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#1
can anyone tell me what is the better between the EPIPHONE Blackbird and epiphone thunder goth IV?? i'm gonna buy one of them, but i'm torn between which one...and also, what is an opti-grab that the blackbird features?

any advice would be much appreciated!
#2
Forewarning. Epiphone and its Tbird variants tend to get some rather heated opinions here. Not very good ones, but there are some faithful who are rather strident as well in their love of both of these bass guitars. Check out https://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/showthread.php?t=723253, it has some of the info you are seeking. And you need to try both them out yourself, if you haven't already, there are some significant features of both that you will either love, hate or ignore in a blind lust of what you consider a radical look.

And hold on TS, its going to be a bumpy ride...
Last edited by anarkee at Jan 30, 2008,
#3
*Hands TS flame suit*


I don't believe there is such thing as the Epiphone Blackbird... it's Nikki Sixx's GIBSON signature model, yes?

It's basically an overpriced (as with all Gibson basses) Thunderbird with no tone controls, and the gimmicky "Opti Grab." The Opti-Grab is just this little sort of metal tab that sticks out near the bridge, and if you happen to play with a pick near the bridge, you can hook your pinky around it to counter the horrible balance of the Thunderbird body.

If you play fingerstyle, or find it awkward to use your pinky as mentioned, then it's useless.

The lack of tonal control is also a -1, as the Thunderbird bass is already pretty muddy and "flat" sounding. If you take the tone control away, it's like breaking the arms off of a person in a wheelchair.


Plus, all Thunderbirds have horrible fret access - you won't be able to play past the 12th fret comfortably, if at all.


I also can't understand why you're comparing a Gibson signature bass to an Epiphone. They're in vastly different price ranges, even build quality. Although Gibsons are generally horrible basses, the quality will be a helluva lot better than Epiphone.

I recommend you steer FAR FAR AWAY from Epiphone and Gibson, and look towards something more along the lines of a Spector Legend or a Highway 1 Fender.
Last edited by Charlatan_001 at Jan 31, 2008,
#6
Whichever one you choose, you will regret it. Have you played them or are you just buying one because they look cool?
Quote by Bumper
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#8
Quote by the_land_of_nod
they do look cool

... true, but that is it. They are flat and lifeless to play. I think if some one made a T-Bird shape, with a bolt on neck and just better all round bassery, it could be an awesome bass.
All I want is for everyone to go to hell...
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Quote by DisarmGoliath
You can be the deputy llamma of the recordings forum!
#9
Quote by ChemicalFire
... true, but that is it. They are flat and lifeless to play. I think if some one made a T-Bird shape, with a bolt on neck and just better all round bassery, it could be an awesome bass.


the epiphones are bolt on, they are just poor basses
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.
#10
Quote by ChemicalFire
... true, but that is it. They are flat and lifeless to play. I think if some one made a T-Bird shape, with a bolt on neck and just better all round bassery, it could be an awesome bass.


i don't think so, the fret access would still be terrible, and you would probably have the same amount of neck dive. If you changed the Pickups you could probably get a nicer tone, but that's about it.
#12
the Goth one has more controls so in theory should have better tone shaping ability right?

but it's still a T-bird, basicaly the Twiggy Ramirez signature T-bird, since the first one was built for and presented to him during the Holywood era of Marilyn Manson

*note to self, if you wanna be taken seriously, dont let on you're a Marilyn Manson fan*

so, 2 sig models, both T-birds, and both are gonna sound bland and muddy, go with what everyone else says, get a fender or schecter or something, looks are the least important thing on a bass...if it must be black and gothy, maybe a Fender Aerodyne?

EDIT: if it helps, Jordie White (Twiggy) played an Aerodyne in NIN, so you can pretend its sort of, related to the goth T-bird??
Quote by the humanity
I'm just joking Moog. you know nothing can tear our friendship apart, not even the fact we are miles apart, I am right there beside you, yelling, "Chug it, ya little wimp!"
#13
Quote by skippy_moogoose
the Goth one has more controls so in theory should have better tone shaping ability right?

but it's still a T-bird, basicaly the Twiggy Ramirez signature T-bird, since the first one was built for and presented to him during the Holywood era of Marilyn Manson

*note to self, if you wanna be taken seriously, dont let on you're a Marilyn Manson fan*

so, 2 sig models, both T-birds, and both are gonna sound bland and muddy, go with what everyone else says, get a fender or schecter or something, looks are the least important thing on a bass...if it must be black and gothy, maybe a Fender Aerodyne?

