#1
i know a lot of people don't like them, so....

what wrong with them?
#3
Get out of my forum...

But really, they have a huge neck dive, really uncomfortable to play, they don't sound quite right, for some reason Epiphone thinks they are really good (Haven't figured what their thinking behind that is)

I've played Epiphone basses three times, the first time I absolutely hated it. So I went back a second time to see if I had missed something, nope still hated it. And the third time I played it through a mesa rig, and it still sounded horrible and made me want to butcher a baby.
#4
Any idea what the hell Epiphone means when they say "TB Humbuckers since 1873" in their T-Bird advertisements?

Gibson/Epiphone was always a me-too bass company that took guitar styles and retrofitted them into basses. They suffer from poor design and do not have good electronics.
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
i don't dislike all Epi's, but i do dislike the T-bird bass. for reasons already mentioned
above. if Fender would have built the T-bird, they would have discontinued it years ago. i shouldn't have to modify a new bass, just to make it "ok". there are $200 basses with far better design, than a $1400 Gib T-bird. imo.
#6
Oh oh oh!!! I get to get one last Epi rant in before the new year!!!

1. Neck dive. I have never played one that didn't do this.
2. Lousy electronics. I have never played one that had decent tone. My AccuBass and others of the passive lineage in Epis come straight from the factory with a really bad hum. Worst than any bass I ever played. The only solution is to pull out all the electronics and start from scratch.
3. Poor craftsmanship on some models. I've heard stories of bridges popping off of Tbirds in mid play.
4. Like Fitz said--poor design due to trying to bastardize guitar bodies into basses. I don't care if Jack Bruce plays them, they still are poorly designed.

I've said it once, I'll say it again. Epi/Gibson should stick to making guitars. Period.
#8
Quote by terb
For the TB haters, what is your opinion on the Les Paul Special bass? I like the looks of Les Paul guitars more than the Fenders, but you cant beat the Fender bass sound.

they look great in magazines, but not so great when the head crashes to the ground.
#10
Quote by reaume140
my 300 dollar ibanez is better then an epi bass

well I would hope so, the Less Paul sells for $250

I guess I need head to the local store and try it out before it sells.... form my own opinion on it.
#11
I couldn't agree more with the majority. There is simply no reason to buy an Epi (or Gibson IMO) bass when you will have to spend time and money after you get it simply to get it playable. You shouldn't have to drill new strap holes in a brand new 1000 dollar instrument just because the designer doesn't feel like innovation. Gibson, if they want my respect as a bass manufacturer, have to come up with a completely new design that addresses the problems found in its basses. The one Gibson/Epi bass I played that I wasn't completely horrified by was the Grabber.
#12
Quote by IndianRockStar
I couldn't agree more with the majority. There is simply no reason to buy an Epi (or Gibson IMO) bass when you will have to spend time and money after you get it simply to get it playable. You shouldn't have to drill new strap holes in a brand new 1000 dollar instrument just because the designer doesn't feel like innovation. Gibson, if they want my respect as a bass manufacturer, have to come up with a completely new design that addresses the problems found in its basses. The one Gibson/Epi bass I played that I wasn't completely horrified by was the Grabber.

Seriously, no bull****, in dead honesty, the only reason I've heard defending a Gibson bass is "because I like it, OK?" and "well I tried more popular basses and hated them and bought a Gibson" so there you go.
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..
#13
my bass teacher owns a vintage gibson sg, and it is reeeeeally good. I think it is unfair to condemn gibson just because they endorse epiphone, gibson makes good guitars, they just have a few stinkers. *glares at thunderbird*

epiphone has only two things going for it however.

#1
They have a sweet symbol for a logo. i want to buy one of epiphone's gig bags just so i can add two lines to the logo and make it a hammer and sickle.

#2
Their basses look really cool.

and thats about it. For epiphone, ergonomics and sound quality (and just quality in general) took a back seet to looks. The only reason i can imagine someone buying one is "becuz i likez it" or as a cheap bass to mod. Other than that, dont get one.
-Instruments-
Squier frankenbass
LTD Deluxe EC-1000 in Vintage Black
1960's Banjuke
#14
My god... I love my limited Edition T Bird puts out a mean growl. looks ****in sweet and the neck dive is easy fixed. I guess its personal preference but i love my thunderbird.
#15
I'm one of the few people who like the T-bird around here...

1. Neck dive is a stupid design flaw but it's easily fixed by anyone with more than half a brain cell, so unless you follow the bass stereotype and are completely stupid, you'll have it sorted in 5 minutes. Anyway, unless you are 3 feet tall, the head's not going to touch the ground.

2. The really love tone that I get from my T-bird, personally I prefer it to the Fenders that I've played, which are a few hundred quid more. (Ooohh, controversial!)

