#17
Serj occasionally provides backup, Deliriumbassist. But more often he sticks to his vocals and keyboard. He doesn't contribute much, if any, guitar in their studio recordings - Daron dubbs layers of guitar over.

So, back to bass guitars...
...so for that kinda sound, would a Thunderbird be apt?
#18
I guess its good if you don't want to be heard whe you're playing SOAD
I love Cheezy Poofs, you love Cheezy Poofs,
If we didn't eat Cheezy Poofs, We'd be lame!

WHY SO SERIOUS SON!?
#19
you asked for an opinion on a specific bass, and i agree with the "known" bass players of this room, that Gib/Epi T-birds are not a good value, nor a good bass. but,
if you decide to choose a T-bird despite "real" bass players opinions. buy the Epi. that way your only jacked for half the money. the only plus i can say about a T-bird is they look cool. unfortunatly, cool looks don't make good CD's, good basses do! imo
now excuse me, i have to go wash my mouth out with soap.
#20
Quote by 83lespaulstudio
you asked for an opinion on a specific bass, and i agree with the "known" bass players of this room, that Gib/Epi T-birds are not a good value, nor a good bass. but,
if you decide to choose a T-bird despite "real" bass players opinions. buy the Epi. that way your only jacked for half the money. the only plus i can say about a T-bird is they look cool. unfortunatly, cool looks don't make good CD's, good basses do! imo
now excuse me, i have to go wash my mouth out with soap.


thank you, this is exactly what I was thinking, i just couldn't come up with the words to say it. almost every one on this forum can agree, that Tbirds have terrible tone, laughable fret access, and terrible neck dive, all things you DON'T want on such a high end bass, of course it looks cool but thats about it. With $1700 you can buy yourself a VERY Nice Musicman, Fender Jazz, or Warwick, all make much better basses, even most of their lower end basses are way better that the TBird, even just a MIA Jazz is infinitely better and its only around $1100, there is no reason to buy this bass whatsoever
#22
For the price of a gibson thunderbird, you could get a MIA Fender Jazz and Stingray.
Last edited by Captain Insano at Nov 12, 2007,
#23
Quote by MentalityBand
So, what you you recommend for a SOAD-esque sound, that can actually be heard?


with a nice bass like a fender jazz, or a stingray, they are tonally versatile, and can get a tone similar to SOAD

what exactly is your price limit? are you willing to spend that much? because if so get a Fender Jazz MIA, for about $1100 (still cheaper) and you will not be disappointed
#24
Well, it's not for me.

Here's the situation:

We're a 3-piece band, and can't find a bassist, so we've decided that our Rhythm Guitarist would play bass. He's not that bad at it, too.
Price range, in Australian dollars? Around $1500-ish, maybe less.
We came up with:

- Gibson Blackbird
- Gibson Thunderbird IV
- Music Man StingRay


So far, after consulting with you ingenius fellows, the concensus seems to be in favour of a StingRay of Fender Jazz.
#25
yesm, stingray is very nice as well

from what i can tell the blackbird is the same thing as the thunderbird w/differnet paint, so either go for the stingray, or the jazz, like i said with one of those very versatile basses, and a nice amp you can easily get a SOAD tone on a bass that doesn't play like crap, and can easily have a different tone with a matter of a knob turn. the thunderbird's tone won't change much, so if you get tired of it, or need to change it for a cover or something, you're not going to have too much fun
#26
Quote by FbSa
In my opinion, Gibson is good with guitars, shotty with basses. But yes a few famous bassist used them.

The only Gibson bass I would consider owning is the Grabber G3. They are WAY out of production but you still see them pop up every once in a while. I believe Mike Dirnt plays one sometimes and Kenny Vasoli of The Starting Line used one heavily through recording and touring with one of their albums. Great clear and punchy basses rock/punk basses However, easily replaceable by Fender Precisions.
#27
Quote by Smidgelton
The only Gibson bass I would consider owning is the Grabber G3. They are WAY out of production but you still see them pop up every once in a while. I believe Mike Dirnt plays one sometimes and Kenny Vasoli of The Starting Line used one heavily through recording and touring with one of their albums. Great clear and punchy basses rock/punk basses However, easily replaceable by Fender Precisions.


i've heard these are ok, but like you said out of production looks kinda like a fat P, with a SG headstock, and nasty pick guard

the main problem with gibson is that most of their basses are just their guitars fitted to be basses, and that doesn't work, with this they actually tried to make a bass, and from what i've heard it didn't turn out to bad
#28
Quote by MentalityBand
I heard (and read) that lots of famous bassists use these (like shavo odadjian), but the reviews weren't all that great.