EDIT: if it helps, Jordie White (Twiggy) played an Aerodyne in NIN, so you can pretend its sort of, related to the goth T-bird??


no, i have a guitar from the 60's with 6 knobs and a 4 way selector switch, it doesn't offer any more tonal variety than a standard strat with 3 knobs and a 5 way switch
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.
#14
Quote by skater dan0
no, i have a guitar from the 60's with 6 knobs and a 4 way selector switch, it doesn't offer any more tonal variety than a standard strat with 3 knobs and a 5 way switch


turns out I was wrong then, still, good to be corrected

still, they are T-birds, so tone cant be the first thing the TS is thinking about

and I stand by my aerodyne recomendation for a metal/gothy looking bass that's waaay better
Quote by the humanity
I'm just joking Moog. you know nothing can tear our friendship apart, not even the fact we are miles apart, I am right there beside you, yelling, "Chug it, ya little wimp!"
#15
Quote by skippy_moogoose

EDIT: if it helps, Jordie White (Twiggy) played an Aerodyne in NIN, so you can pretend its sort of, related to the goth T-bird??



Actually, I'm pretty sure he only used American Deluxe P-basses and an EBMM Stingray.
#16
Quote by Charlatan_001
Actually, I'm pretty sure he only used American Deluxe P-basses and an EBMM Stingray.


I'm sure I've seen a foto of him with an Aerodyne....hmmmmm

but yeah I know he used the other two....could be my idiocy again,its been abundant recently. Sad he's gone back to T-birds now he's rejoined Marilyn Manson, but I guess that's the "Iconic Twiggy Look"

I'll try find a pic of him with an Aerodyne, Im 98% sure I've seen one...then again I've been wrong before, heck even in this very thread....such a n00b, but this is how we learn.

and it doesn't change the fact the Aerodyne is a better sounding bass, and would suit the whole "goth" look the TS seems to want

EDIT: Nope charlatan you're right, was a tiny pic of a P-Bass special, and my idiocy is rife this week, also, as the only member of my family who currently doesn't wear glasses, I may need an eye test....
Quote by the humanity
I'm just joking Moog. you know nothing can tear our friendship apart, not even the fact we are miles apart, I am right there beside you, yelling, "Chug it, ya little wimp!"
Last edited by skippy_moogoose at Feb 2, 2008,
#17
I would actually suggest ESP/LTD basses for the goth-y or metal look. Plus they are much better basses.
#18
you know, mid-range BC Riches aren't THAT bad...
Moser Custom Shop 5-string Scimitar
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Fender Jazz MIM
Digitech Bass Driver
Morley Dual Bass Wah
Genz Benz GBE750
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#19
Quote by Charlatan_001
*Hands TS flame suit*


I don't believe there is such thing as the Epiphone Blackbird... it's Nikki Sixx's GIBSON signature model, yes?

It's basically an overpriced (as with all Gibson basses) Thunderbird with no tone controls, and the gimmicky "Opti Grab." The Opti-Grab is just this little sort of metal tab that sticks out near the bridge, and if you happen to play with a pick near the bridge, you can hook your pinky around it to counter the horrible balance of the Thunderbird body.

If you play fingerstyle, or find it awkward to use your pinky as mentioned, then it's useless.

The lack of tonal control is also a -1, as the Thunderbird bass is already pretty muddy and "flat" sounding. If you take the tone control away, it's like breaking the arms off of a person in a wheelchair.


Plus, all Thunderbirds have horrible fret access - you won't be able to play past the 12th fret comfortably, if at all.


I also can't understand why you're comparing a Gibson signature bass to an Epiphone. They're in vastly different price ranges, even build quality. Although Gibsons are generally horrible basses, the quality will be a helluva lot better than Epiphone.

I recommend you steer FAR FAR AWAY from Epiphone and Gibson, and look towards something more along the lines of a Spector Legend or a Highway 1 Fender.