3. They look great, there is no better looking bass, it's one of the few shapes which looks better as a bass than a guitar. I bet if I went into the pit right now and asked for the best looking bass, the Thunderbird would win hands down.

Although I wouldn't recommend it to anyone who plays mainly slap bass.

Edit:
4. Reliability. I've had my T-bird for 3 years in a few weeks and it is still working perfectly. I haven't had any problems whatsoever and they only thing that I've had to replace is the strings.
Last edited by bequickorbedead at Dec 11, 2007,
#16
Quote by bequickorbedead
I'm one of the few people who like the T-bird around here...

1. Neck dive is a stupid design flaw but it's easily fixed by anyone with more than half a brain cell, so unless you follow the bass stereotype and are completely stupid, you'll have it sorted in 5 minutes. Anyway, unless you are 3 feet tall, the head's not going to touch the ground.



To each his own, which is why Epi / Gibson is still in business. Someone is buying their basses. You are one of these people and if the bass works for you, well I'm glad your happy with your decision.

But my comment on #1 is why spend hard earned money on a bass that right out of the box needs to have a design flaw fixed? That seems ill advised all round.
#17
Quote by anarkee
To each his own, which is why Epi / Gibson is still in business. Someone is buying their basses. You are one of these people and if the bass works for you, well I'm glad your happy with your decision.

But my comment on #1 is why spend hard earned money on a bass that right out of the box needs to have a design flaw fixed? That seems ill advised all round.


Well a few reasons actually:
1. I didn't notice the flaw when I tried it in the shop before I bought it.
2. I didn't bother to fix it, it's not bad and doesn't bother me, it's no where near as bad as everyone seems to think.
3. I still think it's good value for money. It sounds and plays as well as all of the basses around £100-200 more and it looks better too.
4. "why spend hard earned money on a bass that right out of the box needs to have a design flaw fixed?"
Thats pretty much asking "why buy it and do 5 mins work on it, when you can pay £200 more and not have to do the work, and it won't look as good either."
#18
Quote by skater dan0
ok to add my 2 pence.

i had the displeasure of playing a thunderbird today on stage (strap button on my jazz bass went tits up)

the main problems i had with it were:

1) the neck dived like a bitch not only when i let go of the neck but even when i moved my hand to a different position, now this probably wouldn't have been a huge problem if i was playing something ridiculously simple but i was playing "get the funk out" by Extreme which has several tricky runs and lots of movement up and down the neck.

1b) because i was playing with a pick the problem was doubled as i found the only way to keep it balanced was to rest my forearm on the upper body, this practice is highly uncomfortable and inhibited my playing greatly

2) it's possibly the blandest sounding bass i have ever played, i was playing through the same and with the same settings as i would use with my jazz bass to make an orgasmic bright yet full tone. There was none of that with the T-bird though, it was just there, it didn't stand out in any way, it didn't have any punch, growl or any form of solid attack

3) i'm a tone freak, if my sound is slightly off i'll correct it on an obsessive level. But with this POS i couldn't tell if the tone knob was on 10 or 0 theres was so little tonal difference.

4) the fretboard has 90 degree edges, there is no rounding on them. As a result it just wore a groove into my hand where it was resting it's entire weight for most of the song.

5) it's huge, too big for my liking. I'm used to my first fret being in reach if i hold the bass perpendicular to my body, but god no that would be to ergonomic for a T-bird i struggled to reach the 3rd fret while HOLDING the neck perpendicular because be ****ed was it gonna stay there of its own accord.

6) it's totally unslappable, that wasn't a problem for playing "get the funk out" because theres no slap in it. i gave it a quick shot of Marcus Miller's cover of Higher Ground but i gave up on that pretty quick, it sounded horrid and was a chore to play which it shouldn't because it sounds beautiful and is fun to play on my jazz bass.

and now the icing on the cake. The aforementioned jazz bass is a £200 squier standard series instrument way below the price of a gibson let alone a signature gibson.


taken from the nikki sixx blackbird thread but still very relevant
Quote by bassmanjoe08
Dan

Don't stop being you <3


Quote by fatgoogle
I think after this relentless adding for the last 10 mins, that Dan is the coolest looking. Goddamn welsh people and my great etc etc etc etc etc granddad is welsh.
#19
Quote by thefitz
Any idea what the hell Epiphone means when they say "TB Humbuckers since 1873" in their T-Bird advertisements?


Actually, I was reminded when I read this, I was gonna ask and hope somebody else knew

I'm considering e-mailing them to ask....
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.
#20
Quote by sammcl-15
Actually, I was reminded when I read this, I was gonna ask and hope somebody else knew

I'm considering e-mailing them to ask....