Is the Thunderbird IV a good bass, or is it overrated


You might wanna ask TalkBass this instead of UG. The community here REALLY hates Thunderbirds.

Just sayin'.
#29
Quote by thefitz
The general concensus on this board is that the Gibson Thunderbird is an overpriced instrument with a bland tone, insulting fret access, and an awful neck dive problem. It's physical proof that taking a guitar design and making it a bass does not work. But, then again, the PC police will come by and say try it and if you like it that's all that matters - but in my opinion, there's absolutely no reason to buy this bass, especially at that price level.


The neck dive problem is cause by the fact that Fender filed a lawsuit for similarity to one of their guitars so they were forced to flip the body destroying the balance. Though admittedly they should be putting the strap holders onto the heel of the bass by now.
#30
^Interesting. However, their budget models balanced well enough. Or maybe Gibson shouldn't have made a model that looks a lot like a Jazzmaster...

Quote by CurbstompBass
You might wanna ask TalkBass this instead of UG. The community here REALLY hates Thunderbirds.

Just sayin'.

Yep, you can ask us and have us tell you we hate it, and if you don't like the answer, you can go to TalkBass and let them tell you they like it!
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#32
One dude from TalkBass made a video showing how Thunderbirds don't have that mudbucker tone that everyone thinks they have. Funny, because nobody here ever mentions the mudbucker tone - they mention the blandness, which, in the video, is quite hard to miss. Of it's 10 minutes, they also don't mention not being able to access past fret 15 without tilting your hand and the neck dive.

And about Fender's lawsuit - what about the NON REVERSE T-birds?
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#33
WOAH WOAH WOAH.....

1500 is going to get u none of those basses, not even close in our great land of australia.

T Bird - $3000 and up
stingray- $2500 and up

My friend u have landed smack bang in the middle of Highway 1 terriroty. Go and grab a fender highway one jazz, that shold be perfect for all you needs
Quote by Drmckool
without having read this thread and just seeing the title since i've been not on the forum for a month i'm just going to say

"why can't we be friends"
#34
Quote by MentalityBand
So, what you you recommend for a SOAD-esque sound, that can actually be heard?

the Fender P. roll the tone to "0" and crank the volume. it'll sound better than-esque.
also consider in two years, you might want a different band-esque sound. the Jazz can cover almost any sound, and the P can cover, what it can't. the EBMM Stingrays are also, very nice.
/thread
#35
I agree with 83lespaul.

Grab the Fender American P-bass. I don't think that the Gibson will cut it.
signature
#36
Biased, personal preference based opinion:

NO OH GOD NO BURN IT WITH FIRE.

Unbiased, objective opinion:

No, oh god no, I firmly recommend that you burn it with fire.

Very few people here like the Thunderbird because it's quite simply, a bland, muddy, overpriced, reliant-on-brand-name-and-famous-endorsees (not that I can think of any) piece of shit.
And yet, to me, what is this quintessence of dust? Man delights not me: no, nor woman neither... nor women neither.
#37
Quote by Caustic
Very few people here like the Thunderbird because it's quite simply, a bland, muddy, overpriced, reliant-on-brand-name-and-famous-endorsees (not that I can think of any) piece of shit.

And that said, when I had a gig at the Gibson Showcase Auditorium in Toronto, there were dozens and dozens of photos of Gibson endorsees (none I recognized) smiling with their axes. ONE picture had a bass player in it, and yes, it was a Thunderbird. Even for a reliant-on-brand-name-and-famous-endorsees bass, it STILL isn't over. Having said that, other than a YouTube video from TalkBass that didn't really swerve me, I've never heard an actual reason why the T-Bird is better than any other axe at all, besides "I like it and thats all that matters so stfu fgt" or the occasional "Fenders are too twangy" from a 15 year old who doesn't play in a band with a Behringer practice amp.
Quote by Cody_Grey102
I was looking at a used Warwick Vampyre LTD 5'er for about $200. I went home to grab my wallet and came back and some jerk with an epic beard got it already..
#38
Quote by .smudged.
The design might be sucky (not the looks) but that thing GROWLS. I love it. Here's my favorite Thunderbird clip. Just listen to that tone, it's amazing.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jtDSRiIIWFQ


But here:

http://ie.youtube.com/watch?v=gHzDSmav0NM

It does sound bland, the neck is awful though, really unjustifyable, it could sound incredible, and I would not buy it, between fret access and dive its just a no-no.
Quote by Demonikk
+1
I live by the method: 3 or less orange warning labels, and it's safe as a kitten


Quote by Charlatan_001
EDIT: Sammcl pretty much got it dead on.
#39
I own a Tbird and its the best bass iv ever owned in the 7 years iv played bass.
Page 1 of 3