Actually, it cuts off more around the 18th. It's still pretty damn bad access, but a hell of a lot better than the 12th.
#20
Quote by CurbstompBass
Actually, it cuts off more around the 18th. It's still pretty damn bad access, but a hell of a lot better than the 12th.


body joins the neck at the 16th
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.
#22
For some reason the restricted access of a T-bird appeals to me, also played with a pick, the muddy sound and (my preferred) high action makes me all the more 'Peter Hook' in my playing.
Quote by tubab0y
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#24
i would go for the thunder bird, i have never liked using a sig instrument such as the black bird. i don't wanna play someone elses instrument (unless its a buzzard).
#25
Quote by Charlatan_001
I just realized that Epiphone replaced the Goth Thunderbird with the Nikki Sixx Blackbird


No it didnt. Theyre both for sale.
[img]http://www.fan2band.com/DynamicImages/97465_906_49_1997.gif[/img]
#26
Yes Epi has them still on their website under their subheading "goth". Yes Epi has a subcategory called "goth".

My god they have finally convinced me they are the most retarded guitar company in the world.
#27
Quote by anarkee
Yes Epi has them still on their website under their subheading "goth". Yes Epi has a subcategory called "goth".

My god they have finally convinced me they are the most retarded guitar company in the world.

Yeah, the goth range are even worse than their standard range. They're feel cheaper and have horrible matte black paint. The goth guitars are even worse, they cheaped out on pickups too!
Quote by Bumper
Looks like you had a big bowl of Downs Syndrome for breakfast.



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#28
Quote by anarkee
Yes Epi has them still on their website under their subheading "goth". Yes Epi has a subcategory called "goth".

My god they have finally convinced me they are the most retarded guitar company in the world.



Oh I didn't even see that.


Well, I guess it doesn't matter either way - they're both ****.
#29
thanks for your help guys, you've given me alot to think about.

and i don't know if this justify's it or not (or maybe u guys can suggest something better) but the reason i was keen on the t-bird is coz i play in a horror band (www.myspace.com/mtath) cheap plug! and yeah, we're very image concerned, as i live in perth and they're isn't many bands that love the image part of rock as well.

although i'm fairly certain its out of my price range, whats everyones opinion on the bc rich line of mockingbirds? that warlock is nice too....

btw, the fender aerodyne is a sexy bass for sure!!
#30
Many will tell you that BC Rich basses are all image and no substance, but anything NJ line and above is actually quite good quality. The NT basses are quite good too - I'd look into the NT Warlock.
#31
after having another look at the bc rich line, i'm thinking there perhaps a little too hardcore, i mean theres showing off, and then theres looking like a wanker. the mockingbird is great tho!
#32
see Im still standing by my Aerodyne statement

its black, with that swish little cream banding, matching headstock,very sleek, very sexy, if you're concerned about Image, well....yeah, I mean how wouldn't it fit into a horror band?
Quote by the humanity
I'm just joking Moog. you know nothing can tear our friendship apart, not even the fact we are miles apart, I am right there beside you, yelling, "Chug it, ya little wimp!"
#34
Quote by skippy_moogoose
see Im still standing by my Aerodyne statement

its black, with that swish little cream banding, matching headstock,very sleek, very sexy, if you're concerned about Image, well....yeah, I mean how wouldn't it fit into a horror band?


I own a Fender Aeordyne and an Epiphone Thunderbird and I still think the T-bird is worth every penny I spent on it, sure it isn't as good as the Aerodyne, which is the single nicest bass I've ever played, but for almost twice the price, that's expected. The problem with T-birds is they take a lot of getting used to, but once you do they are a fantastic bass.
#35
New to the board -- I have lurked and listened on previous occasions -- often as result of Google search. However, after the GF read this thread to me, I felt compelled to respond.

I purchased my first Thunderbird in 1975 or thereabouts -- it was a single PU Sunburst 1964 model in mint condition. I had already purchased a new '73 Rickenbacker 4001 with the earnings from my first full time job at age 17. I loved Chris Squire's sound (bassist for Yes,btw) so I got a "Jet-glo" model ordered in from Cali. I had played Precisions, Jazz Basses, Gretsch Hollow-body, Gibson EB-3 and EB-2 as well as acoustic string bass prior to acquiring the T-Bird. So I guess I'd have a modicum of experience with various basses to draw upon. I got the T-Bird as a result of listening to John Entwhistle, (The Who, of course), Martin Turner (Wishbone Ash), and Glenn Cornick (Jethro Tull)...all excellent players from the illustrious 70's Rock era. The amps they used were all-tube behemoths of the day -- Hiwatt and Orange in particular (as well as the occasional Acoustic 371). Myself, I used an Acoustic 371, Hiwatt 200 Custom, and Ampeg.