The date is the year the company started...to quote their site:

The opening chapter begins some 130 years before that, in the workshop of Anastasios Stathopoulo.

The son of a Greek timber merchant, Anastasios would not follow his father into the family trade, although his chosen profession would use the same materials. He began crafting lutes, violins and traditional Greek lioutos in 1873.


Though I didn't know that Greek lioutos had humbucker pickups
#21
Quote by skater dan0
ok to add my 2 pence.

i had the displeasure of playing a thunderbird today on stage (strap button on my jazz bass went tits up)

the main problems i had with it were:

1) the neck dived like a bitch not only when i let go of the neck but even when i moved my hand to a different position, now this probably wouldn't have been a huge problem if i was playing something ridiculously simple but i was playing "get the funk out" by Extreme which has several tricky runs and lots of movement up and down the neck.

1b) because i was playing with a pick the problem was doubled as i found the only way to keep it balanced was to rest my forearm on the upper body, this practice is highly uncomfortable and inhibited my playing greatly

2) it's possibly the blandest sounding bass i have ever played, i was playing through the same and with the same settings as i would use with my jazz bass to make an orgasmic bright yet full tone. There was none of that with the T-bird though, it was just there, it didn't stand out in any way, it didn't have any punch, growl or any form of solid attack

3) i'm a tone freak, if my sound is slightly off i'll correct it on an obsessive level. But with this POS i couldn't tell if the tone knob was on 10 or 0 theres was so little tonal difference.

4) the fretboard has 90 degree edges, there is no rounding on them. As a result it just wore a groove into my hand where it was resting it's entire weight for most of the song.

5) it's huge, too big for my liking. I'm used to my first fret being in reach if i hold the bass perpendicular to my body, but god no that would be to ergonomic for a T-bird i struggled to reach the 3rd fret while HOLDING the neck perpendicular because be ****ed was it gonna stay there of its own accord.

6) it's totally unslappable, that wasn't a problem for playing "get the funk out" because theres no slap in it. i gave it a quick shot of Marcus Miller's cover of Higher Ground but i gave up on that pretty quick, it sounded horrid and was a chore to play which it shouldn't because it sounds beautiful and is fun to play on my jazz bass.

and now the icing on the cake. The aforementioned jazz bass is a £200 squier standard series instrument way below the price of a gibson let alone a signature gibson.


I'll just say my personal opinions/experience on this, just because it'll be different for every bassist. Mine's just a standard Epi T-bird.

1. I've never had much of a problem with neck-dive, maybe I got lucky, maybe it's because I play ridiculously low, I'm not sure. It's not something I ever notice even wit tricky runs and lots of movement up and down the neck..

1 b?) I play with a pick about 25% of the time and I've never had any discomfort of restriction on my playing from the bass.

2. You do realise that each type of bass will have a unique tone and so the settings on the amp will need changed for a different bass.
The sound is all personal opinion, personally I prefer the tone I can get from my T-bird to the tone I can get from a Fender Jazz bass in the same amp. Obviously, it couldn't be just me who likes the tone you can get from a T-bird since there a lot of good musicians who do use them.

3. Most basses I've played have very little difference through the tone knobs, their just for fine adjustments, use your bass amp for more coarse adjustments.

4. Not I problem that I've ever noticed, a flaw in the Gibson/Blackbird models perhaps?

5. Again not something I ever noticed or had a problem with, I probably just have big arms...

6. I agree with you there, it is almost totally unslappable. It takes a lot of practice to be able to.

The icing on the cake? I'd still take mine over a Fender. I played the Gibson version a while back and didn't notice much of a difference at all and would definitely spend the money on one.

Oh and by the way, I haven't had any problems with anything breaking on it unlike your jazz bass

...although I definitely need the straplocks.

Edit: I just remember I spent 2 weeks using a Squire Jazz bass, I definitely didn't think it was as comfortable or nice to play. It didn't help that the neck was warped for some reason though, so the intonation was fucked...
Last edited by bequickorbedead at Dec 11, 2007,
#22
Quote by bequickorbedead
Well a few reasons actually:
1. I didn't notice the flaw when I tried it in the shop before I bought it.
2. I didn't bother to fix it, it's not bad and doesn't bother me, it's no where near as bad as everyone seems to think.
3. I still think it's good value for money. It sounds and plays as well as all of the basses around £100-200 more and it looks better too.
4. "why spend hard earned money on a bass that right out of the box needs to have a design flaw fixed?"
Thats pretty much asking "why buy it and do 5 mins work on it, when you can pay £200 more and not have to do the work, and it won't look as good either."

What about the body joining the neck at what, the 15th fret? How can you fix that?
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..
#23
Quote by thefitz
What about the body joining the neck at what, the 15th fret? How can you fix that?


What the hell would a bassist be doing past the 15th fret?

Nah, I'm kidding, that could get a bit of a problem. I can comfortable reach up to 17 and up to 19 at a stretch. On the rare occasion that I'll need above 19 on the G, I'll just use the cheap fretless I have lying around or I'll transpose down.
#24
Quote by bequickorbedead
I'll just say my personal opinions/experience on this, just because it'll be different for every bassist. Mine's just a standard Epi T-bird.

1. I've never had much of a problem with neck-dive, maybe I got lucky, maybe it's because I play ridiculously low, I'm not sure. It's not something I ever notice even wit tricky runs and lots of movement up and down the neck..

1 b?) I play with a pick about 25% of the time and I've never had any discomfort of restriction on my playing from the bass.

2. You do realise that each type of bass will have a unique tone and so the settings on the amp will need changed for a different bass.
The sound is all personal opinion, personally I prefer the tone I can get from my T-bird to the tone I can get from a Fender Jazz bass in the same amp. Obviously, it couldn't be just me who likes the tone you can get from a T-bird since there a lot of good musicians who do use them.

3. Most basses I've played have very little difference through the tone knobs, their just for fine adjustments, use your bass amp for more coarse adjustments.

4. Not I problem that I've ever noticed, a flaw in the Gibson/Blackbird models perhaps?

5. Again not something I ever noticed or had a problem with, I probably just have big arms...

6. I agree with you there, it is almost totally unslappable. It takes a lot of practice to be able to.

The icing on the cake? I'd still take mine over a Fender. I played the Gibson version a while back and didn't notice much of a difference at all and would definitely spend the money on one.

Oh and by the way, I haven't had any problems with anything breaking on it unlike your jazz bass

...although I definitely need the straplocks.

Edit: I just remember I spent 2 weeks using a Squire Jazz bass, I definitely didn't think it was as comfortable or nice to play. It didn't help that the neck was warped for some reason though, so the intonation was fucked...


1 it could be that or you strap could be gripping your shirt and holding the bass in place

2 it's not some orgasmic tone that's specific to a jazz bass it's a bog standard boost the bass and treble frequencies a little and cut the mids a little, but no more than 5db either way, and whether you like the t-bird tone or not it's a solid fact that it's bland beyond belief

3 then most basses you have played have had poor electronics, the tone knob can make a huge difference if it's off good quality

4 it could be

5 you can't deny that it's a very big bass though especially compared to a jazz or precision bass

6 nothing to argue here obviously

my jazz didn't break in such a blunt sense it was still playable and i could have used it on stage but my luck being what it is the strap button screw would have come out mid song and ****ed me right over.

and you can't really judge squiers on the one you had because no bass is fun to play when the intonation is ****ed and the neck is warped
Quote by bassmanjoe08
Dan

Don't stop being you <3


Quote by fatgoogle
I think after this relentless adding for the last 10 mins, that Dan is the coolest looking. Goddamn welsh people and my great etc etc etc etc etc granddad is welsh.
#25
Quote by skater dan0
1 it could be that or you strap could be gripping your shirt and holding the bass in place


Maybe if it was with one shirt, but it's always like that for me, no matter what I'm wearing.

Quote by skater dan0

2 it's not some orgasmic tone that's specific to a jazz bass it's a bog standard boost the bass and treble frequencies a little and cut the mids a little, but no more than 5db either way, and whether you like the t-bird tone or not it's a solid fact that it's bland beyond belief


I find it has a very deep rich tone. Anyway, blandness is not necessarily a bad thing, it makes it very versatile with pedals like an EQ pedal.

Quote by skater dan0

3 then most basses you have played have had poor electronics, the tone knob can make a huge difference if it's off good quality


I've played a shitload of basses, some very good ones and some not so great ones. You can't just say they all have poor electronics.

Just so you know, Blackbird have no knobs, just an on/off toggle switch because according to Nikki Sixx "Rock and Roll is either on or off. There is no middle ground"

Quote by skater dan0

4 it could be


Indeed it could.

Quote by skater dan0

5 you can't deny that it's a very big bass though especially compared to a jazz or precision bass


So? Yeh it's big, but that's not necessarily a bad thing.

Quote by skater dan0

6 nothing to argue here obviously



Quote by skater dan0

my jazz didn't break in such a blunt sense it was still playable and i could have used it on stage but my luck being what it is the strap button screw would have come out mid song and ****ed me right over.


Still broke more than my Thunderbird

Quote by skater dan0

and you can't really judge squiers on the one you had because no bass is fun to play when the intonation is ****ed and the neck is warped


It still felt uncomfortable and awkward to play compared to the T-bird imo and the tone was what I'd expect from a cheap bass...