My girlfriend and I each own Thunderbirds; I have the Epi Pro IV (Active PU's), she has the
classic Model IV with passive PU's. I would definitely would not characterize the tone of any Thunderbird as "flat" or "muddy" or lifeless. In fact, while doing a recording session for a producer friend, who is also a label owner, and the first musician to record an album in the digital realm (in Canada) -- his comment was: "that f*#@ing thing sounds like a harpsichord!". Hardly what I would call "flat" or lifeless, let alone "bland", "horrible" or "muddy". Yes, Gibsons are noted for a bassy tone -- which has also been described as "muddy-sounding" .... usually by persons who are not familiar with proper EQ or amplification techniques.

As far as their fret access, well I've never encountered any real problem there. Nor did I find the body design on my Firebird 6-string versions unduly restrictive. Hey, just ask Johnny Winters -- he seems to do alright on the upper reaches of the neck

I also happen to have an Epiphone "Elitist" Les Paul. I guess if Epi are a "retarded" manufacturer, would it be because they use long neck tenons? --Btw,that's a feature only available on Gibsons in the "Custom Shop" range -- at roughly 3 to 4 times the Elitist's price, and originally developed on the 1950's Les Pauls which routinely sell for hundreds of times their original price.

As far as their unique appearance, (which incidentally was a Ray Dietrich design -- please Google him -- he was one of the foremost American industrial architects of all time); I surely prefer the beautiful lines of a Gibson or Epi TBird to any poke-your-eyes-out pointed abomination (eg. Warlock...oohhh, that sounds scary...rather like conjuring up GWAR or something ).No offence intended towards anyone's chosen styles,of course-

In parting, (and since I certainly don't foresee returning to such an intentionally confrontational forum), I would just like to mention that blanket statements, skewed by unreasoning zeal (that border on inanity) really do little to elucidate concerns posed by those starting out on a tone-quest in earnest, such as the OP. Good luck everyone.
#36
You replied in a thread that's been dead for the last four years.
Damn it! Disable can't use disable to disable Disable's disable because disable's disable has already been disabled by Disable's disable!
#38
Quote by dark Mass
You replied in a thread that's been dead for the last four years.



Yes,that appears to be correct' "dark Mass"...I believe similar anachronisms have been observed previously on these internet forums. However, I'm sure that it's no cause for alarm.Now,was there a particular point to be made by such an astute observation?

Btw,if you would indulge my curiosity...does that username refer to some arcane religious rite,perhaps encountered in an extremely frightening video game?-
or,perhaps a scathing reference to that amorphous void suspended between the auditory appendages belonging to devotee's of said "entertainments"...
#39
Quote by TwiggyBird
Yes,that appears to be correct' "dark Mass"...I believe similar anachronisms have been observed previously on these internet forums. However, I'm sure that it's no cause for alarm.Now,was there a particular point to be made by such an astute observation?

Because as per forum rules, necrobumps are highly discouraged. The TS/OP is long gone, and your lengthy defense of Thunderbirds and Epiphone is irrelevant to this thread. If you're just trying to stir shit up, then you're trolling. I'm curious how you even dug this thread up in the first place.

Its an old thread and you're taking way too personally. You like Epi's and T birds, awesome. There are others on here that do as well, and you're entitled to your opinions. Some people (myself included) aren't fans, and we're also entitled to our opinions. This forum isn't confrontational by nature, its actually pretty relaxed compared to other forums, and there's a great group of regulars and a diverse community of bassists here sharing different experiences. If you look past a 4 year old thread that didn't appreciate T birds you might see it.
Composite Aficionado


Spector and Markbass
#40
Been necrobump city round here lately.
Basses:
Fender Precision Bass
Fender Jazz Bass
1967 Fender Coronado Bass II
Warwick Star Bass
Squier Precision Bass TB
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